True or False: Marriage is the solution to my loneliness.
True or False: I will always feel wanted by my spouse.
True or False: The fact that I feel lonely means that I'm desperate.
It is no secret that for a lot of people marriage is a means to an end. In some cases, the hope is that it will be an end to loneliness. We see images of seemingly happy couples, locking arms, lips, or gazes. We see *long post alerts* with a preceding outpouring of an undying love to another person. We see #relationshipgoals on the most superficial things, yet some of us say within ourselves, "I want that... I want someone to want me like that."
I'm here to say two things:
1. That's okay to want.
2. Are you sure of where that desire comes from and how to fulfill it?
The Origin of My Longing
I remember being a young girl and being jealous of my brothers. In my mind, my dad loved them more than he loved me. I took on my parents' decision to not be together as a rejection of who I was. What did I need to be, who did I need to be for my dad to love me? The realization of my longing began. From about age 3 or 4, I remember wanting to feel wanted and wanting to be different so that I would be. By the time I was 20, I really didn't even know who I was because I was always trying to be someone else. I had about 16 AIM screen names (no lie, lol) and fake aliases. I changed my hair frequently, and having more wigs than I could count. I didn't even want to be married for the longest because surely no one would want me. Did I hate myself? No. I just didn't know myself. I never allowed myself to know myself because as a child I believed the lie that I wasn't worth knowing. Even in the beginning of my marriage, I struggled with fully believing that my husband truly wanted me. It led me to feeling lonely at times.
Do you feel that way now? There may be layers of lies that you are believing about who you are, like I was. I called myself names that were not kind and tried different things to numb the pain. I did this because I thought I hated myself. But that was a lie!
The Lies that Lie Beneath
How can you hate someone you never knew? So that truth was revealed. Why didn't I know myself? Because I believed the lie that I was not worth knowing. Why did I believe that? Because my dad didn't want me. But that is a lie as well! Even worse, I projected my false perception of my father onto God. If my earthly father didn't want me, how could the the Father of heaven and all creation want me? How can I be certain that God loves me like he says he does? Eve thought the same thing! I'm convinced... I believe God created mankind with a longing. A longing to be close. A longing to be wanted. A longing to be loved... The truth that God could satisfy that longing was called into question by the Accuser. The serpent made Eve think that her's status with God was uncertain. I believe she felt lied to. I believe she felt like he is withholding from her, therefore he does not love me like he says he does. Since he doesn't want us to be like him, he must not want closeness with us. LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES!!...
Seems obvious as we read this well-known piece of history that these were lies, right? How could she be so stupid?! Let me be bold to say this: is she really any different than us? She is the mother of generations and generations of believing these SAME lies. They may manifest differently, but it is the same. One of the longest lasting generational lies we've believed is that God is not who he says he is and he doesn't love me like he says he does. For some, the longing presents itself as a desire to be wanted by another person. For others, it looks like desiring to be validated by your career. Some think if they just get married, things will change. Others believe if they just make this amount of income, they will be fulfilled.
What Do We Do With All That’s Within Us?
It is not wrong to desire to be loved. It is not wrong to want abundance. It's not even wrong to want to be praised or encouraged in what you're doing. It's just important to know that those things don't satisfy -- and if they do now, they won't forever. We were created with those desires. It's just a matter of finding out the purpose for them. When Adam and Eve were created, God had intentionality behind every single part of their being. The fact that we were created with a longing for closeness and the potential to wander from where we can experience it best is a testament to God's love for us in itself. How? Nothing's changed since Adam and Eve. They were prone to stray, as are we. But God still said they were VERY GOOD! He still called them into purpose and fruitfulness! He still communed with them and allowed them to know him. He has created you for that same type of experience. Everything in the world may tell us differently. The layers of lies we've believed about ourselves and others may leave us in a state of unbelief. I know this to be true for me though. As I take a step back, outside of myself, and look at all the times God protected me, connected with me, or attempted to restore me, there should be no doubt in my mind that he wants me.
I know there seems to be so much joy, love and connection in your marriage (or if you're single, the marriage you've imagined). However, there will come a day when you see your partner's humanity. There will come a day when the expectation you've placed on them to fulfill a certain need will be unmet.You will let them down as well. You may make your spouse feel unloved or unwanted as well. Does that mean you married the wrong person? NO! It just means that marriage is not enough to satisfy us. We have to know that someone will want us not just til death do us part, but after death and into eternity. God does. He loves you until eternity and for eternity.
If you are feeling lonely, unloved, unwanted, let me just encourage you by saying your longing is valid. I pray that you can allow God to show you that he created that longing and he can fulfill.
For some, there's a long process of healing to recover from the wounds of all the lies, the pain, the burden. That's okay. There's so much hope for you though! I promise. If any of this resonates with you and you have a desire to draw closer to God. The seeds have already been planted. There is connection on the other side. There is freedom. There is love. There is always Love.
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