Getting Through ‘Those Days’
There’s got to be about five million articles, stories, blogs, etc. about being a Christian and being single. This is pretty much another one of those… kind of.
You’re single. In your 20s, maybe? So where is this guy or gal who is going to stumble onto your spiritual path, look up, and be filled with a heavenly glow? Doesn’t God know that loneliness is the worst ever? Maybe He’s waiting for you to be asked by the lady in your church for the 502nd time when you’re going to get married. That can’t be it.
Being single doesn’t haunt me day and night. It doesn’t even hit me every day, to be honest. I’m a very content, young Christian woman. I have my job, hobbies, ministries, friends, and family. I’m actually closer to God now than I ever have been in my life. But then there are just “those days.” You know what I mean. Those days when every lonely thought and feeling pierces your mind and heart.
It may start with you waking up and realizing that you eat breakfast alone everyday. Then you get to work and happen to notice all the family photos in the cubicle next to yours. On your break you check Instagram and “every” post is a cute couple on an adventure. When it’s time to leave work, it seems that everyone else is calling their spouse to see if they need anything from the store. At home you lounge on your couch and notice how much space is left on the other side of it. Then, when it’s time for bed, you lay down… alone. Am I the only one who has had one of “those days?”
I’d like to share with you how I get through “those days.” There are five specific and practical guidelines I apply when either I know ahead of time that it’s going to be one of “those days” or when it is becoming one of “those days.” Here they are:
- Prepare my heart. I am single. I am susceptible to loneliness. I need to be okay with that to a degree. When I prepare my heart, it may look like singing worship music, reading my Bible, or just telling myself that it’s going to be okay.
- Build a bridge. I cannot have a pity party! First off, who wants to be with that single friend who makes you feel guilty for having a happy spouse and kids? No one! Second, I need to be able to find a balance between having a bad day and self-wrecking my day. I must not believe Satan’s lies of “those days!”
- Avoid Social Media. If I am feeling lonely because of virtual envy, I need to put the phone down and walk away. As soon as I start seeing the happy couples on Facebook when I am having one of “those days,” I can get very bitter. Not only that but I might start looking up exes or crushes and start making plans outside of my control. So I need to just say no if that is what it takes to survive one of “those days!”
- Ask for prayer. That’s what community is for! When I am smack-dab in the middle of one of “those days,” the first thing I do is text my people and ask them to pray! Knowing in that moment someone is praying God’s will and presence over my life is priceless.
- Congregate or Retreat. Depending on what kind of one of “those days” I am having, I will do one of two things. First, there is congregate. I may drive an hour and a half to go eat supper with my family or have a few close friends over for a Mario Kart tournament! This always reminds me of my blessings and makes my heart smile. Then there is retreat. Assuming that you have your daily time with God, this retreat is an added time with the Lord. I may need time to refocus and just feel God’s wings unfurl over my lonely heart. I may sing songs to Him and read encouraging scripture. I may sit on my bed curled up and cry out in fear and honesty to Him… He can handle it. I may just sit in silence. There’s something therapeutic about sitting and being still.
Single Christian woman, single Christian man, God is near. He does not look away when you are dealing with one of “those days.” The Bible has many instances that it refers to the phrase “in those days.” Almost every time it was a reference of change. Either change was yet to come or change had happened. In the same way, God is working in the middle of one of “those days.” He is teaching your heart to run to Him and orchestrating your actions to point to Him.
The next time you have one of “those days” think of my list, but most importantly think of how God is going to use that day for His glory! Be a willing vessel!