How a Season of Sadness…Can Become That of Hope.

That damn double bubble.  You know the one.  Where your pants so intrusively hit where your winter coat has decided to take temporary residency.  I say temporary because by January 1st I will drink that Kool-Aid that promises a new you in the new year and hit the gym…or lets be real, my home DVD’s (because they work! #21dayfix).  But nonetheless, here I sit, with my stretchy pants that feel less like stretchy and more like casing, sausage casing and I admire.

Admire? Don’t you mean lament?!

No, admire.  To think of the delicious food I was blessed enough to consume and then consume some more…and more.  Admire.  To be grateful for the family I do have, through my own creation (framily:ie: friends that have become family) or that of Gods.  Admire.  To see the settling of a new season that promises me corny Christmas movies, magical lights, the music of angels and my sweet middle child’s birthday.  This season, the season of winter, holidays and all things sugar is my happy time.  And I don’t say that lightly.  I say that knowing that I still struggle with abandonment, rejection and the perception of others.  I say that knowing that my prayers for sobriety over loved ones  seems to come unanswered, though I know this is not true.  My timing is never His.  I say that knowing that there are so many loved ones lost, to this life or the one that comes next.  That their absence is palpable and the pain is as present as the day they left.   I say that knowing that while this season was never meant to be about gifts, debt and unattainable “to do” lists,  it will ultimately creep in and crowd out the reason for the season, the birth of our savior, Jesus.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:11-14

While grief, sadness, depression and so many more debilitating diseases, symptoms and sicknesses can be what we feel, what we were dealt, it does not have to be what we are.  Those words may describe our season but they don’t have to define it.  We must own our thoughts, take them captive.  “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) We must surround our self in what is still good, His truth, His promise, our inheritance.  An inheritance of peace, joy, relief and most more pain, no more suffering.  If social media brings you down, take a break.  Remove it from your phone.  If loneliness plagues you, invite people over or force yourself out.  There are free events that you can safely sink into, unseen, but I challenge you to say hi, start up a conversation, open yourself up to a community, any community.  If family hurts, then create your own.  Set boundaries and protect yourself.  Find that friend, that good listener, sit with them, share, let them be your earthly family when your biological one is not safe.

Friends, while this season can be saturated by sadness, it can also be overcome with  hope.  It can be restored, renewed and renamed…by you.  When you need hope, be hope.  When you need joy, be joy.  When you need love, be love.  Nothing restores the human soul faster than restoring the souls of others.  It is how and why we were created.  It was never about us but them.  All the brothers and sisters of this good nation that need us to show up, speak up and be the image bearers of our dear savior’s birth.  “Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining…..”

Oh how I hope the stars will be shining over you in this season…..take heart, He has come and He overcame this world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33


Melanie Ortiz


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