Give it all to Jesus: My personal story of surviving the holidays


Traditional Christmas sweets

I’ve been through some painful Christmases, following a divorce and after the death of my husband. Down through the years, I developed a way to survive the Christmas season. I’ve shared this story with hundreds of people and I’ve shared it on this blog in Christmases past.

Hurting single parents have told me that this one story has helped them also discover a way to survive the holidays and also to find peace and joy during the holidays.

This is my personal story. Please share this with anyone that needs encouragement this Christmas.

Giving It All to Jesus and  Surviving the Holidays

Many times in life when things get really tough, we tend to dwell on the adversity of the situation. God wants us to give every burden, trial, and all of our circumstances to Him. While it sounds like a reasonable request from our Father, it is, however, not an easy thing to do, especially for me. In fact, it’s one of the hardest parts of living through crises—giving it all to Jesus.

My mind tends to fill up with “mind chatter.” It gets so full of chatter that sometimes I can’t even fall asleep. This happened when my children’s father left and we went through the divorce. Later I remarried and my husband was diagnosed with cancer. When he was dying, I learned to still the chatter by creating a mental picture in which I envisioned giving it all to Jesus. When I can see myself literally giving the crisis to Jesus, it helps. Since it was right before Christmas when we received the news that the cancer was terminal, the scene in this mental picture centers on Christmas.

Envisioning Giving It All to Jesus

Christmas is a time of celebrating Jesus and His birthday. When I close my eyes, I envision a beautiful staircase. At the top of this staircase is a most exquisite Christmas tree, and sitting next to the Christmas tree is an elegant throne.

I carefully wrap a present. I gently carry this present to the staircase, and I begin my climb. It’s a long climb, and I am very careful with this special present. When I get to the top, I can sense such a serene peace. I think, Ah yes, this is the right decision. This present belongs to Jesus. I place this most special present under the tree.

I turn and start my descent down. About halfway down I look back, and I envision Jesus sitting on His throne surrounded by angels. The scene is so calm and reassuring to me. I continue going down and turning back to see Jesus. I can’t take my eyes off the beauty. I see Jesus bend down and pick up my box. He tenderly opens the box and takes out my husband. Jesus cradles him in His arms. There are no words to describe the scene that unfolds before me. I know through all my tears that I have no choice; I have to give this man I love to Jesus.

I continue down the stairs. I am almost to the bottom and part of me wants to run back and get my present, but then I look back and I see my husband’s face. He is in awe, but most of all he looks so peaceful. At times he is animated and excited; at other times Jesus is just cradling him in His arms and the angels are ministering in song. Again I know that I can’t take him back; this is where I need to leave him, with Jesus.

Create a mental picture

Whatever your circumstances—problems with children, family, job or just surviving being a single parent—you too can give it all to Jesus. Create your own mental picture or just place yourself and your situation in the scene above.

When you can’t sleep, focus on your mental picture and keep the mind chatter quiet.

When you can’t think, stop, take a deep breath, and think about your mental picture.

Ask God to provide peace, rest, and comfort to you during the crisis.

“See I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16



This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on Dec  20, 2013.

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7 thoughts on “Give it all to Jesus: My personal story of surviving the holidays

  1. Linda, this is a beautiful picture. I remember praying with you during your husband’s and my mother’s illnesses. You are a treasure. I love you.

  2. Thank you Linda for posting this once again. A beautiful reminder of the greatest gift ever given to us, Jesus Christ. Such sweet comfort knowing our loved ones are with Him. I love you, Betty

    • Betty, I love you also. You are so special to me. Thanks for commenting. I try to post this every year as there is so much meaning to it. I actually think I wrote this while in your home. 🙂

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