1. Religion & Spirituality
Mary Fairchild

How to Be Thankful When You're Hurting

By November 22, 2013

Follow me on:

How to Be Thankful When You're Hurting
The holidays are a difficult time of year for many people. If you've lost a loved one, lost your job, or are sick and in pain, you probably don't feel like celebrating. Family traditions and parties tend to stir up memories and emotions you'd rather avoid.

The last few Thanksgivings have been especially tough for our family, ever since we lost our dear niece. She was a naturally bubbly person who loved the holidays and family gatherings. Her birthday falls near Thanksgiving Day, and so we feel a profound loss each time we come together.

Although I don't suffer from depression, I know many Christians who do, especially at this time of year. Realizing that the next few weeks are going to be emotionally challenging for some of us, I'd like to recommend these resources from people who are accustomed to battling the blues:

Find God's Hidden Gift in Your Pain
Wrapped within our suffering is one of God's most precious gifts. When we learn to give thanks in everything, we discover intimacy with God. Find out how to be grateful even in the midst of pain and sorrow.

When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays
If someone you love is experiencing grief this holiday season, Nancy Schimelpfening, About.com Guide to Depression, has some great advice for offering support. If the grieving person happens to be you, Nancy's tips will help you help yourself. She reviews the grief process and suggests "what to do" and "what not to do." One of the best tips is to remember that each family member may be at a different stage of grief, so we should be sensitive to each individual's needs.

Surviving Grief During the Holiday Season
Angela Morrow, RN, About.com Guide to Palliative Care, gives several strategies for coping with illness, grief, or the loss of a loved one during the holidays. An important suggestion Angela makes is to seek support from family, friends, your church community, a local hospice agency, or a support group. Having someone to talk to about your feelings is one of the best ways to get through the painful times.

Photo: George Doyle / Getty Images

Connect: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter
November 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm
(1) Therese Borchard says:

Wonderful post, Mary! Thanks for the shout out. T

November 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(2) Mary says:

Therese –

It’s easy to focus on just the upbeat side of the holiday and forget that a lot of people are really hurting at this time of year.

Your Thanksgiving post was very timely!

Good luck with the book.

November 24, 2010 at 8:12 am
(3) Jeff says:

That’s true that it is a good idea to remember that we are all at different stages of grief.

November 24, 2010 at 8:56 am
(4) Mary says:

Jeff –

Yes. We each go through grief differently, too. The process may look so different on another family member that we think it’s weird or wrong. We have to accept that it is what it is — different.

January 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm
(5) Rylan Rydberg says:

If there are hurting Christians in the Springfield, MO area there is help for you at maninthemiddle.org

November 16, 2012 at 11:57 am
(6) Patti says:

Thanks so much!!!! Perfect timing!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.