Divorce and the Holidays

What are holidays like for those grieving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m emphasizing divorce here because I can speak personally of that. I cannot do that for other situations. However, for anyone going through grief and loss, the holidays can be hard. I think of my friend Evan Minton, who lost his mother this year and how Thanksgiving could be very awkward this year. There are many widows and widowers out there who will be having a hard time. I think of my friend Christina in Charlotte whose young husband died this year.

Now for me, I have never really cared for Thanksgiving. I really like for the most part being on the spectrum, but Thanksgiving is awkward. The holiday is now pretty much all about the food, that I don’t care for aside from pumpkin pie, and then socializing. The first Thanksgiving I remember truly enjoying, I had the flu and had to stay home and Ocarina of Time had just come out and I spent the evening trying to get through the Forest Temple for the first time.

That used to be my second best also.

The best would have been the first Thanksgiving I spent with my ex-wife and her family. I can’t really say that anymore. That memory now only brings pain.

I noticed at my own job that I was becoming more irritable these past few days. I suspect it has to do with all these people coming in talking about the holiday and saying “Happy Thanksgiving.” It doesn’t help that my love life has suffered and just recently I thought I might have had something, but no, that didn’t work out. For me, Thanksgiving is a kind of loneliness.

Sure. I have my parents here, but I’m 41 years old and I thrive on being independent. Being in Texas for ETS was an awesome time for me because I was out there and on my own and making my own decisions. No. My parents don’t control me, but I am dependent on being in their house. They’re great people, but I do long to be out there myself.

I am busy preparing for the furtherance of my education and I don’t know how I will manage to pay for it all. I still want to earn enough to live on my own. I want to have a woman in my life again. I want to be able to go to a job that I enjoy and that I think I make a difference at.

In that situation for me, Thanksgiving is hard because I’m thinking about all the things I don’t have and I am tempted to cry, “How long, O Lord? How long?” I know I have many things to be thankful for, such as I am a child of the king, I live in the greatest country on Earth, and I do have my family and many great friends.

Sometimes, it’s just hard still.

You could call me ungrateful, and I suppose that could be true to some extent, but it’s something we all struggle with for the most part. We all can easily overlook our blessings, but for the holidays, those going through a real loss can still struggle with that. The things I write of I pray for every night.

This holiday season, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, try to remember those people around you who are grieving. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, do a kind gesture for them. Do something that says you’re thinking of them. Get a gift for a friend or invite them over to do something.

Remember also those less fortunate you don’t even know. Work with a charity this year to provide for someone in need. Provide a Christmas gift for a child who will have nothing this year without one. If you know someone who does care for food, invite them over to Thanksgiving dinner or provide a meal for their family.

This year can be hard for many people struggling and depression and suicide rates can easily go up. Please be remembering those people. For me, this is my first holiday season officially as a divorced person and don’t think it doesn’t come to mind that I proposed on Christmas Eve. It’s easy to tell someone to focus on what they have, but it can be hard as we all know. It’s far better to walk alongside those who are suffering.

Please be a gift to them this holiday season. Maybe they can be thankful in the end you’re in their lives.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Mommy. Why Don’t We Celebrate Halloween?

What do I think of Linda Winwood’s book published by Destiny Image? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is a book that is written for preschoolers obviously to be read to them. It’s answering a question why some parents don’t let their children celebrate Halloween. The story is told in a narrative format with two kids, Jerry and Sarah, talking to their mother and her dispensing her, um, wisdom.

Let’s start that right at the beginning, even if I disagree with some parents’ decision to not have their children celebrate, that is their decision and I think the children should honor that. At the same time, I am allowed to give my input. My thinking is you will really alienate your children further away from Christianity this way.

Something else that struck me about this book is there is no mention of a Dad anywhere in the story. I did a Kindle search to make sure and found no mention of one. The only mention of a father was when talking about the Trinity.

Another problem is there are no sources in this book. I have no idea where Winwood got her information. I can understand her not putting the names of authors and scholars in the middle of the book since this is to be read to preschoolers, but there should be a bibliography for the sake of the adults who are reading this.

Anyway, Linwood makes several claims about how all of these activities that are associated with Halloween came from pagans and gave reasons why this was done. Since the pagans did this, we should not take on those customs. Right? Well, not exactly.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter why the pagans put out jack-o-lanterns at all if they even did. What matters today is why we do it. The example I give with this is wedding rings. Some people I think have said that wedding rings come from a pagan custom. Let’s suppose they do. So what? When I gave my wife one, I know why I gave it to her.

You see, Jesus is in the midst of redeeming that which is pagan and using it for His glory. That includes any day of the year. If anyone thinks pagans are considering it a victory when we take one of their days and use it to put on goofy costumes and give candy to one another, they have a weird idea of victory.

This approach also has another danger. What happens if children later on here a claim about Christianity having pagan origins, which is out there everywhere on the internet? These kids will be set to be deconverted upon hearing such a claim.

The story also ends with the mother telling her children that instead of Halloween, they’re going to the church for a harvest party to thank God for the bountiful harvest. After all, if you want to avoid doing things that the pagans do, a harvest party is a great idea. Pagans never had any harvest celebrations after all.

Also, in the story behind the book located at the back, Linwood makes it clear that she is sure God told her to write this book and that she was specifically chosen to write a book on Halloween. I suppose this explains the lack of sources. I mean, if God is telling you to write this, what need do you have of other sources? Well, maybe to convince others who think that claim is nonsense….

I instead urge parents to not be anti-Halloween. You have children that will be coming to your house. Be the most loving and generous house on the block to children and try to have the best candy in town and please, don’t just give out a tract without anything like candy.

There are plenty of other concerns for our children. One of the most concerning is a society claiming sexual liberation. Too few of our children are prepared for that. Please try to choose the battles worth fighting.

In Christ,
Nick Peters