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Are you alone in your pain?

Merry Christmas Friend!
First and foremost with Christmas just days away I want to say Merry Christmas! It's so hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner!
Today's Wednesday Wisdom is something that has been on my heart for some time, but it is hard to put into words. I hope you will feel the energy that comes from my heart more than the words that come through your screen.
Many of you know I've moved several times. I've kinda gotten to the point where I have a hard time making deep relationships because for some reason I always feel the sense that they won't last and that I won't stay put for very long. I've had some wonderful friends over the years, and I have learned something unique and special from each and every person that I meet.
From these experiences, I learned that people are either currently struggling or they will be struggling in the near future. Many, many people hide their challenges well. They hide their darkest fears, worries, anxieties, and insecurities from people who may think they know them well. Take a look around you and I can almost guarantee you have a friend whose marriage is struggling.  You have a friend who deals with a mental illness. You probably have a friend that feels lonely a lot and who wishes they had more friends. You probably know someone who had a family member die in the last couple of years. You probably know someone who is struggling financially. There are many other struggles that people deal with silently that I haven't talked about here but for some reason those specific ones hit close to home for me.
A few years ago I went to a conference for women called, "Time Out for Women" and while there a speaker asked people to stand if they themselves dealt with mental illness or knew someone else that did. Nearly everyone was standing. It was eye-opening to witness. 
I have read studies that only 18% of American's get married and have children. In Australia they did a survey that said that 4.4% of men and 1.2% of women called themselves porn addicts. If those numbers translated to the US 6 million people would be addicted to porn.
I could go on and on about study after study of things that are happening that are so incredibly hard. Yet it's so easy to look out at our neighbors and think they have it all together. To think that their life is perfect and that you're the only one with problems. You are not! For me this is comforting and also heartbreaking.
I was talking to a group of friends last week and we came to the conclusion that most people try to avoid bad feelings. We don't want to feel sorrow, pain, and resentment. We don't want to feel lonely, depressed, unhappy, or any of those emotions. So what do you do? We find some way to push those emotions away. We try to "hide" our feelings and "hide" our insecurities.
What if that is actually hurting us more than if we were just honest with ourselves or with others about our situation? I'm not talking complaining all the time, I don't believe that gets you where you need to go either. But I believe that the sweet in life can feel that much sweeter when we own up to the fact that life is hard, people are sometimes frustrating, and that we will struggle.
You aren't weak because you admit that you are struggling. You are still enough, even if you are going through something that you feel would be different if you would have just done ____________. Sometimes opening up about our struggles and talking to someone who can help us through it all can be empowering. One caution I would give about this is you need to talk to a trusted friend, counselor, coach about issues that are sensitive or vulnerable in most cases. 
There is one who casts out all the fear, pain, and anxiety in the world. At Christmas time, we celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of his names is Light of the World. His light is what we can find true hope and peace in. One flicker of light will push all the darkness around it away. Darkness will never overpower the light. Christ's light is what we can cling to, to find that hope and that peace we are searching for in this world! When we have that light sharing it is a gift we can give the world. We can share his light in so many ways and I challenge you to find a way to share his light. Light attracts light and I believe when we share light more light comes back into our lives. God bless your families this holiday season! May you feel the joy and hope that comes through the Light of Christ!
Christy and the family
P.S. Check out our "Light of the World" Christ Centered Journal here. If you like feel free to subscribe to our monthly gratitude journal here.
P.S.S. The new year is about to start! Are you keeping up with your gratitude practice? Need a new 100 Days journal? Get yours here.