Thanksgiving: Easier Said Than Done

It’s the time of year when we pause to count our blessings and reflect on all the reasons we have to smile. Families, friends, jobs, churches, homes, cars, and other comforts. We’re grateful when our bills are paid, someone makes us laugh out loud, the sun is shining, we receive a nice compliment, or the table is piled high with a turkey and all the trimmings. YUM!! Being thankful on a good day is easy. It’s natural to stay thankful when things are falling into place the way we want and the way we plan. The real challenge comes when nothing’s going our way…or we’re forced to wait longer than we like for our prayers to be answered. That’s where I find myself this holiday season.

Yes, I’m blessed by an amazing family; wonderful, generous friends; three hysterical pets; two jobs that stretch and challenge me; a supportive agent and boss; money to pay the bills; a reliable car; opportunities to travel; perfect health; a great new church; my salvation; and a God who loves me more than I can comprehend. For all of those things, I give thanks on a regular basis. But I’d be lying if I said they aren’t often overshadowed by a dull pain in my heart and a longing that never goes away. I’ve been praying, waiting, hoping, and believing for a husband and family for more than a decade. It’s the deepest desire of my heart, the most important thing to me for my future. The older I get, the more difficult it becomes to wait and the more I feel as though I’m trudging this path alone. I only have a few girlfriends who remain single, and they’re nearly all ten years younger than me. Most friends are married and having or raising awesome kiddos. All my eligible family members are married with children now. Even at church, I stick out like a sore thumb. The majority of people within the Christian community marry young, so in a group of hundreds of other people sharing a common faith, I can still feel brutally alone. Friends suggest I try not to think about it so much, but that’s impossible. This longing to share life with a husband, partner, co-pilot, and father to my kids never leaves me. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened for me yet, but I have zero designs on giving up. I WILL keep waiting until it works out. Until then, my daily challenge is to stay thankful and focus on the gifts and blessings I DO have.

A couple years ago, I started a list of reasons why I’m glad to still be single. When I’m really struggling, I force myself to say them out loud. Many times, it’s through tears. But it reminds me the time is not wasted. Topping the list is my relationship with my nieces. I can’t imagine loving two girls more than I love them. I’m so thankful I’ve had the time to get to know them, to go to DC to hang out with them, to attend their basketball games and concerts and plays, to take them on special adventures, to cook with them, and to enjoy downtime by watching movies or playing games. If I had my own kids already, I wouldn’t be able to drop everything for a visit just because I miss them. I cherish those relationships; so no matter how hard it is to be single, I wouldn’t trade one second from the time I’ve spent with them. The same goes for my other family and friends. As they face obstacles and challenges in their own lives, I’m grateful for the chance to support and encourage them, pray for them, stay in contact, and even travel to see them. It’s also a blessing when they want me involved with their children. I’ve learned so much about parenting by observing and helping out. No doubt those lessons will serve me well in the future. Plus, they want me around because I’m constantly entertaining them with my dating horror stories. Ha!

On a professional note, while plenty of people in my industry balance marriage and families with demanding jobs (I will too), I wouldn’t be where I am in my career if I’d gotten married before now. My path as a woman in sports radio has required nearly all of me. I’ve given it everything I have for more than 15 years: body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit. I would still be successful if I already had a family, but I wouldn’t be where I am now. My priorities would have been different all this time, and my efforts wouldn’t have been concentrated on my broadcasting goals. You probably wouldn’t be reading this blog either.

Lastly, I’m thankful for the ways my singleness has changed me as a person. I barely recognize the girl I was 15 years ago. I was extremely insecure with a propensity for making poor choices about the men I allowed into my life. I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned and accepted about myself and how aware I am of my strengths and weaknesses. I know what I bring to the table in a relationship, and I know what I’m looking for in a husband and home. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin, and I like who I am. That perspective is invaluable in any relationship. I’ve also developed more patience than I thought possible. I don’t always wait with grace, but I hang on and refuse to give up. That tenacity serves me well in every other area of my life. This period of waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) has prepared me to be the wife and mom that I want to be.

I believe everything happens for a reason. No day or challenge or pain needs to be wasted. These years of being single were never what I planned or how I envisioned my life unfolding. In the bleakest moments when it feels like all hope is lost, finding reasons to be thankful is what chases the darkness.

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25 Responses to “Thanksgiving: Easier Said Than Done”

  1. Phil Jones Says:

    Amy – You are awesome! Don’t forget it. Thank yo for sharing and being willing to ‘put it all on the table’ that is very brave, I’m proud to call you a friend. Happy Thanksgiving! PJ

  2. Beautifully written my friend. God knows the desires of our heart…

  3. David Gandall Says:

    I can’t imagine how you feel. You expressed yourself very well, and I do know that God never fails, and He is never late! He always is just in time, so take heart! His steadfast love endures forever!
    I hold you up in prayer on a daily basis.

  4. Just sayin’, my wife married me at 40 and became a mom at 41. We met when I dialed the wrong radio station to ask a question and she answered during the same week she had prayed to meet a nice guy. Keep the faith! I think the Lord is having a difficult time finding a man who deserves someone as special as you, free of game-playing and as genuine as you are. I will add you to my prayers.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your outlook is one that the Father honors. As you wait, with grace more than without (which we all lack occasionally) the Father will give you the desires of your heart in His timing…which is always best.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    Exquisitely written, my wonderful friend! I have been the beneficiary of your prayer and support; you are an instrument of grace in my life. You are in my prayers, today and every day.

  7. Very late bloomer here-patience along with some boldness proved to be a good “plan”-

  8. Wonderfully written.You are a very special person and I believe God has a plan for us all and it comes when you least expect it. You are in my thoughts and prayers .

  9. It will happen and it will be a true blessing for you,

  10. Amy, this is one of the most encouraging and passionate blog posts that I’ve read in a long time. Of course, I just found your site and started to follow your twitter feed. So, maybe this is regular coarse. I’m encouraged by your transparency and articulation of what matters most. I’m excited to be introducing more people to your walk. They will be blessed. You are one great gift of God, right where your at…or, wherever He leads you. What a treasure!

  11. So strong of you to choose and be able to share this way. I am fortunate in that my proposal made a couple of weeks ago was accepted and I’m going to wed this awesome woman who knows me and loves me. Amy, your guy is out there and he will be one really lucky man when the time comes. Hang in there.

  12. In the short time we got to know you, we were so impressed by your transparency and willingness to share yourself and your faith. I can’t think of much to add to the wisdom of your writing, except to tell you about a friend of ours. He was a surgeon, a Christian, and a fine human being – indeed, a great catch. But at least 3 seemingly wonderful relationships went sour and he was having all the feelings you are having. His parents were deeply disturbed, and many were in prayer about his situation. Then at the age of 43, God placed a younger woman in his life, and he is now in an excellent marriage. Sometimes God says NO at a certain time in our lives, when what He means is “I have something tremendous for you
    , but but you just have to wait.” We will be praying for you! Stay your wonderful self.

  13. Alberta J Says:

    Wow! Amy, you shared your heart and made me smile. God has had you wait for a very special guy who is maturing right along with you. So we wait expectantly knowing that Father does know best for you and him.

  14. Well written Amy. Keep the faith. God has a plan and I am sure the perfect man will come into your life. Probably when you least expect it.

  15. When you least expect it, that’s when it happens. Don’t try and force something, and that will only lead to settling and regret later on(yes, I’m ending the sentence with a preposition, it’s 4am). Have confidence in yourself and believe it will happen. I think you have the right attitude about things, in trying times, count the good things and the reasons why being single is okay. I hope it works for out.

  16. you'll probably know Says:

    Amy,

    You challenged me the day we meet in eighth grade, and almost every day through high school.the poster child for immaturity and insecurity, I know the pains you mentioned, and more. Both eldest gifted child of divorce in Christianity we knew a lot about each other’s challenges. Humor, sports, singing abilities and choices alike, we were nearly yin and yang for four years, often singing exactly the same song some days.

    You were beautiful and bold, a smart kind heart sometimes embroiled in debate and wit sharpening, far too real, ambitious and energetic to sit docily behind your more feminine side to let the average insecure guys treat you like just any girl.

    One of the most talented people I’ve known, you always thrived when challenged. Stephanie Josh and I gave you a run for your money but I think we all knew you were the one who would forge the most unique, and ultimately, successful path in life.

    I always found you attractive, and an excellent candidate for life partnership. Until the day I got married I would list you in the top five examples of what a strong beautiful wife should be like. Singleness may be a thorn God had chosen not to remove, but a thorn that could not adorn a more beautiful Rose.

    Father’s plan for you will bring about much thanksgiving.not just the kind that strong character musters in bleak times, but the snot bubble tears of overwhelming joy that come from the perfectly orchestrated plan a Father has for his most cherished daughter.

    I hope just one of my daughters becomes half the Godly woman you are and have been an example of to me for over half of my life.

    Thank you, and thank you.

  17. Raymond Williams Says:

    Don’t give up, but relax. Love will find you when and where you least expect it. Take it from someone who is ending a 37 year marriage. I found it in an unexpected way. She was my best friend for about 2 years before we found each other. Take it from someone who thought they would never find someone and that person was standing right in front of me. What I was looking for wasn’t what God had waiting for me. I finally listened to him and found her. Now you may say, why are divorcing? A long story but the love is dying and it takes 2 working together to make it last. I wish nothing but the best for you and am quite sure the person who will fill the void you have will find you soon.

    • I appreciate your kind words and support, Raymond, but I’m not sure what you mean by “relax.” I’m not a very patient person, but that doesn’t mean I’m desperate or jumping at the first thing that comes along. One guy friend likes to tell me I could be married in 20 minutes if that’s all I wanted. It’s not. I will wait until God sends the answer to my prayers. “Relax” has nothing to do with it. Thanks again.

  18. Jamie Kmett Says:

    Amy, Keep your head up! I have also placed career ahead of personal life, and have seen many changes take place in relationships. I want kids, a wife, and all the wonderful blessings that come with it, but I know I am right where I need to be. Pursuing a doctorate has been a life long dream, but one that has come at a cost… It has cost me a relationship, a few friends, and some grey hairs (lol), but I know it will be worth it in the end. Likewise, you are right where you need to be. God has a plan for both of us, and when it is right, He will give us what our heart longs for. He knows our pain, but He makes up for that longing in our hearts by friends, family, and the hilarious pets you have (my cats keep me sane… and hey, THEY love me, lol). You are a intelligent and beautiful woman, with a shining soul, and lots of men would line up at your door for the pleasure to call you their date, girlfriend, or wife! So keep on keeping on, keep that head up, and know that the Lord will answer your call… He ALWAYS does… God Bless You…

  19. William Phillips, Jr. (Bill) Says:

    Hi, Amy! Your day will come. Listening to you over the years, both on CBS and the other network, you come across as intelligent, strong-willed, and a fun person to be around. I think that some guys may be intimidated by you having all of those qualities, but that is their loss. Don’t change your ways. Keep smiling, and keep up the great work that you do.

  20. Amy, what a wonderfully genuine post. We can relate in different ways. God’s timing is not ours, but life can change in an instant. Suddenly, we find ourselves on a different path, one we never imagined. When that happens, and we know it is God’s leading, there is such peace and joy, no matter what the circumstances. Btw, I can still hear your laughter as I read the line about laughing out loud… That is awesome! Good for you using your gifts and passions… inspiring!

  21. Kimberley Victor Says:

    Amy, you heart is carried on your sleeve and there is absolutely no doubt your heart-throb husband, father to your kiddos, and forever friend is awaiting you for life long outrageous adventures! Your nieces (and family) are so lucky to have sooo much of you, that doesn’t have to ever change; it just works out a little differently.
    I was there just over 15 years ago, 2 kids in tow; not thinking much of myself or that anyone intelligent man would want me -WOW- was I wrong!!! God was instrumental in the perfect man for me…and life couldn’t be better. Your story touched me because of some challenges I am going thru right now. Your words ( and the fact I found this blog) is confirmation that I’m getting back on the right track. I had stopped writing in my gratitude journal after my accident and was only writing was I was missing out on. Geeze where had I gone? Yikes! So…. Thank You!
    Stay blessed and happy Holidays.

  22. A powerful blog entry, Amy. It does show while you do have that “hole in your heart”, you can balance that with your strength of family and friends. Your time will come, and when you least expect it. Stay strong and keep the faith.

  23. Leslie Chagnon Says:

    I just read your thanksgiving article and loved it. I miss spending time with you and am happy you are finding gratification in your blossoming career!

  24. elway0123456789 Says:

    Amy, you have a lot of support and a lot of people standing with you to believe that an awesome guy will be coming around the bend. You’re an attractive, witty and assertive woman and a Broncos fan to boot that knows sports. It is a great combination. I’ll believe that you’re Mr. Right is just around the bend and looking for that someone who has the many qualities you offer. I for one look forward to a nice testimony in the not-too-distant future of the one who came in to your life and fulfills your heart’s desires as far as a spouse, friend, husband, father and life partner. God bless!

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