God Sets The Lonely in Families
“God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalm 68:6
I have a friend who absolutely dreaded this time of year. She lives alone, but only felt lonely during the holiday season. Like many others, she used this time as a period of reflection. She remembered when she was busy, busy, busy: searching for the perfect gift for her child; preparing holiday meals and greeting an endless parade of well-wishers –family, friends and neighbors.
Well, her child is now grown and has a family of his own. Circumstances have forced her to move far away from her friends and immediate family; however extended family is only a short distance away. Her extended family often invited her to various family functions, but she always politely declined.
“Why?” I asked her last Christmas Eve.
“I’d rather just be alone,” she said.
“You should go,” I said.
After going back and forth some more, she seemed adamant about her decision so I dropped the subject and soon the conversation ended. My friend stayed on my mind, though. I hated knowing she was so lonely, but I was unable to visit her due to the distance. I called her Christmas night to make sure she was OK.
This time, her mood was lighter and there was pure joy in her voice. She had decided to accept her extended family’s invitation after all and couldn’t contain how much she enjoyed herself.
“There were so many people there and all that cooking was placed on one poor girl’s shoulders! I helped her out in the kitchen, you know, chopping and measuring. Oh, and the children! They were running around, playing, and vying for their Auntie’s attention. We talked and laughed all day!” she gushed.
I couldn’t get a word in edgewise and I didn’t want to. I settled into my chair and relived her day with her. Later, I was reminded of a saying: The only person standing in the way of your happiness is you.