Finding Thankfulness Even When It’s Hard

November 19, 2018

What are you facing this holiday season?

Some say the holidays are the best days of the year; however, there are others who aren’t as giddy when they hear the seasonal bells. From the candles, the music, and the rich foods to the advertisements of every new item we convince ourselves we need, the holiday season has a way of overtaking every one of our senses and infiltrating our thoughts.

Many look forward to this hijacking of the body’s senses because they feel excitement and joy! However, there are others who feel differently who may not be as vocal. When they think of the holidays, there is a sad pit in their stomach. Emotions from the thoughts of what’s about to come become too overwhelming.

Does this strike a chord in your heart? Do the holidays open up wounds you wish were closed? Maybe this is the first year without a loved one, or maybe there is strife within your family that has caused some members to head different directions this year.

Or, just maybe, you’ve faced a recent divorce — and what you thought was always going to be a family tradition no longer has the word “family” in it.

Sometimes it can be hard to find a thankful heart in the season of Thanksgiving, but regardless of what you may be facing, God ultimately has something in store for you!


This word can hold several different levels of meaning — death of a loved one, death of a relationship, etc. This life does not promise us anything except one thing: life is inevitably going to pass, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

The holiday season has the power to resurrect so many memories of our times with those we love the most.

This could be your first year or twenty-first year without someone you thought you would always spend this season with. Or maybe this is a year without the kids due to a recent or past divorce. The once-treasured dreams of a perfect family no longer exist.

Regardless of the situation, death can and will always be hard to cope with. There is no DIY or steps to overcome that I can give you to resolve this pain. But I do know one thing: Be still and know that God knows exactly where you’re at and the emotions of anxiety or depression you may be facing!

Financial Stress

Maybe it’s not death that you’re afraid of, but the little faces of disappointment that you’ll see when you cannot provide for the desires of your children. Especially in today’s society, flashy and shiny objects are advertised at every corner. It’s one thing to face an adult that is disappointed, but it is a totally different ballgame when facing disappointment from your children.

Every parent wants to give generously to his or her child, but sometimes that’s just not possible.

Maybe you’re facing guilt because of the things you just financially cannot provide. Take a deep breath: it’s okay; you’re not the only struggling parent. Make a list from your budget from the needs to the wants. This will give you a good idea of where your money is going and what you have to work with. Google local organizations that give out free toys or even discounted toys that can help you out! Maybe you and the kids could volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Teaching your children the heart of giving will impact them more than anything you could give them that is tangible!

Power of Thoughts

Regardless of the struggles or fears you may be facing this coming season, know that you have just as much power and control over your thoughts as your emotions have on your body! The mind can be very powerful. The brain is about the size of an orange, and yet it is the organ that controls your entire body.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – II Tim. 1:7

God is not the author of confusion, so if you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, that is not of God! Stress is not of God!

Don’t let feelings of depression this season steal your joy. Every time you have a “what if” thought, cast those down at Jesus’ feet. His burden is easy and His yoke is light! I heard a pastor once say, “Worrying will only affect you, not the situation.” How true is that!

If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest. – Corrie Ten Boom

Not everything in your life can be going wrong all at once.

Take your mind off the problem and look toward hope. Make up your mind that you will think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of a good report! Encourage yourself in God’s Word. Find joy in something new this season.