About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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  1. Thanks sooooo much for this post, Holly! Condolences to you on the loss of your grandpa. I can definitely relate as I lost my mom when I was little and my brother a couple of years ago. The holidays are especially difficult, but as you so eloquently put it: “Go ahead and be broken. God really will hold you together.”

    I read something today that I wanted to share with you. It’s from “You’ll Get Through This” by Max Lucado. In the chapter, ‘Good-bye to good-byes’ he writes:

    “Good-bye. For some of you this word is the challenge of your life. To get through this is to get through raging loneliness, strength-draining grief. The rest of the world has moved on; you ache to do the same. But you can’t; you can’t say good-bye. If you can’t, take heart. God has served notice. All farewells are on the clock. If heaven’s throne room has a calendar, one day is circled in red and highlighted in yellow. God has decreed a family reunion.”

    “Death seems to take so much. We bury dreams. But in heaven these dreams will come true. God has promised a “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). “All things” includes all relationships.

    Your grandpa is looking down on you with a smile on his face, cheering you on. Keep your head up and settle into the arms of your Saviour.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,

    Donna

    • I experienced just that feeling in church last week… sighing, trying to hold in the tears that finally welled up beyond my control. My husband of 42 years died last Christmas day. He got his invitation to join the Celebrant in a royal celebration at 1:00 on Christmas morning. I’ve been determined to make this year a time of celebration of Jesus and my hubby instead of being gloomy, but at times the depth of loss comes rising to the surface. My only sister is at death’s door as I write this, adding to the grief.

      Max Lucado’s book “You’ll Get Through This” helped me as my husband lay dying a year ago, and shortly after. I think I need to re-read it. Thank you for the reminder. God is good — through the laughter and the tears!

  2. I have yet to come across a blog that offers so much encouragement and God honest love to the challenges people face. We are all hurting, or battling some burden and we all have a story to tell – but your blog puts into perspective that God actually does know what He is doing and that we can rest, relax and just simply trust Him. He is God after all – and He loves us with a love that I don’t think we could ever imagine or truly understand. At least, not in this world. Thank you for your wonderful blog – I always feel so uplifted after reading it, no matter how my day has been or what battles I am facing. Thank you for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for being so inspiring. Thank you for touching our hearts with God’s love. Thank you.

  3. Holley,
    “Ignoring our hurt only drives it deeper.” So true. Why do we think that there is something more spiritual in being stoic through pain? Where did this lie come from? Christ came for the broken, the hurting, the lost…He didn’t come for a world that “held it all together”. What a beautiful and to the point post that I needed this morning. May we all allow ourselves to be real in His presence…whatever that might look like.
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

  4. Wonderful points on how God holds us together and why it is impossible to be perfect. I am learning to let go some of the perfectionism traits but still struggle with being “good” enough, pretty enough to be accepted. Sounds strange, I know but somewhere I was taught that in order to be accepted and loved, I must always be good. (Your article on being good enough remains in my heart and has helped a great deal!)

    Thank you so much for this article!

    Toni

  5. My son asked why I was crying as I put the ornaments on the tree. Too many ornaments this year from family that’s passed on in the past few years. Seeing the expectant parents ornament from when he was born makes me mourn the fact that he won’t have siblings.

    He’s 8 and he wrapped his arms around me, looked into my eyes and told me that it’s okay because God knows and told him to love on me a lot this season.

  6. Thanks Holley,
    My auntie passed away this week – two days before thanksgiving. it was good to be with family but my heart aches; thanks for the reminder that God holds everything (including me) together.
    God bless.
    Angie

  7. Thank you for sharing the painful side, getting to the God side right away. He is our strength and song and He will overcome this ridiculously commercialized season. I have my 1,000 Gifts devotional and my knitting, a great new job… Holly we will make it through to Valentines Day. Shalom and hugs

    Lonely, but not alone

  8. Thank you Holly. God uses your emails, like this one today to remind me He has my back. I don’t have to have the right answers; I won’t always do the right thing and faking it only makes things worse. I thank God for your ministry.

    May He be forever praised!

    Cheryl

  9. Thank you Holly! You are a gift of the Lord to me and so many! Your writings are so open hearted and honest in a world and even & sometimes especially in church where one cannot be truly who one really is at a particular season. This particular season is so very hard on so many, especially when you witness others in such enjoyment & merriment, and wish so much you could experience the same without having to “get it together” and “fake it” for the sake of others and then go to your bedroom & fall apart, quietly & sometimes silently, again for the sake of others living just a few feet away. Yesterday morning as I was outside & again this morning, telling the Lord how very lonely I was (in the midst of a “crowd”), He spoke to me….”Come unto Me….(Matt 11:28), as you wrote today. As I read it again, tears, tears, tears, and I felt Him speaking it to me again! Thank You my Lord Jesus! Lord, bless my friend Holly with the comfort that only You can give. Wrap Your loving arms around her, encourage her and be the Lifter of her head! In Jesus’ Name!

  10. Thank you so much for that. Your words mean more than you realize. I love love love that Colossians verse.

  11. As I struggle through the the loss of my sister friend of 30 years, it helps to read your posts. I ask the Lord to give her hugs for me and tell her I miss her. I remember that He works all things for our good and pray for all who feel that hole in their heart this season..He really is the only one who can truly comfort us. I so love reading these posts..He is healing through Holley.♡

  12. It was great meeting you at Allume however briefly. This is the word God brought to mind as we attend the funeral of a loved one today. Last year we lost my father in law and both of our grandmothers. Today we mourn alongside our cousins as they bury their father. I sent your words to them praying they would bless them as richly as they have me.

  13. Thank you Holly…………

    My parents both went to heaven in June 2008 and the holidays never get easier no matter how many years pass…….. Brokenness, this is a season I am going through.. I recently read an excerpt from a book that stated: “It’s one thing to love God when we think of HIm as being the One who binds up our brokenness. But what if He is the One who allows even participates in the breaking?” Yes, He is the One who holds all things together, even you and me!!

    Blessings,
    Bonnie J. Russell

    • Yes Bonnie, sometimes He IS the One who allows, even participates in the breaking. I know that now more than ever from personal experience. But it is all for His purpose….hard to understand, hard to see sometimes, but learning to surrender more, lean more, trust more the One Who died for me, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for me, for you. And gathering & saving our every tear drop into a bottle!

  14. Thanks for this. It is a great reminder in this holiday season. Thank you for ALL your words of encouragement! xox Have a blessed holiday season!

  15. Holly,
    What an amazing person you are! You bring such encouragemant to me every day. Thank you for your vulnerability. I know that comes with risks, thank you for having the courage to place your heart right out there for all to see. What a beautiful heart it is!
    Even though I am old enough to be your mother, I am touched every day by how much we are alike. My husband and I lost our mother on Fathers day, the very same day you lost your grandfather. That has deepened the bond I have with you, even though you do not know me.
    Be blessed my dear friend…as you continue on this journey. Know that you have brought much into my life, had you always been bubbly an on top of the world, I would not be reading your blog.
    May the Lord our faithful and awesome God, wrap you in his embrace and kiss you on your forehead.
    Verna

  16. How did you know we all needed to hear this today?
    God gives us good messages to remember today and as we head through the next few weeks…

  17. Thanks for “keeping it real” this Christmas! Tough times for many as we look at what is broken around us and compare it to the facades on magazines and social media sites.

  18. Thank you for permission to cry during the holiday season! Between my childhood dog passing away a week before Thanksgiving and yesterday being the one year anniversary of my 22 year-old friend dying in a car crash with her unborn baby, I’ve been a teary-eyed mess.

    Thanks for the reminder that I don’t have to “get over it” or pretend it doesn’t hurt. I just have to let God hold me and everything else together.

    • Angela,

      I can agree with your response about Holly saying that” we don’t have to get over it” or pretend loss and disappointments don’t hurt. This year has brought so much it of it. God Bless,

      Tammy

  19. Heavenly Father, thank you for using Holley today to help bind up those open wounds of ours. Thank you for the blessed Holy Spirit’s work down here which nothing can hinder except maybe a hardened heart. So we thank You for this special touch this morning. We have hearts that seem to break us up, but they are pliable hearts and we pray that they stay soft today and that the stealer of our joy would be stopped dead in it’s tracks. Thank you for the life of love and light that we can only find in Jesus Christ. Make Him the centre of my focus today. In His precious and worthy name. Amen

  20. Thanks for this. I am completely overwhelmed with work right now at year’s end. I know He will bring me through it and I appreciate the reminder that it is okay to admit to the overwhelm.

  21. AHHHH Thank You…This Holliday is so hard!! What a comfort to know He will hold me together!! I don’t have to “fake it until I make it”

  22. Holley, thank you so much for this. My family seems to be in a season of loss and struggle right now and this is exactly what my heart needed to hear. Thank you for following God and being His messenger.

  23. Love this, thank you Holley. Will add to my prayer list my sisters in Christ who have heavy holiday hearts. I know this is such a tough season for some. Has been for me in the past. Thank you for reminding us that He holds us together no matter the time nor the season. Many prayers for YOU too!

  24. Thank you. I lost my brother in March from cancer and my mom in August. I’d been doing pretty good until last week when I’ve became so lonely missing her, missing them. So many have said it’s ok, give yourself permission, yet I’ve struggled to pull it together. ..to be strong. I think this was the last Word I need to hear…to just be where I am as I fall into the arms of my loving Father who is waiting to comfort me. Thank you so much for confirming and encouraging! May GOD fill your heart and ours with the abundance of His love!

  25. Thanks for the encouraging words. This holiday season has been hard so far and not likely to get any easier. Just before Thanksgiving last year my husband and I lost our home in a tornado. The holidays were very emotional and difficult last year as we tried to figure out where we would stay, what we would eat or wear. But we were mostly numb and in shock. Now at the end of the most difficult year of our lives, we are still not home, no tree, or cookie baking or other traditional things that make it feel like Christmas and it hurts more deeply this year, maybe just because we are so weary. I know and believe that these things are not the truly important parts of Christmas but having them ripped away is still painful. God has been, and continues to be, generous and gracious to meet our every need and we are truly grateful. It is just hard to be the “happy holiday girl” that seems to be expected. All of our family and friends want so badly for us to be all recovered and have it all together, it was nice to be reminded in print that I don’t have to, and God will be enough like He always is. Thanks for being the encourager even when you may not feel like joyful.

    • Oh Terry, your words so touched my heart! May the Lord restore back to you ALL you have lost in the natural and in your heart! I, too, have suffered the loss of my home this year (different circumstances, but loss still the same). Our Lord is a God of restoration and He restores back MORE than was ever stolen or lost. I will be praying for you! May the Prince of Peace, Jesus, flood your heart & soul with a supernatural grace & peace each day! We’re going to make it….with Him!

  26. Beautifully said! Yes, does hold together the broken and I’m so grateful in my own life that He does!
    Blessings!

  27. Holley,

    This was so well timed. I offer my condolences on the loss of your Grandfather. I lost my parents years ago, but every Christmas is very hard without them. I have a new Grandson this year and I keep thinking how very much they would have enjoyed him. I have been crying a lot and trying to hold “myself” together whenever my family is around. Thank you so much for your words, that “God’s got this” and that HE will hold me together. Merry Christmas to you, Holley. I will continue to read your blog everyday as I get so much encouragement from your Godly words.

  28. Thanks for writing such a great post. I’m not holding it together and I counting on God to do it for me. I found out today that my husband is having another affair…this long season in my marriage sucks. I am so tired of pretending to be happy for the holidays.

    • Martha, I have had many of those “meltdowns” in church over the past 2 years (long season) & shown my “backside” more times than I care to count. Sigh….. Well, you know what? The Lord knows & understands even when others don’t, even when one’s own family (natural & church doesn’t. God bless you!

  29. I’ve had a couple of days of feeling guilty because of the pain I feel in my heart, I want to thank you so much for this beautiful writing that was prompted by our savior for people who feel and we do.

    Blessings

  30. On Wednesday morning I woke feeling so sad, a pity party that no one wants us, no one invited us for Thanksgiving and only one couple had accepted our invitation. Well, I acknowledged my pain (was it sin?) to God and asked for his love. My neighbor (one who had declined my invitation but countered by inviting us for afternoon walks and such) came over and prayed with me, herself feeling overwhelmed. Then another neighbor said for me to drop in. Yet a third neighbor made time for me and we went out for coffee in the evening and she listened to my burdens and shared hers. Truly, I am loved and comforted in the very midst of pain and grief. Thanking God because I’ve been through the pain and receive his holding me, Beth.

  31. Dear Holley, thank You so much for this wonderful true and open hearted post… Your words always touch me deeply and help me to come closer to God every day… Lots of love from Berlin

  32. Thank you, Holley, for drawing that verse to my attention: “God holds all things together.” When reading it before, my mind conjured images of stars and planets held in place, atoms held together into matter, historical events kept in order according to God’s plan, etc. But God Almighty holding ME together? Even when I feel broken? That’s a whole new interpretation of that text! And I love it. How precious to realize afresh the tender, loving care of my Heavenly Father–even when I’m not at my best.

  33. Thank you, thank you, thank you…..I really needed this today!! Been struggling with expectations and relationships but most of it boils down to loss and feeling like not many people understand. Because I feel misunderstood, I have built up resentment and even though I know it’s my issue and not someone else’s, my heart still hurts. This helps and I know that relying on the Lord for my strength is the way to go as He reveals more and more to me.

  34. Psalm 94:18-19
    If I say, “My foot slips,”
    Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
    In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
    Your comforts delight my soul.

    Psalm 139:9-10
    9 If I take the wings of the morning,
    And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
    And Your right hand shall hold me.

    Isaiah 41:10
    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.

    I also love these great “holding” verses! Thank you for your words today, Holley, I think we are all deeply grateful for what you have thoughtfully shared with us today.

  35. Today I made myself finish my writing before I got to read my favorite blogs. I just finished up a post for next Monday about sitting in our sadness with Jesus. Then I pulled up your blog and did a double take. I was amazed at how God is speaking to our hearts in such a similar way. Needless to say, as I finished reading your post, I totally did a fist pump, AMEN sister! I am so right there with you. We don’t have to have it all together. It’s okay to sit in our sad with Jesus. He walked on this earth. He “gets” sad.

  36. Thank you so much for this post, Holley. It speaks compassionately to my heart this morning on more levels than I could ever write.

    You have my sympathy on it’s way to you today for the passing of your Grandfather. I understand. I have had several close loved ones pass this last summer. Yes, I know how it feels and send you prayers and many cyber (((hugs))).

    Love to you, Sister,
    Lily

  37. Thanks so much for being here, friends…I’m glad we can share the happy parts of life but also the HARD too. Praying for all of you this evening!! I’m traveling now but will be back here as soon as I can to comment more. XOXO

  38. Holley,

    I find it therapeutic to let your emotions out. It is ok to laugh, cry, Etc. in church. One should not hold in their emotions and make like life is ok. Church should be a place where people are real and if you hurt maybe I can lend an empathetic shoulder or ear.

    Blessings 🙂

  39. God is great and i felt it this past Sunday our regular pastor was out and we had a wonderful man preach.and this was exactly what he told me that the standards i set for myself by obeying the 10 commandments im setting my self up for failure.because we are broken and God heals us at his time not mine.

  40. Thanks for this Holley. May the God of all comfort keep you in His loving care. God is so good at that! I needed this today as well…by reading just a couple of comments above, I see I am not alone… I’m so glad I know my awesome God, who has the answers to all of our challenges, problems, hurts and trials. Will be thanking Him every day till my ‘problem’ is solved.
    Bless you Holley!

  41. That is a constant prayer of mine… Okay Jesus, hold this together. It is such a comforting truth. And what freedom- we don’t need to keep trying so hard. Thanks for this sweet reminder!

  42. Seeing this post was a God-moment for me. I’ve been struggling with the holidays this year. I lost my grandpa last year too. He had an accident a couple of weeks before Christmas, and then finally went Home a month later. It was very hard on me. This year is bringing up memories and feelings that I’ve not felt since the funeral. I had a breakdown two days ago and I don’t know how I’m going to react to our first family Christmas without him this year. It’s going to be tough. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to fall apart sometimes. I can always rest in Jesus.

  43. Holly,
    Thanks so much for your wise words! I lost my best friend last spring-and I identify so strongly with those words “get over it”.I heard those -or “Just let it go!” so often-and from people who care for me. But some folks just don’t understand that we all grieve differently.
    I know that God has been the One holding me together-just as He brought that special friendship to me. And He knows what He is doing…..all will be well. Certainly things have changed-but for now I still need to treasure and remember my friend.
    Thanks for the encouragement!

  44. Thank you for such a wonderful and insightful post.

    I’m a lifelong people pleaser who tries to be the strong one who holds it together for everyone else.

  45. Thanks for sharing this devotion. I needed this today. I lost my oldest son 2 years ago in a car accident. Our youngest son survived but sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury. Every day is challenging, but the holidays are especially painful. I’m trying to learn that it’s okay to allow emotions and to be able to say “I’m not okay!” Your words are a timely reminder. Thank you!

    • Norma, I pray you will see one or two of our Lord’s “little treasures of hope” this Christmas season. They are all around us, as He is always with us! God Bless!

  46. You are such a wonderful encouragement!! My Bampa used to leave notes that read CYHAK which stood for Consider Yourself Hugged and Kissed and then he would add the xo’s at the end.

    I wish that sentiment to you this holiday season whether you are shedding a tear for your own sweet grandpa or smiling about a fond memory.

    God bless you Holley!

    Love, Lina xo

  47. Hi Holley!
    While I generally have a hard time at Christmas trying to keep up with expectations, especially my own, this year is especially difficult.
    I have been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, the loves of my life! I have watched my grandchildren since they were babies while their parents worked. Home life is difficult for these two little ones. Tears are a daily routine along with arguments and yelling. When they come here my main objective is to give them a sense of comfort and lots of love. This year their father has taken down “Christmas” because of their “bad behavior”. My heart breaks for them and although they ask me “why?”, I keep my tears in check when I assure them there will be a Christmas here. They are not bad children, only reacting with frustration and fear to the uncertainties in their home. Here, we have a routine. We eat dinner together after thanking God for our meal. We go over our day together. If one or the other doesn’t want to talk, that’s ok too. Usually whatever is on their minds come out during our evening together. The younger one usually falls asleep while we cuddle on the couch. I see peace in her face where there was sadness just moments before. Now I have complete and undivided attention for my older grandchild. Now he talks, and talks. He has seen a lot more than a child should. Now we cuddle too, even after he says he’s getting too old for “that’. I say, “everyone needs a hug, even me.” With a huge smile he’s beside me and I melt, still no time for tears. They will come later, when the children have gone home.
    Please keep this family, especially my two grandchildren in your prayers this Christmas. That is all I need for Christmas.

  48. This is one of the best articles I have ever read! It is so good to read that we don’t have to hold it together–that it’s alright. God will hold us together. What a wonderful and positive message! You are certainly connected to God in a big way!

    God Bless,

    Toni 🙂

  49. Thank you so much, Holley, for being real with your pain and sharing what God has given you in it. I so needed to hear that today. May He comfort you in tangible ways that are special to your heart this season.
    God bless…

  50. I was moved to tears when I read your post. You really do make things real. Lost my mother two years ago and then my father a couple of months ago. Now my husband may have a heart condition. My depression and anxiety is high. Just your words help me so much. Thank you Holley. My love and prayers are with you and all people.

  51. ilost mymother injan.20 14and my dad 35years ago and my live was not sopgood always ilness and pain and 3years ago ilost my grandchild10years oldand iwas operated onmy heartand give you what isaw iwas operated and myheart must go on but itdont go so iwas fore awill nothere but isaw 3or more people my dad but hewas so henormal was but icoud speak to him and he had abody like acloudican trouhimbut hewasthere and isaw amen sitting in achairidont now who he was but laterisaw apictureofhim whit his long hairisaw him here toby elvisbut also from cathelic chrch and iam not catholic and normal this operation is two weeks but ilay down six weeksand iwas not avery good christen igoto church and my boy was with meand he makes morethings whit thanmehe is amemver of the evangelische gemeent in dronten netherlandsand he prayed fortwomen in his church they have cancerone in laststadium and the two were betteryousee wonders happenedif youpray tojesusourlordhegive youallyouwant doyounow that inthebiblestay whati do jesussaid you peoplecan better because icame toyouand lern youitstay in the biblebut i forgot wereyou must look were it stay iam older and can forget somethingthere is abook ethernety live from cardioloog pimvanlommel hewas dutch so you must ask in your laguageand if youread it you never give omdeadanymore because oursouls sre foreverthelord shall shine over you and your familyand heloves usbut not they say idont want youbecausehe is died forus onthecrossforeverywann but you must believe it hesaid also love your anemyshave agood christmas gertsnel

  52. Thank you for this, Holley. I really needed to hear this today and at this time of year. I’m going through menopause and not sleeping well, so I feel like I’m not enthusiastic about anything right now. It’s hard for my family to see me this way, as they depend on me for a lot of the Christmas preparations and hosting. I feel sure that they need to see that God is holding me together, that I can’t do anything on my own and that will bring Him great glory.

    • Karen, wanting to let you know that you are not alone with menopause and not sleeping well. It does not make things easier for me to be sure.
      I feel much anxiety as the Christmas Season gets closer with family and expectations…praying for you and myself for the Lord to be with us through this season.
      Blessings

  53. Dear Holly, thank you for speaking directly to my situation. God is bigger than the Mountains that we face in life. I had similar experiences, losing loved ones, grandmother who is also my spriritual mother, she was a prayer warrior, then my beloved father about 20 years ago. My two sisters have gone to be with the Lord six month of each about other seven years ago. As if thats hard enough, I lost my baby (son) 14yrs old and granddaughter 3 years ago, and ended last year losing my mother in December, almost a month later I lost another son at the begining of this year. If it wasn’t God’s peace and courage and people like you Holly with your frequent encourgements, I wouldn’t be here today still loving God, he gave my the strength to carry on, to place on firm step ahead of the other with each new day. Just yesterday someone shared that God allow us to go through tragic situations for a purpose to glorify His name and I will continue to praise Him that one day I know I will meet a good part of my family who had gone ahead to be with the Lord! In the midst of the darkness, there is always LIGHT at the end of every tunnel. God’s blessing during the festive season.

  54. Thank you for your encouraging posts. What a help and blessing it has been to me. God answers prayers in many varied ways for sure. Reading the article and post here has helped me personally. Wanted to say so here and share Gods love with all here and to note how HE can redirect us and bring us to where we need to be fed. God bless All in this glorious season of Jesus our Savior, Lord, And King Eternal!

  55. I really needed this at this very second. I lost my husband on Sept 4, 2013. He was 47 and had passed after only a 4 month battle with cancer. We were married 21 years. He was my best friend and the love of my life! This is our second Christmas without him and it still seems so new! I am so broken. I will never be the same! My 15 year old and I were just looking for verses to write on our bathroom mirrors. This one is going on mine! Wow! God’s timing is amazing!

  56. So sorry for your loss. My grief has grown into a gift that has opened up a world full of the beauty and wonder of God. Our loved ones are always with us and we will see them again. Praying for your comfort and know that your heart will be made whole.

  57. Thank you for writing this. I lost my dad in March and my mom nine years ago and now it’s only me. I have no sibling, children or husband. I’m still grieving and these holidays are so hard. There are days I don’t feel like pretending everything is okay and I feel like people think get over it already and be happy. I feel guilty. Thank you for saying it’s okay to be sad and this time of year is hard. Thank you so much, I so needed to hear this today, my heart is just so sad. Bless you.

  58. Hola, Holly, from San Antonio, Texas! You know, I was just thinking to myself,”This is Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be happy,” but the truth is that I don’t think that I have ever had a HAPPY Christmas (nasty family). I thought last Christmas was bad, but this one, right now, is BAD. I just came out of an 18 month long sad, painful ordeal (trial by fire) like Job. I accidentally cut my leg (a varicose vein) while shaving, it ruptured, resulted in an 18 month long wound that REFUSED to heal despite NOT having diabetes, and also resulted in a blood clot. It came out of nowhere. The 18 months were brutal. Physical pain that made me question living (even narcotics didn’t help). I came to understand why people end their lives. You just want the pain to STOP! The blood thinner meds made my menstrual cycles a NIGHTMARE. I strained all the of the muscles in my other leg from over-compensating. I could barely walk. Someone from my past was running their mouth about me calling me a whore when I hadn’t seen him in years and he had no reason to call me so. The wound refused to budge and my doctors were not only stumped, but had nothing more to offer me because I was allergic to EVERYTHING that they used on me including collagen. Who’s allergic to collagen? We have collagen in our bodies!! My doctors had no answer for why the wound wouldn’t move. They said I should’ve been done in weeks and not in years! Central Supply at the hospital fought me every step of the way to get my supplies. We had a lady hit us with her car in the parking lot and blamed us. I had such low moments that I just didn’t have it in me to live anymore. My life was in shambles and this from a shaving accident and a wound that only measured an 1 X 1.5 INCHES! I kept praying, I kept hoping, and the Lord always said “Suddenly” things would change. Over night, out of nowhere the wound began to heal and was healed, closed up , and gone in 3 weeks! YAY, right? Two weeks later, on November 24, 2014, while in the shower, the only other varicose vein on the SAME leg as the wound, ruptured. I couldn’t believe it. It was the most terrifying thing to experience. To say that I bled profusely is an understatement. I passed out and ended up in the ER. It didn’t leave a wound, thankfully, but left me shattered and, what was left of my faith, in shambles. I was so happy. I thought that it was all behind me. I just feel destroyed and devastated. I don’t have much of my faith left and no fight left in me. All I can do is cling to the Lord as best I can. He has to carry me now because I have reached the end of me. No, no self-pity. I know many of you out there are going through worse things and I’m sorry. I’ve just reached the end of me. Pray for me.

  59. Thank you so much for this post. This has been a very difficult holiday season as the single one in my family. Both of my parents have been gone for a few years, but this year my sisters decided not to do thanksgiving together. Even though I saw everybody over that weekend, I had been feeling very alone. This was a huge blessing.

  60. Thank you for this. My sons and I will have a very different and lonely Christmas this year. My husband died unexpectedly in March of this year. We had been married 40 years. My brother died March 1. And my husband’s mother died just before Thanksgiving. We have lost much but we have Jesus!!

  61. Dear Holley,

    It’s not the first time I’ve been moved to tears by the heart-warming love and compassion reflected by what you’ve written. But today I want to thank you, and tell you that I love you. God bless you for your tender, caring heart and for ministering to those whose hearts may not be “merry” this Christmas.

    In this broken and hurting world, not everyone’s heart is merry at Christmas time. But what a comfort to know, that the joy that was proclaimed at Jesus’ Birth, was not about merriment (which granted, has its place). It was joy, great joy that the Savior, Christ the Lord, had come – to save, to heal, to make whole. God had made known the wonderful Name of Jesus, of whom it was written, “His Name shall endure forever; … And men shall be blessed in Him…” (Psalm 73: 17).

    Yes, God holds us together… As I was broken-hearted over little Scott McMillan, the beautiful 3-yr. old from Pennsylvania (and his brother), God comforted me and helped me, by faith to embrace the assurance that he was not alone, though forsaken by those who should have cared for him. I trust that God’s angels ministered to him till the Arms of the Good Shepherd enfolded him… However God did it, it would have been better than we can imagine. Evil did not have the last word. JESUS did.

    May God tenderly comfort every hurting heart, and bless you with a held-together-in-Jesus Christmas!

  62. I am in the same emotional way right now. My father died right before Christmas many years ago and my best friend died on Christmas several years ago. I finalized my divorce this month and it seems I just can’t summon up the happiness. I am thankful for the birth of Jesus and for saving me. But all of this just drains me a leaves me with an overwhelming sadness dealing with everyone around me being so perky and happy. I feel alone even with people around me because I don’t feel that understand. I am also dealing with family issues I just pray that god will comfort my hurting heart and spirit.

  63. This is so beautiful and needs to be reiterated more…it’s okay not to have it together. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to not be perfect…not our job. Every time I am weak I naturally feel defeated but need to remind myself that is why He came…because I am weak and it is there that He is so very strong.
    Thank you for this reminder…