During my marriage, I resigned myself to my reality: that I would not have the kind of partnership that I had dreamed of, unless God did a miracle. And since, for my sanity, I had stopped praying or hoping for that, I’ve been living with this reality for a very long time now.

And then I got divorced. And a very big part of me assumed I would be single for the rest of my life.  Again, I had resigned myself to that. And I tamped down any desire for that partnership. And I lived my life the fullest way I knew how.

I mothered, and I was a friend, and found a church, and I spoke, and wrote books and blogs, and led small groups, and tried to reach out to other hurting women, and I went on bike rides and to concerts and girls’ night outs, and to Michigan and California and New York, and did my own grocery shopping and…you get the picture.

I lived my life.

I was grateful for my life. For the new deep peace and relational and circumstantial calm that filled practically every crevice of this existence that was now mine.

In other words, I was doing just fine before he came along, thankyouverymuch. I was going to be single. And I would be okay.

But then I met him. And my heart cracked wide open, unexpectedly, and let him in.

And now, well…the bear has been officially poked and then woken up and no amount of tranquilizer darts can make him go back into hibernation, I’m finding.

Because what I had with that good man was a small taste of partnership. And now I know that I very officially want that.  He woke something up in me, which is both a gift and yet simultaneously is driving me mad.

But here’s the thing. I think, sometimes, when you don’t have something that you want, you make it bigger than it really is.  And I am allowing this desire for partnership to become an entity all to its own. It’s as if sadness and loneliness now hover around me like enemies that I just can’t shake, no matter what I do, no matter how much I pretend.

Or, as I told a girlfriend, I can’t seem to get my heart back (at least, the version of it that I’m comfortable with).

And I don’t want to be that lonely longing girl. Because here’s why. I fear if I indulge myself in this want, this craving for covering that a good partner could bring…if I long too intensely…that one of three things will happen:

1) I will come across as totally desperate to any potential suitors and scare the living daylights out of him/them. (Lord, help him/them.)

2) Out of desperation, I will settle. (Breathing? Check. Awesome, let’s do this.)

3) God won’t give it to me to teach me a lesson. (I know, nice.)

(Which all of this leads to begging the question: am I forever broken/needier than the next woman or was I created to long for this particular kind of partnership that I caught a glimpse of? The old Beth would’ve blamed this whole thing on my wounded heart and called it a day; but the more I hear from other women, the more I think this is innate. So I’m going with that.)

And so I do what I know to do, which feels like almost nothing anymore these days: I beg Jesus to help me and heal me and make me whole.  And I ask him that when I hear from him – in any form – that I listen and believe it and let it sink down deep. Like when I read this today:

Blessed is the {woman} who trusts in Him; there is no want for {she} who fears Him. {She} who seeks the Lord [I’m totally trying!] shall not lack any good thing.  –Psalm 34:8,9,10

Which is beautiful, and made me gasp at its intimacy, except that I know this means spiritual things and not physical/emotional/human things necessarily. So then I come to him again in my fullest heart honesty and tell him this:

Fact: I miss him. Fact: I’m doing my best to let him go and move on. And I’m getting there. Fact: I want a husband. Fact: But not just any husband, I want a really good husband. Fact: I want to be a really good wife to someone.

So, Jesus, please do one of these two things: Bring me the right man (now-ish). {insert sheepish grin} Or lessen my desire for this invisible man. Or, yuck, teach me to keep living (as well as I can) with this as-of-yet-for-forty-three-plus-years unmet desire and loneliness. I need healing.

Yes, I need healing. And, Jesus, I want my heart back.



If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.


Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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