Recently I headed out early on Saturday morning. I grabbed my backpack and decided to head for a new adventure out in landscape unknown. I have a bit of a spontaneous hiker in me. At times I plan ahead weeks, other times I wake up and go. That was the only reason I was up to see the Royal Wedding a few years back, I was trying to see the sunrise from the top of the Smokies. But I did pause and clap for them on their wedding day. I am still a girl after all…
When I get the itch to hike, it must be satiated. I caught the bug a few years back after living at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains for the majority of my life. It provided a means to expand my hobby of photography, but it became much more than that. Being on the trails, and even off the beaten path, started to be longed for deep within.
Do you have that thing, which digs deep inside of you, and nestles in at such a point where you long for it the longer you go without?
For a while, that for me was the longing for marriage. It was this deep, guttural clenching desire to be in a marriage relationship with a man. I found the longing for a relationship all-consuming. I would dwell, read and ruminate on marriage—what it would look like, what others thought it was and how it was defined in Biblical texts. I would seek counsel from engaged and married friends alike, wondering just exactly when it would happen for me.
Quickly and without much notice, the idea of marriage became an idol in my life—much like my singleness was already—dwelling more and more on the whys of it than I care to elaborate on. It was the constant source of fret and worry, and always at the forefront of my thoughts.
Slowly, I saw what I was doing and where I was dwelling. In this place of doubt in what God has promised and who He has said I am, right now, I found that I was becoming the exact thing I had vowed to never become. That single woman. I turned around and saw just how far off the path I was, from His path He had laid long ago for me. I had chosen my own path thinking the things I chose were far better than the promises He had waiting. I filled my longing with cheap, imitation stuff thinking that would provide full satisfaction. Yet in Psalm 107: 9 I am explicitly shown: “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
Instead of seeking out my own means of fulfilling a longing, I must trust in Him to provide it. He knows the hunger I have deep within, because I choose to lay it before Him each and every time instead of running off with it leading the way. He brings about the good things to fill that hunger. Do they look like what I thought they would? Not that often, but I trust that He knows what suits my longing far better than I.
So here I stand, at the bottom of a huge waterfall after hiking a mile out and ¾ of a mile down to its base. I stand with eyes closed knowing He is truly fulfilling the longing this soul has for more. More of this, time with Him, seeing the beauty His hands crafted. Trusting that in this longing for more, it means I get more of Him…and that cannot be too bad after all.
Do you have a deep longing as a single? Are you placing the idea of marriage or a partner ahead of God? When your thoughts start down the rabbit hole of longing unfulfilled, stop and let God take it over. Leave the longing for more and choose more of Him.
Easier said than done, I know, but it can be quite breathtaking when you do.
If you know someone who is struggling to trust God, will you email them this post to encourage them?