Many of us have beautiful Thanksgiving memories with our families and friends, ones to cherish and hold onto for years to come. What a gift! What beautiful blessings! and we honor those moments with gratitude to God.
Yet many of us also had moments from this Thanksgiving that were more difficult. A family disagreement, difficulties, tensions, mishaps, dinner disasters, expectation let downs, illness keeping loved ones away from the gathering, unspoken strife, memories from the past coming up, or maybe you were alone and grieved by the absence of fellowship, etc.
During life, especially during the holidays, we tend to have high expectations and have worked really really hard to make those dreams a reality. However, we are human, and human experience is unlike the portrayals we find in movies and or the perfect pictures dolled up for social media. Life is imperfect and cannot be edited in real time.
When we have these unpleasant or uncomfortable leftovers our culture does not tend to make room for them or accept them. Instead we are encouraged to stuff them down or pack them away in a box labeled "forget" or "shake it off" and "just hold onto the good ones" We have not learned how to hold the tension of great memories being formed and difficult happenings affecting us at the same time. Yet this tension is often our experience.
When we give ourselves permission to make room for our entire human experience we make room for freedom, honesty, growth, and healing.
If you have leftovers from this holiday or the next, pay attention to them, make space for them, process them, accept them, talk with a trusted person about them, take the hand of the Healer and walk through them with the Lord.
When you make room for the whole of your experience you may remain more steady and united to the King of Peace the next time around.