As the leaves begin to change into fiery reds and golden yellows, and the crisp mist of coming winter begins to chill our bodies, our hearts begin to seek warmth through the preparations for the holiday season.
It’s the time for pumpkin spice lattes, warm apple pie, hot spicy cider, with the fire burning in the fireplace. We find comfort in the pending winter season by gathering closer around our family and friends.
But for many, the magic and joy of the holiday season can be a sore reminder of pain, loneliness, and the isolation that their soul feels. It’s said that the holidays can be the loneliest of times, because the rest of the world seems to be busy with love and laughter while we are overwhelmed with dread for deadlines and missed opportunities.
As military women, we can carry the extra difficulties that many cannot understand.
PCSing during the holidays, long deployments, and physical separation from family and friends sharpen the pain of isolation.
Living through my first duty station and first deployment, loneliness has become a familiar companion. These days, as I see families enjoying pumpkin patches and costume parties with all members of their family together, I can’t help but feel the ache in my heart.
The Ache in Our Souls
My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. Isaiah 26:9
In our feelings of loneliness, the pain of our loss, it is there that God is calling us to draw nearer.
The ache in our soul is an invitation to know that God is with us, sees us, and wants to be intimately known.
You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy,
because you have made us and drawn us to yourself,
and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you.
– Saint Augustine
Our hearts are restless until they rest in the presence of an almighty God. The ache is the reminder that only an omnipotent God can heal a wound so eternally deep. Christ Jesus understood loneliness, rejection, suffering, and pain. He bore ours upon Himself in order to bring us supernatural joy, the fullness of healing, and an eternally abundant life. If you’re feeling the harsh chill of this season, Jesus Christ is here to surround you with his warm and transforming embrace.
Our Prayer through The Ache
Let us call to Him as He invites us to draw near.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Thank you for the ache within us that reminds us of our yearning hearts for You. Our soul’s loneliness and pain is something only You can perfectly fulfill. It is only in you that we can find supernatural peace. Help us to be aware of Your constant presence.
Though we may be surrounded by events, people, and to-do lists, we feel so alone. Please send your Comforter. Fill the emptiness in our heart with the fullness of the love that You have for us. You’ve spoken through your Word that You will strengthen us and uphold us by Your hand.
In this moment, let Your love and peace surround us. May we stand on the truth that we are not alone.
In Jesus’ Name,