By Selina Almodovar
Being single during the holidays can be rough at times. There is nothing that used to aggravate me more during the holiday season than visiting all of my friends and relatives and they just had to ask me about my love life:
“You’re still single?”
“What ever happened to so-and-so?”
“Um… How bout you mind your business?!”
Just thinking about the relationship goals I used to have, only to be let down once again and walk into a gathering without a date left me pretty bitter. There was this underlying pressure, and if I was not romantically involved with someone by this time of the year then I was somehow deemed not happy, or not “whole”. People would instantly pity me. And then I would begin to pity myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I was totally thankful for everything that I did have in life: good health, family, friends, opportunities that women living in other parts of the world did not have. Yet, despite all the things I was thankful for… it wasn’t enough.
I still wanted more, and as my family reminded me, I apparently needed more. I wanted the guy; I wanted the happy Instagram-perfect relationship; and I wanted the luxury to plan out a future family of my own. This desire for love left me with a painful void that carried into the very spirit of the holidays. It was a coveted arrow thrown at the Spirit of the Joyful Lord I worshipped.
During my singleness, I very much was aware of God’s perfect timing and His unending love. Yet, it would’ve been nice if I could have someone to kiss under the mistletoe. The holidays reminds us that we are not “whole” because of our singleness. Either from those who ask us the awkward, nosy questions, or from our own thoughts that finding a relationship is what can make us happy and whole.
SEASON OF MIRACLES
While some women were adding purses and chocolates to their Christmas list, I was adding a Mr. Right. Why not? Don’t we all get a free pass to wish for the things we do not have, in hopes of getting them during this season? Isn’t this supposed to be the season of miracles? I remember one holiday season, that was exactly what I was praying for: a real miracle. Four days before Christmas, my boyfriend of two and a half years had broken up with me. Instead of getting on a plane to spend the holidays with his family, I stayed home with absolutely no plans.
And quite frankly, I didn’t want to make any plans. The only plans I wanted were for him to tell me to come and spend the holidays with him. Neither my health, nor my family was of my concern at this point. Regardless of how rocky the relationship was, all I cared about was him being with me. I wasn’t gracious for the dinners that I had been invited to last minute after my change of plans. There were no thoughts of thanksgiving when I saw friends and family whom I hadn’t seen all year long: None of it mattered.
When I prayed to God during that season, I wasn’t praising Him for all of the blessings He had given me throughout the year. I was pleading for a second chance with a man who was not my Mr. Right according to God Himself. All of the love that God tried to show me through my gifts, family, friends and well being were casted to the wayside at the mere thought that none of them could measure up to the love and joy I thought I used to receive from my relationship.
CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” –John 4:14 (NLT)
Looking back at it all, I realize that I was placing my hope of wholeness and fullness in the wrong guy. While I was growing bitter at God for humiliating me in front of my family members (again), by not bringing me a man, I should have been confident in His love that I already possessed.
During my breakup season, instead of seeking God as my Savior who has made me whole, I was praying to the Savior for a “savior” in my ex-boyfriend: my perspective was totally off. Everything we need to feel loved, whole and complete are already found in our relationship with Christ. Whether we choose to tap into that and let it flow within our hearts is up to us. We determine how much of God’s love we choose to receive. If it were up to Him, we’d have it all, without question or doubt, every single day of our lives.
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get distracted by the emptiness in others. We see many trying to escape that emptiness by filling it with food, gifts, and casting others down: misery does indeed love company. But God knows this. He sees it and that’s why His Spirit is so thick and evident during this time of year. So the next time you feel lost, empty, or bitter about not having someone, or not feeling loved as you would like to feel, look outside of yourself.
Notice the living God in everything that has to do with this season. Notice it in the thankfulness of the season; see it in the goodness that people do unto others; observe it in the childlike faith of those who fail to see and believe during every other season of the year; and let it be in the songs we sing, and the scents we smell. God is in all of these things. It’s all there to remind us that we are loved and that He cares so deeply about us. He knows our heart’s desires, wanting us to enjoy His gifts. Even the gift of Mr. Right when the time is right.
Will you receive that love this season? Pray with me:
I thank you for loving me through my faults. For always showing me in some little or big way that you are there and always have been. I pray that whatever emptiness I feel during this season, that you would fill it instead with your living water. I am thankful for your grace and patience in me. May your love be all that I need to satisfy the desires of my heart, Lord. Amen.