December and I have a complicated relationship. I enjoy the season. I love the anticipation of Advent. I like green – it’s one of my favourite colours. The snow gently falling outside my window – the most graceful of any confetti.
But it’s December. A time for families to gather. Concerts. Recitals. Hockey games. Services. Holiday parties. These, too, are all great in their own right. But sometimes it just hurts my heart. Loneliness creeps in and Satan twists all of the blessings that constantly surround me into accusations of my perceived worth and single marital status.
Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught … Psalm 55:1-2 (NIV)
Open your ears, God, to my prayer; don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking. Come close and whisper your answer. I really need you. Psalm 55:1-2 (MSG)
Why is it that December highlights my single-ness unlike any other month of the year? My marital status hasn’t suddenly changed or morphed into something else. It hasn’t gone away. I am happy, satisfied, enjoying my full life. But just like so many previous Decembers, I forgot to take the thoughts captive. I forgot to pivot away from the lies that bombard me. I chose to wallow for a bit. I chose to define happily-ever-after like a Hallmark movie rather than a God-oriented life.
I needed my God to come close. I needed His presence. I needed my Emmanuel to remind me that He is with me. Not only with me but pursuing me, standing beside me, listening to my every doubt, rejoicing with me in every momentary victory. And He does that. He comes near.
And when I am drawn close the heartbeat of my Father, I am reminded that my status is secure. More than the checkboxes on a form of married or single, I can emphatically fill in the box that declares that I am the much loved daughter of the King of Kings. He has claimed me, opening my eyes to acknowledge my need and His all surpassing sufficiency. I am His and He is mine.
Again, He has redeemed another December. I am more grateful than I can say.