In Case of Emergency

“Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of this holiday season I ask you to turn your attention to your inner anxiety and emotions as we review the emergency procedures.  There are at least six emergency exits during this holiday season.  Please take a moment to locate the nearest exit to you and note that the exit may be behind you.  In the event that you experience sudden emotional pressure loss, stay calm.  As the oxygen masks drop from above your seat, place the mask over your mouth and nose before helping another person…”
The holidays don’t come with a “pre-flight” safety briefing.  Maybe they should.  
For many the holidays are a time of family memories, traditions, and lots of good food. If that is your story then I encourage you to read this to watch for the signs in case your friend or family member may need that extra assistance with their metaphorical oxygen mask. 
For some, the holidays are a time when they remember loved ones that they have lost.  Others may be reminded of broken relationships. Some are going to experience their first Christmas without a loved one at home due to separation, divorce, or people moving on. This is so very painful and requires care and rest.
For many others this is a season of extreme anxiety.  This safety briefing is geared towards those folks.
The people that most need this safety briefing are the ones that will go into family reunions and get togethers where they will be on edge with palms sweaty and hearts racing.  The people that have to go back into unsafe environments to “celebrate” the holidays with a fake smile on their face all the time wondering if this time will be like “that other time.”
For you; the one that is hurting, broken, abused, or neglected; I want to remind you that you are not alone.  I also want to remind you that you are strong enough to make it through this season.  You are strong enough to stand up for yourself.  You are strong enough to find one of those exits and walk out of danger and back into safety.
This season when you feel your anxiety rising I encourage you to take some time to center yourself and slow down.  Take some time to grab that metaphorical oxygen mask and secure it tightly so that you can begin to breathe again.  And remember that you need to take care of yourself before you try to take care of others. Cozy up with a good book, take some time to go walk in nature, have some time alone or with a close friend.  The goal is for you to find something that brings you life and energy that leads to renewal.
I hope that you have a safe person that you can sit with and share the difficulty.  To open up to that can see the real you that often has to be suppressed in order to get through the moment.
If you are a person of faith, then spend time ahead of these gatherings rooting yourself in the Truths of the Scripture:
When you have felt rejected, may you remember that Jesus chose you: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” (John 15.16)
Or when you feel alone may you remember that Jesus promised “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.20)
When you feel afraid, anxious, or stressed turn to Psalm 23 with the promise that even when you walk through the darkest valley you can fear no danger because of the promise that the Lord is with you in that dark place, too.
As you are going into those moments and times may you put your trust in the One who keeps you trusting. He has promised to carry you through and He is a promise keeper.  Rely on that peace of the One that knows your name and has offered His presence to give you a peace that surpasses understanding.
May you enjoy this holiday season and my prayer for you is that you are able to truly enjoy times and moments of this season.

Photo by Ramses Cabello on Unsplash

No Comments