When The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Becomes The Hardest Time of Year

It’s marketed as the most joyful time of the year! Everything is hustling and bustling! Family is getting together and we’re thanking God as we remember the beautiful gift He gave us in Jesus. But it’s also a time when you might feel extra lonely or may be grieving the loss of a loved one. And it might even feel awkward when the world is still moving around you, but you’re stuck in time. 

I get that. Every year, before Christmas, I think about how my Poppa won’t be there with us. Eleven years ago at Christmas was the last time we got to hang out. I start thinking about how much I wish he could have met my husband, seen me get married, meet my sweet baby boy… it hurts. And it’s completely human

Even Jesus mourned. In John 11, word gets to Jesus that his friend, Lazarus is deathly ill and Jesus doesn’t go right away because he says God is going to use this moment to show people what He can do and save lots of lives. Jesus literally says in verse 11, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

Jesus knows Lazarus is dead, but he also knows he’s going to bring him back to life. And yet when he arrives at the tomb and sees his friend is dead and everyone is mourning – JESUS WEPT. The shortest verse in the Bible. He already knew the future outcome! AND HE STILL MOURNED. 

It’s okay if you’re feeling sad today. It’s okay if you’re grieving – but know this – God has GOOD and BEAUTIFUL plans for you. So don’t get stuck there. Feel what you need to and then get to work. 

After Jesus wept, he prayed and then he raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-44 ESV). If he had stayed stuck in the grieving and pain, he wouldn’t have performed this miracle. So if you’re sad or lonely today, I’m there with you. Let’s pray together to the God who completely understands our pain. Then let’s get out there and reach the people that need to hear about this miracle working, unconditionally loving, peace-giving God. 

Kristen James

Midday Show Host, STAR 99.1

More Posts for Show: Kristen James


Posted in

Unlock weekly devotionals, contests, and
more in your inbox – Become a STAR 99.1 Insider today!

Kristen James


  1. Julia on December 8, 2022 at 9:17 am

    Hi Kristen,

    Thank you for your story, and Jesus’s story. I’m sorry your poppa isn’t here anymore, but he is watching from above, so he is with you and your family.
    I am going through some tough times too. I feel alone sometimes as well. I’m moving because I cannot afford where my ex and I lived. so I am trying to find something less expensive. By listening to your station, it has lifted me up and closer to God. I feel God has guided me in ways I didn’t even know. I asked him to guide me in a way to make more money and he did. A second job happened and I was overjoyed. Now I have to get through a move and it’s overwhelming with packing the house. My daughter is in college so she can’t help, but my friends have been wonderful with helping me. My house is sold and I haven’t bought anything yet, so I will be moving into my sister’s house in Flemington, NJ I work in Somerset and I’m looking for a place in the Bridgewater, Branchburg, or the Hills in Bedminster, but no luck. However, I feel God has a plan for me. Not to rush and settle, but to wait for something just for me. And again, he is guiding me to money. I will be saving some money staying with my sister and brother in law. So the lesson to this story is, God guides us in ways we don’t even recognize and he is always by our side, like your poppa is. I thank him every day.

  2. TC (Terese) Buchanan on December 8, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Thank you Kristen. I really needed your message about grieving…. My 98 yr old mom, my best friend, my prayer partner, faith sharer, was taken to her heavenly home August 14 of this year. These are the first holidays without her and I am really struggling with grief. I was doing OK until the holidays approached. In one sense I know there is no reason to grieve. I know where she is. I know she is rejoicing in the arms of Jesus and dancing across heaven with the love of her earthly life, my dad and her eternal love, Jesus, with Jesus steering so no one gets their toes squished. 🥰

    Her death or rather the last 3 days of her earthly life were the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. After many months of being ill, in and out of the hospital, a broken hip and surgery, not eating and pain, she looked pretty rough.. Two of my sisters couldn’t bear to look at her. My third sister and I stayed with mom every day as much as we could the last week of her life. We were able to witness her transformation from a body that was literally wasting away and a face that was so worn it was no longer recognizable to a glowing, peaceful, joyful, blemish free, wrinkle free, radiant beauty. She stopped acknowledging us and her eyes focused on something/someones above her, above us. Her head would turn and her eyes would shift from place to place above. Sometimes she would smile. The room was filled with peace for 3 days and nights. It was a peace like nothing I have ever felt. It was heavenly peace. Everyone who entered the room could feel it.

    Mom had always told me that she didn’t want any of us to be there when she died. So she left at 6:00 am, when we couldn’t be there. The nurse who was there with mom when she died said she had been a nurse for many years and had witnessed many people’s deaths but that she had never experienced anything like mom’s death. She said that when most people are dying, they are either fighting, full of anxiety, fearful, in pain or on so much medication for pain or anxiety that they seem to be unconscious. But mom had none of that…just perfect peace and joy… Mom died with a radiant smile on her face…. No doubt that Jesus and His Blessed Mother and all of her many many loves ones who already reside in Heaven were there to escort her to eternal happiness.

    Mom died with a smile on her face. I am praying for the grace for myself and all others who are grieving the loss of a loved one this Christmas season, to keep a smile on our faces.

    • Kristen James on December 9, 2022 at 9:25 am

      Wow thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I am so sorry about your sweet mom passing but it’s very obvious through your story that she knew she was going to be with Jesus that day! And she was so excited and at peace with her new heavenly home. I love knowing that you will see her again and that God gave you the strength to stand by her side. You are a great daughter <3

  3. Denise on December 10, 2022 at 9:51 am

    I’m trying to leave a comment but I’m so full of emotions. Kristen thanks for this beautiful excerpt. Wonderfully written, while emphasizing, it’s still bringing so much love and hope. For the past 16 years this season has been so hard for me. My beautiful mom passed away on 12/30. I have twin boys that she was hoping to meet and never got the chance because she was in another country caring for a sick relative. I am an only child and she was my very best friend. Thanks for reminding me of God’ unconditional love for me. I grieve but not as one without hope, because I know that she’s gone to a better place. Sorry about your poppy also and much love and prayers to others in like situations. Let’s keep each other in prayer during this season. Merry Christmas friends. Jesus the reason for the season.

Leave a Comment