From the Diary of a Single Girl: A Dull Ache

Photo by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash
PART OF THE SINGLE WOMAN’S BLOGGING CHALLENGE
CHECK OUT PART ONE & TWO & THREE HERE.

There’s a dull ache in my heart every time I click open a social media page.

Oh, look another engagement.

Oh, wow—another blissfully happy couple living life.

Oh, how truly sweet it is.

Lately, there’s been a very real pain in my singleness.

It’s more like a dull ache at this point. Scarred over. Not quite healed, but no longer a gaping lesion either. Only exacerbated now when I see another so-and-so is “in a relationship with” or “is engaged to” pop up on Facebook. Or on Instagram when I see posts about #mcm or #wcw fill up my feed.

Some days, I think of just deleting my accounts entirely. And then the rational part of me reminds myself that it isn’t quite as simple as that. This is a heart issue. One that unfortunately won’t disappear into thin air by a mere “permanently delete account” button.

Oh, but I wish it was as simple as that—don’t you? If there were a “permanently delete unfulfilled longings” button for life, I think some days I would hit it in a second just to rid myself of this ongoing pain.

Saying pain out loud—or on paper—seems dramatic to me. But I’m not going to sugar coat the truth. It’s not annoyance to see another beautiful couple engaged and married—taking on the twists and turns of life together. It’s not anger that they were brought together and found one another through prayer or happenstance or whatever.

It’s painful for me. Because it reminds me that I am alone, and that perhaps I might always be.

That I might never find someone to walk through this life with, intimately and bound by covenant.

Yes, this is a heart issue. Yes, this is a trust issue. And it’s one that I fear I may carry in my heart, with me throughout my life. Even with Jesus at the center of it.

And that’s okay.

Because Jesus is in it. And truly, truly—it is by His strength alone that I can face this pain. This dull ache. It is not my own strength that can fight through this pain, but by His alone. Believe me I try to handle things on my own—but when I do, the ending is never one I am proud of.


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4

Truthfully, in this life I know that trials are inevitable. They will probably look different for everyone—or similar, I don’t know. They ebb and flow, or some vanish altogether. I often pray for the latter.

I also know that I’m not here to be comfortable. In this life, I mean. I was not placed on this earth by my Heavenly Father to live a comfortable, seemingly perfect and pain-free life. But to worship Him in all things and to give thanks in all things.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Even the things that feel like a punch in the gut from the world. My fears of ending up alone, my thoughts of inadequacy, or my weirdly pessimistic outlook on life at times.


All of it is a part of life, at least for me. Parts that I constantly—almost daily, even sometimes hourly, need to keep putting at the foot of the cross. Laying it down in front of the One who gets me most and knows me best. In hopes that one day, He will make it all beautiful in His timing. Clumsily and falteringly putting my trust in Him.

I could just write this in my journal, as some (maybe even you) might suggest. But I don’t want to. My journal is really just a cage of my own thoughts. And I don’t feel like keeping this to myself. I’ve lived enough life to understand the power of sharing a testimony or painful trials with others. And to be honest, I could use the encouragement. So, here I am—scars and open wounds on display. Yes, that makes me vulnerable to more hurt and more pain. But since when is life painless?

But, I can keep going through it. I can continue growing through it. And I have to keep trusting God with it—all of it. Especially with this dull, painful ache.

I hope this reminds you that you can do the same.

Photo by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash

2 Comments
Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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2 Comments

  • Fehintola

    Hey Leighann, I feel like you read my heart to write this. I wish I had an off switch for the feelings and longing too. Just turn it all off and move on with life, stop wondering if this is the year I finally meet someone and get married. But I guess it’s all part of God’s plan to teach us how to wait on him and how he’s enough for us.
    It isn’t easy, I’ll be honest. This year has been really hard for me and it would have been nice if I had a partner to share all my struggles with but I don’t have one.
    I think when we finally meet our people, all this ache won’t matter. It won’t matter how long we were single for or how many people broke our heart. Every thing will click. I remind myself this while I’m waiting on God.
    Great read as always. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your emotions and feelings with us. Reminds me I’m not alone in this world on this issue. Cheers!

    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Fehintola, my heart is so full reading your comment. I especially love the part about how none of this will matter, when the time comes. And you’re so right–God is still in control and I need to constantly assure myself of this especially during hard seasons like this one. Thank you, so much sister–I appreciate you always reading and sharing your thoughts. XOXO, Leighann

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Obsession. I like to say photography is my love language—I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nice, right? I’m obsessed with taking pictures and learning more about composition, editing and trying new things with my little @canonusa baby. *accidentally deleted my post from yesterday—so here it is again*
  • This is not a drill—it’s a GIVEAWAY! 
Meet Kayla (@kayzilch). Though we’ve met just recently, I immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit (she’s also a Type-4 Enneagram)! Her writing is real, authentic and delves into an array of important topics such as mental health, identity, faith and much more on her blog @tobetruth_. She’s also working to become a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about her work as a freelance writer! 
Meet Meghan (@meghantschanz). I’ve never met a woman so determined and passionate about creating authentic community and tackling tough topics. She’s not afraid to go there and start conversations about real-world issues like sex- and labor-trafficking around the world, feminism (or lack thereof) within the church and equality for ALL. She’s currently working on securing a book deal, with the goal of empowering women around the globe to recognize their influence in society and their ability to make the world a more equal place. 
These women are doing some amazing things and I’m honestly just excited to come along for the ride. I believe in us, the work we’ve been called to do and I hope, after learning more about us, you will too. To celebrate and continue advocating for causes we believe in, we’re doing a giveaway with @causebox. 
Here’s where you come in:

1. Give this post a (♡) double tap.

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The prize is a summer-themed @causebox valued at $300, packed full of small-batch, sustainable and ethically created gifts made by women and small businesses around the world. 
Winner will be announced Friday (8/24) morning at 10am EST!
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Blue. I’ve been looking for a way to fill my ginormous (at least it seems that way) white living room wall. Every time I thought I knew how I wanted to decorate that space, I changed my mind suddenly, determined that there had to be a better way to fill the empty 
space.

I didn’t know this about me before, but it hit me one day, as my parents were helping me unpack my stuff in my new place. My mom began asking me what I’d like my new place to look like, rug colors, mat textures, wall—fixtures and all. I am no good at decorating. Like, I had no idea how to put a space together. I’ve never been on my own before and the idea of having to decide how my space would be...mine, freaked me out. 
But then, little by little I found some pieces that I didn’t hate, and started to put them together. And yesterday, I stumbled upon these little treasures at Marshall’s. I couldn’t resist the ocean hues and beach vibes. I knew it was meant to be. 
All that to say, for anyone else struggling to put your place together after either never having to do it before #livingsingle or maybe putting the pieces of your life back together after a breakup or split—take your time. It will all come together eventually and it will look amazing. And before you know it, it will start to look, like you. ttys
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Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
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5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys

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