How to Handle Loneliness During the Holidays

Christmas and New Years are all about love, joy, and peace; but many people forget about another prominent emotion this time of year: loneliness. The holiday season, while filled with cheer and merriment, can often be one of the loneliest times of the year for so many people. How is a girl not to feel lonely when mistletoe is every where, hallmark movies are on an endless loop, and that fantasized midnight kiss on new years is weeks away?

What is a girl to do? I remember a few seasons ago I was binge watching romantic hallmark movies on TV. They are on pretty much 24/7 and all have the exact same plot. Unfamiliar?  Let me help. Each movie opens with a  young girl who left home to make her mark in the big city. Reluctantly, she decides to come home for the holidays to help her family who is in financial crisis. While helping save her family from financial ruin, a smart, and handsome country boy charms her into realizing that Christmas spirit is all around . She suddenly realizes that what she truly wants is to stay in the little town and live happily ever after! Sound about right? Well as patronizing as the repeatable plot is I watch them anyway, every year.

Well, one year I was having a marathon day of watching them non stop. As I watched each movie I grew lonelier and lonelier. Between each film I’d flip open my phone and find a boy, or some person, to text as a distraction.  As I neared the end of my movie marathon I was juggling 6 different text conversations and feeling smothered by loneliness. Finally I arrived on the film called Christmas Shoes. Now, sisters, this isn’t a particularly romantic film, in fact it deals with a women dying of cancer. (spoiler alert). However, at the end of this movie I am sobbing.  Legit sobbing. I’m gasping in breaths uncontrollably and for no reason at all! My younger sister stumbles upon this scene and looks at me as if I had lost my marbles. And you know what sister? I had.

I was desperately trying to fill up my feeling of loneliness with distractions, men, and quick fixes; but that only left me lonelier. It’s ironic how this world has thousands of ways to communicate, and yet those social medias often leave us feeling more disconnected than connected. What about you sister? How do you try to fill your loneliness?

The easy fix is to distract yourself right? You ignore the loneliness, and keep trucking through by filling the void with  idle distractions, sex, alcohol, parties, food, and probably some self pity.

Sister, if you are struggling with loneliness this holiday, know this: it isn’t bad or weak for you to crave affection. It isn’t shameful to want attention. It isn’t even wrong to desperately need others. We are wired for human connection sister. God designed us to love, to connect, and to share our brokenness. But, God designed us to share it with Him first.

So many young women ( I’ve been there) are desperate for  some form of intimacy that they begin to seek it anywhere. My question is this, do you know what true intimacy is?  Intimacy is more than being close to someone.

 True Intimacy comes from recognizing your brokenness and surrendering it.

Just like those corny hallmark movies, we want someone who woos us, cherishes us, thinks about us, and above all someone who accepts us.

Can I say something crazy? Jesus does that.

Now I know I know, you are thinking that a relationship with Jesus is vastly different than a relationship with a man.  But is it?  Jesus is far better at taking care of us, and romancing us than any man on earth! Romance is defined as a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love! What is more mysterious or exciting than the unquenchable love of Christ?

Sisters, you are always on Jesus’s mind. He is always thinking of YOUR best interests.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God, They cannot be numbered. I can’t even count them; they out number the grain of sand!” Psalm 139:17

Jesus thinks about us constantly. We are his greatest prize sister.

Not only does he think about you, but how often does he put on a display just to woo you beloved? Look at the patterns of a snow fall, or the kiss of wind as it hits your cheek. Perhaps you prefer a sunset? Or a forest? Or a squirrel with a bushy tail?  How would you view the world differently if you realized each beautiful creation was a gesture from Jesus, directly to your heart.

How many times is Jesus walking along side us and we miss it?

What a beautiful image to imagine Jesus walking along side you, squeezing your hand, and pointing out the canvas of his creation.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10

I hope you read that closely sister, because what God whispered to me in that passage is he has the power to take our breath away. Does it get more romantic than that?

Jesus is the man to seek, because he is always pursuing us.

Especially in our brokenness, he is there.

“ He heals the brokenhearted, and bandages their wounds” Psalm 147:3

“ When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through deep rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fires of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

What a promise. Not even fire can stop God from pursuing you, loving you, and healing you.

There is no human that can promise that kind of affection

When loneliness hits this Christmas season, try to remember dear one, that Christmas isn’t about the hallmark love, but the redeeming love of a savior born in a manger. A savior who will hold your hand.

Be romanced by Jesus this Christmas season my beloved, let him show you the purpose he has for your life. I wish that I had realized earlier the power of encountering Jesus. How much heartache and loneliness I could’ve been saved if I learned to lean into his purposeful love.

So now it’s your turn. Turn off those unrealistic earthly expectations, jump up, and dance with Jesus.

Stay Radiant <3

Erica