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Single for the holidays: Combating the holiday blues!

As an unmarried 37 year old woman I realize that I may have to accept that fact that God could never send my Boaz.  It’s possible that marriage and motherhood are not for me and that I have other things to do with my life for His kingdom.  Which most days I’m fine with, however, being single through the holidays has never been easy for me and can sometimes be down right depressing.  Although, I do love seeing all the happy families, newly engaged couples and baby bumps it doesn’t make handling the fact that I am once again single during a time that is best spent with those you love.  Now, don’t get me wrong I do have family which I’m grateful for, but there would be nothing better than waking up to a loving husband and the pitter patter of little feet eagerly racing to open Christmas gifts at the crack of dawn (and I am far from a morning person).  But it isn’t my story nor is it the story of many of my friends, so it’s been on my heart to write a post about combating the holiday blues and these are some of my weapons of sad destruction to help you gear up for the season!

Prepare yourself for the onslaught of affection:  There are four months out of the year that can feel like a quadruple gut punch to a single person and Thanksgiving is usually the holiday that starts it all! There’s at least one holiday each month from November to February that is best spent with those you love. Tis the season of holiday festivities, cheerful thanksgiving, gift giving, decking the halls and of course over the top PDAs. There seems to be an exorbitant amount of kissing going on in these couple of months, under the mistletoe on Valentines day and even when the clock strikes midnight.  Unless you lock yourself in the house without television, there’s just no escape. Which, if you’ve got no one to kiss, could inadvertently result in an inordinate amount of eye rolling, sighing and gagging!  Make sure  you prepare yourself by refraining from social media if possible or just telling yourself you aren’t going to let it get you down.  Sometimes if you already know what’s coming at you or what to expect it’s easier to dodge those moments of sadness that can catch you unaware.  Try to be genuinely happy for those that are receiving love, congratulate them and pray that they receive even more.

Get your arsenal of answers ready:  If your family is anything like mine, the minute you step through the door of any holiday festivities alone is an open invitation to let the questions about your love life (or lack there of) begin rapid fire.  Although, we know these questions are coming from a good place after hearing it for so long it eventually begins to be kind of annoying. It used to make me feel like a failure and slightly incomplete as a woman, like there was something wrong with me and in my case it would be on my mind for at least half the night. Unfortunately I’ve found myself ill prepared to answer the questions, especially when they’re asked in front of everyone and all eyes are on me. It’s still awkward till this day but now I make sure I have my arsenal of answers ready to shoot back.  I’ll tell them that I’m happy single, Mr. right hasn’t come along yet, I’m not up for settling and my favorite is I’m dating Jesus now! Most importantly, remember to speak the truth in love. Unfortunately, many people equate being in a relationship with happiness and singleness as being unhappy, which is often times not the case. But more than likely your friends and family are just showing concern and want you to be happy just as much as you do!

Don your festive fatigues:  No matter how down you feel, don’t look it!  If you’re invited out to a party, get off that couch, stop wallowing and start living while definitely dressing the part of someone having the time of their life.  You never know who you’ll meet while out, it could be the love of your life or it could just be some really awesome person that you bond with for an hour, but you’ll never know unless you go!  Go without the expectation of meeting someone and just have fun!  Act goofy, dance like people are watching (because most likely they are), laugh until you cry but most importantly live.  People are usually more attracted to smiling happy people a lot more so than someone who seems like they’re trying out for the role of Oscar the grouch.

Mentally prepare for the challenge: Once you’ve altered your mindset, your battle is half done.  Up until this day I’m sometimes negative about my love life and if I’m not consciously impeccable with my words can speak ungodly things over my life in a moment of sadness.  I do believe that words truly have power and try my hardest to speak life over my situation, although I’m not always successful.  When you’re down in the dumps the last thing you’re thinking is that things will shift in your favor because all you can see right now is what’s in front of you.  But there is more life to come and although being single during the holidays can suck at times, especially if you really didn’t desire to be partnerless, it can be an awesome time in your life if you prepare yourself ahead of time!  Before you even step foot out the door be prepared to see other couples wherever you go, especially for valentine’s day and New Years.  If a relationship is something that you truly desire, it may be hard but keep in mind that your time will come and be happy for the couples you see.  Try not to compare your life to those of others, because that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do at this time and have a meditation scripture to focus on in moments of sadness to bring you back to a place of wholeness in Christ.  I put five below, today I will keep on my mind ‘He will not leave you or forsake you’ and repeat it as much as possible especially during times of sadness or frustration to remind myself that even thought I don’t have a physical husband, God is always by my side.

  • Matthew 21:22 – And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive
  • Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
  • Psalms 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
  • Psalms 126:5 – They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Apply your camouflage: Have you ever heard of faking it until you make it?  Well it may be beneficial in this instance, not necessarily being phony or lying but you can let people know how you feel but still resist the urge to dwell on negative feelings even if you want to.  When someone ask you how you are, be honest if you’re feeling down about being single but remind them (and yourself) of all the great things you have to be thankful for in life.  Every conversation shouldn’t be an opportunity to drop a sad bomb.  Take the time to think of some things you’re grateful for now, your health, your children (or in my case my dogs), family, a job there are so many things.  Reminding yourself of the fact that this too will pass and that you still have a full life without a mate can sometimes work wonders on keeping you in a positive place.  Recite and repeat as often as necessary.

Thank God for winning the small battles: Christmas and Valentines are a great time to spend money and blow a budget if you’ve got a significant other so thank God that you don’t!  You can choose to stash the money or splurge and give yourself a gift.  But whatever you do is totally up to you and no one else, which is one of the perks of singlehood.  Treat yourself to a movie, throw a party for your single friends, buy a new dress or a trip if your budget allows.  Besides doesn’t sitting on a sunny beach somewhere, toes in sand and drink in hand, sound much better than trudging through the cold and snow!?

Always remember what your Commander-in-Chief said:  If we look in our bible it tells us that it is good for single people to remain single because at this time in our lives we are able to devote so much more time to the Lord.  I am guilty of not using my time as wisely as I should but whenever I am intentional about spending time with God I always, always feel better about my situation.

1Corinthians 7:8 (ESV) – to the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 ESV : I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

God bless and Have a wonderful holiday (single) season!  You’re in my prayers and here’s to a purposeFULL life!

Court 😉

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 istock photo

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Be grateful for what you DON’T have…

Most of us have been blessed in many ways those we can easily see and some that require a head tilt and a squint to bring the blessing into focus. Things happen that are negative, we struggle, we hurt, we don’t get our way, we get angry with God. Believe me I’ve been there and as a continually evolving spirit I will be again. But after the tears, the tantrums, the outburst and the stormy seas of trauma or heartache have begun to subside its important to remember to thank Him for our trials and tribulations. James wrote to consider it pure joy for trials and tribulation because the testing of your faith produces perseverance and eventually perfection in other words it makes you complete and whole (James 1:2).

When I initially began to read stories like Job and heard about praising God through your pain in church and bible studies all I could think of was why on earth would I be grateful for the things I didn’t want or don’t have? It was crazy to me, but as I grew in Christ I learned that being thankful wasn’t just for the things we deem as good but also for the tiny struggles, the disappointments and hurts, I also began to understand why. It’s at these points in life that we mature as a Christians. God is taking us from that baby bottle to mushy baby food and eventually meat. So why not praise Him? Usually at those times we’re gaining knowledge from life lessons, developing our faith and learning to depend on Him.

God’s word says to give ‘thanks always for ALL things’ (Ephesians 5:20) not just the stuff we want, like that promotion but also for the demotion. Praise Him for not getting that house or job and for the break up you didn’t see coming, you never know what He’s saving you from. Personally, I had to learn to thank God for not being married or having the family I wanted at this time in my life (I go into why a little bit here). I also had to be thankful for the things I went through in my past with men because it educated me, grew me up and now I can pass on what I know for sure to help others.

It may not be easy or something you want to do but it’s an invaluable lesson learning to praise Him through your struggles and pain. As this holiday season rolls around and so many of us gather to be with loved ones find at least one thing you have been wanting and thank Him for not bringing it yet. Think of one thing that hurts your heart and thank Him for the experience. Think of the lessons instead of the loss, focus on the good that has or may come out of a bad situation. Shift your focus to one of Philippians 4:8 point of view. We ALL need encouragement every now and then, so let me remind you that you are blessed beyond measure and He has great things in store for you. Be grateful for eventually being on your journey to completeness and wholeness by thanking Him for what you have and what you don’t!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you

I want to know what you’re thankful for not having this holiday season, comment below!

Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

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My friend Tayo and I on a mission trip in Costa Rica, at the time we were looking at a gigantic spider, but the photo also represents the people living in the tin shanties that surrounded us. They had very little but were still extremely grateful!