The Christmas holidays are such a joyful time to celebrate Jesus’ birth, family, friends and blessings! I am so grateful for this season and all that it represents.

But there are also people for whom this joyous season can be painful. Some people are grieving the loss of a loved one; some are facing financial difficulties; still others are dealing with divorce or broken relationships.

All of these circumstances, and countless others, can make the holidays seem like a painful reminder of what has been lost. And often those difficulties cause us to feel isolated and alone in our pain.

When I was 24 years old, my husband, Craig, and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage.  We were devastated and grieving. I remember feeling like my body had failed our baby and we felt so alone in our loss.

In that moment, we reached out for help. We called Pastor Jonathan and Dawn, who had also lost a baby to a miscarriage, and they came alongside us. They brought us dinner, prayed for us, and encouraged us. I don’t know what we would have done without their love during that time.

Christmas is the reminder that when Jesus came, He was called Immanuel, which literally means “God with us”. He is with us in our pain, and He also works through people to minister hope and healing to us when we are hurting. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Are you facing crisis or loss this Christmas?

Are you hurting and in need of someone to come alongside of you in your pain?

Our Guidance Ministry here at The Sanctuary is made up of people in our church family who want to pray with you, help remind you of God’s truth, and walk with you in the healing process.  It is a safe place to process your areas of hurt or difficulty and be reminded that you are not alone and God still has good plans for your life.

If you are interested in more information about Guidance Ministry, please pick up a packet in the Hospitality Room or at the Welcome Center.  I am praying for you this holiday season!

-Pastor Jen