A Prayer for When You’re Asked Hard Questions During the Holidays By Molly Law
“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…You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29:11,13
Thanksgiving and Christmas are possibly the only times when every family member can come together and finally catch up. Although this can be a joyous time seeing on another, there might be some questions that can go too far. For the younger generation, life changes at warp speed — milestones seem to happen almost every week. So, well-intended parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles want to know everything that is going on in their lives. However, the things that they may wish to know could point out a very painful reality.
Since we see some family members only once a year, they don’t know the intricate details of what has happened to us throughout the year and us them. It’s not entirely their fault — for many people, society has laid out a very clear-cut outline for life (college, career, marriage, children, etc.). Our culture has defined those milestones and the ages in which they should be met for a happy and successful life, especially for Christians.
As the family comes around the Thanksgiving table, a young married couple may be asked by a well-meaning aunt when do they think they will start a family. Unbeknownst to her, the young wife had a miscarriage in July and for four months, the couple has had one negative pregnancy test after another. After the holidays, they plan on seeing a fertility specialist. But at this moment, how do they answer this after being put on the spot in front of half a dozen people?
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it — the colors, the songs, the food, and the care-free feeling it evokes within me. But it can also be a very painful time, as every year, I pray for my future spouse, yet every Christmas, I find myself once again alone. As the only single member of my family, my love life becomes an easy topic of conversation. I have become an easy target as I have chosen not to comply with cultural-mandated milestones that some family members see as a failure.
In adulthood, I have lived up to my own standards of becoming independent, chasing my dreams, and finding who I am apart from my family and any romantic ties. Although I am very happy on my own, there are times I desire to be married. The holidays seem to be the one time of year that exasperates the fact that I am not, especially when a spotlight is put on it by family member. My prayer is for everyone who is dealing with unfulfilled dreams and life expectancies, and the family members who bring it up during the holidays.
Dear Lord, Thank you for this time of year to celebrate the birth of your Son and ruminate on all of your many blessings throughout the year. Thank you for our families and this time of coming together and catching up. I pray for everyone this holiday season. I pray that no matter what we are all going through that we remain aware of the sensitivity of some conversations. I pray that this year, we do not wait until the holidays to catch up — that we make an effort to pick up the phone and check in. I pray we will choose to share our lives with our family if that is a healthy relationship to pursue.
Be with us, Father, as all of us our going through something. Be with our hearts’ desires and dreams that they reflect your will and bring glory to you and only you. I pray that we show one another grace and allow our family members to choose what they want to share with us. Give us comfort and peace when a deep hurt is revealed in a casual manner. I pray that this holiday season is filled with love, laughter, and joy with those around us.
We love and trust you with all of our hearts, our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Molly Law is the Editor of C.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the nonprofit ACA and Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, UK. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling.
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