It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that being married will somehow solve my desire for happiness.
I do not feel unhappy in my life, but I used to. The Lord has been faithful to show me the joys of the season I find myself in. However, within those joys, or I should say, in between them, are moments (sometimes days) of struggle.
Those moments when my heart sinks inside of itself a little bit, as I find myself asking the Lord if my time will ever come.
How easy it is to think that the grass is greener on the other side. My potential “green grass” may look different than yours, but that not does mean that my pain hurts any more or less than your own unfulfilled longing, unanswered prayer, or craving for change.
Maybe finances are really tight, and you are just looking forward to the day when paying bills won’t be such a struggle. Maybe you are sick, and have prayed for healing for years. Maybe you are unemployed, and have done everything in your power to get a job. Or maybe, you are just longing for the day when you will no longer have to make your way through life alone.
No matter what our circumstances are like, there will be always something to long for—something that we wish would change, something that will tempt us to desire it more than we desire God.
While God wants us to always walk in joy, the enemy has set traps for us to stumble and fall into doubt and fear.
To get us into the trap, he uses bait. This is his attempt to cause us to believe the lie, that if only we could ______ (fill in the blank), then we would be happy.
For me, my bait can look like this:
- Sitting alone every Sunday morning in a church saturated with families and couples.
- Studying at Starbucks for some stupid test while I listen to an engaged couple meet with a DJ about the songs they want played at their wedding reception.
- Seeing a glowing mother-to-be touch her swollen belly, a mark of wonder on her face.
- Attending wedding after wedding after wedding, watching another happy couple dance in the moonlight.
- Observing my friend and her husband dote on their 8-month-old baby as he crawls across the room.
- Sitting on the couch opposite my brother and sister-in-law as they cuddle and watch a movie, while the space next to me remains perpetually empty.
- Attending family gatherings and parties where I am the only single adult, while younger siblings, friends, and cousins are doting their significant others and spouses on their arms.
All of these scenarios and situations have been traps for me in the past.
I spent years in that trap. I made my bed in that trap. I planted myself in that trap. It was a brutal way to spend my time. I tried to dig myself out, and I just got in deeper. I was covered in dirt and filth and lies, and it was nearly impossible to see Truth. I was fed up.
I got to the point where I did not want to be trapped anymore. I wanted to be free. All I did was ask the Lord for help, and His hand reached down and pulled me out. He is giving me insight. He is showing me the other side. The trap sucks. It is a miserable place.
However, since I spent so much time there, I now recognize a trap when I see one.
I’ve realized that loneliness is not limited to those who are single. I know a lot of married women who are lonely in their marriage.
While I am longing for the joys and companionship of marriage and motherhood, many women who have these things are longing for the simplicity of singlehood.
A few months ago I was talking with a married woman who recently had a baby. She shared with me her own struggle with the craving for change. I was surprised to hear it–she has everything I have ever wanted, everything she has ever wanted, and yet there is still this struggle, this ache within her soul for something more.
I think God creates, ordains, and even facilitates our lives in such a way to increase that ache, until we are simply aching for Him. That “more” that we are all longing for deep inside of us, isn’t about getting married. Not really. It is simply the response of our souls, to the calling of a Father who loves us—a Father who desperately wants to protect His kids, from the dangers of falling into a trap of lies.
Jenny LaBahn has a heart for singles who are trying to find their way in a world of pairs. She is a hair stylist and English Lit major who eats fishies (Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers—yes, the ones that are served in pre-school) every single night and keeps a large box handy by her bed. She blogs at http://www.mydoubleportion.
Photo credit: Rudolph Getel