The Longest Night

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a blog written by Jordan Berta

December 21st. 4 days away from the most anticipated day of the year. Christmas.

For many there are still gifts to buy and food to prepare, while for others this can look very different. We have talked before about how this time can be especially hard for someone who has experienced a recent death in their family but the challenge can go so much deeper than that. Let’s take a moment to consider people that have moved to a new town where they don’t have friends or family nearby. There are others that are estranged from key people in their lives. Regardless of your situation, these seasons can become a place of repeated pain. While the emotions are there all year it is times like these that amplify them in our hearts.

Scientifically speaking this day also holds significance as the longest night of the year. The day with the least amount of sunlight. While the sun starts to stay out longer each day after, how we live on this night is very important.

Someone once said that time heals all wounds and while that sounds nice I don’t think it is a completely accurate statement. Perhaps it could be better said that time gives us repeated chances to heal our wounds. Like a cut not cared for will bleed and possibly get infected, emotional and spiritual wounds will react the same way. Ultimately, we will deal with these things, but the question remains…how? Will sadness, bitterness and anger fill our hearts or will we find healing, hope and restoration? Unfortunately, we do not control the world and cannot always prevent pain but what we can do is decide now how to respond when the pain arrives. Do we keep the lights off and allow the dark night to continue longer or do we turn on the lights and confront the darkness?

Dealing with these types of emotions and situations is very challenging and this is why many choose not to be proactive about them. I know for me that it is difficult to bring up these things because they don’t resolve immediately. There is a sense of guilt about having what seems to be the same conversation over and over again. Nobody wants to look like they are not making progress. Thoughts of inadequacy flood my mind often going into these conversations. So I have had to examine these thoughts, remind myself that we all need help sometimes, then take a step towards help. I have personally done this with friends, family, pastors, counsellors and doctors over the years. Yes this can be hard but it is also rewarding.

The truth is that there is someone that is willing and able to process with you, even if they are hard to find. Please don’t waste the dark night. Take even just one step towards your healing. You are worth it.