A loud message from pop culture shouts to the world and says, “Christmas is only ‘Merry’ if you have someone special to meet under the mistletoe, sipping hot cocoa by the fire gazing into each other’s eyes.” The holiday centered around Christ, the only man who can bring us perfect love and fulfillment, has been watered down by the romanticism of an imperfect person.
Oh, how irritated I selfishly react when I see people’s engagement posts: “Ahh I said yes! Can’t wait to marry my best friend!” (shows off ring next to a Christmas tree.) I click the “like” button, and think, “Okay God, where is my guy? Every girl in those Hallmark movies gets a mushy love story. What about me?” And then there are those romantic songs that fill our holiday parties and car radios: “Baby, all I want for Christmas is you… The lights are turned way down low, let it snow, let it snow… but if you really hold me tight, all the way home I’ll be warm.”
I’ve heard it said before: Singleness is a gift.
So I think, “Okay, okay, then where are the Christmas movies and songs about the lovely gift of singleness?”
I have always desired a fun festive romance, but it’s been 20 years of singleness. Every year, I think, “Well, maybe next year.” And yet, here I am with a gift I didn’t ask for, the gift of singleness.
But, is it a gift? Yes, it is a God-given gift.
I am not about to write this to try to convince you that singleness is the best thing ever; however, I want to shed a fresh perspective to my struggle in seeing singleness as a gift and recognize that it’s okay to admit that it is a struggle.
But in the struggle, it is still a gift. God always gives gifts in every struggle.
I am a junior in college, and a lot of my friends are in sweet relationships, others walking into new ones, and others dealing with their break-ups. I am always a listening ear, and I always say I live vicariously through my friends. I’m 20 years old and never been in an official dating relationship. Even though I have never had an official boyfriend, I’ve been on dates and had a few “almost” boyfriends. But why are they “almost” boyfriends? It’s because God had something else in store for me.
Anytime there is interest or an opportunity for me to date someone, I am learning to bring it to the Lord.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would have flirted my way into a guy’s heart, manipulating his emotions. Now, I release my desires to God and let Him do the work in the guy’s heart. I used to think that dating was my department to deal with because maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal to God. But God actually cares about every aspect of our lives, even our love lives, especially when it comes to our tender hearts. And so, I pray this prayer:
“Lord, Lead him in how YOU want him to lead me.”
Submitting my feelings, or even the potential guy’s feelings release it from my control. I prayed that prayer surrendering my giddy feelings for this particular guy. And I let God take over when that the guy told everyone else but me, that he was interested in me. So I prayed, asking Jesus to lead him however He wants him to lead me.
After I surrendered my feelings for this guy, I heard from confirmed sources, that his feelings had faded, as if God swerved him so I didn’t have to wonder if he was in God’s plans for me or not. I never got that, “Hey, I had fun with you! Last night was great!” text or I never get a text back, period.
And it’s not that I haven’t had my own fair share of crushes whom haven’t given me attention or asked me out. Each time I prayed that prayer and things didn’t work out with a guy, I knew for certain it was God’s plan. This was comforting, but sometimes very frustrating. There are so many lies that Satan tries to fill my heart, that maybe there’s something wrong with me. It’s not that I need to look cuter at church to meet boys, wear more mascara, or appear more available.
God has a better plan for me than I have for myself. I need to trust that if marriage is in God’s plans for me, He will work things out according to His perfect timing.
Singleness is a gift because every year during Christmas time I get to celebrate the birth of my Savior, and choose to ignore the noise of the world. I get to worship undistracted. I get to read my Bible sipping hot cocoa by the fire, reflecting that I am not alone, and I never have been.
All 20 years, I have been seen and known by my maker.
I never have to question if God likes me or not, or if His feelings have faded. Jesus never changes. He is constant. I get to grow more madly in love with someone who will always like me more than I like Him, one who will always love me, every single Christmas.
- I know God will stick around because He never leaves or disappoints.
- I get to know the King of Kings, and He actually wants a mess of a person like me.
- I can’t earn His love; He freely gives it to me as a gift.
- I get to be loved by Jesus, the kind of love I can’t do anything to obtain.
- I am always wanted, seen and cared for, not because my curled hair caught His eye, or my outfit was on point.
- He is faithful and cares for me.
And while Jesus sees me at my lowest, in the midst of my tears, my loneliness, and my bitterness, He says, “I choose you.”
- I never have to wait for a text from Jesus, and texts from Him will never run out.
- He wrote an entire book for me to read.
- He offers me forgiveness and grace in abundance, even when I desire flowers or a text from a cute boy over the relationship I have with a God who sent his Son to give me His love.
As I boldly call singleness a gift, I know the truest gift is the grace given to me on a cross. The love that will satisfy my single heart is not the love of a broken man; the only love that can make us feel whole is the love of a Holy man.
I receive the gift of Jesus.
And even though singleness for me is a gift unasked for, it’s still a gift, whether for this season (or lifetime). It’s a time of more freedom to:
- dance to old Taylor Swift songs with friends whenever.
- buy that cute purse without asking a husband if it’s too expensive for our budget.
- spend my mornings reading texts from the Bible, rather than a “Good morning!” text from a boy.
- create my dreams, unattached to anyone else’s dreams.
- refuse to settle and trust in God’s plans.
God is too good to me. I know I am single because He intentionally wants to be with me.
So this Christmas season, no matter if you are in a fresh new relationship with a Godly guy, if your new diamond is glistening in the light, or if you are single and trying to see it as a gift, celebrate Jesus. Celebrate the one who radically loves and wants us despite our brokenness, cares for us in the midst of disappointment, and holds our best future in His gracious hands.
Single, wanted, and never alone,
Kelsey Nicole Linnartz