This will be my fifth Christmas as a single mom. I’ll admit it’s not easy going through the holidays alone.
Every other song on the radio is about snuggling your loved one on a sleigh ride, or sneaking a kiss under the mistletoe. Couples sit close in church, shoulders touching. Family photos–you know the kind, with dad, mom, and kids lined up in smiling rows–begin to arrive in the mail and appear on social media.
It seems that everyone has someone.
Until I look around.
I see the widows sitting in church, eyes sparkling with tears when they hear the old Christmas carols. Could they be thinking of Christmases long past, of nights when they didn’t have to go home alone?
I see older couples watching the Sunday school children stumble through their lines in the Christmas pageant, remembering their own children in far-away states who won’t be coming home this year.
I see those who have long prayed for a spouse, hoping to find their forever-love and have children of their own. They keep trusting, but the clock keeps ticking.
And I see ones like myself–those who prayed, pleaded, and fought bravely for their marriage–but ultimately lost the battle.
No, I’m not the only one alone at Christmas.
Perhaps this is your story as well? If so, I’d like to share a few thoughts with you. I don’t claim to have it all figured out. I still have my hard days and lonely nights just like everyone else.
But in the past few years, God has shown me some things in my times of loneliness, and I’d like to pass them on to you.
First, one of the best things you can do when you are lonely is to pour out your life in service to God and others.
Find someone lonelier than you are and invite them over for dinner.
Find someone needier than you and share the blessings God has given you.
Find someone who needs help more than you do, and do what you can to help them.
Get involved in church ministries.
Get involved in prayer ministries.
It’s impossible to focus on others and yourself at the same time. And the more you strive to help other people get through their hard times, the less lonely you will become.
You might be thinking, “Great idea, Kim. I’ve filled my life to bursting with helping people and serving God. But what about when I have to go home alone? What then? There still comes a time when I’m alone.”
I get it–I really do. My life is crazy-busy. I have my ten daycare kiddos to take care of all day. There’s the school, church, and sports activities we are involved in. And when I go home, I still have my noisy teenage boys.
But then…then I say goodnight and retire to a quiet room. Alone.
Alone for over four years now.
And in those moments, this is what helps me: Jesus knows what it’s like to be alone.
As He was facing death on the cross, He asked his three closest friends to pray with Him. They fell asleep.
As the angry mob arrested Him, His friends scattered. They left Him alone.
And as He hung bleeding and dying on a rough wooden cross, His own Father turned away.
Leaving Him completely alone.
Yes, Jesus knows the pain of your loneliness. And He longs to comfort you in yours.
The best comfort comes from the One Who knows how it feels to be truly alone.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons Jesus came to earth–to comfort those who are broken and hurting. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Isaiah 61:2)
When you’re alone, when you’re longing to be held in the arms of one who loves you, this is His invitation to you:
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
I know it’s hard. But we won’t always be alone. We have all of eternity to look forward to–the love and light and laughter of Heaven and our loved ones and Jesus.
Until then, know that you are held safe in His arms.
You are never truly alone.