I thought that I was content. I knew that I wasn’t completely satisfied, but I thought that I was content. At least with this one area of my life, I thought that I was finally content.
I was content being single.
I didn’t think that I was still longing for a relationship.
I didn’t think that I was still longing for marriage.
I didn’t think that I was still longing for children or family.
I was kidding myself.
The past couple of weeks have shown me that I was kidding myself. The longings weren’t gone. They were just locked away. I had locked them away, and I must have thought that I had hidden the key well.
But it turns out that it wasn’t hidden well at all. Not well at all.
A few weeks ago I developed a crush on someone. My chances of actually meeting this someone are slim to none, but it hasn’t stopped me from daydreaming what it would be like to meet him or even date him. It hasn’t stopped me from having endless conversations with him in my head. (And I do mean endless.) I have even crocheted a hat and scarf set for him and written a letter to him (although I haven’t sent either yet).
And now I’m longing to be in a relationship again.
Then about ten days ago I babysat for one of my cousins. I had so much fun with him that it reawakened my desire to have a baby of my own. I really had thought that I had finally accepted the fact that my chances of having a baby are pretty slim because I’m 40 years old and I have some health issues that might make it difficult.
But now I’m longing to be a mother again.
These longings that I thought had diminished or that I had at least gotten under control have come running as fast as they can from the place that they were locked up in. They are dancing around me, saying, “We’re still here. We haven’t gone anywhere. What are you going to do now?”
I have spent the past couple of weeks alternatively enjoying these longings and overanalyzing these longings. I have been asking myself and the Lord, “Why now? Why are these longings suddenly showing up again? Why do I want to cry bittersweet tears when I hear about someone getting married or someone having a baby? What is it about this person that draws me? What is missing from my life? Is there some need that is not being fulfilled? Why, oh, why am I feeling this way?”
Am I lonely? To most people the life that I have currently chosen for myself would be a very lonely life, but most of the time I enjoy all of the time I have to myself so I can’t really say that I am lonely. Oh, I have moments of loneliness. I won’t deny that, but overall I wouldn’t say that I was lonely.
What is it about this person that draws me? Oh, there are many things. I find myself curious about many things about him. I think that he is physically attractive. He has a great smile. He appears to be friendly, but he is also a very private person. His eyes are so expressive though that when I see him I feel like I’m getting a glimpse into his soul. But I don’t know this person, not really, although I feel as though I do so what is really drawing me to him?
Is there something missing from my life? Is there some need that I have that I’m not even fully conscious of that is not being fulfilled? It is in these questions that I am finding my answers.
Yes, there is something missing from my life. There is a need in my life that is not being fulfilled. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? If I’m longing for something or have a craving for something, then there is some need that is not being fulfilled. If our body is craving something sweet or something salty, it is usually because there is a nutritional need that is not being met. If I am longing for something in my life, then there is a need that is not being met in my life.
(As I’m sitting here and writing this, it has finally occurred to me part of what need is missing from my life and causing one of these longings, but I’m not ready to share that yet.)
So what do you do when you have an unfilled need or longing? What do you do with these longings? How do deal with the emotions, the thoughts, and everything else that comes with these longings? How do you determine what it is that you truly need?
First, you pray about it. Take it to the Lord. Ask Him why you are feeling what you feel. Ask Him what need is not being fulfilled. Ask Him what you need to change or acknowledge or accept, etc. Ask Him to show you the steps you need to take in order to make the change or meet the need.
Don’t just take the time to pray about. Take the time to listen. Take the time to listen to the Lord. Take the time to listen to your heart. The answer is not going to come in a loud voice. The answer is going to come in a still, small voice. It is going to come in the quiet so take the time to be still and listen. And don’t forget to read your Bible because the Lord speaks to us through His Word. What verses stand out to you? What is the Lord trying to show you through these verses?
Open your journal. Pour it all onto paper. Don’t edit your writing. Just let it flow. Many times when I am writing that is when the answer comes to me. As I’m pouring my thoughts and feelings onto the paper, I am better able to see the whole picture and then I’m able to see the missing piece. Write out what you feel led to do to change it. Write out the Bible verses that the Lord is using to encourage you.
If you feel the Lord telling you to change something, do it. Take action. Be obedient and make the changes necessary. Don’t let fear hold you back. But don’t run ahead of the Lord. Don’t take action until He says it is time because that can make things worse. (At least in my experience it always has.)
Is there some unfulfilled longing in your life? Is there some unmet need? Pray about it. Listen to the Lord. Write it out, and then lastly take action. The Lord will provide. He will meet the need, but remember it will happen in His timing. And His timing is not usually our timing. Many times there is something He is trying to teach us or to change in our hearts before that longing can be fulfilled or that need is truly met. Rest in Him. He will carry you through.