*This image is from an article on the Daily Mail site from 2010. You can read the article here.
November marked the beginning of one of the busiest seasons of the year–the holiday season. It seems like every week until New Year’s there’s something to celebrate and somewhere to go. There are many things I love about this season: seeing family and friends, giving gifts, everyone concentrating on what they have to be thankful for and all those who celebrate the savior’s birth. It’s a great time to be social and connect with others.
But it’s also the start of another season, one that can be less fun for women like myself. Sometime around Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day is “engagement season.” Unlike hunting season, you can’t just go out, wait in a tree, shoot a man, put him on the roof of your car and take him home; they arrest women for those sorts of activities here. It’s also not about the weather changing and isn’t marked by things growing or dying–unless it’s patience or relationships. As much as I may want to be social during this time of year, a part of me hates the spectre of “the question” hanging around on the fringes of everything. As happy as I am for friends and relatives getting engaged or tying the knot, I know I will be made to feel uncomfortable when well meaning loved ones seek to offer me comfort and encouragement on my single status.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had some less than stellar Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the last several years because I let myself get all bent out of shape by nosy relatives poking and prodding into my romantic life. At some points I’ve even gotten bitter about not being engaged or married myself. But this post is supposed to be encouraging (and not that “cheer up; it’ll be your turn soon” kind of encouragement that can really grind your gears), so let’s hop on over to the point.
Being single is not a sentence to be served out with as much dignity as possible. Singleness is not a sickness to be survived or a second place settlement. Singleness is a sacred time in your life where you can give God your undivided attention. I’ve experienced so much growth and peace in my single years! Getting engaged and married is exciting, and when you experience those things you should enjoy them. But don’t minimize the wonderful gift that singleness is, and don’t let anyone else minimize it, either.
Being content single doesn’t mean that you’ve given up on having a spouse. It doesn’t mean that you are putting a brave face on the fact you couldn’t buy a man with all Solomon’s fortune. It doesn’t need sympathy. It should be praised! Praise God that you aren’t so lonely that you get involved with people that pull you off the path God has placed your feet on! Isn’t it wonderful that you have learned how to want what God wants for your life? Isn’t it a real blessing not to be tossed about like waves, chasing after people’s approval of your life and relationships? What a fabulous opportunity to become the type of woman you are proud to be without the added stress of being the wife your husband wants.
It may be difficult to say all of this in a respectful manner to all those well-meaning folks who populate your life, but pray that God gives you the words to do so. Don’t waste “the most wonderful time of the year” dreading what others will say or feeling bitter about where you are. Give those thoughts over to God and realize He cares for you. Keep your cheer, sister.