I’m about to bust a myth we already “know” the answer to: can you be lonely even if you aren’t single? Well, regardless of if you are single, married, engaged, or out with friends each and every night, loneliness exists and won’t go away. I am writing this because I know that Valentine’s Day gets more and more difficult when you are single the older you get. Some of you may be saying “k, wait, you have a boyfriend?” and you are right, I do. But I have also had my fair share of “lonely” Valentine’s and *shocker* you still get lonely in a relationship if you aren’t pouring into the right thing.
I remember the first time I felt lonely in my relationship with Jon. I immediately felt guilty and that there had to be something wrong with me. Who gets lonely in a wonderful, joyful relationship!? I started to spiral into unhappiness, pondering and over-thinking everything. Was it because Jon wasn’t treating me right? No… he was amazing. Was it because I wasn’t doing something right? Yes.
There were several factors to my deep feeling of loneliness. One, I have a tendency towards depression and sadness and I was leaning into that. Two, I was not spending enough time with my girlfriends. Three, and most importantly, I was placing Jonathan in the role that God should be filling.
No matter if you are in a relationship or not, if we are placing people in the role of Jesus, we will not be satisfied. Our friendships, our significant other, our hobbies/work cannot fulfill us the way that God can. This is something we all know but not something we can often identify and assess in our own hearts. I have struggled with this problem with putting my parents in God’s place, my closest friends, and boyfriends. Somehow it took me almost 21 years to fully recognize what God was shouting at me, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10).
People are not perfect, you are not perfect. If you cannot be like Jesus why would you expect someone else to be? Leaning into God and what He has for us is the only way to fight the expectations you put on other people. Sometimes God calls us to loneliness so that we can better dwell in His presence and learn more about ourselves and who He has called us to be. Each and every season is important and we can only be lifted out of the darkness with God’s light.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” No one else in the world can promise you this and be able to fulfill it like God can. Humans disappoint, they break promises, they fail. God never lets you down or backs out on His promises. Even if they unfold in ways you weren’t thinking or imagining, everything works out for the better.
Whether you were single this Valentine’s Day or not, remember where your identity really comes from. Lonlieness is a result of our lack of confidence in God rather than the lack of “love” in our lives. Whenever you feel broken, alone, silent, open up the Word and find that you are rather the exact opposite. You are whole with God. Your voice is heard with Him and you will never be forsaken.