"Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]"---Hebrews 13:5(AMP)
I've been processing an article that I read earlier this morning, in and out, for most of the day---and I just haven't been able to shake it.
It's not because I don't support people feeling what they feel, and sharing it. Especially when they are vulnerable enough to be *totally honest* (honesty is *such* a lost art...and virtue these days-James 5:16). It's just that what I read, I know a lot of women agree with and basically surrender themselves to while they're single and so I wanted to take a moment just to provide another perspective.
On what exactly? On something that singer and newlywed (and soon-to-be-mom) Kelly Clarkson recently said (per People magazine):
Good things come to those who wait – as has been learned by Kelly Clarkson.
The singer and expectant mom, 31, agonized over being single for almost seven years, but says when she met hubby Brandon Blackstock, she immediately knew her date-free days were out the door.
"Every Christmas, it was like, 'Seriously, I'm still pathetically alone? Awesome. I'm still telling people I'm okay with it? I'm not,' " Clarkson tells Parade as part of a holiday-themed photo spread promoting her new Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. "[When I started dating Brandon], in my head, I was like, 'I'm already married to you!'"
OK, I'll first say I'm glad that "I'm already married to you!" was something she did not blurt out (LOL). Take it from me, (most) men do not want your relational forecasts or fortune telling about your future with them. The Woman was brought to Adam but she still didn't have to tell him who she was (Genesis 2:18-25). HE. TOLD. HER. #wordstoliveby
Yet it wasn't that sentence that had me on "pause". It was "Seriously, I'm still pathetically alone." (Also, *agonizing over being single*) On Christmas.
For one thing, if you're waiting until you're in a relationship to be happy, that is *a lot of pressure* to put on any one individual. A person is not supposed to *make you happy*. They are to *share in your happiness*. (James 1:4)
Secondly, I've had moments when I thought it would be nice to be in a relationship over the holiday season (especially since I've had years when I was in one). Therefore, I get that having companionship would be nice during that time. Still, I want to encourage you not to assume that being single means that you *have to be lonely* (and especially not *pathetically lonely*)...because you don't.
How can I be so confident in saying that?
LONELINESS IS A CHOICE.
Let's walk through the definitions of the word.
Lonely means that you're depressed about being alone. And guess what the Word (John 1:1) says is a root cause of depression? Anxiety: "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." (Proverbs 12:25-NKJV) The Word also tells us what to do when we find ourselves feeling uneasy...fearful...worried. Anxious: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7-NKJV) Also, there's another Scripture in the Bible that says this: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12-NKJV) When you're single and you don't want to be, you can be tempted to lose hope. *Don't*. Romans 5:5 is a favorite verse of mine because it simply states "Hope does not disappoint." That doesn't mean that you'll get what you want and/or when you want it (Acts 1:7-Message). But what it does mean is that hope will do what it's defined to do. It will remind you "that what is wanted can be had OR that events will turn out for the best" (Romans 8:28).
Lonely means being destitute of companionship, intercourse or support. OK, the intercourse thing? Yeah. I get that (LOL). Although if that's all you're wanting a man for, the more appropriate would would probably be *horny* not *lonely* and that's another blog for another time. But when it comes to companionship and support, where are your friends? I mean the ones who aren't married or in a relationship? And more specifically, where are your *male friends*? Not the ones you're slick trying to make a "boyfriend" or are slick trying to sleep with you, but the ones you have a healthy connection with. I'll raise my hand in this class and say that a few good male friends can provide an absolutely amazing support system. They can also prepare you for him. When he comes. When God deems that it's time for him to arrive (Psalm 84:11).
Lonely also means being isolated (which you definitely have the power to not be) and "unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others". Happy is "delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing" BUT ALSO "characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy" and here's the thing. The Scripture at the beginning of this message tells us, instructs us, *commands us* to "be satisfied with our present circumstances" or as the New King James Version puts it: BE CONTENT. And being that joy is one of the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), when we have the Holy Spirit, joy is to be indicative of that. Yep. Some of us don't need a man to make us happy. We need more of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Some of us are simply in the pursuit of the wrong thing. "Wrong" meaning that it's out of order. And God does things in a decent order (I Corinthians 14:40). Him first. Everyone and thing else, second (Exodus 20:3, Mark 12:30-31).
When I read Kelly's quote(s) on how she felt during her previous status, I kinda felt sad for her. Mostly because there are so many people who can't wait to get into their "marriage season" that they can't embrace the benefits of their single one (and if you don't believe there are some, ask your family members and friends who are already married...they'll vouch for it!). But if you're only focusing on wanting a man and not *living your life*, I can see how that can result in *choosing to be lonely*. Just remember that it is indeed...*a choice*.
So, as the holiday season rolls around, am I trying to talk you out of wanting a special man in your life? Absolutely not. I'm just encouraging you to embrace this time of singleness by celebrating the fact that you can take a trip, you can pamper yourself, you can buy you some presents...you can enjoy focusing on you.
This time next year, God willing, Kelly will have a baby for Christmas and that's awesome.
But she just might look back on all of those years when she was hating being single and wish that she embraced it more. And she could have. If she had *chosen* to.
Loneliness is not a condition.
Yes, it is a choice.
Life is short and every season serves a God-ordained purpose (Ecclesiastes 3).
Please (please)...choose wisely.