I didn’t want to write this post, because I hate being vulnerable. However, it seems God intentionally left me with no other blog-worthy ponders this week so that I have no choice in the matter. *Deep breath* Well, here we go, then. I apologize if it’s a little choppy. I’ve never tried to put the whole thing into words at once.
Ever since I was around fourteen I struggled with wanting to get married and having to wait. I’ve covertly mentioned it plenty on here as “loneliness”, but never really opened up about it. I struggled with myself, wondering if it was discontentment, if it was wrong for me to want a man of my own so badly that sometimes it almost physically hurt. I fought thoughts of a certain young man like a cornered and desperate dragon, but the battles left me so exhausted that I wanted nothing more than to give in and dwell on him more than I should. And I did. I spent countless hours crying alone, begging God to take this away from me, then turning around and feasting my mind on thoughts I knew did not line up with my prayers. Then the thoughts would leave me feeling more miserable and I would run back to God crying about how much this hurt.
Sometimes I forgot for a short while, and I went on my merry way until someone mentioned the forbidden name, or something reminded me of him, or I heard a romantic song or watched a movie. Then suddenly it crashed in on me again, like waves of suffocation. Repeat the vicious cycle. Try to forget. Give up. Cry. Curl up where no one could see I was miserable. Somehow I couldn’t let anyone know, because they might laugh at me, or tell me I was silly to like him, that it was an impossible situation and I might as well forget about it. How could I forget? That’s what I had been trying to do for how long now?
Then at the beginning of the year God made sure to take ‘him’ far away where I would most likely never see him again. It hurt. I cried, alone as usual, but life kept on and I slowly learned it was okay. I still missed him. It still ached. But somehow He helped me to surrender him after all this time. But then something would remind me of him, and it would hurt again. I tried to run away from the reminders. To this day I’m wary of romance movies and love songs.
Recently we took a road trip out of state, and on the way back home, we drove through the town I knew ‘he’ was from (though he didn’t live there anymore). My dad even mentioned him. And for the first time, I realized, it didn’t mess with my brain the way reminders like that used to. It didn’t hurt like it used to. I didn’t slide into a puddle of misery. I was okay with it, even. That’s when I realized…that the emotional chains I’d been living in for so long were slowly loosening.
In the last couple weeks God has been opening up new and exciting doors for me to walk through, and in the process of my excitement about where He was taking me, I realized something – I was completely happy just serving God where He led. I no longer felt like I needed a guy of my own to be content. Playing piano at the nursing home, working at my favorite little coffee shop, writing (mostly) kid’s story stuff, and preparing to head into serious art training – doing the things I love, and seeking to serve God and “dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness”…it’s enough, in a way it didn’t used to be. I’m not so afraid to stay unmarried for years and years anymore. After all this time, He’s freed me. After all these years of wondering if it was even possible, I’ve found that it is – you can be content and joyful in your own adventure. Even when you’re pretty sure all your friends are conspiring to all get married at the same time, you can sincerely rejoice with them without feeling sorry for yourself at the same time.
It doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t try to drag you back into the old muck and misery, but once you’ve tasted freedom, you don’t fall for the old lies as easily anymore. You know the freedom you have, even when you don’t feel it right at that moment, and that gives you the strength to say NO to the old thoughts, the old lies. And after all these years, I’ve come to a point where I can say that and know it to be true. Praise God! Even the pain of the journey is worth what you find on the other side.