“The only one that can truly satisfy the human heart is the one that made it.” But knowing this truth, it gives me all the more reason to call this season that I’m in currently very interesting. I’ve grown closer to God through everything that has been happening & I’ve walked away with 2 lessons:
God answers prayer.
Though God is silent, He is not absent.
If you know me, you’ll know that I belong to and serve at a church home I asolutely adore and am so greatful for. Also, I have a wonderful community that encourages me and pushes me to have deeper relationship with the Father. These are the people I prayed for since my last semester of college and am beyond astounded at how God came through. What this season serving and leading at NewSpring Church has taught me, is that obedience leads to transformation which in turn influences those that I lead. Though I love where I am and how far the Lord has brought me, last night was a painful reminder that even though following the Lord is fulfilling, it doesn’t mean you life is free of emotional hurt sometimes.
As you know, a major part of my life that the Lord has been working on is trusting men and believing that God will follow through with His promises. In addition to this, He has shown that me that all these years, I haven’t been gaurding my heart rather that I’ve been hiding it behind walls. Gaurding your heart means surrounding yourself with His Word and are ready to fend off the enemy at any moment. Hiding it behind walls looks very different; for me, it meant that I created a barrier that didn’t allow anything to get through in an effort to not let myself get my hopes up which would lead to hurt & disappointment. I hadn’t noticed it was there until I had a meaningful chat with the Lord one day and said, “God, I don’t think You will follow through with Your promise to me. There’s been absolutely no evidence of Your hand at work in my love life, so how can I trust that You’ll really follow through?” Harsh and uncalled for but that’s how I felt. I never got noticed by the right kind of men, let alone any man at all. I didn’t have confidence to put myself out there and on top of all of this, I didn’t think anyone would want to pursue me. In an effort to not get hurt, I put walls up and didn’t let myself entertain any thought about a guy because it would never work out (at least that’s what I thought).
Never once did I think that the Lord was trying to keep me safe by not let just anyone approach me and hurt me. I thought the absence of attention meant the absence of God caring about me and my longings but that is a deep lie that the enemy tricked me into believing for a very long time. It is very possible that the Lord all those years was showing me that I was worthy of saving for His absolute best! I had never thought about that before and it truly made me think. I wasn’t being ignored, I was being saved and I didn’t even know it. While this was a powerful revelation, that still didn’t make one other truth any easier to cope with: I’m still a human with a need for affection. Many people still think that simply because you’re a single virgin (and a Chrisitan one at that) it somehow means we are completely free from hormones and the burning desire for intimacy (not neccessarily just sex but to be held, loved, hold hands, pursued, etc). Let me tell you, that’s a lie straight from Satan himself! I am still human, y’all. I still long to be pursued, loved, hold hands, be told I’m beautiful, and be known as a woman. Just because I haven’t experienced those things yet doesn’t mean I’m somehow immune to all of those feelings. And with days like yesterday, I was painfully hyper aware of my being without someone to call my forever person.
Now I’d like to clarify something before I continue, I am an independent person, always have been. Setting aside my personality of being a strong-willed and independent person, being an only child, I learned how to have fun on my own and be my own friend. It made me curious to discover new things, be content by myself, and appreciate quiet time. In additon to this, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a wonderful community and amazing friends. My family is wonderful and I couldn’t be more blessed. What I’m also trying to get at is this: just because you’re single doesn’t mean God can’t use you, it doesn’t mean you don’t have purpose, it doesn’t mean you are incomplete, and it definitely does NOT mean that another person can fulfill you. Only God can do that and the Lord has been so incredibly faithful in showing this to me. At the same time, it is perfectly normal to also long for God given desires (i.e. being in a relationship that will lead to a marriage that is Christ-centered and is a living example of Jesus’ love for the Church). And even though I love all of this time being able to serve God in every aspect of my life (which is a luxury you have when you’re single because you don’t have to worry about pouring into your husband, your children, adult responsibilities, etc), sometimes you get lonely.
Yesterday was one of those times and here’s how it all started: I woke up and began my morning prayer with the Lord. I then felt something welling up inside of me and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. “God-” I said, “I just want someone to hold, someone to cuddle with, someone who loves me and reminds me that I’m beautiful. Someone to kiss me good morning and holds my hand just because. Someone who will encourage me and lead me into deeper relationship with You. I know I have purpose being single right now and I now have the confidence to know that You will fulfill your promises to me. I’m even letting myself be open to liking someone and thinking I’m worthy of being pursued! But I feel like I’m not asking for a lot. I’m no longer in any rush to get married and have children, I just want to meet my future husband and be pursued! I want to get to know him and live as a couple who can be a testament to Your glory and faithfulness. Am I missing something?”
I felt so low, I didn’t think I was asking for a lot but I know that I was being impatient and not believing in God’s timing. It’s so difficult when your soul and spirit says “trust the Lord, He knows what He’s doing” and your human self says, “I know, but I’m lonely”. The battle between spirit and flesh is an ongoing one and everyone has gone through it before. But when your emotions get wrapped up into it, it takes on a whole new feeling. I laid in my bed and felt myself slipping into a deep longing and despair. It broke my heart to see another person I knew get engaged, it torn me up inside to feel like I couldn’t go to certain people in my life because they were already in relationships, and it didn’t help when the comfort I’d received was, “Aww I’m sorry. God loves you so much!” I KNOW He loves me “so much” but He can’t hold my hand or kiss me goodnight. It didn’t feel helpful at all. I closed my journal and put it aside and decided to just sit in His presence and wait for His comfort. I kept repeating, “Lord, give me something. Anything! I trust that you’ll do that because You are comfort and peace. Please, it hurts.” Then suddenly, a sorority sister of mine texted me saying she was feeling a lot like I did, asking for encouragement. Then, words began to flow from me to her and by the time I had finished my message to her, I realized it was a message to me as well. The Lord never fails, y’all.
After that moment, I just decided to worship and sang 2 songs (one by Bethel Worship and the other by Elevation Worship, so good) in particular on repeat for what seemed like many hours. It comforted my heart and I needed to just be reminded of His faithfulness. The rest of my day had gone fairly well, I was productive, went to the gym, and spent time with family. But the lingering feeling of going home without anyone to call mine was still there. Night had fallen and I was getting tired. I began to play “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship and as soon as the words began, I burst into silent sobs.
“Walking around these walls, I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet.
Waiting for change to come, knowing the battle’s won.
For You have never failed me yet.
Your promise still stands, great is Your faithfullness.
I’m still in Your hands, this is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet.” – Elevation Worship
The words moved me and I allowed myself to be honest with the Lord. All that morning, I realized that I allowed myself to feel what I felt and take them to God. This was a very big step for me; I didn’t allow any of my pain to hinder my relationship with the Lord and instead of running away and staying with my pain, I ran toward God with it and gave it to Him. God knows how much I long for His best to step into my life and I just let myself cry in His arms.
I ended up crying myself to sleep and woke up feeling a lot better. I read my morning devotional, I wrote in my journal, I read my memory verse for the week, and here I am, using my experience to minister to all of you reading this. This by no means, means that the longing has gone away but it does mean that I let God comfort me in my pain. I still haven’t met my future husband [that I know of 😉 ] and I’m still single. But sometimes apart of God fulfilling His promise to me is comforting me through the occassional pain of the wait. I walked away from this encounter with a deeper desire to know more about Scripture and how it applies to our lives, I want to worship even more, and I want to pray even harder for my future husband and for a deeper relationship with God. Life isn’t without pain, but because I remain obedient to the Lord, He transforms me and I’m hoping that in turn it will influence the people around me struggling with the same things as I am. I want to use my single season as a testimony for God’s glory and if this is apart of the journey, then so be it. I have confidence the Lord will fulfill every promise He’s made to me and because of this, I have hope.