Christmas hits the newcomer hard when roots are shallow and short, and the new community we’ve been plopped down in, is cold. If only my family was here, you say to yourself, then I could enter into the holidays with joy.
I remember the sadness when my husband and I lived in Wheaton, Illinois. My husband was unemployed and we had been trying for months to sell our house. Our four children were spread out over many states: North Carolina, Colorado, and California. Four children and no one, not parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or in-laws to drop in for the festivities. Why not just have hamburgers for Christmas dinner? Why even put up a tree. Who cares?
God must have heard my sadness because he sent my daughter and her new fiancé up from North Carolina. In addition, my husband’s niece and her husband made the huge trek from Tulsa, Oklahoma to bring us a bit of Christmas cheer.
Maybe you will have an empty house this Christmas. I have a special prayer for the company of the disconnected.
“Lord of all comfort, spread you blanket of solace over all of us who find themselves in a new community. Help us to remember one of your names is Immanuel…which means God is with us. Let each one struggling with loneliness and a sense of alienation, feel Your presence and know You have already arrived at their new address. You are there to welcome all, just as you did as a small baby on that first Christmas. Encourage each one reading this that even when family is miles away, you are our Father and our first family when we belong to you.”
Jesus himself was a newcomer, a temporary visitor to earth. He never had a home so He understands as much as anyone what it is to feel disconnected. When we open our heart to Him, He becomes a real presence in our life. I know, I‘ve known Him for forty years. It’s the reason I’ve been able to survive and thrive all my moves. As the Bible says,
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46; 1
Are you alone this Christmas? If you email me, I will pray for you to know the Prince of Peace. Contact@changingzipcodes.com.