“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.” Psalm 25:16-17
I’ve been ignoring you lately, and I’m sorry. It just seemed easier to stuff the emotions and feelings and throw myself into projects rather than admit the truth to myself. You’re hurting and all of this stuffing I’ve been doing only fuels the pain and anger. And now that I’ve gotten over my pride (or I’m trying to) we can talk about what’s really going on.
I’m lonely…plain and simple.
It’s so hard to admit because, frankly, there’s no logical reason. I’m surrounded by people who love and care for me. I’m in a place that I love. I know I have people I can reach out to. I have a God who has never once abandoned me. But for whatever reason, that isn’t enough.
So, instead of admitting all that–because how in the world do you solve loneliness when you’re surrounded by people?–I buy some new clothes and look for a new bedspread and art to go above my bed because maybe making my surroundings look nice and new and clean will somehow cover up the mess in my heart. But it doesn’t. The ignoring only makes me angry.
My heart knows what it needs, but I’m not sure how to get it.
Where do you go when you have your people but you’re still lonely?
I’ve tried pressing into the Lord. And to be honest, that’s one reason I have hated to admit this; because He should be enough, right? If I’m lonely, reach out to God and He’ll fill that need. Then I feel guilty when He’s still not enough.
The reality is, we’re made for community. Deep, intimate community where my heart can come be vulnerable with your heart and in some mysterious way, shared vulnerability draws us into deeper relationship. And I have people I can go to, people who meet my heart where it is and just listen; but too many relationships in life are surface. I hate surface. I hate that I have to put up walls and say I’m fine when I’m not, because I don’t want to deal with this response: “Oh, Jazmin’s not happy being single! Let’s go find her a man!” I appreciate the thought, but shoving a list of available bachelors in my face doesn’t help.
Yes, I want that relationship. I want it so bad it hurts. I want someone to curl up beside and cry with and share my heart with and know that he’ll be there to hold me and walk with me through the pain and the joy. But I don’t have that. And some days I want to shake my fist at God and say, “What’s taking so long?!”
I gave that part of my life to Him years ago, and since then I’ve been waiting for Him to answer that heart-longing. There have been days recently when I’ve wanted to say “Screw all of this, I’m headed to the bar!” But, I don’t drink…and I know hooking up with some stranger who tells me I’m pretty and invites me to share his bed for a night won’t solve any longings. At least, not in the long term. Thankfully, my head knows better, even when my heart is screaming otherwise.
I know I’m made for more than that. It’s why I’m still here waiting, rather than chasing guys who may or may not show an interest in me. It’s why I continue to smile politely when people offer their suggestions about who is available. I’m not sitting here twiddling my thumbs, waiting for Fed ex to drop Mr. Man on my door step (boy, wouldn’t that be convenient…). I’m seeking the Lord, and I’m praying, and I’m letting Him make me into who He’s created me to be.
That was my prayer forever ago–that I would have time to figure out who I really am without a guy in my life to sway my likes, dislikes, personality, or dreams. And I’ve had that time. I’m learning so much about myself. Some days I’m ready for Mr. Man. Other days I’m ready to run from marriage because I know I’m flawed and it’s going to be hard. But I keep sitting here, living life, trying to be content where I am, trying to embrace independence, while still keeping an eye out for the Lord’s provision for relationship.
I’m still here, still struggling through because I believe the Lord made a promise a few years ago, and I’m waiting to see Him bring it about. That doesn’t make the waiting easier, though. Some days I can’t help but think that I’ve been screwed over, waiting on some seemingly impossible promise. Why would the Lord give me these desires and then wait so long to fulfill them? So I doubt myself. Am I not ready? Am I doing something wrong? Am I not good enough?
And I doubt God. I look at Him with tears in my eyes and ask the same question over and over and over again: Why? Why this way? Why so much pain? Is this some cruel joke, and you’re just waiting to deliver the punch line?
But always these words resound in my heart: I don’t play with your heart.
Those words keep me grounded. Those words help my dry my tears because they are truth. The Lord does not play with my heart. He does not give promises and make His plans known only to change His mind and say it was all a joke. His word stands firm and it accomplishes His purposes.
That’s why I’m still here. That’s why I’m still laying down my pride and letting my heart air out a bit. That’s why I continue to push through the pain and fall before the Lord and ask people for prayer because I’m still believing. It’s why I continue to look for and pray for ways to connect with people around me. It’s why I’m acknowledging this desire to get a dog and letting myself be open to however the Lord decides to fill my need for companionship right now as a single woman.
It’s why I’m clinging to truth and the reality that these feelings are nothing new…They aren’t foreign (I’ve written about them enough in the past to know that). In fact, even the Lord is well acquainted with loneliness. Hanging there on the cross, the literal weight of the world on his shoulders, his friends and followers hiding.
So whatever it is weighing down your heart today, whatever you’re stuffing because you don’t want to admit it or deal with it, even if you talk with no one else about it, tell the Lord. He already knows it. He’s intimately acquainted with all of our ways, including the ways of our aching hearts. Take a minute and be vulnerable with Him, be honest with yourself. It may not “fix” things, but it goes a long way to lightening the load on your weary heart.
Live in His love!
Related: Dear Heart, About My Ring