It may surprise you to find out that one of the most common searches that leads people to my blog is “lonely and married” or some variation of that. Back in November I wrote this blog addressing the misconception that once a person marries all loneliness disappears. This particular blog post is one of the most viewed blogs that I've ever written. Both of these stats tell me that it isn't just single women who are lonely. Married women are lonely, too.
In my first blog on loneliness I addressed one main cause of loneliness: unmet expectations. Today I want to address something else: the Jesus-shaped hole in your heart.
When I was in high school our youth group used to do a skit that presented the gospel. The main character wore a necklace with a large wooden block on it. In the middle of the block was a cut-out in the shape of a cross. Throughout the skit the main character was lonely and depressed. Different people tried to comfort the lonely man by offering things like relationships, food, drugs, money, etc. to fill this hole, but nothing worked. The void was still there. The last person to approach the lonely character held a cross, representing Jesus. He shared with our lonely friend that nothing except Jesus could fill this void. In the end the lonely character placed the cross into the hole and it fit perfectly. The moral of the story was, and still is, nothing satisfies like the Lord.
Do you believe this?
Do you believe Jesus is the ONLY thing that can fill that ache in your heart?
One of the questions I posed on the first Wedding Wednesday! was, “How can I prepare mentally, spiritually & emotionally for marriage if I’m not dating anyone?” I believe dealing with your loneliness is one way you can prepare for marriage whether or not you are in a relationship, so listen up, single girls. This blog is for you, too.
Now, first of all, missing someone's company is not a bad thing. However, becoming depressed and obsessing over your loneliness is a slippery slope. One that I have slid down from time to time. If I'm completely honest I have been lonely both as a single person and as a married person. And when I didn't want to be lonely, my solution was to be satisfied as a loner…to determine in my heart that I was okay by myself. I didn't need anybody to satisfy my need of companionship.
But that was a horrible solution. That type of thinking only leads to shutting people out.
God taught me after many, many trips down the lonely road, that He had something better for me. He didn't want me to be okay by myself. He created me to long for companionship. He revealed to me that He wanted to fill that lonely place in my heart. Although I made a decision to give my life to Jesus when I was five years old, I haven't always surrendered to Him on a daily basis. I haven't always let Him reign in my heart and meet all of my needs. I have attempted to meet my own needs and fill my own voids. But this always led to disappointment. So when I really struggled with loneliness both as a single woman and as a married woman, I had to learn the hard way, that no man can fill that void. There isn't magic number of lunch dates with friends or playdates with other moms that can make this loneliness disappear. Yes, you can mask it for a while, but until you stare it in the face, deal with the real issue at hand, and find a way to let Jesus fill that hole, you will constantly be disappointed.
I don't know what your “real issue” is. For me, the lonely monster creeps up when I let myself believe the lies that I'm by myself because something is wrong with me. The lie that no one wants to be around me. And honestly, if you are in a marriage where your spouse doesn't want to be around you, this can be an even more daunting trial. However, the truth is that Someone always desires to be with you. His name is Jesus.
When you are married your husband can't always be there. He can't always come running when you need him. Your husband may be checked out mentally or emotionally in your marriage. I don't know your situation. But I do know that no matter what the state of your husband (loving, non-existent, or checked out), there is a man who longs to be with you. His name is Jesus. He died so that you could have a relationship with the Father. He conquered the grave and death so that you could have new life. He tells us in John 10:10 that He came so that we could live a full life.
Are you letting loneliness rob you of a full life? Are you ready to make a change? Are you ready to allow Jesus to fill that lonely void?
How can you practically choose to let Jesus fill that void?
What can you do today to move away from loneliness and enjoy the full life that Christ offers?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!