Christmas is a time for rejoicing and reunions. But for single parents and other mid-singles, it can be an all too poignant reminder of things we have lost or that we are missing out on.
In 2016, I had one of those Christmases. My older son was on a mission and my younger son had plans to spend Christmas with his mother. After dating Cathy for 6 months, we met on December 23 to exchange Christmas gifts. Cathy then told me she felt we were in different places and did not want to continue dating. I had known inwardly this was coming for about a month, but hoped I was wrong. When our conversation started, I was still hoping it might get our relationship back on track and even that we might spend Christmas Eve together. That was not to be. I expressed some frustration about our situation and told Cathy not to contact me until I contacted her. I felt I needed some time to get over her without having the wound reopened each time I saw her. I told her it would be fine if we sent each other thank you texts on Christmas Day regarding the gifts we had exchanged.
On Christmas Eve, I was feeling lonely and really empty inside. I was sad at my loss of Cathy and about the way I had handled our transition. I decided to do something for her. I drove an hour to her city in a blizzard and spent the evening putting together a gift basket of self-care items. I left these in her garage with a note and returned home feeling peace in my heart. I contacted Cathy a few months later and we continued to be good friends for the rest of 2017.
Fast forward to the end of 2017 and I wrote a letter to Cathy on New Years' Eve that was to change both our lives. A little less than five months later, we were married for eternity in the Provo City Center Temple. On the third anniversary of that ill-timed transition (12/23/16), Cathy played my favorite Christmas carol, "O Come O Come Emmanuel," in our Christmas Sacrament Meeting. She likes to say that she made it up to me with that performance (12/23/19). While that day has large symbolic significance to me and she played beautifully, Cathy actually made it up to me the day she married me at the Altar in God's House--implicitly promising to spend every Christmas together thereafter.
Christmas is a time of redemption and reconciliation--and occasionally for renewing love. We hope your Christmas will include something magical this year. The special featured podcast and videos this week are our gift to you. Merry Christmas!
FEATURED THIS WEEK
LILY Pod Episode 48: Keeping Christ in Christmas
LILY Tube Video: Creating New Love in the Holidays
LILY Tube Video: O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Jeff's favorite Christmas carol, violin by Cathy)
In our featured podcast “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” we offer a wonderful way to receive a little more of the reason for the season as we explore Luke 2 and the "good tidings of great joy" Jesus Christ brought to this world for "all people."
In our featured YouTube video “Creating New Love in the Holidays” we give great tips on how to make your Christmas magical, with everything from romance to peaceful reconciliation. It’s always a good time to create more love in your life, especially during the holidays!
In our bonus YouTube feature “O Come O Come Emmanuel” you will hear Cathy play Jeff’s favorite Christmas piece 12/23/19 (from the story in “Creating New Love in the Holidays”).
If you enjoyed this letter, forward to a friend. Our goal is to help as many mid-singles and later-married couples as possible!
To get a copy of our newly released book on Amazon and create more love in your life in 2022, visit Intentional Courtship