Ok, here it goes. This is what I realized this morning: no man has ever pursued me. Which means that no man has ever truly known me. Which means that no man has ever truly loved me. Dang.
My marriage is ending and as I walk this road these unwanted thoughts keep running up to me. Just last night I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. It occurred to me that there is no one who cares what I look like. Now, don’t email me. I know I’m not supposed to care about my appearance and that God looks at the heart, et cetera, et cetera. I get all that. But I’m a girl. I care. It’s just that now I’m the only one who does.
I still can’t believe I’m the girl who uses words like “my marriage is ending.” Maybe that’s good that it still gets to me, that it still stings. I never expected to be here, but here I am, and right here with me is this realization that I’ve been married and I have children but I’ve never really been loved by a man.
(Remind again me why I write stuff like this? I write stuff like this because I know I’m not the only woman who has ever felt this way. And I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way right now. One of you reading this feels this same exact way, I’m just sure of it. And I don’t want you to feel alone).
What do we do with this?
Well, I start by acknowledging that it is my truth today. It’s a longing, it’s a deficit, and realistically, it just may remain unfulfilled for the long haul, married or not. On days when I’m not a total train wreck, I take it to Jesus instead of ten million other substitute devices that fill for a second and then drain me right back out again. This morning, I did take it to Jesus. Here’s what I said to him... When will I learn to come to you, I mean really come to you? I am asking you, again, Jesus Christ, to fill my emptiness, to heal me and make me whole, again and again, to teach me to fully rely on you alone. I want to know you as my husband, my best friend, my one true love. Please do this in my heart and life. Please fix me and fill me. Amen.
I have asked him for this before. I will ask him for all this again. Maybe it will happen in the next week or so. Maybe it will happen in five minutes. It will probably continue for the rest of my life.
Do I think God's not answering me? Or do I think I just keep banging my head against a wall? God already promises that he’s in me, that I have everything I need, that I am precious to him. He pursued me before I knew him. He’s especially close to those of us who are heartbroken. God is my peace and my joy. My Maker is my husband. God has answered once and for all, and he does answer again and again.
I know all of these things and I believe all of these things and I have experienced all of these things. But I’m human, I’m frail, I’m just a little girl (as a friend refers to herself during her vulnerable moments, even though she’s in her fifties). And I forget. I forget every single day what I’ve learned the day before.
Remembering God’s love
And, let’s face it… this realization, this knowledge that a man has never truly loved me is a pretty big and painful thing to sit with and carry, a heavy thing to know about myself. How did I get to be forty-one without being loved by a spouse? So, yes, it’s going to hurt and sting and make me walk slower on the days when it hits me again as if for the first time.
Do you struggle to feel loved completely, just for who you are?
- You can ask the Holy Spirit to let truth sink into you… truth like “you are precious and honored in my sight and I love you,” as the Lord says in Isaiah 43:4.
- You can remind yourself that his grace is enough and it’s all you need according to 2 Corinthians 12:9.
- You can remind yourself that your maker is your husband according to Isaiah 54.
- You can remind yourself that Jesus is always with you as he tells us in Matthew 28:20.
I’m not going to run from this pain. There’s no point in running; it’ll be here when I come back anyway. This is just part of my story. It’s what makes me love my friends better and deeper. It’s what makes me pray for my children harder. It’s the thing that compels me again and again to go back to Jesus, who knows and sees and understands and heals, and when I’m open, fills me. This journey of divorce is an unfamiliar and unwanted road, but I know that Jesus walks it with me and he will always be there to remind me of that, every time I forget.
Read Daniel's story of facing divorce. It can really help to see how someone else has worked through the pain.
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