It’s a time of glitter, lights, and Christmas carols. But for so many of us, it’s also a time of loss, memories, and broken dreams. Author and Bible teacher Bo Stern offers hope for those walking into the holidays with heartache.

Bo’s family has been walking a road of grief since her husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, in February of 2011. At first, the grief was manageable. “We were able to outrun some of the sorrow of it.” When the holidays came, reality hit in a fresh way. Bo found herself overwhelmed by the grief and joy of the season. “I had to do some business with God and say ‘I don’t know where I fit in this story anymore.”

Bo shares some things she’s learned to cope with the broken heart she carries.

• Sit in a dark room and meditate on your pain. Then light a candle and watch the light flood the room.

• Watch the sunrise – and remember that darkness will always lose to light.

• Differentiate between sorrow and fear – sorrow can be carried; fear will lead to despair.

• Actively study the Word and memorize the promises of God.

• Minimize sources of stress and anxiety during the season so you can stay focused on Jesus.

• Be prepared to change your perspective and obey God in the hard places. Bo points to the actions of Joseph, who chose to stay with Mary instead of divorce her. “In the middle of crisis it is so hard to stop and listen – but the reason God speaks to us in our crises is so that we can avoid bigger ones.” Joseph married Mary, and became the stepfather to the Messiah.

Bo’s book is When Holidays Hurt: Finding Hidden Hope Amid Pain and Loss.

Remember: Jesus comes for the ones who are weak and broken. The lights and tinsel of the American Christmas are side-by-side with a tiny Savior who is resting in a dark feeding trough. He came for you, joy, pain, and all.

Highlight : Invite Jesus into your sorrow

When holidays hurt

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