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Lessons from Longing

Lessons from Longing

Three ways I've grown during my single years.
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In his book Waking the Dead, author John Eldredge describes spiritual battle in terms of "agreements." What agreements do I make with the dark voice that tells me I must not be capable of a deep, committed relationship with a man? That because of this, or because I'm not attractive enough, I'll be alone forever? I've begun to recognize this condemning voice and to refuse acquiescence. Because my singleness forces me to lean only on God for complete assurance, I've learned from him to see the battle more clearly, and he's teaching me how to fight. As a result, like Dorothy's Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, I've found courage to face an uncertain future without fear.

Psalm 27: 1-2 says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" God is and should always be my protector, provider, and Savior … whether I have a husband or not.

Faith

In being without the earthly companionship I long for, I face a decision. Do I believe, as Eve did when she was tempted in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:2-6), that God is cruelly withholding the very thing for which my heart hungers? Or do I choose to believe what God has told me—that he's doing what's best for me even if it hurts and I simply don't understand (Romans 8:28)?

Perhaps faith in the face of difficulty and disappointment pleases God simply because it keeps the ones he loves so close to him. In Mark 9:17-27, a distraught father brings his suffering son to Jesus to be healed. Jesus asks the man if he believes his boy can be healed, and the man replies, in desperation, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" I love this prayer; it's so wonderfully honest. In our darkest times, when we come to the end of ourselves and have tasted loneliness past what we think we're able to bear, we too can cry out to Jesus for help and hope. In resisting the temptation to doubt his goodness toward us, we're brought closer to him.

I've had nights of such loneliness and disappointment that I've wrestled with God and refused to let go. Although I feel wounded, I know he's with me, because Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." As I cry out for faith, I come to know his broken heart in ways only the brokenhearted can. After all, God knows what it is to long for something you don't have; he's longed for the affection of his loved ones for centuries.

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Displaying 1–3 of 18 comments

Tina

April 10, 2014  8:43am

Such a nice article. I struggle with being alone every day - it is all consuming at time.

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Jo

March 24, 2014  12:38am

I have never liked test in school and from the time I was born-again I have been greatly tested but this test came with much pain, sorrow, and sleepless nights. I am tired of it all and I just need some peace and happiness. I just keep getting older and older and the pain of life gets worse. I just want God to tell me why He places me here to suffer for so long and when will He stop this daily pain in my heart? When will He love on me in this way like I see him loving on others? Life feels like a long prison of pain!

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Wynne Clancy

March 13, 2014  5:02am

Colleen Alden was mentioned to me this morning after I had talked about my concern for my daughter who is 42 years old, lonely, depressed. She had a car accident a year ago when she broke her back in two places. She lost her job and car and social contacts. This name was given to me today, and I followed it up because I don't know how to help my daughter any more - and would like to. I enjoyed reading the article, is there any way she could join a group of lonely people she could share her feelings with?

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