What To Take To Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving. Christmas. Any large family gathering, really, can be a source of pain.
While family and turkey and lots of pie sounds like the most wonderful experience, for some, it's a reminder. -A reminder of a painful past. How they fell short. How they did too much. How they crossed the line or didn't even approach the line at all.
Thanksgiving can be as filling as it is unfulfilling. As delicious as it is distasteful. As remarkable as it is unremarkable. As healing as it is hurtful. Everyone has someone they're anxious to be around which is why I'm writing down some things that could help you this year...
Facing family members or old friends is terrifying. Especially since you haven't seen (since last Thanksgiving). It's tough. And really uncomfortable. In fact, I think there's a group of us who stand in a corner (with pie in hand) and wince.
It's easy to keep to the corner, to keep yourself, to let those outspoken relatives speak for you. But I challenge you to do things a little different this year.
The following are some thoughts, ideas, scripture and little mantra's I redirect my mind to when I'm in tough situations with people that make me uncomfortable:
Be uncompromising in who you are, which is another way of saying, "Be Honest!" Even if this means it makes others unhappy.
Be confident and kind even when you face your enemy.
"Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret --it only leads to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." -Psalm 37:8-9
Be forgiving, even when they don't deserve it. I know you're hurting. That you've been carrying this hurt for years, but the only way to love is to forgive.
Be forthcoming in conversation. Yeah. You know the conversation where your Aunt Mildred or Uncle Joe asks you the personal details of your dating life? Why you chose that major? How your marriage is going? Why you haven't had more kids? Whatever it is, don't let them step on you. If they say something hurtful, cross a line, or begin to pry, kindly say that you're not comfortable discussing it.
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." -Psalm 37:7
Be ready. Have a game plan. Your cousin always mocks you? Then know how you'll respond in case he does it again. Remember, kindness heaps burning coals on people's heads. There's no better way to 'get them back' than to be kind.
Do not be fake. Being kind and being fake are not the same thing. Don't swallow your feelings and pretend like nothing happened. Address the situation. Seriously. Call them out. But do so with grace and kindness. It's time to make changes!
"See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you." -Psalm 25:19-21
There's so many more things I could list, but why don't you try adding things that fit your situation! Take a screenshot of these bolded words or copy and paste them into a 'note' on your phone. You can edit what you want to keep and reference it when you're in a den of lions so-to-say. Every time you go to the bathroom, pull out your phone and read through these positive words. Remind yourself that things are different this year and that you're strong enough to stand up and let the change begin with you.