When the Holidays Aren’t So Happy

During this time of year, I know it’s not all turkey and tinsel for everyone.   The stark contrast of the celebratory season to some of our painful realities is a lot to bear.  Some friends of mine going through a difficult season right now are asking, “How do I manage the {emotional,  mental, spititual} pain?”.

There are so many ways to manage pain…. Some are not so good – like numbing the pain with substances, food, activities, and so forth.  Other ways of managing pain are much healthier – like relaxation techniques, praying, talking things through with a counselor or a friend, and journaling.

But for me, personally, what helps the most is thankful worship to my amazing God.  So, as we enter in to this Thanksgiving season, let me share one of my favorites with you.  It is a song by Bethel Worship called “Come to Me“. I love the lyrics (I’ve emphasized some if my favorites below).  I especially like the conversational feel of this track.  It begins with God singing over us and then we sing back to Him in response.

Will singing this or songs like it make your pain instantly go completely away? Of course not.  But it will definitely shift your soul in the direction of healing.

Worship will help you cultivate a thankful spirit. And where there is thanksgiving,  hope is easier to embrace.

CCLI# 6147419

Written by Jenn Johnson

© 2013 Bethel Music Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.


I am the Lord your God
I go before you now
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
Though you feel I’m far away
I am closer than your breath
I am with you, wherever you go


I am the Lord your peace
No evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest
Oh let your faith arise
Lift up your weary head
I am with you, wherever you go


Come to Me, I’m all you need
Come to Me, I’m everything
Come to Me, I’m all you need
Come to Me, I’m everything


I am your anchor
In the wind and the waves
I am your steadfast
So don’t be afraid
If your heart and flesh fail you
I’m your faithful strength
I am with you, wherever you go


When the storm rages
I won’t be afraid
I have locked eyes
On You face to face
Your voice I will follow
Your eyes I will see
I’ll come a little closer
Come close to me


You are my anchor
In the wind and the waves
You are my steadfast
I won’t be afraid
Even in the darkest night
I know You are there
So I press into You, Jesus
And lose all my doubt


You are my anchor
In the wind and the waves
You are my steadfast
I won’t be afraid
If my heart and flesh fail me
You’re my faithful strength
You are with us
Wherever we go


We come to You
You’re all we need
We come to You
Our everything

When a Manger Scene Almost Becomes a Major Scene

So, earlier today, I had an “almost-broke-down-in-the-middle -of-my-workday” moment.  When I walked through the hospital lobby, I noticed they had set up a beautiful manger scene. My Mom loved and collected manger scenes.   So tears started welling up thinking how much I wanted to show it to her or at least call her and tell her about it.  It doesn’t cease to surprise me how grief can rise up so strong at a moment’s notice – even though my Mom entered Heaven a few years ago now.  Those moments also don’t seem to care where you are when they appear.  I almost had a mini-meltdown in the lobby of the hospital where I work.

But then God sweetly whispered to my spirit, “Your Mom doesn’t have to look at a plaster replica of a version of me anymore. She sees ME”.  And somehow that perspective changed everything. Yes…. I miss her terribly even after several years. But she – like me – lived deeply in love with Jesus and always longed to see Him Face to Face.  So thoughts of the joy and fellowship she is experiencing with the “grown up version” of the Baby Jesus she loved to display (even when it wasn’t Christmas) changed my near “miss-my-Mom-meltdown” into a moment of thanksgiving for a depth of Grace that goes far beyond any grief or pain we might taste in this life.

mcm manger scene

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” –  I Corinthians 13:12  NIV