(Photo by Natalie Reed)
A Single Shift of Focus This Christmas Season
By Brittney Perez
I love this time of the year; regardless of what state the world may be in, the seasons still come. As Thanksgiving has now come and gone, we begin to shift our focus to Christmas and the New Year. Christmas is hands down one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and along with that celebrating comes many events and gatherings with our family and close friends. Though celebrating Christmas this year may look different for us all, it still will be celebrated.
Sometimes though, Christmas doesn’t always feel so warm and cheery. In fact, there can be many situations that leave us feeling sad this time of year. One of those feelings we may see spring up is loneliness. I remember a while back I was talking to one of my good friends, and we got on the topic of the holidays for some reason. One thing stuck out to me that he said, which was, “It’s that time of the year when you start to notice people getting into relationships.” I remember somewhat pausing and taking time to digest the words my friend had just said. As I thought about it, I realized there was truth to my friend’s words. This then started a short discussion about how around the holidays you can begin to notice so many people together or getting together.
Have you ever found yourself feeling sad and lonely during the holidays? Better yet, have you ever found yourself being single around the holidays and wishing you had someone to celebrate with? If so, why do you think that is? Christmas, as mentioned, is a time where many get together and attend various festive gatherings. People are with their loved ones, and they post pictures on social media of their family and significant others. Sometimes if we were to admit it, seeing these things can lead us to think that people are living these amazingly perfect lives that we aren’t living. I, for one, can say that I’ve allowed what I’ve seen on social media dictate how I felt about myself and my present circumstances. I think this is very true when it comes to relationships. It’s so easy to compare our lives with the lives of others. One of the reasons I believe we desire relationships during the holidays is that we see family during this time of the year, and we all know how family can be at times. They want to know how life is going, IF we are dating, WHO we are dating, the list goes on. I think that pressure and lie of feeling like a failure if we aren’t dating someone can also cause us to seek relationships during the Christmas season if we were to be honest. I believe even the thought of hearing your family ask the, “Are you seeing anyone” question, especially if you are not seeing anyone, can be the dreaded reminder of what you feel you don’t have. The fact that this year has been so difficult and so many are feeling lonely — that could be another reason for people to desire a relationship this season.
Regardless if you are in a relationship already or seeking to be in one during a season where relationships tend to be the focal point, we can shift our focus. We don’t have to allow our desire for a relationship or any other desire to overcome our enjoying the moments we are given. I don’t know about you, but because this is typically such a busy time of the year, I can tend to let the true meaning of the season pass me by. If I had to be honest, there have been some Christmas seasons where it has literally been two days before Christmas, and I have found myself wondering where the time had gone, which then led to my being disappointed that I allowed the hustle and bustle of the season to consume me. Regardless of being single, I’m thankful that things do look a little different this year. Don’t get me wrong, do I wish the world’s circumstances this year were different? Of course! But I’m thinking that this Christmas will be one unlike any other to let go of all the busyness and just rest and soak up Jesus.
If you are struggling with singleness this year and desiring relationship, know that Jesus wants to have relationship with you. Also know that it’s okay to have desires. I believe God gave us desires, and He sees and knows them. He also knows what’s best for us and when the perfect timing is, but it’s not good to allow our desires to consume us and our attention. That’s when we can begin to feel down. As you wait for those desires to be fulfilled, don’t do what I have done in the past — comparing my circumstances and life to those I see around me. Instead, shift your focus on the One who gave you a unique story and wants to speak with you regarding that story. May the possible slowness of this Christmas be a time of rest and focusing on Jesus, who is truly the reason regardless of circumstance, that we have to celebrate.