I used to feel depressed every single time Thanksgiving and Christmas came around. I missed my family more than usual. I could not get myself to be joyful during this time.
I felt sorry for myself. At times, I was determined that I would not be happy because I wanted to be with my Mom, Dad, brothers, and sisters for the holidays. Because I was convinced that they were the only people who truly loved and accepted me.
My parents are missionaries in the Philippines, my oldest sister lives in North Carolina, my youngest sister in Utah, and my brother in Oklahoma. My Grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins are in New York or Connecticut. So unfortunately, it’s not so easy to visit them for every holiday.
This past year, as God has been teaching my many things I desperately needed, I learned some things that has helped with decreasing my depression during the holidays.
I finally accept that God has me where I am for a purpose. I know without a doubt He has a big plan for me living here.
A couple of weeks ago, my good friend told me the following: “Christy, you thought you were supposed to be a missionary. Instead, God brought people from the Philippines to you.”
I realized at that moment that Rodalyn, Josephine, Kian, and Jhamica are blessings from God to me. They are from the Philippines, and we attend the same church in a tiny, unincorporated town here in Wisconsin. I enjoy conversing with them in Tagalog, as I am flooded with memories of my childhood in the Philippines.
Another thing that has helped me is that I am cherishing every moment that I have with the 3 children God has given me. Before I had children, I was even more miserable during the holidays. My children are ages 8, 5, and 3. I am having a blast with them!
The third thing that has helped me is my church family. Every Sunday, I look forward to seeing my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is like going to a family gathering every week! I feel loved, accepted, and encouraged by them. They don’t make me feel strange and out-of-place because I omit gluten from my diet. They accept me for who I am.
The most important thing that has helped me is having a closer walk with God. I have been clinging more to God through my pain. I cry out to Him asking for help, more often. I acknowledge that I am nothing without Him.
The most important thing I have to remember is that I am secure in Christ. I am enough. I don’t need people’s approval. My value does not lie in what I do, but in Christ–all that He has done for me. He is all that I need. He is my comfort.
The following verse brings comfort to me: “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (II Peter 3: 12-13)
I look forward to the day when all who have accepted Jesus as their Savior will be joined together in Heaven. I may not get to see my Mom and Dad, brothers, sisters, grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins for every holiday while living on this fallen earth, but someday Jesus will return, and me and all my relatives, who are believers, will live forever with Him, and then I will see them every day.
How about you, do you have any tips for those who may feel depressed during the holidays? Please leave a comment below 🙂