I have a confession...it may surprise you...please don't judge me....Christmas is not my favorite season. And I strongly dislike typical Christmas music. Like STRONGLY dislike. For years I've just felt like I wanted to escape for the month of December to a remote tropical island, away from the city, away from the crazy snowbird drivers in Arizona, away from the chaos in every single parking lot and store, away from the tension I feel around me. Gifts are not my "Love Language" so I actually get stressed out with the pressure to buy for others and I'm actually still learning how to receive gifts from others. I'm just not good at it.
The truth is, I celebrate "Christmas" (and "Easter") literally every single day. I consider every day a day to celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of my Savior and LORD. I listen to music that glorifies Him every day. I pray, give thanks and reflect on the reality of Jesus constantly. So, to be honest, I get a little tripped up on how we've diluted the meaning of these Holy-Days and how we've allowed it to become convoluted among our societal norms. In our high pressure, overly marketed world we're living in, the birth of our savior is usually last on the list of focus priorities after decorations, events, company parties, presents, Santa Claus,
As a gifted empath, the Christmas season, for me, feels like I'm standing in the middle of an emotional hurricane with no protection. I can't seem to escape it...I literally FEEL everything happening around me and it makes me want to run and seek solice in a dark, quiet cave until the new year comes.
I understand that Christmas is often perceived as a joyful time, but not for everyone. In fact, there's often a lot of emotional suppression and stress that goes unaddressed in this season. Here's what I feel:
Family division, discord, and dissension are highlighted in this season
Financial stress and pressure to overspend,
Obligatory gift giving due to the undercurrent of peer pressure is high.
The barrage of invasive marketing has us wanting, wishing, envying, lusting and coveting what others have.
Dissatisfaction, by comparison, is high - We see the highlight reel of social media and compare our less-than-favorable scene to their perfectly polished pictures of their cute families, decadently decorated homes, food pics that look like they were styled by the Food Network Magazine, lavish gifts, etc.
We tend to become overstretched in our schedule with the influx of holiday parties for our church, work, club, teams, school,
Our minds become overburdened with the checklists, to-do's, and "don't forgets" that it can be a challenge to just slow down, relax and be fully present and engaging with others we are with.
Many have a hole in their hearts by the loss of a loved one or the absence of the one their soul longs for.
Kids in their innocence can make you feel like a crappy parent with their direct, unfiltered comments that feel like a dagger in your heart.
Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewal of your mind. -Romans 12:2
Let's transform our minds together:
1. For my fellow empaths, intercessors and prophetic friends:
Don't let the enemy convince you that your blessing is a burden. The gift of empathy is a glimpse into our Father's heart. It's a blessing. You get to actually FEEL how others feel. It only gets dangerous when we allow those feelings (ours or others') to dominate our lives by not submitting them back to the feet of Jesus. One thing I've been learning over the past couple years is that being highly empathetic is an indication of a spiritual gift of intercession.
What do I mean? Sometimes we pick up on the feelings, emotions, and burdens of others because, by the Grace of Jesus, we are able to approach the Throne Room of Heaven and petition on their behalf. We have the honor and privilege of standing in the gap and praying with Holy Spirit. Often times when you do this and you ask the Lord to reveal to you what He'd like you to do with these feelings, He'll likely answer your prayer by giving you a word, vision, a feeling or a "knowing" so that you can approach someone with an encouraging word to reflect the Father's love (prophecy-more on this in a minute!).
Are you an Intercessor?
Many intercessors that don't understand their gift could feel very weighed down, anxious, depressed and not even really know why. At times they may feel depleated or just "off" and not really be able to identify why. They have a tendency to retreat from large crowds because of the overstimulation of people and feelings. Often they have a special "burden" for a specific person or people. I've discovered a lot of intercessors in hiding in my life. They always felt a certain way and never understood why until they discovered this was a special gift from God and they begun the quest to learn how to use it. If this is you or someone you know, one resource I can highly recommend is: "The Happy Intercessor" by Beni Johnson.
Did you know that you are prophetic? Yes. YOU! As a New Creation in Jesus, you are given access to one of the greatest gifts ever: The Mind of Christ which includes an impartation of prophecy and wisdom.
What is prophecy you wonder? I'm glad you asked. And I want to tell you....But I feel the Lord telling me to encourage you to seek Him and His Word for revelation and understanding. But I will give you some clues:
Pray and ask Holy Spirit to guide you into the revelation of truth and understanding.
Use the dictionary/concordance in the back of your bible to find references.
Some starting points:
1 Corinthians 14:1-5
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
If this is striking your curiosity and want to learn more, I invite you to check out my friend, Havilah Cunnington's FREE Prophetic Personalities Quiz She also developed a SUPER helpful eCourse, Prophetic Personalities on Truth to Table that will help you better embrace the special way in which the Lord speaks to you.
Oh and BTW, I just got this email from Havilah:
PPS. And, for the first time ever, our E-Courses: Prophetic Personalities and Moms of Men are now available to give as a gift. Print the gift card and wrap it up under the tree, or send a course via email to a friend of family member.
In fact, use this special code: "GIFT" to save $10 on our course gifting options.
2. For my friends that just need advice on how to live Peacefully in the Crazy Christmas Season
...Which is probably all of us, right?! Well, I could give you my take but truthfully, my friend (who doesn't yet know she's my friend because, well, she doesn't know me in the natural yet...but we're spirit sisters...loud-mouthed, fireball, preachin', teachin', prophecyin', Jesus-lovin', Italian #WordGirls!) Havilah really said it best in her latest podcast:
Check out this awesome spoken word piece from Gospel Lee
Do you know the unique and special way the Lord reveals Himself to you? What tools, tips and resources have you come upon to help you understand, embrace and use your spiritual gifts?