Too often the message we hear at church or in the media at this time of year is that Christmas is a time for families. For example this morning at church my pastor prayed a special prayer to bless families and those who came with their family, sadly no mention was made of those who came alone or with friends. This kind of treatment can make those of us who are single, divorced, widowed, without children or who are living far from family, that Christmas is not a time for us.
I realized that at the heart of all of this longing is a desire that we all have inside us, the desire to be truly seen by another person. Not a casual glance, not a once over, but seen for who we truly are, and in that sight known and loved. It is not the being alone that hurts but it is the being unseen, unknown, feeling like your life is without meaning or worth.
As I prayed and sought the Lord regarding His plans for me this year and what it was that He would have me write down as my prayers for the year ahead I felt him say the word release. Release what has gone before, release old hurts, release pain, release people from unrealistic expectations, release family members from past and even present wrongs. Release yourself from past sin, mistakes, failures and let go of what lies behind you.
A few years ago I became quite convinced that the reason I was single was that there were no suitable single, Christian men. At least none remotely close to my age. This perception was largely informed by my experiences at the various churches I had attended...
Although I have shied away from writing about this topic I think that this blog will not be complete without an honest discussion of loneliness. There is such stigma and shame attached to loneliness that most of us, myself included, struggle to admit it even to our friends let alone to anyone else.
As we continue to wait on the Lord for answers to our prayers we can often feel so discouraged. In 1 Samuel 30 we read about how David and his men returned from a battle to find that their wives and children had been kidnapped by the enemy. David's men were tired and exhausted… Continue reading Five Tips To Beat Discouragement
So I am not sure about how you would feel, but when I received the 'uplifting' news at 25 (see previous post) that maybe I had been given the (unwanted) gift of singleness I was pretty upset. I couldn't understand why God would give me something that I did not want at all and I wondered how God decided which people he 'called' to be married and which he 'called' to be single (whether they wanted it or not). It is interesting to ponder the point that nobody ever called marriage the unwanted gift...
What do you think of when you hear the word hope? Does it speak of promises yet to be fulfilled, of a long wait, of a seemingly impossible dream? Does the word hope fill you with dread or with expectation? For me, the word hope is often accompanied by a slight feeling of anxiety; I hope this will work out, I hope my colleague isn’t angry with me, I hope I make the flight, I hope he will get in touch. Hope relates to what is not or at least not yet and as such it is a word that is both potentially full of promise and yet can be also full of fear.