Rather than head out to Black Friday sales, I got the rest I needed overnight to recover from a busy Thanksgiving day with family. I accept my six-decade-old body doesn’t work or recover as it did in my 30’s and I try to watch out for myself. I observed my family pour over the sale advertisements searching for gift items that would be more affordable with the extra effort to be first in line at six in the morning. I truly respect them for trying to stay on budget and am happy they are still young enough to handle the extra stress of loss of sleep and big crowds.
Black Friday means shopping sales today, but in 1869 it meant a financial crash on Wall Street, and in 1960’s it reflected the difficult time police had keeping order in Philadelphia while people came to town for Christmas shopping and activities. It was 1980 when someone decided retail stores might improve operating “in the red” zone of profits into “the black” with big discount sales ahead of Christmas.
But as a person with a history of sexual abuse and suicidal thoughts, Black Friday has meant sadness and dread for the happy, family, gift hype of the next four weeks. I know how it feels to sit in a house full of relatives and feel completely alone. I know the rejection of not receiving a gift, again, from my special someone. I know the remorse of having made no change to my poor mental health and anticipating another year of unhealed heartache. Even while I was a believer in Jesus Christ, I suffered from these black thoughts. But no more. And you can overcome them too.
Satan is the father of lies and he is out to destroy us. Our greatest weapon is first believing in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that paid the sacrifice for our sins. Next, asking the Holy Spirit, who now lives within us, to give us strength to read the Bible and concentrate our thoughts on the truth found there.
Romans 8: 24-28 in the Living Bible reads:
4 We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it. 25 But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.
26 And in the same way—by our faith[e]—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.
Do you want to have new hope? Do you want to stop the cycle of sorrow and suffering every holiday season? Trust God. Pray for healing. If all you can accomplish is to lie on the couch crying and pleading for help, that is enough. The Holy Spirit will understand your unspoken words and intercede with your Heavenly Father to comfort you and strengthen you.
Then you must do your part. Phone a friend. Make yourself accountable to them to read your Bible and pray everyday to keep the Truth in your brain and fight the old accusations and hate speech Satan has in your mind. Increase your physical activity. Ask a friend to commit to work out or walk with you on a regular basis. Let the increased serotonin work to reduce your depression. And consider, who do you need to forgive? Are they still alive so you can speak to them and settle the harm they’ve done? Are they dead and you will have to forgive without the benefit of their apology? I know it’s possible because I did it. You can too.
If you want to know more about how to start a new life with Jesus and turn away from the black days, fill out the email contact form here on my web site. I would love to send you the pages from my book called Letter to My Readers. It lays out many Bible verses for you to read and understand how you too can be saved from your black past and live life fully in the light of God’s love and forgiveness. Please give Him a try. It is a much better life.