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.”
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.
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.