Tomorrow is the Baptism of our Lord, thus officially ending the Christmas season. I love the Advent and Christmas seasons. I love the lights and decorations, the readings from Isaiah, the rose (not pink) vestments and the Nativity scenes. I love how the whole world stops everything to celebrate our powerful, almighty God entering our world to give us the most precious gift of our salvation.
But as a single lady in her 20’s searching for her vocation, one thing that I do not love about Christmas is the jealousy caused by a Facebook feed full of pictures of engagement rings. After being bombarded by other people’s relationship happiness, I then, like many of my single sisters in Christ, begin to lament my loneliness, convinced that I’ll die alone with only my 15 cats to remember me by.
But the thing about Facebook is that it only highlights the blessings and never the crosses people bear.
And here’s a newsflash: a husband or boyfriend can never satisfy the longing of our hearts. The purpose of marriage is for a man to help lead us to the Lord, not to be our Lord.
As Psalm 62 says:
“O God, you are my God—
it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns;
for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless,
and without water
I look to you in the sanctuary
to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life;
my lips shall ever praise you!
My soul shall be sated as with choice food,
with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
The longing of our hearts is eternal. Things here on Earth are able to fill that emptiness that we all feel but only temporarily. When we chase after things that aren’t God, that hole becomes deeper and wider and darker with each loss.
Our hearts long for the eternal. Only the infinite can satisfy the infinite.
Before You Get Married…
Recently, there was a blog being passed around my newsfeed called “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before Your 23” (http://wanderonwards.com/2013/12/30/23-things-to-do-instead-of-getting-engaged-before-youre-23/), which included such things as “Make out with a stranger”, “Be Selfish” and “Eat a Jar of Nutella in One Sitting”. But how could these things ever make anyone happy? Because making out with a stranger will make you feel used. Being selfish will harden your heart. And eating a jar of Nutella will make you fat.
Instead of wasting your time doing stupid, meaningless things that leave you empty and broken, why not do the single most important thing you could ever do? There should only be one thing on this list of “Things to do before getting married”, and that is to fall in love with the One who loves you most.
Sometimes we mistake our longing for God as our longing for things of this world. And every time that we sit there wishing things were different, wishing there was a big, strong man in our lives to love and protect us, Jesus is all like, “Really, guys? I’m standing right here.”
Opening Your Heart To Him
Do you realize that every time you go to Mass, Jesus comes down from Heaven, a place more perfect than we are ever capable of imagining, to become one with you in the Blessed Sacrament? That’s how much He loves you. Jesus is up in Heaven partying it up with the Our Blessed Mother and the saints, living in pure ecstasy and joy; and He would choose to enter our cold, dark world full of sin and brokenness to live in poverty and suffering, just so He can be with you. And not only that, but He, perfect in holiness, freely chose to die a horrible sinner’s death for the chance to be with you for all eternity in Heaven. He is constantly pursuing you in a way that no man ever could.
I mean, what more could you want from a man, ladies?
So let Jesus satisfy you before you try and let someone else satisfy you. That goes for all relationships. Your significant other, your friends, not even your family will ever be able to truly make you happy. In the end, trying to solely pursue earthly relationships rather than a relationship with Our Lord will only leave you broken.
Because of our humanity, we will inevitably hurt each other. In trying to let these relationships fulfill you, you will only be left sad and disappointed. Jesus is the only one who will never hurt us. He can only love us because that is His nature. The beautiful thing is that in knowing Him, the hurt others cause us isn’t as bad. In accepting that Jesus loves us despite our sin and brokenness, we are able to forgive others knowing that He forgave us first. In falling more in love with Jesus, we are able to love others more fully. If you are called to married life, know that falling in love with Jesus will allow you to better love your future spouse.
So I challenge you to live happily in whatever present state God has put you in, whether it be in singleness, courtship or marriage. Trust in His faithfulness to those who are faithful to Him. To all my sisters, learn to let Jesus satisfy your desires. To all my brothers, learn to love as Jesus loves the Church, with total and absolute self-sacrifice.
And if you’re single right now, consider your life to be in “Advent” season. Celebrate as you wait patiently for whatever God has in store for you.
And to all of my beautiful friends who got engaged over Christmas, CONGRATULATIONS! May God bless you endlessly as you bring your future spouse closer to Him.
(Also, sorry I’m super jealous weirdo.)