Some nights I lie on my back, eyes shut just willing sleep to come when I feel my arm reach over and lay on the pillow next to me.
It’s empty. Always empty.
But in those moments my mind instantly flies forward and it’s almost like I can feel him there, feel his body warmth, feel it not empty. It is as if I am somehow there and not here. I can sense the weight of his body, feel my hand brush against his hair, and I almost think that if I open my eyes and look over I’ll see him there.
It’s then that I pray. I pray in those night time moments that Christ would be so supreme in his heart and life. I pray that he would have clarity in direction and the Lord would draw his heart to mine. I pray for utter and overwhelming peace and provision. I pray that he would have the strength to fight sin and the discipline to be in the Word. I pray that he would be lavished with love and see the Father’s heart.
I pray for myself, that God would make me into the sort of woman I need to be to serve him well, that I would love Jesus more and focus on the gospel. I pray that I would have discipline and fight my sin and lean hard on Christ. I pray that I would trust, trust, trust Jesus and seek first the kingdom in all ways.
Then I take a deep breath [always a deep breath], move my hand off the pillow, and roll over. I know it’ll all come soon enough.
I struggle a lot with my feelings being put in the right place. I feel so very strongly about so many things that I often times don’t know how to handle all that emotion. The easiest thing to do is to shut it off, to close my heart to the flood I know threatens to overwhelm it. So the past few years have been a back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with my feelings in all areas. Don’t hope for a job. Don’t wish to find a good church. Don’t dare to ask for that house you want to live in. Don’t even think about wanting a close friend. Stop. They’ll just become idols. So don’t even want them. Stop caring.
And so I convinced myself somewhere along the way that it’s wrong of me to want a family, to want a warm body in the bed next to me, to want to glorify Jesus in marriage. I’ve shut my heart off to even hoping. It’s too dangerous, after all.
But that’s not Christ-honoring. It doesn’t make Jesus look glorious.
What makes Jesus look wonderful is allowing my heart to want that relationship, and confessing that He is good no matter what befalls. What makes Christ look beautiful to the world is the truth that the God who does things in perfect timing has not and will not change. And that means I can confess that I deeply desire to serve a husband and raise a family for the glory of God and the advance of the gospel, and that God is in control of those desires. If and when He puts a desire on the heart of a man and my heart to run hard after Him together, we will. And if He knows, in His sovereignty, that me rocking out singleness for the rest of my life is what will best display the gospel to the world, then I will.
I don’t have this down perfectly. Or even well. As my dearest friends will attest, every day I am a hot mess of emotion and sin and theology all at once. But I do know that He is faithful in my unfaithfulness. He is my steadfast, even when I don’t know which way is up. So I trust. And try to sleep, even with an empty pillow.