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Why I've Changed My Mind About Hallmark Christmas Movies

They’re ba-ck! Yes, this weekend Hallmark began running their Countdown to Christmas Movies. And even though I know it’s early and I may or may not have even worn sandals this week. (It was 60 degrees after all) this summer lovin’ girl is excited! Which is actually a big change for me. Some of you who may have been reading this blog for awhile may know that I didn’t always enjoy these sweet samples of sappy cinema. In fact, a few years ago I even wrote a blog sarcastically mocking the formula for this holiday tradition. (it was kind of funny) Back then, I honestly dreaded this time of year and I’d do all that I could to avoid these movies. Why? Well, mostly because they made my heart hurt. During a season of grief and heartache when my life didn’t even remotely resemble the plot line on the screen, watching two hours of cheesy television where everything always worked out and had a happy ending made me feel sad and focus on all of the things that were missing from my life. They reminded me of the family I was missing, the traditions that weren’t happening in my life, and or course, the fact that I was yet to find the romantic lead to my adorable leading lady. (I use the word “adorable” because that’s how a friend recently described me as she was saying that I wasn’t tall and gorgeous, I was short and adorable. In the proper context, it was a funny conversation.) Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I simply could not deal with these movies, so I used sarcasm and avoidance to deal with the pain in my heart. And it worked for awhile, but then I hurt again. So what made the change of heart that I’m now excited that the marathon is starting? Well, it certainly wasn’t that my circumstances changed. Nope, I’m pretty much still in the same situation. Instead, what changed was ME. My heart, my attitude, and my outlook on life changed when I stopped running from the pain and grief that was in my heart and began letting myself feel it. As I opened up my heart, Jesus was able to heal my heart. You see, one thing I’ve learned is that burying pain doesn’t make it go away. It may mask it for awhile or put it out of sight, but sooner or later it will find a way to appear. Sometimes it comes out as harsh words to a friend or someone we love. Other times we overwork or overeat or start indulging in unhealthy or unwise behaviors. And sometimes you write sarcastic articles making fun of Christmas movies that other people enjoy. However it exhibits itself, the root is the same: you aren’t dealing with the pain in your heart and it’s poisoning you. Thankfully, a few years ago, I allowed the Holy Spirit to continue the process of healing in my heart. Together we cried over losing my Mom and the changes that brought. We talked about all of the painful holidays we had when my Dad’s abuse was at it’s worse. We even discussed the disappointment that my life didn’t turn out the way I would have written my story. And as I spent time talking with Jesus, journalling my feelings, and talking to close friends, the pain began exiting my heart and healing was able to take place. Now even though my circumstances haven’t changed, my outlook has. This is the second year where I can’t wait for the holidays to get started. (By the way, exactly when is it ok to put up a Christmas tree? Week before Thanksgiving? Two weeks before Thanksgiving? Probably should wait until the election is over—-but who says I can’t have twinkle lights while I eat Thanksgiving dinner?) Rather than my heart being overwhelmed with pain, each holiday season reminds me that we serve a God Who specializes in healing broken hearts. The key is will we let Him. Today, that’s the question with which I challenge you: Are you willing to let Jesus heal your heart? Are you willing to walk through the process of Finding Healing so that you can once again experience joy, peace, and the abundant life Jesus has for you? The truth is that Christmas doesn’t always guarantee a happy ending, but when we wholeheartedly give our lives to serving Jesus, we can trust that He has a plan for our lives that is above and beyond anything we can ask or think. So my encouragement to you—-give the Biblical principles of healing a try. Begin today to open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s call to healing and wholeness that is found in Jesus. Start by talking to Him honestly about what you feel. If you can’t say it out loud, put it in a journal. Be open and honest and allow God to know all that is in your heart. If you feel like you need more help with the specific steps to start your journey, read Finding Healing. Here I share more of my story of overcoming the pain in my heart along with the detailed steps of the Biblical principles I used along the way. I really believe it will be a help to anyone who wants to overcome the pain in their heart and move forward into the future God has for them. And if you get a chance, check out a Hallmark Christmas movie—-then tell me which one is your favorite—-I think I’ve seen them all! Okay, let the marathon begin!

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