“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12

Boy meets girl, so its love, marriage, babies, right? I just expected it to happen. So why wasn’t it happening?

I was single for eight years before I met my husband, and if I’m honest I was probably happy about being single for about three,  maybe four of those years. It’s not that I wasn’t happy in general, or didn’t have a good life. But I wasn’t happy about that area. It’s funny how you can have a blissfully happy existence and an area of heartbreak at the same time. But I did, each side threatening to collide at any given moment.

In my much younger not -quite-following- Jesus years, singleness was sexy and sassy. It was fun, flirty and risky, and I thrived on it. But when I returned to the Lord, I really wasn’t sure where my sexuality fit, or how I expressed it as a single woman. So I kind of felt “nothingy”, and asexual inside, as though that was somehow holier. Maybe I dressed more conservatively; I was definitely better behaved. I was certainly not any more whole as a woman. I was just insecure about who I was meant to be.

Singleness became the battleground for my relationship with God. It defined whether I thought He was faithful; it was where I wrestled and wept over unanswered prayer. The place where my faith rose and fell, even staggered from time to time.  Would I follow Him wherever He led, or was I just too disappointed in Him?

Sometimes I was consumed by loneliness. I went to friend’s weddings, happy for them, sad for me.  I wanted someone who was mine, to share life with, to dream, even argue with. I was embarrassed for feeling odd and sad, knowing I cried tears over something I didn’t even understand.

Proverbs: 13:12

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick (MSG)

Not getting what you want can make you feel sick (CEV)

I was “heartsick”.  My expectations had not been met and the disappointment wore me down. My heart which, in Biblical terms, contained my thoughts, emotions, w ill, desires  was worn out and debilitated. Heartsickness spilled out in cynical words and bitter memories, angry at men and the injustice of it all.  Eventually I was on my knees again before the One who could heal and restore me.

What do you do with heartsickness?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jackie Louise

    What do you do with heartsickness? Does anyone have an answer??????

    1. Jo Saxton

      Hi there Jackie – I think depending on who we’re heartsick about – its something of a process! I think admitting it helps, and gives us some perspective. Sometimes there is some grieving to do, which is painful, but I believe is a helpful part of the process, a gift even.
      I found the following really helpful:
      honest conversations with God,
      some trusted friends who would affirm you, encourage you, but be willing to challenge you and not indulge you – not and easy combination!
      embracing the life I had today, not just the one I wanted someday – I needed to to own my life and be thankful for it. Here I learned to take my life off hold and do the things I’d longed for like travel and take risks etc
      find a helpful way of engaging with the guy thing – by this I mean I had some unhelpful ideas and attitudes and habit which made this harder – I hated to admit it but sometimes, I was not only part of the problem; I WAS the problem! So I needed to work on that…
      In the midst of this there were great days and low days – but the best thing was I wasn’t defined by my relational status – and that was wonderfully liberating!
      Much love Jackie x

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