I’m Still Single…What Do I Have to Be Thankful For?

As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays, I immediately think of all those years in which I went to church with my family for the Thanksgiving service and go to my grandmother’s house afterwards.  I still see the kitchen smelling so good with the macaroni and cheese, string beans, dirty rice, potato salad, sweet potato pie and cake all on one table. It would be such a wonderful fellowship to be with my aunts, uncles and cousins. We would say grace, eat till we got full and play cards. It was so wonderful.  Things have changed since then. Now that I’m in Georgia, I’m not able to go home for Thanksgiving each year, but I’m so blessed when my parents come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with me!

When we think of Thanksgiving, we mostly think of the entire family around the dinner table with all that good food.  Of course, the holiday is not just about the food and eating until you burst, but it is a wonderful occasion for family to get together, have fun and be thankful to God that you still have each other. However, if you are a single like me, you do not always have the chance to be with family, and you spend Thanksgiving alone or with friends.  Also, Thanksgiving is another holiday, like Christmas, that can be very depressing for other singles. This is because this can be the first holiday without a spouse due to death or divorce. Or maybe it will be the first holiday without that sweetheart you were seriously involved with, you thought you would marry, but the relationship did not work out.

Some of you who are single may see Thanksgiving as another day. Other singles may be thinking, “I’m still single, so what is there to be thankful for?” Believe it or not there is plenty, yes, plenty to be thankful for!  If you are feeling somewhat indifferent about Thanksgiving and think you have nothing to be thankful for, let me give you a brief list.

Be thankful for the accomplishments and victories you have won. In 2000, I moved from Louisiana to Georgia to work at CNN. This was the first time that I have moved out of my parents’ house and to another state…ever! After my parents and sister help me get settled, it was just me in the ATL (Atlanta).  I had to learn my job and how to get around the city on my own.  I was stepping out of my comfort zone and but I did not know it at the time. But I truly thank God for just keeping me and guiding me every step of the way. During this time, He blessed me with a church family, wonderful friends, and opportunities to meet other people from different walks of life.  There are some awesome things you have achieved that probably could not have been done if you were married. You were blessed with the freedom and flexibility to see your dreams become a reality.  You may have finished school while rearing your children as a single parent.  You may have lost the weight you have been trying to get rid of for years, even though you  thought it would be impossible to do! You may be enjoying the success of your own business that you started with just a few dollars in the bank.  Your accomplishments may seem small to some people, but if they knew what you had to endure to press your way through to the finish line, they would be so thankful with you!

Be thankful for what is no longer in your life. Now this can be a challenge. It is easy to be thankful for what we received. But it takes spiritual maturity and the right perspective, God’s perspective, to be grateful for things and people that are not in our lives anymore. For instance, many of us were heartbroken when we find that man or woman we really liked did not return those feelings, or got involved with someone else.  We now realize that at the time that God allowed that rejection and heartbreak to protect us or redirect us.  God may have allowed that person not to come in our lives to protect us from unnecessary drama, or redirect our paths to the person He does have for us.  Some of you were able to (finally) let go of that boyfriend or girlfriend who was not “wrapped too tight” (crazy!).  God gave you the wisdom to see that the he or she would have made you very miserable if you married them.  Some of you were engaged to be married, but the other person called off the wedding a few weeks before the wedding date.  Even though it was devastating at the time, it was God’s way of protecting you from what could have been a painful divorce.  Many of you who are single can recall a lot of situations that you thought were detrimental, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened to you. A lot of us now have peace of mind because those situations no longer weigh us down. You are now ready to receive the new and better blessings God has waiting for you!

Be thankful that you are single! I know, you do not want to be single forever. You want that special someone in your life yesterday. But sometimes we forget that singleness gives us something that some married people would give their right arm for—freedom! Be grateful that even though you are single, that God is preparing you and getting the circumstances ready for you to meet your mate.  Many of you dream of what it would be like to have that special someone or a spouse to bring to your family this holiday. While this is a wonderful thing, there are some couples dreading going to their in-laws for Thanksgiving. Can you imagine going to Thanksgiving and putting on your best “face” on for your in-laws, knowing that you are not fond of them, and that they may not be fond of you for whatever reason? But if you are near family relatives and have a very close relationship with them, I encourage you to spend time with them. You will be with people that you know love you and that beats feeling lonely in an empty house.  If you are in another state with no family, you can hang out with friends and still have a fun Thanksgiving. Or if you rather be alone that day, get some take out and watch the tv marathons of some of your favorite shows! (By the way, I love Law and Order and The Golden Girls marathons!) Besides, the day after Thanksgiving, things will be back to normal. People will be packing the stores, nearly killing each other to get those Christmas gifts on sale!

When we choose to be thankful, the Lord helps us to see life from His perspective, which is a positive perspective.  There are some things we would like to change, but life is not as bad as we think.  As I would hear my mother and grandmother say to me often, we should be thankful that things are well as they are. There are other people in worse predicaments than us, and would trade places with us any day. Each day that God breathes life in us and gives us a chance to live to the fullest is a day to be thankful. Therefore, every day is a day of thanksgiving!

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