Why is it that the Holiday season makes being single extra hard? I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. The other night a few friends and I were at the Dallas Arboretum's 12 Days of Christmas Display, and the whole time we kept saying "this would be the funnest date". Well, it seems like everything at Christmas would make a great date. Why is that? The Holiday season is festive, colorful, lovely, warm, all things fun and all things you want to share with a significant other. Company Christmas party? Bring your plus one! … oh wait I DON’T HAVE ONE. Bringing home someone special for Christmas to meet the fam? Nope never have, probs never will (sorry ok that’s dramatic). NYE kiss? Um no, and I don’t kiss on first dates so BYEEE. Basically you get the picture. And I know I’m not the only single girl that goes through this thought process.
Earlier this week I wrote a letter to my 22 year old self. That same Christmas I specifically remember getting some Christmas Eve drinks at the Four Seasons with my fam. We were talking about all sorts of things, including upcoming weddings, and well, I started bawling. At the Four Seasons. On Christmas Eve. I felt so alone and desperate in my singleness and it all came crumbling down through my tears at our fancy happy hour… nice. Anyone else have a moment like that? Up to that point on Christmas break I had many people ask or say “So no one special?” - no, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing single” - thanks for calling me pretty, but idk so… and my favorite, “You’re the last person I expected to be single..” like how do you respond that? Yes, I’m aware I’m one of the only ones left from my high school group single, and thanks? It felt like everyone around me was engaged or close to it, and I definitely was not.
Moral of the story: being single during the holidays is hard. You want to share this special season with someone. You want someone to watch all the Christmas movies with (you know the good ones, Home Alone 1 and 2… if you watch the rest, bye. Elf, The Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and for me personally, I read and watch all the Harry Potters this time of year. You want to go on a cozy carriage ride together looking at Christmas lights, or even just a festive Christmas dinner date. Then you go home where you’re faced with tough questions, which come from love, but kind of hurt you in the end. Your normal single longings of being wanted, pursued, and loved are heightened during the Holiday season. Longing. A friend was telling me about a book she was reading and how all our “longings are rooted in our longing for Christ.” I couldn’t agree more. The reason we are celebrating Christmas is to rejoice over the birth of Christ our Savior! You know, the one who was born of a virgin, to save us from our sins and give us eternal life with him forever? Our longings all come back to things HE already provides for us. He has already pursued us fully, loves us completely despite our ugli-ness (and ugly cries of pity on Christmas Eve), and wants to be in a relationship with us - sin and all. In the past, it has been so hard to focus on these things. But this year, this season of Christmas and advent has been so much better than in years past.
My small group and I have been doing the She Reads Truth advent study and it’s been the sweetest thing. Each day I am reminded why we are celebrating this season and where specifically in the Bible the promises I believe to be true are said, and of the stories and strong people behind them. Mary’s story is one that really stands out to me in this season. Reading about the angel coming to tell her she will be pregnant was probably 1) The most absurd thing she’s ever heard, because hello, she was a virgin! 2) Incredibly scary - what would life look like for her, what would people think? Is she capable of raising the king of the world? And 3) Unreal, how could this be happening to her? But after all the thoughts and fears she had, we see Mary respond in incredible and overwhelming obedience to the Lord. She finds her identity in the Lord through it all. Luke 1:38 says that she responded to Gabriel the Angel as “the servant of the Lord”. And we see this theme throughout her entire life. Mary is able to be so faithful, so obedient to the Lord, and eventually her own son Jesus - what an incredible example to dwell on. Reading advent this season has reminded me where my identity lies, and while this trial of singleness can be hard at times (which now looking at what Mary went through, I’m like there is NO room for complaining), I am called to be obedient and faithful to where God has me.
This Holiday season has been much easier than others. I quite confidently believe a lot of that is to do with the community I am surrounded by. They encourage me when it’s hard and point me back to the truths I spoke about above. We have also made sure to make the most of it! You don’t need a boy to do fun Christmas activities. Grab your girls, go look at Christmas lights, go to a fun dinner, go do all the cheesy holiday things in your city, and watch the Hallmark Christmas movies (which I AM HERE FOR).
Even through Christmas is a few days away, I hope this encourages you to rethink what this season as a single can look like for you, and even challenge you to make it better next year! Below is some scripture that I have really held on to and loved during this Christmas, I hope they bring you as much comfort and joy as they do me. Until next year ppl!
“May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in HOPE.”
“O sing to the Lord a new song,
For He has done wonderful things,
His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory [or, “accomplished salvation”] for Him.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
“Turn to me with all your heart.”
“GLORY to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”