While the majority of people eagerly await for the arrival of Christmas, some people dread the holidays because they've lost a loved one or suffered a major setback in life. Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, understands this dread very well because of his broken family.
Tchividjian was exposed for his infidelity two years ago and it cost him his job and family. It was a painful experience, and Tchividjian later admitted he felt ashamed. However, there was no feeling worse than being separated from his children because of the divorce.
"Two years ago, it was the first Christmas I woke up without all three of my kids in my house," he said. "It was devastating for me," he told News Press. "I was alone in an apartment, hoping and praying that this day would come to an end fast. I was wrestling with how is it possible to hope when you feel hopeless."
This year is no different. Tchividjian has now moved to Fort Myers in Cape Coral, Florida, but even his new home has not dulled the dread of Christmas. In order to help other people cope with their own sorrows during the holidays, Tchividjian will share his story on Dec. 10 at the Living Faith Church.
His event, billed as "Broken Christmas," will be for individuals who have experienced loss of a personal relationship, finances, or dreams. It will also be for those who are sick or those who are apart from their loved ones. "God meets us in difficult and dark places," said Tchividjian.
A lot of people have expressed their struggle to cope during the holidays because of grief and loss, and that is why Kari Turner, daughter of Living Faith's minister, decided to organize the event. Turner herself is a widow with three children, so she knows the reality of getting through Christmas with personal grief.
Turner said Tchividjian is the perfect person to lead the event, given his background in the church and personal history of failures. "He very much has similar goals of his grandfather to get the word out to broken people," Turner said of Tchividjian. "Now that he can't be a pastor, he is freed up to speak to a larger audience than just a local church."
Tchividjian earlier wrote on his blog that he used to love Christmas. However, things changed after he lost his family. The most comforting thought that is helping him go through the holidays is that God is by his side no matter what happens.
"I need to be regularly reminded (and I'm guessing you do too) that the hope of Christmas is NOT that we will (in this life) get past our sadness and pain. Rather, it is that God promises to be with us when we struggle through our sadness and pain," he said.