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Celebrate Recovery

Giving God My Depression This Holiday Season

By Joe Clark, National Director of Celebrate Recovery Native Nations

The Christmas season was rapidly approaching, and Thanksgiving was just a few days away. My birthday was just a couple of days ago, and I caught a cold on my birthday. I didn’t get to go to Celebrate Recovery because I didn’t want to get anyone else sick. With all the chaos in the world and the distractions in the news, it’s easy to forget what the season is and what it represents. If we take our eyes off Jesus and the hope that only he can bring, it is so easy to lose hope. Hebrews 6:19 says we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong. It enters behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place in Heaven, where Jesus has gone ahead of us and for us. Jesus has plans, hope, and a future for us.

Some people love the holidays and look forward to them all year long. Some of us struggle during the holidays, and it’s definitely not our favorite time of year. Learning to focus on Jesus Christ, our relationship with God through him, and the promise that we have eternal life and that this is not all there is, is how we refocus. I am one of those who struggle during the holidays—my least favorite time of year. In my step study last night, we were in the Ready Lesson 14.

Principle 5: Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires” (Matthew 5:6 GNT).

Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10 NIV).

On the way home, I was thinking about how I really struggle during the holidays, and I realized that I’ve never given God my grumpiness or depression during the holidays. To tell you the truth, I can’t even really figure out why I’m depressed. I just know it lifts after New Year’s day rolls around, and I am in the holiday spirit. I’m actually relieved that the holidays are over, and I’m in a really good mood. So this year, I’m giving God my depression and asking him to help me focus on the truth that he’s always there and will get me through this holiday season. By focusing on the reason for the season, we’ll see if this holiday is any different from the ones that are in the past.

Blessings if you’re one of those who always look forward to Christmas and love this time of year! Enjoy! If you’re one of those people like me for whom this is not your favorite time of year, I’ll be praying for you and that you can focus on Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!


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