The Holidays Don't Feel Joyful for Everyone
The holiday season is right around the corner and if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you might find yourself wishing you could just avoid the holidays all together and wake up once they were over. The anticipation can be nearly as stressful as the actual day itself as you realize that your holidays will never be the same again. Your loved one who was always present, is now glaringly absent. For the first time in years, you are Christmas shopping alone, planning Thanksgiving dinner without your sous chef or party planner, and just don’t have the motivation to put up a tree, let alone attend a holiday party. The loved one who want most to be there won’t be this year. It doesn’t feel joyful. It feels hard, unknown, and disappointing.
We know this season is hard for anyone who has lost a loved one, whether this is your first holiday without that person you lost, or your second or third. For several years the grief still feels fresh and the holiday traditions surrounding family feel awkward and painful. We want to help you find tools to face the upcoming days with reassurance that you can move forward and find the peace that surpasses understanding. To provide you with an understanding of what to expect from others who have been there before you, so you can lessen the emotional impact of the holidays and know that you will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel okay. Most of all, we want to point you to Christ – the one who truly understands our suffering, so that you might experience His comfort and find his grace and peace to meet you where you are at.
We have two events coming up at Bethel that will provide connection and hope for those who are grieving this holiday season. Whether that is you or someone you love, we invite you to attend these events, bring a friend, or encourage someone you know who would benefit to come and receive support and encouragement. Hope for the Holidays
On November 13th, at 6:30 in the Activity Center, we will have Hope for the Holidays. An evening of sharing, discussion, and practical tools for how to survive the holiday season and find hope after losing a loved one. Participants from past years have found meaningful relationships and tangible expressions of hope as they were able to gain practical insight into their own grief and what to expect over the holidays. Register online here
Blue Christmas Service
On December 4th, at 6:30 in the Activity Center, we will have our annual Blue Christmas Service for anyone who is hurting this holiday season. This is a unique worship experience that provides space to ask the hard questions and experience God’s presence in a safe place. Whatever your hardship this season – divorce, loss, illness, financial hardship, estranged relationships – you can come and participate in a quiet evening of reflection, prayer, and hands on experiences to help you express yourself to God. In past years we have created memory ornaments for a tree, taken pen to paper as we cried out to God for His peace and comfort, and taken communion together.
The holidays don’t feel joyful for everyone, but you don’t have to feel alone. Come and experience meaningful fellowship in a safe place, and hopefully find a glimmer of hope along the way.
For more information on either of these events, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (509) 628-0150.