Jesus is a lot of things to me. Like, seriously, a lot of things.
Let me first say, in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, that I believe Jesus is real. That he really lived. That he really died. And that he really came back to life. Yeah. I know. That makes me one of those. I believe it for a bunch of reasons but one of the main reasons is that it can be backed up historically. Anyway, so I believe in Jesus.
And I believe he didn’t just die. But on a cross. To pay for my sin. Which means I believe Jesus is my Savior.
And I believe he takes the horrible things in my life and turns them into really beautiful things, when I actually let him. Which means I believe Jesus is my Redeemer.
And I believe that he sees my hurt and my shame and tends to my brokenness and cleans me up and sits me up. Which means I believe Jesus is my Healer.
And I believe that he hears me when I talk to him all throughout the day and that he cares about what’s going on in even the tiniest details of my life. Which means that Jesus is my Friend.
And Scripture even talks about the Lord being my Husband (Isaiah 54:5) and I get that in that he provides for me and my kids and I feel him protect me from my enemies (most of the time). And yet.
Jesus is totally not my prince charming. I hear some women say that and that is wonderful for them, but that’s just not how it’s shaking out for me. DO NOT GET ME WRONG: I LOVE JESUS. Oh my gosh, I love him. And I totally know he loves me.
But I’m lonely. And this is hard. And I just had a mini-meltdown when I let myself think for more than three seconds that I may never have a man love me.
Listen, I don’t think I’m being all sacrilegious here. God himself took a look at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And God was right there with him! He knew that humans need humans in a way that even God could not (or would not) fill. So yes, I totally love Jesus and he totally loves me, but he is totally not my boyfriend. (Lord, I wish it were that simple.)
No, instead, today, I sit here having no idea what my future holds. Knowing I may never experience what I was created to experience relationally: a good man to love me well who I can love back. And there’s nothing I can do about it but, right now, be sad about it and grieve it.
(And don’t email me that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…I KNOW THAT. And don’t message me that you’re still lonely sometimes in your marriage…DUH. And don’t leave a comment saying that Jesus is your prince charming and I might not be doing something right…could completely be the case, but that’s not my point.)
I’m just ranting tonight. I miss marriage. I miss my non-existent husband. I miss what I was created for. And Jesus is amazing and wonderful and all-powerful, but he’s not going to be holding me as I fall asleep tonight, no matter how much I ask him to.
This can just be really, really hard.
If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from talking with someone, as well as from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Surviving Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.
I love your honesty. But I once had a friend pray that God would be all of the people who were missing in my life, Father, husband, friend…He did! Even now as I struggle with a very self-centered husband, I pray these prayers. You’re right. It doesn’t change the fact that my personal needs and desires aren’t bring met on this earth, but it sure gives me peace until God decides to change things or shows me a way out. He is my everything! (Until…)
Lori, I’m so glad to hear you find strength and peace in Jesus even in your difficult marriage…that’s a different kind of lonely, isn’t it?
Yes. I’m married but don’t have the kind of fulfilling relationship that we all desire. It’s lonely here too. Until things change, Jesus is my comforter. He loves me and has told me He’ll never leave me. Its not warm arms or words, but its Hope! I live for that!
Jesus has been my comfort and friend through it all. I’ve needed that so much. But I would love to have a loving partner in this earthly life~to fall asleep with at night, to have arms around me to comfort me, someone to rub my aching shoulders and to kiss me and tell me that things will be ok, to fulfill my need for closeness and intimacy as a woman…a lonely time indeed.
I’m sorry that it’s hard right now. I’ll be praying for you
Thank you, Mallory…I so appreciate your prayers!
Elisabeth, you put words to what my heart has been aching and struggling with for the past few weeks. Well honestly I’ve been struggling with it longer than that, but in these past two weeks I’ve had an unsettling in my heart that I have tried to articulate but have been unable to come up with the words. This journey is hard.
This journey IS hard, but we are all walking it together. Thank you for your kind words, Donna.
I am so sorry Elizabeth.
Thank you, Ann. Just a part of the process…
This is dead on. I’m in the same boat and have been for 10 years or more. It can really be a deep well of grief too. I get it.
Thank you, Lyn!
Simply? Thank you for writing and posting this!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you, Paula!
Thank you so much for writing this. It is a total pet peeve of mine when women refer to Jesus as their husband or boyfriend. I love Him. He loves me–but He still won’t be in my bed tonight. Period.
I agree! A pet peeve of mine too! Thank you for admitting it out loud! 🙂
Yep, you get it. Thanks, Julie!
It’s hard. And it’s lonely. And the unknown of how long it will or may last feel like an unending span of loneliness. I’m so sorry. My therapist suggested a massage for when I so desperately needed human touch. I found a local massage school who needs practice patients for their students and I could get an hour long massage for $25. SO WORTH IT!
Missy…great idea, thank you!
Thank you for writing and posting this … I agree with Donna you put into words how I too have been feeling. It’s a lonely, sad road to be on….but holding out in faith that God will work ALL things together for His good and I will meet the right person at the right time.
He definitely does work all things for his good…I’ve seen it time and time again…but the road can still be hard, that’s for sure.
I so agree. I find myself just wishing for a big strong hug from someone who makes me feel safe and loved, someone to cuddle with and watch a love story ~ because I can’t watch those anymore. My heart aches sometimes with loneliness. And when it gets overwhelming (and it does) I try to just focus on my next step and my next breath and make sure that I’m keeping Jesus in my sight 🙂
Jenny, yes…miss being held…totally get that. Totally true to just look at what’s in front of me…that’s good.
Elisabeth, thank you for this piece of brutal honesty. I agree and often wonder what my relational fate is. So many tell me “you are not going to be alone” but maybe that is my reality… maybe it is what God wants for me. I think the goal is to be as content with my singleness as Christ was with the cross… until I’m there, I’m not ready for her. Just know, you’re not alone…. there are a lot of us in your lonely bed.
Thank you, Rod. And thanks for looking passed all the PINK to read my blog!
The very absolute conversation with a friend today! We both were thinking the same thing. She has been divorced 12 yrs and me 4. I am so lonely, I cried at hallmark shows! I sob when I leave church and most of my married couple friends leave together or with other couples. I am alone all the time! I knew I wasn’t ready until last year and then I thought God would..well… put me and my future Mr. in the right place at the right time thing! But it never happened and yes I am lonely and want to share my life with someone. Wake up with someone and work together in ministry! I want to experience that cleaving together as one like my friends do!! I never had that kind of love! I got to thinking about this and wrote down what i desired in my “Boaz”. A man after God’s heart who loves Him with all His heart! No compromising with anyone! Involved in ministry…etc~ but the last thing I added was, Lord, a cowboy hat on my Boaz would suit me just fine with a horse of course! So write down your expectations. Expectations is a breeding ground for Miracles!
Oh, I meant to tell you, I saw a quote on FB two days ago from a pastor that said, ” Don’t worry, I have not forgotten you. I am preparing someone special for you!
So I believe this and it is for you as well!
EXCELLENT! THIS is exactly what I’ve been trying to say to my sweet Christian brothers and sisters for years! Somehow, they seemed like I was not trusting God enough with my future or that I was saying that Jesus was not enough. But you nailed it! Thank you for your honest!
Thank you, Cindy!
Sweetheart, I am right there with you! I will pray with for you and I hope that you will do the same for me. I have thought those exact things and lonely is a hard place to be, but that’s where I am. And I Love Jesus and He loves me, but I am definitely feeling your article!
Thank you, Summer!
Thank you for being so honest about this!! I was single throughout my 20’s (okay, so let’s not compare crosses here, haha. I realize that might not be THE hardest form of singlehood). Anyway, all my friends were getting married before me, welcoming children, posing gorgeous photos of their gorgeous lives on Facebook. Meanwhile, whenever I expressed my longing to marry (which I knew I had a desire for since I was little), I would get lectured on how I needed to let Jesus be my boyfriend, how somehow I was being spiritually deficient, how I must be insecure and “desperate,” how marriage “isn’t all it’s cracked up to me” etc, etc…. totally patronizing and TOTALLY minimizing the very VALID desire to be married as God Himself designed most of us to be. (And yes, of course I knew a husband wouldn’t make all of life’s problems go away! But still… wanting a good marriage is a valid desire). I am sure divorce only adds on to the complexity of those emotions. Both of my parents remarried, and I remember just being SO happy for both of them (even if I can’t lie, stepfamily life was rough for years for us kids. But now it’s pretty great).
Praying for you and all the single Christians who are unsure of what the future holds!
Thank you, Sarah!
p.s. And why did my friends who got married younger “get off the hook” on such lectures? Was their marriage somehow proof they weren’t relying “totally on God”? Of course not! The logic is just so flawed.
I know exactly what you mean. I’m a single mom and have been for eight years now. Sometimes it’s just lonely and you realize it really isn’t a good thing to be on your own. Especially, after you were married for years and were at one time used to sharing your life with someone.
Your time will come. So will mine. God bless!
Bless you too, Jessica!
I completely understand this feeling. Although, I no longer miss my ex, there are those times ( especially at night) when kids are gone & im alone, that I truly miss strong arms around me. Talking to God is soothing, however, it’s the lack of a physical touch and voice that seem to get me everytime.
Thanks Elisabeth, for brining out an emotion in me that I kept hidden. God bless you & all on this site!
Thank you for your kind words, Stella.
Well said. Been there. Even falling asleep with my bible on my chest….did not take away the hurt of him not being there.
I LOVED the idea about getting a good massage…should of thought of that – I allowed the enemy to get to me in my loneliness and watched crud on TV and then….well…praise God, we got past that!
Elisabeth – bless you – YOUR words minister to many, as this is so REAL….I will believe that God does give us the secret desires of our hearts…..it is just waiting that is so DANG hard!!
Agreed…the waiting – and not knowing – is so hard. But we’re not waiting alone or in vain.
thank you for being so open. you hit the nail right on the head, I’ve been going through such thoughts also. I’ve never been married- but am praying to be- but I’m still reeling from the pain of knowing that my ex bf cheated on me (this happened twice to me already from 2 cheating bfs). but then I still thank God that he stopped the relationship before we got married (as I am in the marrying age already). yep, waiting is soooo hard but what else can I do? better I wait on Him than wreck my life again.
.. and I pray for God’s strength to be with everybody else who’s waiting! 🙂
“…better wait on him than wreck my life again…” Beautifully stated!
Thanks for speaking truth! I really get tired of people, mainly married people, saying God will be all I need. Your blog/devotion/message mirrors my exact thoughts & sentiments. I will say, I’ve resigned & fully rested myself on a firm yes to whatever Daddy has in store for me: a husband, then great; single, “great, but give me strength!”
Truth and honesty—how REFRESHING!!!! Bless you for putting into words how so many feel. We are lonely, We are sad. We miss human touch that isn’t sticky and dirty from popsicles and ice cream. Most of all thank you for putting so many singles feelings into words and telling others not to email this and that reply–being lonely and single does not mean we are not worthy, nor that we are doing something wrong!
Agreed, Lisa. And thank you!
Thanks for your honesty. I’m a single mom in my 40s who has never been married. I get tired of hearing that I need to pray for a husband – like I haven’t been doing that. My daughter is a teenager and I can’t even show her what a good husband-wife relationship looks like. Sometimes I’m lonely and sad and, every now and then, angry. Fortunately God can handle anything I throw out. I love Jesus. I just wish the waiting was easier.
I totally get this, Alyssa…I’m sorry for your pain in the waiting season.
Elisabeth, your article is right on. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I am a divorced man in his late forties, and know the paradox of spiritual life and a longing humanity. I had a theology professor a few years ago who said one of the cruelest comments from other believers is to imply that ‘all you need is Jesus.’ This reflects a dangerously shallow understanding of what it actually means to be a human being. Three dimensional living means experiencing the pain of longing, and daring to draw closer to the source of love with a leaky cup.
Thank you, Byron. Beautifully said.
I have been a single mom for 22 years. My children were five and nine when it was discovered my Christian husband was involved with drugs. I chose to remain single in order to raise my children alone, and have no regrets about that whatsoever. But my children are now grown and I find myself alone. Sometimes the loneliness is almost a physical pain. Thank you so much for bringing up this subject and sharing your pain. I prayed the Lord would help me to find something to read which would alleviate how I’m feeling. Knowing I’m not the only Christian feeling this way does help.
I do wish I knew what the future would bring. Sometimes the weariness becomes overwhelming. But this morning I read the Slice of Infinity devotional from the Ravi Zacharias website. Here is an excerpt:
As Jacob lay dreaming, he saw God appear above a great ladder where God was introduced as the God of his ancestors. Upon waking, Jacob’s his first words were filled with astonishment: “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”(1) Hagar, the maidservant of Sarah, had a similar reaction after she encountered God in the desert. Having run away from Sarah’s abuse, Hagar was resting beside a spring when God spoke to her and told her to return. We read that she was amazed: “And she gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the one who sees me.’”(2)
It is of great comfort to me and I hope it will be to all of you, that God sees. He knows what we’re going through and has not abandoned us. He sees……
God does see…thank you, Susan.
Elisabeth, sorry things are tough. First I want to say don’t listen to the attack dogs. Far to many will respond to your honesty and transparency with rebuke and condemnation rather than love. I, for one, would not like to be in your shoes, have never been where you are, and I don’t know if I could handle it. But I do know this, learned through the tragedies and hard times life has doled out. Jesus can fill any void. He won’t take the place of the person missing in your life, that would dishonor that person and make you less interdependent than He would have you be. But He can fill the void when we seek His face and understand that our relationship with Him is meant to be experiential and holistic in the real sense of the word.
Thank you for the kind words, Mark.
And thank you for standing up for me over at Crosswalk! 🙂
You are welcome. Blessings!
You have really hit a homerun in my heart! I feel as though this article was meant especially for me as I struggle daily with these same feelings! The ONLY thing that gets me through each day is JESUS and HIS LOVE for me! Thank you Elisabeth!
I just wanted to say, “Thank You,” for posting this “truth” that many people (especially those who have never been single after being married for so long) have a difficulty understanding…well, from my experience, anyway. We, as human beings DO NEED intimate physical contact–something that neither God nor Jesus could provide us (directly). I DO believe, however, that God provides those needs through other human beings (indirectly), just as you had mentioned: God “provided” Adam with someone (who was created like him)…because it was not good for him to “be alone.”
I thank you for this, for it reads as though you knew me. I know I was created to encourage others daily, which can be hard. This message was posted and God knew I needed to read it. You did encourge me with this message. This message was so truthful for me. I will stay postive. I related to it and it spoke to me, like I said as though you knew me, that you were reading my mind. I am most grateful for knowning my Lord, my Savior, my Redemeer and my Healer and know I am on my way to a truly wonderful relationship with Him but every day there is a little reminder that I don’t have just a little piece of the happiness that the Lord had intended for all His children to have. But by the grace of God I was able to read this and still feel in reading it encouragement and hope. Thank you so much again, for these words, Elizabeth. The journey is not over and we never know what the Lord has for us around the corner, patience and joy in the small things my friend I am learning, as we travel this road in the company of the Lord!
I’m 38 and have never dated or been in a relationship and God or Jesus being my spouse not only discourages me it angers me
I hate to even have to say this but I’m not Jesus gf or wife nor do I want to be .
I need a real , In person In the flesh human being . Talk is talk but there are some christians who have made me resent God very much
1) let go of 1 cor 7 ! That’s not an argument to impose singleness on other people
2) why are some so hellbent on trying to convince some of us we have been called to be single . Why would know that ? Really why
I’m so defeated and hurt and though of never being married . Another thing quit with this only God and Jesus can fulfill us etc . In what way ? I sure dont feel any of that at all
Jesus is my lord and savior and died for me
but no way is he a substitute husband !
I long to be married to a human not to jesus and I will not apologize or feel bad about it
If a person wants to get married enough with trying to convince them they have been called to be single ! You aren’t God and you can’t call anyone / that’s Gods job !
I just came across this blog and I can so relate. I left an abusive marriage 20+ years ago. I never thought that I would be approaching my 50’s (I just turned 48) and be unmarried with no children. I find myself scared of the possibility that I will grow old alone. I never really understood the whole “Jesus is my boyfriend/husband” mentality. At least your faith has remained undamaged, I envy that. I can’t say the same for mine. Honestly, there is very little of it left. Thank you for being so honest. All the best to you.
I echo the words of the men who have commented on your article, “Jesus is not my Boyfriend”. I believe you speak for me and many men in that loneliness is something Jesus can and cannot fill completely. I have often said I am jealous that women can look to Jesus as their substitute boyfriend or husband. I often wished there was a male counterpart to what I believe is some women’s substitution for “that man” in their life. Maybe Jesus can fill that role but in reality what I believe you, I and others may long for is what I like to call “some skin”. I know Jesus’ provision is complete, but I need some skin. You describe it like this, “he’s not going to be holding me as I fall asleep tonight, no matter how much I ask him to”. He is not holding me either and I long to be a servant husband who holds and is held by my wife who is a completely committed follower of Christ. All I know, “Jesus in not my Girlfriend”. Someday maybe, in God’s time, (which is perfect), He will bring someone my way. And yes, I also looked beyond all the PINK to read your well articulated blog. Sometimes men and women are not so different when it comes to basic human needs.
P.S. I subscribed to your blog
Thank you for putting into words how my heart feels. Love Jesus, know He’s real, love my kids, yet still sometimes experience the deep, piercing feeling of being alone. Watching my kids go to enjoy Christmas with “his” family. Love them, too, and so glad that my kids have another loving family to go to. It’s just me that’s left out. Stings.
But, just knowing that someone else loves Jesus and has some of these feelings too, makes the burden shareable and therefore validated and the pressure of it eases a bit. Soothes, in fact.
Thank you for sharing. Now, when I feel lonely, I’ll think of you and the folks that have replied and pray for others instead of being consumed with my own sorrow.
Much love to you:)
This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I have had so many people tell me “But God loves you, that should be enough”. Well, I get that he loves me. But that doesn’t change the fact that I physically need someone on this earth with me. My family, coworkers, friends, church groups, they don’t understand my loneliness. I fear I’ll never experience marriage. People who I know who are married don’t understand that, they think I have this “woe is me” attitude. If they were lonely, never had anyone tell them “I love you” and mean it they would understand. Its something I can’t even explain in words. My heart aches to have someone true in my life. I always question what God’s plan is for me. Is this it? Loneliness, being alone, without a boyfriend/husband. I have family yes, but they can’t fulfill the needs a spouse fulfills. A friend of mine once told me her pastor told her there are people God choses who he wants to be alone. What an awful sinking feeling that is. Am I one of those people? I hope not.
Janet, I resonate with what you’re sharing, even though I did have a marriage partner for almost nineteen years. But being on this side and not knowing what’s coming, well…I get where you’re coming from. And I’m sorry, because yes, this is hard. Your loneliness should not be downplayed. It’s very real. I will not give you clichés, but I will just say that though Jesus won’t physically hold you, he has something for you in this ache, if you ask him to reveal it to you. Thanks for reading and sharing your heart. -Elisabeth
Why are people who aren’t single and have someone preach contentment ? No way will I ever be content being single ! I have never been on a date and I have Christians condemn me for not putting God first or not focusing on God and that’s why I’m single . I want to be married to have another person to come home to – Jesus isn’t waiting for me in my apartment asking me how my day was !!! I starve for this and mettling Christians need to just shut up and not speak for God especially in this area ! Enough With the cold Comfort and opinions on why things aren’t happening . They do make fools of themseives when they claim to have the insight they really don’t . Bottom line they are speculators at best . don’t tell others what ” God wants you to do instead ” as that’s somethimg they domt know either .
So what if Paul was single that was his choice .
Sadly, being a Christian, contrary to what many come to believe and are taught by well-meaning friends and ministers, is no guarantee you will find love. Just as many atheists and agnostics are happily married as Christians–God is no respecter of persons. The odds of anyone in this life finding their “perfect” fit are astonishingly low–maybe 5%. So the deck is stacked against Christian and non-Christian alike. Often it is because we set our expectations/requirements for a spouse too high. Often finding the right person is just dumb luck of the draw. Whatever the formula/mechanics for finding happiness remains a mystery for most of us. The only consolation I can offer is that Emanuel Swedenborg, A 17th Century writer wrote that God had revealed to him that everyone will be paired with the partner of their dreams in heaven. Take it for what it’s worth and good luck, everyone.
Hi Elizabeth. I know exactly how I feel. In fact while I was still married, I used to pray at night for my true husband the man God knew I deserved to be with. I know it sounds awful, but I would pray for my future relationship while still in my lonely abusive one. I just always knew that if God’s plan was for me to start over, then he knew how strongly I yearned for a Godly man to share life with. Two years later I finally left and it’s been one year since I did (with my two children). Now I am lonely, fearful, but also so excited for the day God answers my prayer. I believe that God places that desire for a spouse in those he calls to be married, and people who aren’t called to marriage will find contentment being on their own with God. You and I can pray freely now for all the qualities we desire and for God’s wisdom in showing us who are future will be with. It’s a blessing right now to have this chance, but still undoubtedly scary, and excruciatingly lonely!! I feel for you. Let’s have fun creating our image of our next husband though and knowing that God will exceed our highest expectations when our time comes to meet him. God never disappoints when we wait for His perfect timing. God Bless you and thank you for reaching out to all of us the way you do. Praying for you and your family (and your future!).
I recently found you blog so I’m playing catch up. I know exactly how this feel. I was crying the other day about this. Because I am over 30, I’ve never been married and now that I have to begun to walk in my faith, I realized how small the dating pool is I am so discouraged. I know that God is faithful, and sovereign but that doesn’t me we can’t be lonely. Christianity was never meant to be experienced alone and I don’t believe that we are supposed to be alone either.
this is SO true. “It is not good for man to be alone”. Then why, am I alone? I’m pretty sure I don’t stink, I’m not a horrifying person to be around, people like me, heck even some love me. But the “perfect” man for me who will cherish me, love me, uphold me, HONOR me still eludes me. I don’t sit home alone dwelling and bemoaning this fact, but yes, it would be nice to have what God created me to have. I like how you worded that. All in His perfect timing, it just can be hard in the waiting. Love your blog, by the way, just stumbled across it via Facebook today.
I see many women on here who were married but are waiting on God to bring you another spouse . Why ?
Some people have never been married at all
No offense to those With kids but were you raped ? Was it incest
Many women domt have kids and never been married and those are who I relate to
Also those who are actually married but yet feel alone . Why did you even marry that person ?
All I can aay is if you have been married before its just not the same , just isn’t
Thank you so much for writing this. I totally get it. I also totally get the comments about being lonely in a bad marriage; it is truly a different kind of loneliness. But it all hurts. I wonder if I will ever have the godly man/marriage I desired, with all the intimacy, closeness, feelings of being desired, and it’s really painful and depressing. 🙁 Personally I’m convicted that, while it’s good to pour out the desires of our hearts to our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and there is nothing wrong with our desires including a human man, I should keep striving to be content in Christ alone and keep praying for Him to be everything for me. And keep praying that I would desire Him and His Will above any other earthly desires. But at the same time, this is true. For me, it’s both, like a constant struggle. The only thing I don’t agree with is your sentence, “I miss what I was created for.” Looking at the Word, it doesn’t seem that any of us were created primarily for marriage, but for the 1st Commandment (the one Jesus said was most important, loving God and loving others), and the Great Commission (sharing the good news of the gospel and making disciples of the nation). Regardless of our marital status, gender, or anything else, we were all created for those things. But thank you again for a great post; I had tears in my eyes reading it.
oops, disciples of the *nations* plural is what I meant 🙂