When Connally asked if I would share an “Ah-ha” moment from my newly married life, I knew exactly which moment I would share. It was a moment about 5 months into my marriage, and I was sitting in my living across from my husband, crying my eyes out.
My crying started out from feeling misunderstood, but it quickly developed into crying from a deeper fear and disappointment. The fear and disappointment that came as I realized that the feeling was re-emerging from the depths of my soul. You may be familiar with the feeling. It is that strange mix of being lonely, of wanting a deep connection with another person, and of desiring to be fully loved, which makes you want to crawl under the covers and give up. As I sat there with my husband, I was shocked.
“Where was this coming from?”
“Why is THE feeling still here? I’m married now!?”
“Will I ever feel perfectly loved, connected, and understood?”
After 38 years of being single, I had naturally always equated the feeling as a consequence being single. I knew marriage wasn’t the answer to all my problems, but I did think that the feeling would go away. I was wrong.
I’ll be the first to admit, being married is great. It is a true gift to have someone love you and walk through each day with you. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But, as I have quickly come to learn during my first year of marriage, there is a deep place in my heart that only Jesus can fill.
I know, it sounds corny and clichéd (the “Jesus-shaped hole in your heart”), but I’ve come to realize it’s true. The feeling comes from a deep human need for Divine company, love, and connection, and it exists despite fulfillment from the best human relationships. And honestly, my husband is wonderful. Yet only God is able to love and comfort me in the perfect way that I need and in a way that no man or girlfriend will ever be able to.
I walked away from the living room episode realizing that what I needed to feel better wasn’t going to come from my husband, despite his best efforts. I needed to come to Jesus for comfort and peace. In that moment, I was thankful that the way to Him was familiar. I had walked the road towards Jesus for comfort many times before during my single years. Though I often time raged against Him, in retrospect, I am very thankful for the ways that God forced me to come to Him in my times of loneliness and fear. He taught me to depend on Him alone for comfort, and I need that dependence on Him just as much in my marriage as I did when I was single.
For those of you that are still single, I encourage you to build a strong foundation of coming to Jesus in the midst of feeling lonely and desiring love. It is a precious gift of God—giving us Himself, giving us all that we need for a lifetime—despite our relationship status. In those times (when the feeling comes back), I run to two verses in particular.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Am I glad that I am married? Yes, I am really glad. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. But, am I really glad that I know The Comforter? Yes, I am really glad. I wouldn’t trade knowing the Lord—in the way my singleness taught me—for anything.