Love & Loneliness
Happy Valentines Day, friends! I can’t believe that this is my 2nd Valentines Day I’ve celebrated during this wild adventure of life in Haiti. Last year wasn’t a Hallmark Vday full of cards, kisses, chocolates, red lipstick & wine. Last year, I hung out with the babes at the orphanage before flying home for my grandpa’s funeral. This year, I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Port au Prince with the best friends, room mates & neighbors before we head out for sushi lunch & our bi-monthly grocery store run. We don’t get to do things like this often so it is a special treat!
To me, Valentines Day has nothing to do with being in a relationship or being single. There were definitely those Vdays growing up where all I wanted was a boyfriend to share the day with. But my view of Valentine’s Day completely shifted my senior year of college. I’m not sure what shifted my mindset exactly, but I do know that I was madly in love with theLord, more than I had ever been before. I was acutely aware that Feb 14th of my senior year how true, unchanging & complete the Lord’s love is for me. I felt it to my core & I was content in his love (and ONLY his love) for the first time.
Being single, of course, comes with its challenges, but so does being in a relationship. The problem is, you can make an idol out of anything… marriage, your husband, your kids, climbing the corporate ladder, etc. We so often forget that it is O.K. to be alone and to let Jesus be enough. Both singleness & marriage need the gift of grace! Sometimes we can get so focused on the gifts we want from God and we miss out on the gift of grace that he’s already given us. We are given the gift of Jesus & his grace in the midst of all our issues in order that we might trust in Him & be faithful.
All of the singleness pity parties need to stop. Being single in your late 20’s/early 30’s isn’t as strange as culture makes it out to be. Our life’s purpose doesn’t begin when another person enters our lives. We are all currently smack dab in the middle our life’s purpose. God has chosen us to all be right where we are.
Was it in my original plan to live in Haiti? No.
Was I hoping be single at 26? Nope.
Do I feel like I’m doing meaningful work? Sometimes.
Does hanging with cute kids everyday make my problems go away? It helps, but no.
Do I get lonely? Yes.
Do I want to get married someday? Just as much as the next girl.
Do I have any idea what I’m doing when I leave Haiti? Not the slightest.
But through the ups & downs, the joy & the sorrow, the uncertainty & loneliness, I know God has chosen this for me. He needs me away from the distractions of the US right now. He wants my focus. He wants to grow me. He wants to empty me. He wants me to be lonely. Not forever, but for now. There are days when I can totally relate to the lyrics of the old Sidewalk Prophets song,
“Make me lonely, so I can be yours. Until I want no one more than you, Lord. Make me lonely, until you are my one desire, until you are my one true love. Until you are my breath, my everything. Lord please keep making me.”
We need to take the emphasis off of what/who we want & focus on what the Lords wants from us. Most of the emphasis on dating, marriage and singleness in our culture is about finding the right one, but most of the emphasis when we look to scripture tends to be on being the right one. If we can focus on beingthe right one, God has the ability to put us in the right place, with the right passions at the right time.
With all this being said. Feb. 14th is just another day to love & be loved. You are loved intentionally, unconditionally and consistently by the Creator of the Universe. He might ask you to be lonely for a time, to lean in & get to know him better before letting someone else share your heart, but he will never ever leave you. Love, for me, looks different in this season of my life than it does for many of my friends. I have fallen in love with loving others & am learning to see times of loneliness as an opportunity to get to know my forever-love, my Jesus, even better. We weren’t made for shallow waters of love, but for deep oceans of love which we are only capable of experiencing through knowing God.
Lot of hugs, love, & Haitian cheek kisses coming your way… xoxoxxooxxooxoxox.
“Sometimes I knew in all my mind and heart why I had done what I had done, and I welcomed the sacrifice. But there were times too when I lived in a desert and felt no joy and saw no hope and could not remember my old feelings. Then I lived by faith alone…
…What good did I get from it? I got to have love in my heart.”
― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
Love is PATIENT, love is kind. It does NOT ENVY, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is NOT SELF-SEEKING, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PRESERVERS. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8