Christian Faith

Singleness at Christmas – Merry Christmas, Darling

Merry Christmas Darling 2

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I first published Merry Christmas, Darling in 2005 when I was a brand new blogger. I bumped it up from time to time on my previous blog (2009 and 2013). It wasn’t on this website and it is a story I want to share my readers. Interestingly, just a few weeks after I first wrote it we discovered we were finally expecting a baby – on our ninth wedding anniversary. We will celebrate our twentieth anniversary in January 2017.

I haven’t written much about my single days. Although they are rapidly growing smaller in the rearview mirror of life, I don’t think they will ever completely leave me. For one thing, God used my single days to shape my faith and theology. There is nothing like being single against one’s will to make you consider all kinds of important theological concepts – God’s sovereignty, God’s will, God’s goodness, etc. It then follows that some of the greatest lessons God has taught me about Himself were born out of the anguish of my singleness. And I do mean anguish. I know some people skip through their single years without much thought about it, but I was one of the group that struggled mightily with being single and the possible implications in my life.

Another reason I don’t think my single days will ever leave me is because my experiences have made my heart tender towards other singles. I remember what it was like and my heart goes out to them. After having struggled to learn contentment as a single and then experiencing the great joy of a blessed marriage, I want it for them too! I’ve seen both sides – the yearning and the fulfillment – and I so want them to experience the depths of peace and joy that come from a marriage blessed by God. But I remember the overwhelming sense of “What if?” that comes to a single because there is no guarantee that marriage will eventually come. And that is so hard.

One thing that was pretty consistent throughout my single days was praying for my husband. That might sound like an obvious statement, but I didn’t just pray for a husband, I prayed for my husband. There is a difference. I prayed for his purity, for his spiritual growth, and that God would drop an “X marks the spot of Sallie’s house” map in his living room window. Okay, maybe not the map thing, but I did pray a lot for his spiritual well-being.

And I had my own little Christmas Eve ritual that I’ve never publicly shared until now.

My Christmas Eve Ritual

The holidays can be kind of very depressing for singles. They are a reminder that another year has passed and nothing has happened. (The same is true for childless couples, but that is another story.) There is no one to take to the family gathering, no one to buy a romantic gift for… Just a reminder that you are still praying and hoping.

Well, I don’t know when I discovered it, but the song Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters really resonated with me as a single. I first heard it on the radio and when they didn’t play it often enough to satisfy me, I bought the cassette. (Yes, my age is showing.) I don’t remember exactly what motivated me to start this ritual or even when I started doing this, but I know this was my pattern for several years before I met David.

My family always exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. But generally before we did that, I went up to my room and listened to Merry Christmas, Darling and prayed for my husband. I always prayed that this would be the last year we would be apart and that God in His providence and good pleasure would bring us together that year.

Merry Christmas, Darling

Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you

Merry Christmas darling
We’re apart that’s true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I’m Christmas-ing with you

Holidays are joyful
There’s always something new
But every day’s a holiday
When I’m near to you
The lights on my tree
I wish you could see
I wish it every day
Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say

That I wish you Merry Christmas
Happy New Year, too
I’ve just one wish
On this Christmas Eve
I wish I were with you

Instrumental Interlude

Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say
That I wish you Merry Christmas
Happy New Year, too
I’ve just one wish
On this Christmas Eve
I wish I were with you
I wish I were with you

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas – Darling

Alone on Christmas Eve

The amazing thing is that after David and I met, I found out that as a single he was always alone on Christmas Eve. His family (consisting of married siblings and his parents) always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day. So David was always alone on Christmas Eve. Except he wasn’t alone because I was thinking of him and praying for him. To this day I still get weepy when I think about him being alone and my praying for him that night. (2016 update – I still get weepy.)

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write about this today. Maybe to encourage any singles who visit here and to tell them that I care and understand at least in a small way how hard the holidays can be when you so long to be married. And maybe to bear witness to the fact that God is always working, always moving in our lives – even when we don’t realize it.

God is at work in response to our prayers, whether we see something happening or not. If we are truly praying, “Thy will be done,” forces are at work beyond our comprehension – and often, beyond our vision. But they are working just the same.
David Jeremiah

Merry Christmas, Darling

Merry Christmas Darling (Album Version/Remix)Merry Christmas Darling (Album Version/Remix)Merry Christmas Darling (Single Version)Merry Christmas Darling (Single Version)Merry Christmas Darling (Album Version/Remix)Merry Christmas Darling (Album Version/Remix)Merry Christmas Darling (Remix)Merry Christmas Darling (Remix)

Merry Christmas Darling

8 Comments

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  • What a beautiful, tender post, Sallie. Definitely one for Caroline to read and appreciate when she is older. I just loved this.

    Merry Christmas!

  • I’ve read this several times in the past and again this year when you posted it. It’s a beautiful story that doesn’t get old. Recently I shared it with a single friend of mine. It’s a blessing to look at the picture of you and David with Caroline and see how God knew all along what wonderful things He had in store for you.

  • Like Karen E., I’ve read this in the past also. Yet each time I read it I am reminded of how special my husband is also. Like Sallie, I also married late in life. One of the truths God used in my life was that if I had known how wonderful my married life would be, and what a merciful, wise husband He was going to give me, I would have gladly waited another ____ (fill in the blanks here) years! God’s grace is greater than we will ever comprehend. 😆

  • I always love to read this post too, and heard this song today and thought of you. I married at 28 (although I felt like I was twice that!) and agree with the commenter below if only I had known the wonderful man God was going to bring me together with, I would have waited, and even longer! But then I wouldn’t have learned to trust, a lesson that continues and will follow me I’m sure until I meet Jesus face to face. How wonderful though, that He is the giver of good gifts and so worthy of our trust. Merry Christmas!

  • By way of followup – I was reminded (at a Christmas dinner last night) that my long wait for marriage, has not only given me a deep appreciation of my husband, but this wait tempers how I treat, and respond, to my husband.

    We’ve all seen how some women treat their husbands (in public and at home) when they’re angry, or PMSing. The Holy Spirit reminds me when I am angry, or in a bad mood, pain, etc. that my husband is a very special gift to me. Consequently, it enables me to slow down, or stop, and rethink how I want to respond to him in my flesh. That’s not to say that I’m perfect, or have learned everything. I certainly am an imperfect person…or as Jo March in Little Women says “hopelessly flawed”. Yet, as I grow older, and hopefully wiser, that truth comes to me more and more. At times it is very humbling to reflect on the gift of marriage, and that God has trusted me with a husband.

  • I am glad that someone seems to understand. I have a son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren living in my house and the loneliness and depression is hard to handle sometimes. Some nights I don’t sleep well and then the headaches hit and I don’t know how to deal with it. I am a believer and in a Bible study but I can’t get pass these feelings.
    Thanks for your message

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Sallie-Schaaf-Borrink-060313-B-250x250I'm Sallie, teacher by training and now homeschooling mom of Caroline. My passion is to provide products, encouragement, and information that helps others discover and do what works with their children. I also write about living a cozy life as a highly introverted person. Welcome! ♥

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