Suffering in singleness

I’ve been avoiding writing this blog because I didn’t want it to offend my married friends. I didn’t want it to offend God. I didn’t want it to come across as though I wasn’t grateful.

But He keeps telling me to write, and while it might hurt or offend, maybe it will be a comforting whisper to someone else who is silently suffering. Maybe it will be a helpful reminder for someone who hasn’t been in this season for a long time. Maybe, just maybe, my words are bigger than me and His Holy Spirit can do more than I could ever imagine. 

People love to tell singles “A spouse can’t complete you.” And I agree with them. It’s why I’ve put in over 3 years of intentionally bettering myself and becoming a radiant woman in the Lord.

A spouse can’t complete us. But that doesn’t mean a spouse can’t fill a void that only a spouse can. 

My friends and community love me so well. My married/in relationship friends (which encompasses ALL my girl friends except one) invite me on trips with them. They invite me to go hiking with them. To play games with them. To simply just hang out and do nothing with them. They invite me into the nitty gritty that is their life without filters. 

And I am so grateful.

But… my community will never be able to fill the void of a stolen kiss.

Of a hand held under the table (I’m only a physical touch person in dating relationships).

Of the reassuring squeeze after a hard day.

The cuddles when you’re just done being strong.

The built in travel buddy so when everyone else says, “No I can’t,” they still say: “Let’s do it.” 

The person to work toward something with.

The person to dream with.

The person to watch that dream come to fruition.

The person who gets to see the most intimate parts of my soul, and can walk alongside me in ways no one else can, because we are One. 

Who can pray for me in a way no one else can.

Who can make me better just by being there and around. 

My friends can’t fill a void like this, no matter how many other voids they’re capable of filling. And no, I’m not naive to think marriage is rainbows and butterflies. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the silent void singles feel that doesn’t make sense to non-singles.

A husband is called to lay down his life for his wife. So while I have amazing friends who are loyal to me and love me so incredibly well, their husband will always come first. I am not bitter about it, it’s beautiful that the Lord orchestrated it that way, and I can’t wait to have that too. But. There will always be something my friends can’t fill. 

So no, a husband can’t complete me. But he can fill a void that will always be there without him.

And I don’t think this is talked about enough. I think we’re too focused on making sure singles aren’t idolizing marriage. Or making sure they know marriage isn’t always greener on the other side. Or making sure they’re content in singleness. Or making sure they’re focused on the right things. Which are all good things, however, I think it causes us to forget there is a silent suffering that can come with even the most in-love-with-singleness person. I LOVE my singleness but that doesn’t mean I don’t long for something more.

I can love God & long for more of Him.

A couple can love their time together & long for a child.

Someone can love their job & long for a different dream.

I’ve done all the things a single person is supposed to do. You name it I’ve probably done it. Fell more in love with Jesus. Traveled alone. Healed from my past. Learned life skills like budgeting. Spent more time with friends and family. Did six months of intentional singleness so I could heal and fall more in love with Jesus. Went through seasons I was so focused on living an abundant life I forgot about a husband (aka I wasn’t expecting him) and he still never showed up.

I am a poster child for singleness — and yet, I still silently suffer with a void that can only be filled by my husband. I don’t idolize him. I’m just aware that these feelings of emptiness/hurt/longing are SO specific and only appear minimally, because only he can fill them.

And don’t you worry, the Lord is gracious to provide seasons where these feelings don’t exist. He takes them away for periods of time. But they always return. Always. Because I wholeheartedly believe He created me to be a wife. So until the time comes for Him to present me with this good gift, the void will remain, and I will continue to live an abundant life despite this silent suffering.

Because my relationship status doesn’t define me. I’ve learned to live an abundant life without my husband. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still sting from time to time.

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