From the day I started this blog, I’ve always desired for it to be real, authentic. And while I have never said anything on these pages that isn’t true, there’s a part of myself that I’ve been too afraid to open up to the big wide internet world. But what is our life, if not to live it for others?
I’m 27 years old…and single. In American culture, 27 is young and my singleness is nothing to wonder about. In fact, it’s almost celebrated! And somehow stepping into the Christian community there is this cosmic shift. I can see it in their faces: concern, wonder, or a desire to set me up. Please don’t misunderstand me. These are people I love, respect and know that they have great intentions and the concerns and the desires pour out of their love.
The point here is not what other people think, whatever community they are a part of. The point is that being a part of the Christian community, having gone to a Christian university and having worked at a Christian camp, I’ve seen a lot of young people around me fall in love, get married and start their own families. All the while, hearing from so many of my friends and family about how these were great places for me to be because that’s where “so and so” met the love of their life.
That time has come and gone and I am still doing this life as a single woman, madly in love with Jesus, always seeking adventure and yet wondering if I’ll get to partner in these things with someone one day. As I go through the seasons of life, I go through phases of longing. Sometimes it is circumstantial. Like when I think about life after grad school and how it would be lovely to have someone to partner with me in seeking God for direction for us. For the most part though it comes and goes like salty water on the shore. A slow and quiet tide creeping up on the land or a crashing wave breaking apart the sand beneath its weight.
However it has come, guilt has almost always accompanied it. And I have repeated words to myself, like “God’s timing is perfect” and “you are so blessed, how could you ask for this one thing you don’t have,” or “God is more than enough.” These are all incredible truths. But they don’t mean that the longing has to leave. Or that it is wrong in some way. God places longing in our hearts. His desire is that we would invite him to sit with us in that longing. Not wish it away.
A friend spoke this over me last week and while it resonated with me, I did not invite Him in. I no longer felt guilty about my longing but there was still a part of me that wanted it to leave and take up its residence someplace else. Finally, after a week of wrestling, I let go. With gentle, quiet tears making their way down my cheeks, I hugged my pillow and I invited God into the longing. I invited Him to sit with me there. He understands that longing more than anyone. It’s how he longs for us. He deeply desires our hearts. He calls us out to the wilderness so He can speak tenderly to us (Hosea 2:14). He not only wants us to invite Him into that longing but He asks us to respond to Him. He desires to partner with me just as I desire a partner for this life. Just as I long for someone to adore me, He desires for us to adore Him the way He adores us.
Whatever your heart is longing for, invite Him in! Make room for Him to sit with you! Longing can be defined as an intense yearning. I believe the Father puts those longings in our hearts because of the things He wants to fulfill in our lives. But I also believe they are there so that we will open up the deepest parts of ourselves to Him.
If you are single, I highly recommend the following articles. One for boys and one for girls. But either way, you should read both!
Five Notes on Dating for the Guys
For the Gals: 8 Principles for Dating
3 thoughts on “The Longing”
You ministered to me. Thanks Sarah.
Great post! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the longing. It’s normal and natural. We just need to learn to surrender it to Christ and allow Him to meet that longing in His own time.
Such true words, girl. I need to let him into my longing (although for a child) as well.