Maybe you are single, and as the dreaded day approaches, you just want to escape from the glossy pink and red advertisements everywhere that shove in your face that you are “missing out.” Wherever you turn, you see cuddling couples and it cuts your soul. Even if you’ve been so severely wounded that you’ve attempted to amputate it, the ache gnaws at you in unguarded moments. It just does.
Or maybe you are in a relationship, and you see the same cuddles and gestures of romance around you, but you still feel on the outside. It seems that your loved one is clueless about your deeper dreams for more; maybe they are in survival mode and can’t see past that, or maybe they just don’t get it. And every Valentine’s Day, you are faced with an unshakable sense of longing.
Maybe your frustration is that you’re the one trying so hard to please your beloved, but somehow it’s just never enough – you’re exasperated.
I’ve been all three.
As long as I can remember, my soul has been thirsty for more than life could deliver, and I know the despair that drives us to drink saltwater, ignoring the salt in pursuit of the water.
So that pain behind your eyes – that stinging mix of loneliness, anger, shame and depression that you can’t just shake off, I get that.
And I’m speaking to your soul underneath the agony, to rise up and rebel against the status quo. You don’t have to be victim of the Valentine’s vibes; you can fight back the onslaught of discontentment and reclaim your freedom.
Here are some suggestions:
1. REJECT THE EXTERNAL SEDUCTION.
Advertisers spend fortunes on creating the illusion that their superficial solutions will satisfy your sense of void. The reason they hire expensive psychologists to tap into our longings is that it pays off. Somehow their incessant pressure does indeed persuade us to buy their products, and with with them, the lies of how we deserve to feel and what we are entitled to from others.
There’s such pressure and expectation on that day that it very rarely lives up to the hype. In fact, it seems downright dangerous to relationships:
Your heart will never be fully satisfied on this side of life.
But as an engaged virgin does allow her darling to caress her soul until veil comes off at the wedding night, so we can even now lift our souls to His touch. Soon and very soon, we will be swept away by our Prince on the white horse, and it will be full-blooded – but until then, He whispers to our most tender depths to turn towards Him.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:19)
It’s not empty theology; it’s the kind of hope that transports us from merely surviving to truly thriving.
Hush your internal objections and meditate on this hope. What does it taste like? Which colors and scents does it arouse in you? Savor these; store them in your emotional library, and bring them out whenever you need to.
It is Him wooing you.
Let His waters of worship sweep over your dryness. Hand Him your most bitter frustrations and watch Him turn them sweet, as He makes holy your hollow places. Cry into Him.
3. REACH OUT TO OTHERS Saturated in Him, exhale, and let your dear ones off the hook of your expectations! Inhale Him, deeply, then give them what you long for.
There is nothing more healing than forgetting ourselves to see and soothe someone else. And here’s the trick: do it on their terms. Worst of all prisons, the shell of self-focus shrinks and shrinks until we can barely breathe in our own skin.
This is the cure!
Stretch your longing chest towards heaven and your arms generously towards people. SEE THEM.
Especially when you are hurting, this dynamite is capable of blowing the cell door wide open:
“If I can accept that I am so sinful and so broken that I am likely to hurt anyone close to me on any given day without even being aware of it, I can willingly pass out grace to those who hurt me.” ― Jennie Allen, Restless: Because You Were Made for More
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Jesus, Acts 20:35)
4. READ TO FEED YOUR ROMANCE
Dear one, are you with me still?
The first three suggestions are lifestyle adjustments that will make all the difference. But when the dreaded day comes and your restless hands need something tangible to hold, light a candle, prepare your favorite snack, and curl up with a book that romances your soul.
These four don’t blush when they invite you into the one unashamed passion that will never run dry. You cannot be too needy, too moody, too anything for the Lover of your soul, and these usher you into intimate setting:
The Divine Romance
“A breathtakingly beautiful saga spanning from eternity to eternity, presented from the view of angels. Experience creation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection from this unique viewpoint, and gain a better understanding of the majestic love of God. Gene Edwards’s classic tale is the greatest love story ever told.” http://www.amazon.com/The-Divine-Romance-Inspirational-S/dp/0842310924
Restless: Because You Were Made For More
“Do You Feel Like You’re Missing Something?
What if this feeling wasn’t a bad thing? It could be a longing for more of God and a catalyst to living the life that was designed before the foundations of the earth were laid. A lot of us, if we’re honest, are afraid. We hold our dreams close to our chest. But our passions have a purpose—they were engineered for God’s greater plan and he intends for us to use them for his glory and purposes.”
The Furious Longing of God
“A force that is both fierce and majestic. A power that is nothing short of furious. Such is God’s intense, consuming love for His children. It’s a love that knows no limits, and no boundaries. A love that will go to any lengths, and take any risks, to pursue us.”
Come, Fill the Gap
A 30-day revival of passion, feasting verse by verse on the life-giving Words of the Song of Solomon. Intended as an interaction between you, the reader, and the Author of your soul, my prayer is that this book might help you tune in to the music of your heart where His deep calls to yours.