Holidays and single parents have a love/hate relationship.
Joy on the faces of our kids lights up our hearts and minds.
But the pain soon follows knowing that it’s short-lived if your child is leaving to be with someone else.
See, the reality is that what is known as “the most wonderful time of the year” actually brings very real anxiety, fear, and disappointment for those of us who have to experience a holiday apart from our children. So is it really “wonderful,” after all?
I won’t sugarcoat this season that you’re going through. I know that it’s hard. My experience with it is the reason why I’m writing to you now. In fact, I’ve broken down a few times under the weight of reality. You are certainly not alone in this experience.
So, consider this a personal note from friend to friend that you will make it through this. How do I know this to be true? Because the past gives us comfort for our present and future.
The Comfort of Perspective
Last year, what happened? Was your child with you or the other parent? Whoever the answer is, are you still here today to see another holiday? And how about your child: how was their holiday last year? Did they make a good memory? Did they come home safe and healthy? You see, it’s extremely important to ground yourself with truth rather than allowing your emotions to carry you away. Remembering that one of you survived in the past will show you that you can survive in your present, too.
Also, think about a moment (maybe unrelated to the holidays) when Jesus proved his nearness to you. Did you feel His warmth, find comfort in His words, sense His peace in your situation? That was a very real experience that happened in the past for you, and it will happen in your future, too. Trust that He promises this to you.
This holiday season let’s resist our nature and acknowledge His nature. Even though they are justified, our fear and worry cannot co-exist with Jesus. Invite Him to come near and just see how He will exchange your disappointment for joy and rest.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?… But seek His kingdom, and these things (joy, rest, peace, hope, and joy) will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:25-31