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12 Days of Christmas For the Hurting

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. Of sharing together, being together, and giving to each other.

But for some of you, Christmas this year won’t be anything like that. Maybe you’ve just lost a child or loved one or your spouse was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Perhaps you are in a really hard place financially or struggling with being unemployed or underemployed. Some of you are likely struggling with broken relationships, deep hurts, and pain unimaginable.

There are those of you of who are likely suffering in silence. Your heart is breaking over a situation, but you can’t talk about it publicly because it involves people near and dear to you.

If you are hurting this Christmas, I just want to let you know that I care about you and would love to pray for you. Please feel free to email me if there’s a way I can pray for you specifically (or just in generalities, if you can’t share the specifics of your hurts right now). I’m not always the best at answering emails promptly, but I do always pray for everyone who writes in to request prayer.

In addition, I wanted to encourage you to consider getting a copy of my friend Rachel’s ebook, 12 Days of Christmas for the Hurting. Rachel has experienced a lot of grief and heartache in her life (read her story here) and she shares openly about the hurt she’s been through and how she’s dealt with it.

Rachel’s ebook is just $0.99 right now on Amazon.com. If you are unable to afford a copy, please email me your Amazon email address and I’ll order you a copy as my Christmas gift to you. It’s the least I can do to reach out to you in the midst of a difficult situation and let you know that someone cares.

{Hugs!} to each of you who are hurting this Christmas season.

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  1. says

    I find it so sad that this time of year brings some people “down”. So great to have resources for those who may be dealing with challenges. And what a great and inspiring way to use your blog…to truly help others and try to be a comfort and make a difference with them. Pray works!

  2. J says

    That is so touching, the testimonies. I have personally known people who have face unfathomable loss and and hurt at the holidays and it is so painful. Life and death takes no holidays.

  3. Joanne says

    My 82 year old Grandma passed away last night and I am hurting. That is very kind of you to reach out to those in need. My grandpa is lost without her and he is 88 and is just starting dialysis so it is extra hard time for us.

    • Karen Johnson says

      Joanne, I am very sorry for your loss and I can understand your pain as I have already lost all of my grandparents and there are some days that I really miss them as I was really close to them. I will pray for strength and peace for your Grandpa, you and your family at this hard time. Blessings to you and your loved ones.

  4. Ashley says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. In September, my Aunt passed away very suddenly. Three weeks later, my grandfather passed away (he was in Hospice and it was to be expected, but it was still a terrible loss).
    My grandmother had to go through burying her daughter and then bury her husband of 59 years. I know how much I’m hurting this holiday season, so I can only imagine what she is going through. She keeps telling me “it’s never going to be the same.”
    If anyone would like to say a prayer or send happy thoughts her way right now, I’d really appreciate it.

  5. says

    This is one of the reason’s I have been a fan of your blog for years. To offer to buy a copy for those that can’t afford one is such a selfless act. May God bless you tenfold. Blessings to you and yours!

  6. SandyH says

    My husband lost his job yesterday. I have yet to really digest this news! I have carried on as usual, not knowing exactly what to do.

    • Kimberly in NC says

      I went through this in 2008 and I know how you feel about it taking a while to digest what just happened. It took a long time for him to regain steady employment, but we made it through with God’s help. Praying for you.

    • Charity says

      I am praying for you and yours right now. My husband lost his job the week of Christmas a few years back, so I know where you’re coming from. Thinking of you…

    • Shauna says

      Nov. 27, 2007 my husband lost his job and I had just given birth to my second child that was 10 days old. I remember it like it was yesterday but you will make it through. Saying a prayer for you.

    • Carmen says

      My husband lost his job last Wednesday. After a week, it has sunk in. It’s scary but I know prayer is powerful! I pray for you and your husband. God will get us all through this. Hugs!

      • SandyH says

        Thank you all so much for those kind words. Carmen, we will make it through, when you think about it, what choice do we have but to go on….and attitude is everything. Praying for you and your family in this really hard time. As I read through this thread, I am brought to tears by the stories and realize how lucky I really am. I’m not sure what the future holds; it will be hard for my husband to find work as he isn’t as young as he used to be! (I work two part time jobs.) But our four grown kids are so supportive, we have a lot to be thankful for. Thank you so very much, again.

        • Carmen says

          And thank you Sandy for your prayers. I too feel very lucky and blessed and know God has bigger and better plans. I’m a stay at home mom (but looking for work now) to a 1 and 3 year old. I hope it’s not as hard as you think it will be for your husband to find work. I’m so glad you have a supportive family. I’m sure you’re very proud of your four children. God bless you!

  7. Denise says

    Crystal thank you! For your generosity, for how carefully you chose what to post, and for how Christ-like you lead!

  8. Lety says

    Crystal, You have moved me to tears. Your kind and generous heart never ceases to amaze me. You inspire me so very much. Thank you for being who you are and caring so much about us. What a blessing to count on the prayers of someone so filled with the love of God.

    I lost a nephew last year in October. He was my niece’s husband. It was so difficult to see her got through her recent loss during the Christmas Season. This year, a week ago today, we lost my brother-in-law, my husband’s brother. They were both very young men. We will spend another Christmas Season with great sorrow. To know that others are willing to pray for those of us in need is so comforting. Thank you for all you do, Crystal. May you and your family continue to be blessed!

      • Lety says

        Thank you very much, Rachel, for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. I bought your book yesterday and am looking forward to reading it as I can tell it will be of great comfort. Thank you for your encouragement. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and may God bless you throughout the New Year!

  9. Gina says

    Just buried my mother-in-law today after her sudden passing on 11/30. I’ll keep all of you who are also hurting this season in my prayers.

  10. Karen says

    You are such a sweet woman to offer your prayers and a gift to people you will likely never meet. It is reassuing to know that there are such generous spirits in our world.

  11. Kelly says

    Crystal, you are a blessing to us all.

    I’ve struggled this holiday season… we were supposed to be sharing the joy of announcing our first pregnancy right about now, but found out that I miscarried about a month ago. Lots of prayer and giving up my grief to God has helped tremendously.

    I also found a wonderful resource on this site: http://www.raisingarrows.net/2012/11/grieving-through-the-holidays/ She has a free Psalms devotional ebook available to help people dealing with grief. I figured I would share in case others are seeking out resources.

    God Bless you… and everyone who is struggling this year.

    • Sarah says

      Kelly, I was pregnant last Christmas and miscarried in January of this year. It’s still hard to look at pictures from last year and think “I was pregnant then…” It’s something I’ll probably never fully get over. There’s something just extra hard/sad/etc. with miscarrying. Praying for you sweetie! Time and God will heal the pain. Hugs and lots of love!

      • Janet says

        Sarah, I am sorry for the loss of your little one. You are right, the loss will always be with you, but it does get better. And really, we don’t want to forget that little life we carried for such a short time! May God bless you!

    • Janet says

      Kelly, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. I just had a miscarriage two weeks ago as well and it makes it extra hard for preparing for Christmas. It is my third miscarriage, and even though I have five living children, it is never easy to go through. Take it easy on yourself and let others pamper you. You might have to tell them you need pampering though! I have found that the grief comes and goes, so don’t be surprised if that happens to you.

      • Sarah says

        I agree with Janet! The grief does come and go and no matter what feelings you end up feeling believe me it’s normal. It’s been almost a year for me and I still find myself bawling here and there. And pampering does help for sure. :)
        And Janet I am so sorry to hear about your babies, especially this most recent one. I wish I could give you and Kelly a big hug. My heart goes out to you sweet ladies during this time. (((HUGS))) Praying for you both! May you both feel the arms of Jesus comforting you right now.

  12. Melissa says

    Thank you for posting this, Crystal! This was so needed tonight…brought me to tears. I hope you are aware of how many people this post touched. Please pray for my son, Michael. He’s expecting his first baby, but fighting some huge demons right now. Thanks for being such a compassionate, caring person. It’s appreciated more than you’ll ever know!

  13. Rebecca says

    This is my first time reading this blog. A friend of mine shared it with me, as your message today specifically made her think of me. Thank you for it.

    Earlier this year, my Mom found an ache in her neck/shoulder. A couple months later, she died. It was an incredibly rare form of lung cancer (less than 15 people have had it in the 30 years they’ve been able to keep such detailed records), and in spite of aggressive chemo and radiation, nothing was able to slow its growth. She died on June 14 – just two days after her 41st anniversary with my Dad (she started treatments in April – her first doctor appointment had been in March). She was 66 years old. She was pretty much one of my best friends. Life without her continues and is even sometimes wonderful, but it has this big hole. This giant, gaping, MISSING. I used to pick up the phone and call her all the time – for any little thing (as we lived thousands of miles away from each other). Just in the last six months, she’s missed my daughter’s first steps, first words, my son’s first day of preschool and finally getting potty trained (thankfully, not in that order!)…

    And now… last week my brother had a fist sized tumor removed from his frontal lobe ( headache out of the blue ended up being a brain tumor). All seems well (we’re awaiting final details on Tuesday to determine if chemo and radiation will be necessary or not). And my best friend of 17 years (ever since I moved out to Minnesota after college) found out today that she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It has spread to her liver and there is no cure. The only treatment will be palliative chemo, to increase her quality of life as she dies…

    I know my life is blessed. I’m healthy. I have an amazing, loving husband. I have two beautiful, healthy children – I even get to stay home with them for now. The reason these losses have been so incredibly painful, is that my life has been so deeply blessed by the presence of these people, whom I love. We never want a good thing to end, do we? The loss is excruciating… but still so much better than never having had these dear people at all. I got Mom for 39 years. I got Tami for 17… maybe even 18. And hopefully Chris will be okay.

    But it is so hard all these firsts in grief. Friday would have been Mom’s 67th birthday. Nothing is ever the same when the people you love most aren’t there anymore.

    Sorry for being so wordy. Thank you for letting me share. And for the prayers. This will be a bittersweet season of joy and loss.

    • says

      Oh, Rebecca. I don’t know all you are feeling, but some of it resonates with me. Father, I pray for Rebecca in the middle of her loss. I pray you would comfort her as only You can. That you would lift her spirit in the midst of sorrow and give her strength to rely on You. Bless you, Rebecca!!

    • Selena says

      Oh my Rebecca, what a heavy load you have right now. Saying a prayer for you, that peace finds your heart and fills in the gaps caused by loss.

    • Danielle says

      Rebecca, I am saying prayers for you. This is a very difficult time for you so please take good care of yourself. God Bless your family.

  14. Leslie says

    Thank you for this post and remebering the holiday season can be painful for some people. In September of 2011 I held my 10 day old baby boy in my arms as he went to be with The Lord. He would have been at such a fun age this year and it hurts my heart to think of all the milestones we will never have with him. Please keep our family in your prayers.

    • says

      Jesus, today I pray you would be with Leslie. Oh, how I know that ache that results from losing a precious little one. Would you please give Leslie extra strength and blessing today? We pray in your name.

  15. says

    Thank you for understanding that .99 is too much for some people. You brought tears to my eyes. One of the hardest phrases for me to hear is “It’s only $1” (or $5, or once $20!)

    Most people can’t understand what it’s like to not be able to afford something because it’s $1, or even .50. It’s one of the things I’ve struggled with the last several years, and especially this last year. So few people understand underemployment to the point of $1 being too much to spend, because you simply don’t have it. Even if you try to explain, they just can’t grasp the concept.

    Good for you, Crystal! May you be blessed for your kindness to others.

  16. says

    Thank you for this link. I ordered and forwarded the book to a dear friend who has struggled with loss after loss after loss, yet encourages me when I think life is tough.

  17. Patty says

    Thank you for sharing the information on the book. My husband lost his mom to lung cancer this year (3 months after diagnosis) and then his brother, best friend, our son’s godfather died in a car accident a couple of months later. He was with him the night it happened and has a lot to work through – some call it survivors guilt. It has been a horribly painful year and I have been searching for anything to help my husband and us get through it. I can never seem to find the right thing….I will order today and hope it brings some comfort. Thank you.

    • says

      oh Patty. What a rough time you’ve all had. Today, Jesus, would you be with Patty in a special way? And her husband too? We ask you to comfort them as only You can. That you would make yourself known to them in a special way today. Strengthen them and be with them. Patty, I’m praying for your family today!

  18. Lisa says

    I have sat here for 20 minutes trying to figure out what to say. First, thank you. It is nice to see someone willing to help others who may not be able to afford the book. As someone else commented even .99 can seem like a million depending where you are at in life. I would love to read this book, but I don’t have an e-reader. Do you know if there is another way?

    This year has been extremely difficult for me and I have almost no Christmas joy this year. In March I had my second back surgery in 9 months. The surgery involved screws and metal cages.. I am 40 years old and the surgery was to correct a birth defect that has been creating intense pain for 5 years; we just discovered the cause last year. The recovery has been tough. My doctor finally released me to work in Aug., with restrictions. However, work has said I cannot come back with any restrictions. In my state I do not qualify for food stamps and I have been jumping unemployment hoops (hoping it comes through soon). However, life is tough! I have had to rely on friends for rent, food, etc. It has been a humbling time at best.

    As we come into the holiday season I want to have joy but my mom who is trying to lessen my stress is greatly contributing to it. I buy gifts for 3 people a year (including her and stepdad) and I got an e-mail last night demanding no gifts from me ever again. (I have already gotten my stepdad’s gift free, made money at a craft show selling chocolates for the others, and then decided to get my brothers gift free; so the only 1 I am spending money on is hers. And the gifts are 95% finished.) Anyway, this was after an e-mail weeks ago demanding I don’t do stockings this year. I am waiting for the e-mail telling me not to make chocolates for the holiday get together. What’s left?

    I know this isn’t the same as losing a loved one, but there are so many ways that people are hurting we don’t see. I am hurting because I have no job, little money, the joy of Christmas being taken from me and so many friends having babies (when I won’t be able to experience that).

    I have been trying hard to not sit in my hurt, but some days it is hard. I did put a box together for Operation Christmas Child this year (I had new things appropriate for a girl around the house – since I have young nieces). I will still make chocolates (won the chocolate in a contest), because when I do friends buy from me, but the joy my homemade chocolates bring to others is so good for my heart. My challenge for each of us is that in our hurt let’s reach out to someone else — maybe buy a small poinsetta and give it to someone who looks sad at church, buy coffee for the person behind you at McDonald’s, put $10 in an envelope and ask your pastor to give it to someone who needs it, offer to sit and listen to someone who may need to talk, take some goodies to the neighbor who lost his wife this year, etc.

    Sorry for the novel! This hit a nerve.

  19. Tracy says

    It will be three years ago this Christmas Eve that I lost my Paternal Grandpa. That Christmas was already hard because my Maternal Grandpa who I was extremly close to (we lived 3 houses away from each other) had died suddenly that same year in January. My son was 3 years old and it was so hard to try and lift his spirits let alone my own knowing Papa wasn’t going to be there anymore then I had to eplain that Papa Smith was gone too.

    It may seem silly but it is still very hard around this time of year. This year has been especially tough because now my son is scared he is going to die and it seems like nothing I say makes him feel better. I think he feels like Christmas means someone is going to die instead of it being a happy time about Jesus and others.

  20. Wendi says

    I am asking for prayer. I was served court papers yesterday from my exhusband because my 17yo is refusing to go on visitations. The hearing is on January 4. Scrambling to find a lawyer (this will be our third court hearing), and knowing that its more cash down a black hole that we don’t have. But—I need to defend my son’s right to not go to his fathers if he is being verbally abused. Still, the stress of needing to defend it in court is so much to bear.
    Please pray.

    • Diane says

      My heart goes out to you, as I also went through some very difficult custody hearings with my ex-husband several years ago. I know how frustrating, confusing and adversarial the court system can be!
      Wendi, I promise I will pray for you and your son every day through your hearing date of January 4.
      This is a verse that I hope will give you strength during this diffiucult time:
      ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

  21. Anna says

    Thank you for posting this. We are going through infertility and preparing for surgeries next week for IVF. It’s so hard, but I’m trying to take everything a step at a time, a day at a time.

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