The articles that I have written that have left me historically the most fulfilled have been my Christian articles. Whether politics, the church, or biblical truths, all have tapped into topics I felt called to talk about on my platform. When I was challenged to write a column, one on Christians was the right choice.
Some of you want to explore religion but don’t feel welcome at church. Some people have had super negative experiences with Christians. Some were told that you have to be a perfect Christian to even attend church.
I am here to tell you that no matter your past, your present, or how you feel about Christians, you are welcome here.
That being said, this will be a recurring staple of my tenure as an opinion editor. Bi-weekly I will be publishing this column talking about biblical truths, and Christian politics, and commenting on culture through a biblical worldview.
If you have any issues, questions, or anything else under that umbrella that you would like me to address, you can email me at email@example.com. Please enjoy.
I am sure you are all aware, but the holiday season is upon us. The time between Thanksgiving and the end of finals week feels like a race to the finish line. And please know, my prayer for us all is finals week with no illness, sudden disasters, or cruel professors.
That being said, many don’t look forward to this upcoming holiday season. Sometimes, family relationships are tense or you may not be on good terms at all with your family. It can be a lot of pressure to host Christmas dinner and I am sure I am not the first person to say, I prefer some family members over others.
In addition to your environmental factors, there are emotional ones at play too. Mental health is famously poor this time of year. Grieving loved ones hurts worse when your most recent memory with them was around a Christmas tree. In a time of year so dedicated to family, it’s easy to miss the family that can’t make it.
I want to write this article for every student who is headed home and is dreading it. In a small group last night we talked about how hard it can be to go home away from your support system. This is especially true if you have a sin issue you struggle with. Many have expressed to me they find it easier to break unhealthy relationships, and kick bad habits once you were in a new environment.
Here is my advice for you on how you can continue the progress you have made this semester and survive a rough winter break.
Use your support system
Whether this means a friend group, a bible study group, friends at home, or trusted family, you likely have more cheerleaders and people rooting for your success than you know.
I think people in this part of the country feel a sort of pressure to “keep up with the Jones” in an unhealthy sort of way. There is a fear of vulnerability and a very real fear of opening up to people. There is a cultural pressure to be okay even when you’re not.
If you haven’t heard yet, let me be the first to tell you, if your friends are good friends, they want to see you be healthy. They want to support you and love you through whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
You’re not a burden, and you will find that vulnerability deepens relationships.
If you’re not religious, I’m sorry but I can’t point out the elephant in the room regarding the importance of prayer in our lives and just how powerful it is. I have learned over the course of several years that admitting I am not in control of my life, or the lives of my loved ones has been so freeing and this is something that the Lord has convicted me of, and asked me to pray about,
As a good friend of mine said, your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. I love people with my whole heart. I want to see my friends live well. I want them to be happy, safe and feel cared for to the point that I take on the emotional responsibility of making them happy. It points towards a deeper issue of not trusting God’s plan, that he has for them. So as a result, I need to make sure my plan for them is going smoothly.
This is something I have been working on and praying about all semester. To rope it back into today’s topic, I have this same issue with my family. I want them to be happy and healthy. But when you take on that emotional burden and they don’t do well, that becomes a reflection on you.
Letting God have what is rightfully he is the prayer of the semester. When I am worried about the future, whether, about Christmas, my career, or my relationships, I pray that I can give it back to God and trust him with it.
I can tell you that I feel so much better, and so much happier realizing that I am only in control over myself, and my choices. So if you’re worried about your family, or the holidays, or whatever, pray about it.
Choose Where you Want to Spend your Time
I think there is a lot of pressure to go home over Christmas break to go home, even if your home life isn’t great. If you don’t want to spend time at home, have Christmas somewhere else. Go to your grandma’s Christmas or your boyfriend’s. If you don’t want to, don’t go home at all.
You can still celebrate, just in your way. Bake sugar cookies, watch “Elf”, send Christmas cards, decorate a tree you got at the thrift store. Who cares? It’s your life and it’s your time to spend. Don’t waste your energy on people who wouldn’t so much as let you borrow their pen without charging you.
Just because you don’t celebrate traditionally at home doesn’t mean you have committed some heinous crime.
If you do have to go home, also make time in your schedule for things you want to do. See your friends after a long semester away from each other. Make a holiday snack with your siblings, and try to focus on the things that do bring you joy rather than the things that don’t.
I know that the Holidays can be a time of huge stress. Please remember that you are so loved, if not by your family, then by a creator who loves you and values you. While break can undoubtedly be stressful, this too is a season that will pass.