The Hardest, Holiest, Happiest of Holidays

A couple weeks ago, I met with one of the ministers at my church to talk about my depression.  Though I really feel like I’m on my way to pulling myself out of this hole and every day gets better and better, I was still struggling with feeling separate from God during this time.  If you’re not a Christian, then that might be a hard concept to imagine and running off to a minister might seem awfully dramatic.  Shoot, if you ARE a Christian, running off to a minister might seem awfully dramatic.  But my faith is important to me.  It’s where I get my optimism and my hope and my belief that things work out in certain ways for certain reasons.  And when I feel separate from my faith, I lose those things.  I finally decided that I desperately needed those things in my life in order to fully feel like myself again and so I made an appointment to meet with my minister to talk about where I was in my faith and how I could get back to where I wanted and needed to be.

Fortunately for me, my minister is a very wise woman, but what she told me was not what I wanted to hear.  As a Type A personality who just wants to DO SOMETHING to fix a problem, we talked about how during this time I should, instead, be still and listen more.  And that I can take the time to do that for myself because God will not only be waiting there when I am through this, but he will be standing there beside me as I go through it.  Her exact words will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“God doesn’t promise to take us out of the valley, but he promises to walk beside us through it.”

Amen.

We talked not just about my faith during that time, but about my depression in general.  She called it a season.  And I love that because seasons have good days and bad.  Some days during the winter months are cloudy and snowy and some are bright and sunny, but the season is still there.  And that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.  My day to day life has been up and down, but no matter how high or how low, there is still that season sitting there.  And, as my minister pointed out, you just have to wait out seasons.  It’s good for you to be patient.  To let this time mold you and change you.  Embrace it, she even said to me.  Embrace it and know that it is only a season and it will pass in God’s time.

Part of embracing this season has been really thinking about some of the things that brought this season into my life.  And the main trigger has been our move from Connecticut.  Ironically enough (but is it really irony when it’s God’s voice?), the previous Sunday before my meeting with my minister, our head pastor gave a sermon about change.  He said that dealing with a major change is more like dealing with a transition and that transitions have distinct parts to them that can’t be skipped.  You have to let go of what you are leaving behind.  You then have to mourn for that loss.  And then you have to look forward and move on.  My minister and I talked about this cycle and I shared that I thought maybe I had skipped the mourning part.  I wanted so much to get down here to Florida and just start this brand new fun-filled, sun-filled, family-filled life and so I skipped the mourning part.  I didn’t give myself time to acknowledge the loss of a huge piece of my life.  And when I rushed past that phase, it finally caught up with me.  Like someone who is mourning and skips one of the steps.  You can’t truly move on until you go through all the phases.

So, in the past week since my meeting with her, I have thought about embracing where I am and what I am feeling and what I am feeling is horribly, terribly homesick.  I can barely get on Facebook or Twitter anymore without seeing other people’s status updates about the cold weather and the snow and becoming sad.  Not just for the loss of the weather, but for the loss of our life up there.  This was my favorite time of year in Connecticut.  And as much as I am looking forward to making this Christmas so memorable (it’s our first in our own home, for crying out loud!), I must admit that it is hard to get into the spirit of things when you’re putting Christmas lights on your palm tree next to your swimming pool.

A month or two ago, I couldn’t even let myself think of things like that because I’d just start crying and wander into some dark hole to nap for three days.  But after acknowledging that it’s okay to feel these things and that it’s even a healthy part of moving forward, I am letting myself think and feel that homesickness a little more.  And you know what?  The sad doesn’t seem to last as long or be as heavy when I give myself permission to feel it.  Isn’t that funny?  All this time I’ve been fighting that sad because it wasn’t “normal” or it wasn’t “appropriate,” when in actuality, avoiding those feelings are what has made this feel darker and longer.

Tonight, I read an email from my sister who had a snow day today in Virginia.  She sent a beautiful picture of her snow covered neighborhood and a short little email about being snowed in with her husband all day.  And, I admit, I got all teared up for a minute.  And then I tried to get myself together and told myself how ridiculous I was being.  But I stopped and reminded myself that feeling my way through this is the only way to make it out the other side.  And so I opened the email again and looked at the picture for 5 minutes.  Then, I went through my pictures on my computer and found this one of our house in Connecticut last Christmas:

IMG_8137

And I had myself a good 10 minute cry sitting right here at my computer. Then, I wiped my eyes, closed my email, kissed my husband and my Bean Bean, and made dinner. And the world moved on.

I debated about sharing all of this because, well, it’s Christmas and Christmas is such a happy time and who wants to hear about this stuff during happy holidays? But then I thought that maybe if I’m feeling sadness and loss and grief this holiday after such a drastic change in my life this year, then perhaps someone else out there is, too. And so I want that person to know – whoever you are – that it’s okay to feel those things at the happiest time of the year. And that feeling those things doesn’t make you a Grinch or a Scrooge. It just makes you human. Which, if you think about it, is appropriate at this time of year as we celebrate the day that Christ became human.

I know! Can you believe I got all of that out of one hour-long conversation with my minister?!?! It was CRAZY, I tell you. AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

Out of everything that we talked about, the greatest thing that she gave me that afternoon was a Bible verse from a book of the Bible that I didn’t even know about (which is saying something because I double-majored in English and Religion in college…).

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine,
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Habakkuk 3:17

That is exactly how I feel this Christmas season. I am not growing and am not fruitful right now and I can’t pretend that I am, but I will still celebrate this Christmas season because I know that God is standing in this place with me. And I hope that if you, too, are struggling with sadness or loss during this time of year, you find the place where you can stand and be joyful because even the coldest seasons have bright, sunny days.

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72 Thoughts to “The Hardest, Holiest, Happiest of Holidays”

  1. I know exactly how you feel! We just moved a week ago, one of our dogs stayed behind as a gift to our neighbor, and I am all alone down here where we moved since I know no one. All of it is so impossibly hard. Great verse. Certainly fitting. Oh, and you are fruitful! What do you call what’s in your belly? 🙂
    Cabin Fever in Vermont

  2. Heather in ND

    Chills. Goose bumps. You have a way with words, lady!

  3. Ginny

    First, I’m sorry my email made you upset… oddly, I cried a bit to John Michael this morning because I hate the snow so much. Weird, huh? Secondly, I’m counting down the days until I can be down there with you guys for Christmas. Even with the snow, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas until I have my family around. So, chin up and know that I think you’re the most special sister anyone could have even on your darkest days. I love you so much.

  4. Anna

    Thanks for posting this Katie. I’m going through something similar and I’m having a hard time being joyful this holiday season…it’s been rough being around friends and family. My husband is unemployed, I’m in school full time (while working) and I lost an aunt at the beginning of the year. I don’t think I’ve mourned either. I’m going to take the time to cry after reading this, thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone.

  5. Sarah H.

    Wonderfully written my dear!

  6. Jo

    I said it on facebook and I’ll say it again. This post really sums up how I am struggling with the holiday season this year. You really have a beautiful way with words. I love your blog.

  7. I think it’s wonderful that you posted this. There’s nothing wrong with being sad at holiday time – in fact, it’s SO common. There are such expectations for the holidays and it’s hard when they’re not met or they change. Last year I was dealing with a close family member suffering alcoholism and the holidays were ruined for it. They’re better now, but now we’re really broke and I can’t give my son the first Christmas I want to give him (he’s 7 months old) so yet again I find myself sad that Christmas isn’t being what I want it to be and I’m wondering if this is going to happen every year now, but I have to have faith that it won’t. For what it’s worth, I would have a terrible time adjusting to Christmas anywhere but in the northeast. I hope you find the peace and Christmas that brings you joy.

  8. I have to say, thank you so much for that. I’ve been in a funk for quite a while now, and probably the highlight of my day, the part that will never let me down, is my daily bible verse app. Just a tiny reminder that I’m not as alone as I think I am. I need to find a new church, one that I am comfortable in and feel welcomed at. But there isn’t much for young singles… that I know about.

  9. Oh, I’ve been there. I’ve felt that way, and oddly, as I moved back to the city I’ve been trying to get back to for nearly 10 years, I also expected to feel much of what you’re talking about. And while it’s good, I haven’t found a job yet. And friendships aren’t the same. And things are just different. And it’s hard. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but you’re definitely not alone. Thank you for sharing this with us. And I hope you and your family do have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. Nicole T.

    I can relate to how you are feeling. I’ve been going through a terrible terrible 8 months in my life… and this Christmas I was especially unsettled over, because I have been so down, and upset, and going through my own life season. I looked at it long and hard, and realized that Christmas is a special time of year for me, it’s magical, and I decided that I wasn’t going to let my sadness take that away from me anymore. And have decided to make this time I have with my family (meaning my boyfriend I live with and our dog) the best we’ve had in the three years we’ve been together. At least at this time of the year, I refuse to let my sadness take this away from me.

  11. Laura

    What your minister said sounds very similar to my favorite quote:
    “”God didn’t promise days without rain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. But He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. “

  12. Wow. Thank you. I love/needed to hear you describe this as a season, it is so true. And, that verse in Habakkuk is great, I am going to put that on a notecard to carry with me. Thank you for being so honest and open Katie.

  13. Jessa R.

    this post touched my heart. thank you for sharing – it has made a difference for me. you are amazing – i hope that you realize what hope, what Christian hope you offer in posts like this.

  14. I’m so glad that with help you are finding your way through this time. Depression is a tricky thing and it has taken me over 10 years (on and off again) to allow myself to have “bad days” and just let myself feel sad/lonely without punishing myself over it.

    Even though it was my only child’s first Christmas last year, it was also the first Christmas dealing with my parents separation. It was hard. Very hard. So happy and yet so, so sad. But with the help of Aaron, Porter and good people around me, I made it through.

    I desperately miss our home in Tallahassee. The first house we bought. The first house we fixed up. The first house in which we became a family. I miss it there and I mourn over the memories made there–but I know that moving to Pgh was good for us. Just like moving back to FL was good for you guys.

    Hugs to you!

  15. Kathie

    Thank you for posting such honesty. It makes you realize that all those fears aren’t really fears at all when God is standing beside you. And while it’s good to cry, the world tells you otherwise. Thank you for letting me break down. Break down about the stress in our up-coming wedding. Break down about unsettled feelings. Break down about not being a super-woman. Break down about losing faith in my one true Savior.
    Thank you for opening my eyes to the wondrous season that is Christmas. Thank you for opening my eyes back to the love the Lord provides us constantly. Thank you for opening my eyes of knowing it’s okay to be me.
    The Lord did not want us all to be the same. He’s created us to enjoy all of Him. And through all of Him, we enjoy each other. Our faults are others strengths; and others weaknesses are our strengths. Lets raise each other up – faults and all.

  16. Sandy

    do you mean to tell me that we are in this deep freeze because you and God are in cahoots to make it snow in florida? gee thanks katie! how does chris really feel about the move…and how is bean man adjusting? and for the record…i think christmas lights on palm trees rock!!!

  17. This is so great, Katie! I’m so happy that you’re working through this, and your minister (and the Bible) is totally right – God is with you in the midst of your difficulties. And as for fruit, I think this post is evidence that God is working in your heart.

  18. I adore your blog, and definitely count you as one of my internet friends, but I must say I disagree with the last bit of your post. You say that you are not growing and you are not fruitful right now. But in sharing your struggles with all of us, you are bearing fruit. This post on your continued faith in our God, even through hard times, is a witness to every person that reads this blog. And you are growing. In fact, James 1:2-4 says to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

    Struggles are when you grow. It’s how you mature and bear fruit. I love your blog, and I pray that find your way out of this hard time very soon, but I wanted you to know that I am very proud of you for sharing this all with us and I can see you finding joy in your circumstance, and growing and bearing fruit through it all. You are a blessing.

  19. Thank you for sharing this, Katie! I’ve been thinking of you and I know you’ll pull through this. I’m glad your minister could help. Keep healing!

  20. Claudia

    Katie, I want to say how brave you are to share this with your cyber friends. Know that thru the magic of internet, you are loved. I have suffered with depression too, for very different reasons than yours. And just like you, I have to learn that facing the issues that make me depressed head on only make them smaller. After a period of time, I began to see that those ‘major’ things had become so miniscule because of the new changes in my life; but mostly because I was allowing for those changes to make me happy. I don’t deal very well change, and it happens often in my neck of the woods. I know our situations are very different but I can see you already making some progress into inverting those major things into smaller things. You are a very strong, smart woman and I know (from the year and half that I’ve been reading your blog) that this too will be something that you will overcome. The power is within you and you just need to let it out one step at a time. Bless you and your family.

  21. I’m not even sure what to say…wonderful words you have given. Thank you for sharing the verse…I love how Scripture speaks to our every need, emotion, experience. God is the constant.
    I always think of him not just walking me through the valleys and dark places, but literally carrying me the whole time. Even when I think it’s my feet moving along, it’s really his. Again, thank you, Katie.

  22. Ashley

    Thanks soooo much for sharing! I have been somewhat “depressed” for a few months now. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that in August, I had to go back to school without my boyfriend of 4 and a half years and just be completely by myself. I am studying to become a CPA and it just isn’t easy to say the least! I have always been good in school and it has pretty much always come easy to me, but it just kicked my butt this semester. I feel like I am going to be in school forever and ever and never get out. I graduate in May and then go right back in June for my Masters! (Sorry I am rambling, its just nice to know that I am not the only one who gets bogged down with this world we live in!) Its not easy, but with people like you sharing their experience, it makes it a whole lot easier for the rest of us! SO THANK YOU!

  23. Thank you.

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this with me. With all of us.

    Exactly what I needed…right when I needed it.

    Another testament to God being with us in and through the tough times.

  24. Thanks for this post, Katie. My beloved grandmother passed away last week, so it’s been a little hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit as well. I don’t read Habakkuk very much either (probably because most of it is depressing and desolate), but THANK YOU for sharing this verse with me today. Sometimes I need to be reminded that God is walking WITH me in the valley, and I haven’t been abandoned.

    Thanks for sharing your faith, and know that other sisters are walking in the valley with you too. Sending hugs and warm thoughts your way!

  25. Habakkuk 3:17-19 is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. You will come out of this hard time.

  26. Bee

    I’m glad you’re getting some clarity about your depression. You have to remind yourself that it’s perfectly acceptable to live within depression, even if it’s not gone and you can’t be ‘fixed’ you are still you and you don’t have to be depressed everyday to have depression.

    I’m not a ‘believer’ in any particular almighty, however your journey to finding out why and what has you in your depression is very much similar to going to counselling (in the UK). Talking through your problems with whomever it may be, your minister, a health professional, someone without judgement who can explain to you that it is a path of your life and help you sort through your head, will help you find out how to ‘fix’ yourself, without even knowing that you’ve done it.

    The worst thing about being depressed is that you feel like you’re alone. You’re never alone and posts like this really do help others, even the comments so far have shown that.

    Keep on trying to unlock your sadness. It will all become a lot clearer and lighter as you go through it.

  27. Impeccable timing – the sermon at my church this past Sunday was about the “Christmas Conspiracy” and how everyone acts like everyone is supposed to be happy during this season. But in reality, we all are sad at some point, and that’s ok. You’re not alone. We are all missing someone, something, somewhere. Enjoy your family time together!

  28. I think it’s great you are leaning on your faith to get through your depression. I know it has helped me with my own battle. T and I read this prayer book every night, and the other day I came across a passage that said that we need to trust God that things will work out and let Him be God and not try to be God ourselves (meaning we shouldn’t expect that we can handle everything on our own). One of my favorite passages is the Footprints prose, and what your minister said truly reflects that. And it’s very true. You’re in my prayers and thoughts…hang in there and have faith!

  29. Katrina

    It is true that you cannot avoid your emotions. They will come back to haunt you in a bigger and worse form. I suffered a miscarriage around Thanksgiving and have struggled myself with my faith through it. Sometimes when our faith is rocked a bit, it ends up making it much more stronger in the end. I pray that God continues to walk with you during this “season”. I always find comfort in the verse Jer 29:11 which was our wedding verse.

  30. Meredith

    That post was fantastic. I truly believe in mourning the ‘loss’ when big changes happen. And feeling upset/ sad about what you lost, doesn’t mean you regret the decision you made. That was a big breakthrough for me, and very freeing; I could feel sad, upset etc, but still be okay with my decision, still be able to stay, ‘yes I’m sad I lost x, but I do NOT regret the decision I made.’

    I’ve also tried to shift my thinking from what I ‘should’ feel, to what I DO feel and embracing it. No one says I HAVE to feel a certain way, I have my own emotions, my own feelings and they are NOT wrong. Emotions can not be wrong.

    So..GO YOU for seeking out guidance and being on your way to brighter days!

  31. Courtney Elyse

    You couldn’t have timed this any better… I spent the past few days crying, not knowing really what I was crying about, and then feeling terrible about crying during a time that’s supposed to be “jolly”. It’s refreshing to be reminded that God allows multiple ‘seasons’ to pass, and I hadn’t realized how much I’ve been pushing to make it go away instead of listening to what He’s trying to teach… I really appreciate the sharing. Know that it touched at least one person on a very deep level! Hang in there, and let’s both try to “be still”. (And cheer hard for our alma mater when they dominate those Gamecocks!)

  32. Thank you Katie, I needed that.

  33. This is so beautiful, and so absolutely appropriate at this time of year.

  34. Kt

    great post Katie! it hit home with me – I moved to a new town for my fiance and I think I wanted so so much to be happy & settled b/c we were finally together in the same city after 3 years that I wouldn’t let myself react to how big of a life change it was. and it caught up to me. so, thanks for putting your experience out there!

  35. Sorry you’re going through such a tough time around the holidays. Just so you know I’m totally jealous that you get to decorate palm trees. I’m in Chicago and it’s freezing here. We can’t enjoy the lights at the zoo, we can’t enjoy our journey to the North Pole, and we can’t enjoy the Christmas tree lighting ceremony because with wind chill it’s negative degrees. It is terrible. So get out and enjoy those things and laugh at all of us stuck in the North that are bundled up so much they can’t even move. We spend 40 minutes getting bundled up to play in the snow for 10 and then I have a pile of wet clothes to dry and freezing kids to warm up. We can switch houses for a month if that would make you feel better 🙂
    Hang in there!

  36. Jen C

    Great post! you are so lucky to have a wonderful minister who actually gives you good advice. I love the comparison to seasons, i’m definitely keeping that one in mind. The holidays are hard for so many people, hopefully this will give them hope as well.

  37. Thanks for being so honest and sharing what you are going through. A nice thing about a season too is that on those hard days you can know that the season will end, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You won’t be in this season forever and sometimes knowing that can be really encouraging sometimes.

  38. Thank you! This post brought tears to my eyes. Your honesty is so powerful at times. The way you are feeling this year is how I felt last year. I’m glad I am not alone.

  39. It’s hard going through a depression for sure. Especially at this time of the year. Last year things were definitely worse than this year but there have been moments recently as well, when I just want to cry and run away. But that’s not how life works, and so moving forward is the only way to go. Hang in there.

  40. You’re amazing? Do you know that? I am sure Chris tells you that all the time, but I hold great respect for you because you are being completely honest on your blog with the things you are struggling with for the whole world to see. You are wonderful and if I ever get to meet you in person, I am going to give you the biggest hug, EVER. And I hope that doesn’t freak you out, I promise I am not a stalker! Merry Christmas!

  41. 1. Wonderful post, Katie. I think it is fantastic and brave that you met with your minister.
    2. Ginny’s comment made me cry. What a good sister 🙂

  42. alison

    (((Katie))) as Jenny J. said .. you are amazing! I know the whole struggle all too well. You are handling it very well. Your family has been through so much this past year. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas <3

  43. Katie

    I sat here, crying as I read this because I know exactly what you are feeling. I am finishing up my final year of undergrad, and am applying to grad schools during finals week. I am stressed out, and have been sobbing on the phone to my saint of a mother every night. I made a small mistake on the grad school applications, and went into hysterics. I feel as though everything is going downhill. I had to quit my job to get healthy (I have arthritis and ulcerative colitis), and though I am lucky enough to have parents who are able to financially support me, it is difficult to not have extra money this holiday season. I feel like a failure in so many ways most days right now.

    But. As someone who was told that their diseases are incurable. I know this: life goes on. We sit, and we mope, and we cry because right now, at this moment, things aren’t going our way. But we must remember that there are times that we thank God for all that we have been given and wonder how we got so lucky in our life. Remember that we are not meant to suffer, rather we are meant to fill our lives with joy. 🙂

  44. Thanks for sharing this very special part of your faith. I think a lot of us can relate to this. And though it may not seem like it, this looks like some major growth. I know I am reaping the benefits of your words, so I’d call that fruitful, too. 🙂

  45. Kim

    Too long to go into in a blog comment, but I wanted to tell you how much I relate. My husband and I moved from Colorado back to our childhood home town in California several years ago. We are also high school sweethearts who got married after college. I too was the main one encouraging the move back home. I too did not let myself grieve for the life I loved in Colorado, even though I was happy to be back in California. You’re on the right track. It took me four years to get there. It was really hard. We went back to CO for a visit a few years ago. I sobbed through most of that trip even though I had a great time. It was very cathartic. It was also cathartic to admit to my husband that I missed CO. I was scared he’d be mad. We worked through it. It does get better. It does pass. It is okay to be sad. Even when you have a lot of good in your life. Hang in there. Ride the waves. You’re not alone.

  46. What a beautiful verse. THANK YOU for sharing!!!

  47. Rhona

    A book that may give you some insight is by Sue Monk Kidd and is titled When The Heart Waits. It pulled me through a similar season in my own life and it gave me hope and freedom to experience what God had for me.

  48. I’ve danced with depression, too, and it can be so hard to admit, especially when everything else in your life is seemingly good and obvioulsy blessed. Like you, I met w/ my minister (also a woman) who asked me a question that really changed everything. She said, What is worst kind of pain? I answered I assumed it would be the loss of one’s child. She corrected me and said, No…the worst kind of pain is your own. That exchange really transformed the way I let myself work through my own darkness. I think it’s great that you’re being so candid about this sad time for you, and I certainly wish you many lessons learned and a heart renewed as you travel through your own season.

  49. Sharilyn

    Oh oh oh oh. Love how you ended this. Those verses in Habakkuk are so wonderful. They are what got me through my last year of university when I was struggling to find the money to pay tuition so I could FINISH already. SOOO glad you have a wise godly pastor.

  50. Thank you.

    As you know…I feel homesick all the time and since Thanksgiving it has been a little worse than normal.

    You are such a blessing to people Katie!! THANK YOU!!

    🙂
    Megan

  51. Wow Katie. Thank you so much for this. You are absolutely amazing!

  52. Thank you so much for sharing this and all of your struggles. We moved two and a half years ago to our wonderful home here, and while I love it now, I did NOT at first. Not for a long time… but eventually I came to. I am not sure I love the town we live in yet, but I like it well enough and I do love our home and our friends and neighbors and the life we have created here.

    This post resonated with me for another reason – at this very time last year I was at my lowest in my depression (in fact I checked myself in to the ER for PPD a year ago yesterday). I was struggling so hard to love my baby, love my life, love everything – especially in the face of “the most wonderful time of the year” – and it just was not happening. I commented once how I hated Christmas because of the stress and all and got such flak for it… and then someone said they agreed with me, and it made me feel so much better – because I was not the only one. And not being alone felt so good, and being normal and HUMAN felt so good too, instead of trying to be a Stepford human and just love everything with a plastic smile.

    You may not feel fruitful, but that is such a wonderful insight about celebrating our ups AND downs at this time of the year, because that is what makes us human – because I had never thought of it that way. I have always just praised God for sending his Son and counted my blessings, but now I will praise God for my sorrows and trials as well. Thank you for the reminder and insight. You may not feel fruitful or even close to God yourself, but your openness and honesty is helping this girl be closer to God.

  53. Jessica

    Amen Sister. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve been in a funk lately with not being happy at my job and missing my family (even though they’re only 40 minutes away!- busy schedules make it hard to meet up)….But I know you gotta hang in there and just know the Lord is with ya and guiding you to better days. I look forward to a few days with the family next week to remind me how lucky I am. Hope the warmth of the Christmas season finds its way to you 🙂

  54. anne

    What a wonderful post! I am stuggling with trying to help my mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, and there is much pain and denial on her part. May I borrow some of this post to use in a letter that I am trying to compose to her? So much of the pain you are feeling, I know she is too. Thanks for sharing what you are feeling…. you are not alone. (p.s. Like you, I’m a dyed in the wool Methodist, too!)

  55. You’re the best, Katie. Simply awesome, seriously. Thanks so so much for sharing, especially when it is such a difficult thing to talk about! I feel like I have been in a somewhat similar boat — day to day pretty upbeat actually, but kinda sad for no reason at all on top of it all, and I think after reading this that it has a lot to do with the fact that while I LOVE my new life in California, I did not really transition very gradually from my (snow & friend filled) N. Carolina life. I just sort of JUMPED right in, and have been ignoring how hard it is to be out here without very Christmas-y weather (for Nov/Dec anyway) and without my family and friends close by. At least you are back by your family and that is helping! And sorry this is so long! I’m kind of a rambler sometimes…

  56. Ashley

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I have a hard time with Christmas, and it seems especially hard when everyone around me is joyful and having a good time. You are in my prayers. Good for you for seeking help and being open to discussing it with us. 🙂 Thanks so much.

  57. Just remember, you’ve got something better than snow and cold. You’ve got Bean, and baby Grace on the way!
    I’m a born and raised California girl, and I’ve never seen a white Christmas. Cheer up!

  58. Keshet Shenkar

    Life absolutely has seasons–and I’m sure with time, this season will end for you and a new season will begin.

  59. Carla

    Your post is so sad, and so heartfelt, and so brave, and so resonating, and so on, and so on… Thank you for having the courage to share your feelings with us out in “web world”. Your writing is wonderful and it’s amazing that in some way a connection can be made with complete strangers if even for a brief moment. I will pray for you and all of the others that have commented about their depression. I hope that God grants you peace from your unhappiness and continues to bless you and your family.

  60. Anna in Ohio

    Katie, I just wanted you to know that even as an Agnostic/Non-Religious person, I appreciate your posts where you delve into your religious beliefs and struggles. I can only imagine when you’re blogging about such personal things that you might wonder if getting into “sticky” subjects like religion or politics might make you lose readers. I just want you to know that even though I don’t share in your beliefs, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate that you allow me (and everyone else) to experience your life’s trials and tribulations, and I find it incredibly interesting to see how your faith fits into it all. 🙂

  61. Megan

    I’ve been reading your blog for a short while and there have been several times when I’ve wanted to post, but I have to say, this one did me in! I too am going through a “season” and getting excited about the holidays this year seems more like a chore than ever. Thanks for sharing, and now that you’ve mentioned it, I think I’m going to set up a meeting of my own with my priest ASAP to have a similar chat. 🙂

  62. WOW!!! I just posted a blog that was the total opposite of this and then clicked over here and it was a big ol’, fat, God’s answer to my post. I’m definitely going through a “season” too and I can’t say I’m handling it with as much faith as you.

  63. Thank you so much for this post. I’m about to dump a bit on my blog as well, and I’m totally gonna link this at the bottom, since we share very similar thoughts at the moment. God bless you this Christmas season!

  64. I moved from Indiana to South Carolina a few years ago for my husband’s job and I have the hardest time around the holidays…and other random times through the year where I get extremely homesick and even the slightest news from home gets me all weepy. Definitely related to this post. You’re not alone in those feelings at all!

  65. Suzanne B

    Thank you for writing this Katie. I love your honesty

  66. Alexandra

    Thank you very much for posting this. It really hit home to me. I recently moved 10 hours away from all of my family and friends. My husband and I really only know each other and no one else here. It has been very hard, but we are doing our best to meet new co-workers, get into a church, etc. Reading your post let me know that I’m not alone in my feelings.

  67. Ella

    Thanks for posting this Katie. You are so lucky to have such a caring sister. My season of change is just about to start. Ive recently separated from my Husband & we have a 3yo son. Im not looking forward to Christmas at all but will try my best for my son. Even at this late stage i dont know whether ill even get to spend Christmas with my son, that will be decided over the next few days. If i dont get to see him (my ex wants to take him to his familys place a few hours away) ill probably spend the time packing up the house. Sad but it will keep me busy. Next year hopefully it will be a happier time for me & you xx

  68. Amber

    I have also been dealing with a bout of depression, and reading your blog has been so reassuring. Sometimes, it can seem like you’re the only one not able to get out of bed or feeling a little hopeless. To have the feeling of connectedness with other people struggling in the same way makes me feel so much more hopeful. This post in particular really spoke to me-that depression is something you can embrace, and that once we come out on the other side, we might just know ourselves and our souls a little bit better. Thank you so much for your honesty and candidness, and even though you didn’t know you were giving it, your support!

  69. Katie- thank you for being so real in your blog. Naturally, I cried reading this post. I cried for you, and then I prayed for you and will keep praying for you. May the joy of Christmas find you in Orlando.

  70. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this post. I am too feeling depressed for different reasons (lost our baby girl at 21 weeks) but the thoughts and advise and sayings from your minister are very helpful. I’m trying to grab or I guess grasp onto anything that will help keep me afloat some days. This will be helpful to read when I need that flotation device.

  71. I am a little late in reading this, but nonetheless Thank You! I have been having a hard time with ppd since my daughter was born (did you know it could last a year??) and this post was really helpful. These days i have so many good days, but still some bad days; and while i don’t feel like i’m mourning anything, your post still helped. Thank you for sharing. I pray that this season you are in is a short season and that each day gets a little brighter!

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