Holidays often bring out feelings of loneliness, and that’s probably never more universally true than it is this year. 2020 has been full of disconnectedness, and the climax of it all might just be Christmas—the time of year we expect to be together with those we love.
Just thinking back to Thanksgiving, I know plenty of people who celebrated with virtually no one (well perhaps “virtually” they spent time with a few people, but they were “in person” with no one). Plus I saw plenty of facebook posts reminiscing about past, more social, holiday celebrations. And no doubt, Christmas will have that same sense of aloneness for many.
While I have no way to mend the situations that spark the isolation, here are 4 thoughts to help you get through this season the best you can…
#1. Focus on what Christmas is REALLY about
Christmas brings to mind so many things, most of them sweet and sentimental. But I’m guessing 90% of what we long for at Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. And while the extra stuff is good and enjoyable, we have to remember that it’s extra.
In other words, no amount of isolation should steal our joy as we reflect on the amazing fact that God came down as a tiny baby so he could save us from our sins.
#2. Let your loneliness push you to Jesus
If you feel isolated and alone, that’s not how God intended you to live. Nevertheless, in this broken world, there will be times when we all feel that way. Sometimes, we have a choice to initiate and make the connections we long for, yet other times, loneliness is just a season we have to endure. Regardless of why you feel more alone than you should, let the emptiness motivate you to draw closer to Jesus. He is there, and he will draw near to you when you draw near to him (James 4:8).
So when you feel alone, talk to him. When you are sad, cry out to him. When you need perspective, worship him. Go to him all day long, and if you do, I am quite sure you will one day look back and say, “Though that was a hard season, I’m so glad I experienced it, for I was never closer to God than I was those lonelier days.”
#3. Keep your mind in check
How quickly we can spiral downhill if we allow ourselves to. What starts as a single negative thought or feeling soon turns into massive discouragement or depression if we let our minds wander. We must have self-control of our thoughts and emotions. Yes, things may be tough, and yes, you might be worn down from it all, but don’t let that become your sole focus. There is plenty of good all around you to focus on.
It’s extremely hard to do, but try looking toward the positive even when you feel negative. While it takes massive self-control to battle our thoughts, it really is better than willingly diving into the dumps.
#4. Reach out to someone else
One of the surest ways to keep from becoming overly discouraged during hard times is to think of others who are also going through hard times (maybe even harder times than you).
If you sense loneliness is going to be the struggle of the month, spend time each day thinking of someone in a tough situation, praying for them, and finding a way to reach out to them (through a text, an email, a call, a card, a gift, a special delivery, whatever you can do). Not only will you be making a difference in someone’s life, this is sure to massively help you! Getting our minds off ourselves is good, plus there’s major connectedness that happens when we serve someone else.
Make the Most of Christmas 2020
You may not leave this Christmas with all the sentimental and sweet feels of Christmas, but you can get through it celebrating the real meaning of Christmas well. Just remember, Christmas is actually not about all the “feels” of Christmas — it’s about Jesus and what he did. And this Christmas, no matter who you are with (or not with) you can rejoice in what God has done, you can draw closer to him, and even be used by him to reach out to others in need of your love.
I do hope you have a Merry Christmas, even if it’s not merry in the typical sense may you truly have the joy that comes from celebrating your Savior!