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For many people, December is a time of celebration and festivity. It is a time when children wait anxiously for Christmas morning to wake up in awe and wonder of all that Santa delivered on Christmas Eve. It is a time when families slow down and make special core memories with each other.

While December sparkles with joy for many people, others face worries and anxieties. It could be a time of grief missing a loved one for the first time at Christmas or one of dread waiting for news from a doctor that could be life altering. Finances are a concern for many people who worry about their ability to provide for their family.

Whatever challenges December presents, the Bible reminds each of us that we have access to a reservoir of hope, peace, joy and love no matter the circumstance. In the good and the hard, God gives us full access to these gifts through his son Jesus. During December, many around the world take time to celebrate the season of Advent. Advent, by definition, means “the arrival”. The first Advent was when God sent his son Jesus as a baby here on earth. You can read about this story in the Bible in Luke 2:1 – 20. Now, we wait for His second coming, a promise secured through our relationship with God (John 3:16-17).   As we wait for Jesus’ return, take refuge in the gifts He freely gives us of hope, peace, joy, and love no matter your circumstance.

Although we can be certain that we will encounter hardships on this side of heaven, we can also be certain that God promises us that through Him you have access to hope and that He intends good for us. Whatever hardship you are navigating through this December, trust in God’s promise of hope for you. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If you are anything like me, when life veers off of course, the first feelings that creep in might be fear and anxiety. However, Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that we have access to the peace of God. If you are feeling worried and anxious this December, lean into the peace of Christ. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

If your circumstances have left you feeling sad and overwhelmed this holiday season, remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength.  “…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

If grief and loneliness feel unbearable and you need to know love, remember that God is love (1 John 4:16). “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7.  During this holiday season may you know and experience Hope, Peace, Joy & Love fully, and as Walter always says, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

If you or anyone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis that may include feelings such as: sadness, loneliness, depression, and/or mood swings please reach out to the National Mental Health Hotline at 866-903-3787.

Kimberly Avon

Director of Relocation