It’s so easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by all of the holiday treats available now. We give so much power to various “forbidden food.” We wonder what the caloric and “fattening” damage may be concerning the buffet that’s presented to us. We’re so worried about what food is to us, we often don’t think much about what we are to God.
What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Psalm 8:4
Yes, there’s no sugar coating it (pun intended): the holidays are challenging to us all. We are faced with numerous, unique fears, memories, expectations and simultaneously occurring situations of /joy/terror/destruction. We can, however, take a second and look at another couple of real promises, as we
“go in to battle” at the next holiday gathering:
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…” Isaiah 43:4
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Indeed, God, the Creator of the world, the universe and every living creature, is willing and capable to help each of us in our individual lives. No matter what we eat, don’t eat, do, don’t do, God is MORE than able to help us WITH it.
What’s your “it” then? Is it a gingerbread man? Is it candy? Is it cake? Is it fear? Is it temptation? Is it a family member or dispute? Is it stress? Is it ALL of the above?
We can’t avoid food and issues this holiday season; in some way or another, we’ll all need to deal with it. Let’s have God help us then. He’s aware of where we are, of our
individual triggers and issues. He knows how to deal with us: spiritually, emotionally AND physiologically!
By faith, then, let’s dare to accept God’s help, now, with whatever we’re mindful of. He’s not intimidated by any of it.
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27
God, instead, is more MOTIVATED by His love for us and His desire to help- us! He’s thinking of how much He loves you and I RIGHT NOW!!!
I love the advice from NEDIC, advising eating disorder sufferers on how to navigate the stressful holiday season. Here are a few of their tips. I believe they work for us all:
Predict high stress times and places; decide which events you will and won’t attend, and plan to have some time to yourself to restore yourself and take care of your own needs.
Predict which people might make you most uncomfortable and plan appropriate ways of excusing yourself from their company.
Predict negative thoughts that you might have during the holidays, and practice thinking differently.
Carry with you a list of phone numbers of friends and crisis lines, and a list of self-soothing activities.
It may be helpful to realize that the “picture-book” holiday sense is not a reality for many people. Some cannot afford it, there are many single people who are not close to their families or do not have a family, and there are many families that do not fit into the dominant cultural model of “family.” Do not blame yourself for family or friendship conflicts. People are not different during the holidays than any other time of the year. Remember that you are responsible only for your own actions and for taking care of yourself.
For more detailed information:
NEDIC Bulletin: Vol. 7, Coping With the Holidays