I am not welcome in my family because I spoke of something that happened to me long ago. I have been abandoned by two husbands. I have no current husband, fiance, boyfriend, or even a date. I have not received a single invitation for Christmas. I have no social life to speak of since I have committed my life 100% to the Lord and to my ministry calling and have chosen to spend my free time loving and serving Him and ministering to others. It should be the loneliest Christmas ever, but –
But I have never been more filled with love, joy, peace, hope, and a sense of deep satisfaction and fulfillment. I can’t remember the last time I felt lonely, and I am thankful I did not receive any invitations because I would love nothing more than to spend Christmas day with the Lord, seeking His face, studying His Word, enjoying His company, enjoying His countless blessings, maybe doing a little writing, taking care of the dogs, and basking in the greatest love in the universe. His.
For every breath, and day, and holiday, and year and time I ever sought to rid of the loneliness that pervaded my soul for as long as I could remember, I came up satisfied but for a fleeing moment – only to find the ache had torn harder through my heart, that the loneliness had only worsened at the end of the day, that anything or anyone I thought I had found to take away the wretched pain of it would disappear almost as soon as I had found it. Family. Men. Alcohol. Food. Dogs. Some great stuff. Some good stuff. Some bad. Why did I always end up feeling so alone?
And why, when so much of what I have ever wanted I have lost, or not gotten, why when my circumstances from the outside surely look miserable, why now is all the loneliness gone? Why now I am absolutely never alone? Why now am I fulfilled in a way I never imagined possible. Why should this be of one of the loneliest Christmas holidays I have ever had, and why am I quite certain it will not be?
Jesus Christ. For through repentance and believing He died on the cross and was raised from the dead to pay the penalty for my sins, and by a life committed to abandoning my way and the world’s way of living and choosing instead to learn to live according to the ways of the Lord, I have the greatest gift in the entire universe.
For through God’s love, and His forgiveness, because of what Christ did on the cross, I have a personal relationship with Him that is unfathomably beautiful and ever growing, and the promise of everlasting life.
As fun and delightful as it may be to snuggle under the Christmas tree with a loving husband, to be surrounded by sweet children, to have family all around and presents galore, and God only knows all of this is undoubtedly a beautiful blessing from the Lord, it is not what He has given me.
But what He has given me is not temporal like all I once wanted. What He has given me is forever.
Oh, bless the Lord! How beautiful are His ways! How wonderful it is to no longer be lonely. How blessed I am to have the greatest gift in the universe – one that can’t fit under the Christmas tree. One that is forever.
For anyone struggling with loneliness, I want you to know I did NOT get free from loneliness when I came to believe in Jesus Christ. Nor did I get free when I began to study the Bible and spend time around Christians. I got free from loneliness when I became a genuine follower of Jesus Christ by making a total commitment to study the Bible daily and learn to live my life according to the ways of the Lord. When I came to see my life is not my own, and made the decision to live for Him and His glory instead of to live for me and my desires, my loneliness disappeared. Though I had been developing my relationship with Him for years by praying, pouring out my heart to Him, seeking Him and listening for His voice, by studying the Bible and spending time with fellow believers, the greatest change came when I began to live my life utterly for Him.
Psa 115:18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.