Just telling the truth here…. but I’ve been one of those people who fought depression during the Christmas season. Every fall I would work myself into a tizzy because I felt t.r.a.p.p.e.d …
-trying to please family members on both sides.
-buying gifts when we didn’t have the money.
-finding the time to shop when I worked full-time.
-feeling the pressure of having to travel every holiday.
-not being able to relax when staying in someone else’s house
-spending an extraordinary amount on shipping presents in the event we didn’t travel.
-writing all these Christmas cards because my husband thought we had to.
-using my vacation time to physically exhaust myself rather receive the rest I needed.
-never having the chance to celebrate Christmas in my home.
I know, I know… I could have done a secret Santa with just one gift per family. I could have worked smarter. I could have given to charity instead of giving gifts. But I felt compelled to follow family traditions on how to do Christmas.
Have you ever felt trapped during the holidays?
Honestly, I was trying so hard to please people and for some reason… I had tons of trouble saying this one little word…. N.O. I could have stood up for myself, but I was afraid of the consequences. I compared myself to others. I feared the approval of men and loss of their love. .
And you know what? This dilemma actually made me physically sick. For about ten years, I contracted a serious case of bronchitis every December.
Finally, my doctor sat me down and stated the obvious, “If you continue to get this sick, you will require stronger doses of antibiotics, and there are only a few antibiotics left that you can take.You must start thinking about how to take better care of yourself. Otherwise, your life will be over.”
Do you realize that stress can actually make you sick? I had been sick on the inside for years, but now it was affecting my physical health. God spoke to me in the midst of battling bronchitis and helped me begin to say “no” to those things that weren’t good for me.
And in doing so, I was saying “yes” to God. It didn’t happen all at once, but step by step with His help, I learned that God wanted me healed of all that stress, anxiety and fear. He didn’t want me to carry those burdens. He wanted to bestow His grace, but I had to make a conscious choice to exhale the bad and breathe in the good.
Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
I know you don’t often hear that verse during the holidays, but now instead of being trapped,
I think of myself as being wrapped for the Christmas season… wrapped in His love, joy and peace. I CHOOSE CHRIST.
So this Christmas season, will you be wrapped in Christ?
What choices may be hindering your love, joy and peace?
Barbara Koob is an ordinary woman who has learned to hope and dream with purpose. A biblical dreamer with a passion for prayer, she is desperate for God to splash His blessings on others so that they can welcome God, receive His healing touch, and step out into their destiny. She writes, speaks, teaches and mentors people on prayer, healing and biblical dream interpretation. See BarbaraKoob.com for more information.