being single hurts today, and that’s okay

You’re okay most days. You’re okay with watching movies alone and grocery shopping for one and not having to worry about syncing up your schedule with someone else’s. You’re happy serving Jesus in your church, and you know you’re not wasting this wait.

You kill big spiders, and you’re proud of your single-income bank account balance, and paying those monthly utility bills is one of those oddly empowering practices that reminds you: You’ve got this. This single thing. You’re doing it. You’re meeting deadlines and making decisions and rocking budgets and being brave and giving singleness a beautiful, determined face.

You’re strong and trusting Jesus and fighting for joy, and you’re okay most days. 

Most nights it’s okay that you’re watching Netflix reruns and sipping herbal tea on the couch alone. Then suddenly it stops being okay. And it hurts. Your stomach twists into knots, and you’re sobbing into your lukewarm mug because this empty couch is now a billboard for everything you’re lacking, and you’d actually give anything for arms to wrap around you. In these moments, it hits you—you’re lonely.

A hollow ache emerges. It’s the fear that you’ve missed your one opportunity for a relationship and that life will always be this way.

Some nights it seems like every night will look like this. You wonder if you’ll ever be seen—seen, all the way to the core of who God created you to be.

Then comes the onslaught of questions:

Is something wrong with me? 

Am I too much? 

Even if I met someone, would they want to stay?

Am I better off alone? 

Will I always feel like this?

It hurts, waiting for your person. Where can you turn when you’re losing faith that you could even have a person?

You turn to Jesus. You expose every part of your heart and let Him see it all—the emotions you thought maybe you should hide, the tender wounds you wish never existed.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. (Ps. 139:1–3)

You close your eyes, and you tell Him everything. What hurts, what you’re hoping for, what you’re questioning. Because He sees you. He sees your streaming tears and your eyebrows furrowed with fear. (Ps. 139:16–18).

Tell Jesus that most days you’re okay, but when this pain hits, it hits hard, and you’re not okay now.

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. (Ps. 118:5)

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. (Ps. 94:19)

Don’t stop at telling Him about your hurt. Tell Jesus about your sin. Tell Him you probably, most likely, would jump at the opportunity to do something unwise or out of character or unhealthy because the longing has you believing you deserve at least some attention, some validation, and you’re afraid you’ll never ever be seen if you don’t act now. Bad choices can suddenly seem like good options when you’re tired of patiently waiting, weary of feeling passed up. Don’t hide that from Jesus. He already knows (John 10:14Ps. 139). Tell Him and ask for His help to choose holiness in the midst of the hurt.

Keep telling Jesus. It’s all safe with Him. The maddening frustration, the desire to throw this waiting stuff out the window and run after some attention, the terrifying fear of forever singleness, the most fragile dream you’ve ever dreamt. Tell Him, and know that He won’t scold or roll His eyes or ask why you’re not okay.

He won’t brush you off (1 Peter 3:12).

He won’t condemn you (John 3:17).

He doesn’t tell you to calm down or to work on getting all perfect and content so He can finally send someone your way. That’s not what His gentle kindness looks like. Jesus delights in you (Ps. 145:8–9Ps. 147:11Zeph. 3:17). His heart aches with you. He sees your grief and pain.

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. (Ps. 31:9)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. (Ps. 103:13)

When all you want is to have your person, when you’re begging Jesus to change your script so that you’re not alone anymore, when longing threatens to swallow you whole, tell Jesus. When you don’t know what to do with all the screaming disappointments, tell Him.

As for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Mic. 7:7)

It’s safe to grieve with Him. And you don’t need to slap nice-sounding Band-Aid answers on your wounds to pretend like you’ve got thick skin that doesn’t hurt. Sometimes, the loneliness really, really hurts. When you’re gutted by disappointment, Jesus’ presence might be all you can grab onto. That’s enough. That’s what you need.

Let your steadfast love comfort me. (Ps. 119:76)

The longing doesn’t magically disappear. There’s no quick fix. But in discovering how Jesus invites you to grieve with Him and simply be with Him, you’ll begin to uncover the truth that holds you together: He is good, even when it hurts.

You are good and do good. (Ps. 119:68)

I don’t know why you’re still single. I can’t promise that you’ll meet someone soon or that the most adorable man will walk into your life and blow you away and all this waiting will be worth it. I don’t even want to wipe away your tears, because they’re real and they’re legitimate, and they mean you’re human (Job 16:16Ps. 6:6Ps. 42:3Lam. 2:11). I want you to know that Jesus is there every single time that singleness doesn’t feel okay.

You can always talk to Him about it. He’ll never get tired of hearing from you.

His gentle kindness will remind you that He’s good. His Word will bring you back to truth—that joy and gratitude are possible on every single day of this life; that doing relationships in the way of godly love and holiness is worth it; that acting on temptation will slice your soul, rather than healing it (James 1:14–164:1–41 Cor. 6:18). That He’s better than anything in this entire world.

It’s a brave act of faith, going to Jesus over and over with this pain. But with every declaration of trust in His goodness, with every time that you tell Him about the waiting and the longing, you take the pain to the right place.

Most days you’re okay. But on the days that you’re not okay, your disappointment is more than allowed. Just know that Jesus is more than trustworthy. Place your delicate dreams, your heart-stopping fears, and your wild hopes into His healing hands. He’s outrageously trustworthy, even on all those Friday nights without any plans.

The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isa. 54:10)

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