I’ll never forget the day my parents split. Who knew that as an adult it would have such a great impact? I was torn. Part of me wanted to cry and other parts wanted to quit. The holiday season can be so challenging as a single woman. You look at all your friends and loved ones who are so in love, or at least pretend to be, and part of you is jealous because they have someone to spend this day of Thanksgiving with. My parents’ house was the “go to” house for all the holidays. All of the children and grandchildren would come together and celebrate. We would laugh, eat, play board games, sleep, and eat some more! It was the time of year each of us looked forward to the most.

This particular year, all of my sisters were married and my brothers each had someone to go to. My infant son’s grandmother had requested his presence at their family Thanksgiving function and I sat home alone. I cried and cried. I felt like everyone had forgotten about me. It was cold and quiet. Originally, I planned a family get together and no one showed up. I had never felt so empty in my entire life. I didn’t have a real relationship with Christ, so the need to talk to Him didn’t cross my mind. Instead, I sat home alone and cried. My heart grew bitter towards my family, because I believed no one remembered me or cared about me. I had ill-thoughts and ill-feelings. I felt sorry for myself. Feelings of jealousy were born. The need to separate and isolate myself took root. No one loves me. I don’t matter to them.

Looking back, I believe that what I felt was real. Today, I realize that I was choosing to lose myself in family instead of the One who mattered the most. I found the strength to make the decision to say enough is enough! Eventually, my family grew so I decided to make provisions and create a in-home tradition for my family. After my second child turned 3, I decided to have family time for just me and mine. I wanted to create memorable moments that we could look back upon and smile about. I wanted them to know that just because we don’t have a man in our home or we aren’t able to celebrate with friends and family doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give them my best.

COVID-19 has taken away the opportunity for family and friends to be able to fellowship in close proximity, but God has provided provisions for us to still say grace from miles away! Think of the endless possibilities we have through technology! Set up your phone or tablet in your kitchen and do a family Zoom or Facetime call so that everyone can cook their meals together. You can still partake in laughter and games and it will feel like you’re all together. It’s different, but the chance to connect is still available.

This Thanksgiving, think of family, friends, and neighbors that are less fortunate and ponder on ways you and your family can be a simple added blessing. Giving a plate, sending a simple card, or maybe a call to let them know they are loved and remembered. Tell them why you’re thankful for them. You’ll never know how your act of gratitude and affection can greatly impact their day!