Quite a few years have passed, but I still distinctly remember that Christmas. A relative was looking at some of my girl cousins’ pictures. “Those are the pretty granddaughters,” was the remark. It didn’t take long for the thought to run through my head, Hmm…I wonder what that makes me then? I tried to write it off without allowing myself to become too bitter about it. I figured that older people can sometimes be judgmental and see outside beauty quicker than inside. God looks at the heart, I reminded myself.
“You’re not beautiful,” was the remark from a friend as I approached my early adulthood. At the girl parties, everyone matched each other up with the handsome, cool, funny guys. I was always, without fail, matched up with the bachelor who didn’t comb his hair and wash his clothes and who wore thick smudged glasses.
Then, my pretty cousins started to get married, and my beautiful friends began dating relationships. Beauty must matter, I reasoned. Why did I have to be so ugly? In the mirror, I surveyed my short, chunky stature and crooked nose and crazy hair. “You are the ugliest person alive, and I hate you,” I whispered to the reflection that stared back at me.
Since then, God has led me on a journey, a journey of showing me that my focus was entirely wrong. I was thinking about myself all the time, instead of focusing on His greater plan that makes pretty noses and perfect hairstyles seem trivial and insignificant. And in His eyes, I was absolutely perfect.
But as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach each year, I hear those lies again. I could never understand why the prettiest time of the year made me feel the ugliest. And I think that it is because I started to look at myself again and fall into that little sinkhole of self-pity. That is LIE #1.
The grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts all gather around the table. But there is no spot for me, the single who would make the table settings uneven, so I serve and do the dishes or else plan other events over family gatherings. Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely love singlehood. And most days I have my doubts that life could possibly get better. However, I am a true Musician, Writer, and Artist at heart which means I am also a hopeless Romantic. And since Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of twinkling lights, hot cocoa, and gift-giving (which is my love language), it is easy to believe the lie that I am lonely. I have no children in my arms on the Christmas pictures that get mailed out to family and friends, and once you get to my age, it isn’t easy to find someone who thinks going to a Messiah sing-a-long or a production of A Christmas Carol or making cut-out cookies or building a snowman would be fun to do, so it is done alone.
But the truth is, I’m not alone. There may not be a Prince Charming around, but there are family, and elderly widows, and students who would love to do something this holiday season. And so, it becomes my choice of whether I will be lonely or not this season. Being lonely is LIE #2.
Maybe you don’t struggle with these lies over the holiday season, but then again, maybe you do. And if you are very human like me, I hope you can also be encouraged by the fact that you are special and God has great plans for you that lie far outside the realm of singlehood and marriage and beauty. I also pray that you can enjoy the presence of the people around you so that your holidays are no longer lonely but are warm and refreshing!
Blessings for the Journey,
MarJanita L. G.