The holidays are coming up and, no matter what your Facebook relationship status looks like, I feel I have a pretty good idea of your feelings about this time.
We’ve still got a minute, but I’ll use Valentines Day as an example. Might as well talk about it early.
Some of you are dreading it. That was me last year. I actually reached the point last February where I ignored it existed. Valentines Day? Huh?
Some of you just don’t care or don’t like the meaning of the holiday. I get that one, too. The whole, “why is there just one day to show love? we’re supposed to show love all the time” thing.
And then others of you are over-the-moon excited. You’ve got your gift ready all tied up in a red bow, and your outfit for your date night all hung up in the closet. And that’s awesome!
Today I think I’ve got a special letter to all of you, no matter which one of the above you are. No matter if it’s Valentines Day, Christmas, or even Thanksgiving.
So sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and stay a while. Here we go.
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I want to tell you part of my story, the part that holds insecurities and redemption and lies and faith.
This time last year I was single-as-can-be. And to be honest, I had gotten to the point where I was 90% OK with that. But the other 10% showed up on occasion and, because February has to come because of that calendar thing, it came knocking at my door on the first or second day of the month.
This 10% loved to say mean things to me. It called me inadequate, unwanted, tainted, insignificant, and unlovable. It gave me eyes of jealousy and anger toward other people. It gave me a heart of bitterness and ungratefulness. And all in the same breath, it gave me the desire to have a man prove all that it was telling me to be wrong.
If you’re single, maybe you get where I’m coming from. Maybe you are feeling this now or have felt it before. Let me not go any deeper before I say these are lies.
If you’re in a relationship, dating or married, maybe you recognize this 10% from when you were single, but maybe you also recognize it from something you’re dealing with now.
I’m going to say something I want you to hear so loudly:
After you have a man, that 10% doesn’t shut up.
Yes, your guy may call you ‘beautiful’ every day and value your gifts and validate them with his words. He may bring you flowers and chocolates and cuddle with you on the couch and ‘make you feel beautiful’ for a moment, but that 10% is just waiting for an outlet to pop up again – through your job searching, through your parenting, through your meetings with your boss, through your callings to lead a Bible study.
Maybe that 10% looks like insecurities about not being enough to your kids, being the youngest person in your workplace, God calling you to take a step, or just being different from the girl beside you.
We mask our insecurities so often under the umbrella of singleness and long for the day when a man will come to crush them with his words and affection. But that’s us looking for a man to fix the problem.
Please hear me when I say that a man is not your solution. Your Creator is. Even when you do have a guy, your value still needs to be in Christ alone. Guys are great, yes, and God made love for our enjoyment under His guidelines, but they are human and they fail and they are not our ultimate pleasure (not to mention, it puts a lot of pressure on them that God didn’t design to be there). Only God will ever satisfy us. I believe that’s a message we all need to hear, single or not.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10, ESV
One phrase that really stuck with me through my time of singleness was this: “I will seek my One while preparing for my two.”
Do you see the beauty of that? God is always number one. For those of us who are in a season with a guy, we’ll change that phrase to, “I will seek my One with my two.”
So during this holiday season, hide this letter in your heart. Realize that the TV commercials are companies just trying to sell you jewelry and not that pesky 10%. Remember that relationships are a gift from God, but so is singleness. Remember that God is always first and He can’t be anything else. Lean into Him because only He can mend your heart and remove the lies that the 10% or 30% or 99% (whatever it is for you) puts in your head.
And let us not forget that, in every season, He deserves all the honor and praise.
He is our answer. He is our healer. He is our first Love we never stop loving.