I’ve been dreading the holidays for the last 7 years. Ever since my grandmother passed and took her home cooking along with her to heaven. It wasn’t the home cooking that I missed so much though, but the warm friendship we had shared since I was born. We were 2 peas in a pod, and there was no replacement for her absence.
My family unit isn’t the typical. But as I’m learning, there really is no typical. I’m hardly reminded of this throughout the year, except for during the holidays. Last year I cried all day Christmas Eve. As I made my rounds from friends’ houses to coworker’s churches, tears blinded my vision while I struggled to steer the car to my various destinations. I was called “family” at these houses by the people who occupied them, but there was still a hole in my heart for where “family” should have been. Why didn’t God give me a family of my own? Why was I still single? These were the dark times of singleness.
At the end of the year I cried out to Him. I wanted movement. I wanted anything but the endless waiting in multiple areas of my life that never seemed to manifest into the promises He had made to me so long ago. Being over 30 everything seems so long ago.
He heard my prayer.
A few months went by and I had an opportunity for the family I so desperately wanted. Problem is I would have had to settle for less than what He promised. Instead of settling, He gave me the grace to walk away. One of the reasons it was so hard for me to walk away was because I knew I was walking away from an opportunity for the family I craved. I foresaw more lonely days by making this decision. More lonely nights. And worse, more lonely holidays. I was already dreading Christmas and it was only spring. But I was wrong. God would not leave me in this pitiful state of sadness. He would not leave me lonely.
Not the way I desired, but the way I needed. This year we went to Vegas for Thanksgiving. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who was tired of the lonely holidays with no family. So my high school BFF, mom and I did Thanksgiving a little nontraditional this year. And for the first time in 7 years, I didn’t feel lonely. Surprisingly I haven’t felt lonely since I initially chose to walk away earlier this spring, and now I see it is because I am complete in Him. I am never alone.
For 7 years I thought I was incomplete during the holidays. I thought everyone else had these families and loved ones and I was going without. And in a sense they did, and I was. But I’m not owed anything. I’m not entitled to anything. All that I have is a gift and is to be given away. I am not left out, or overlooked, or abandoned. I can now see truth and with that truth has come joy.
I thought I was walking away from my chance at love. And family. And really cute Facebook pictures that show how happy I am to be in a relationship. But I was already loved. I already had family. And I took my own really cute pictures for my book How to Overcome Heartbreak (which by the way you can purchase on Amazon).
So if you’re called to walk away, and lay down the relationship, but you’re afraid because all you see is the endless waiting ahead of you, I can say that God does move. He does have something better. And even in the waiting, there is movement.
Just like Moses, you can choose to suffer (temporarily) for God instead of enjoying the passing pleasures of sin (Heb 11:25). He is our reward.
From my family to yours…