Hey Singles, Check Your Heart

Last year I wrote about how you can lean into the life of a single individual through the holidays, and I believe that still holds true today. The year prior I wrote about having a solo thanksgiving as I had done for several years.

But what if you’re navigating Thanksgiving with family and friends as a single, and you can feel the anxiety or the loneliness mounting?

I have been there, and it’ll surely sneak up on me at some point over the holidays too. The whisper of loneliness, of desiring someone special to share in the joy of the holiday season with, the nudge of anxiety of facing a holiday party solo or the questions of far-reaching relatives on the why of your single status.

Deep breaths…prayers….and forced smiles. That’s how you may have navigated it before, but let’s be honest, you didn’t really face it or the feeling that welled within you. You merely dodged it or pushed it aside. But eventually the feelings of anxiety and loneliness will come flooding forth, maybe while you binge Hallmark movies or are out shopping for one more gift on your single budget.

Even as you begin to journey to your Thanksgiving destination today, or are looking ahead to the next month of holiday festivities start to look at where these feelings are originating. Are they from a place within you? Are you feeling the pressure from outside sources? Is it anxiety? Is it hope for the season you are in? Find the thread of your emotions and dig deep, seek out where they lead you. Do the hard work of figuring out yourself in this season and these holidays.

Why does anxiety well up when you are faced with your marital status? Where and when are you feeling loneliness? What do you use or abuse in coping with those feelings? How could you better address them over the next month with intentionality and focus instead of packing them away for January?

Don’t let another holiday season pass where you overeat, undereat, hold a thin smile and secretly get crushed inside when Aunt Marjorie asked for the thousandth time just exactly why you are still single. In the words of comedian John Crist, “Check Your Heart.”

Just Mary and Joseph

Over the last two weeks I have been drawn into the story of Mary and Joseph like I have never been before. It’s as if my eyes are seeing it afresh, with wonder, curiosity, and questions.

And oh I have questions.

I go back to Adam and Eve, to Sarah and Abraham, David and Bathsheba…I see these couples setting the stage, being open to God at work in pretty rough circumstances to lead to this couple we talk more about this month than the rest of the year combined. I see the fall, and the need for the birth pangs of Mary. I see sin enter and know that redemption must follow. I see a promise to give and His promise fulfilled. I see beauty out of pride and selfishness, love and joy out of disruption and death.

I am not sure why this year is different, why I am finding such delight in Mary and Joseph. In combing through their story together, and separately, to see the joy and peace in which they felt within.

They made themselves available to God, with some questions of course, but a faith that swept the doubts away. Humble hearts prepared Him room in theirs, and in this world. I think about how often I make room for His plans in my life and how I respond when I know His call is for me to do, to be, to act. (And we know our call, the siren of obedience that we shrug off more than we heed)

All I can dwell upon as I read and reflect, seeking to dig into the lives of Mary and Joseph at this particular point in their story is that they didn’t know they were THE Mary and Joseph. No, they were just Mary and Joseph.

I’m finding over and over that He births His plans out of the most unlikely situations. While I may be just Sara, He is THE God Most High, bringing about His glory through any means He chooses.