Battle #4: Longing

There is something to be said about longing....it's a lie.

 

The best example I can come up with to explain a little of what I mean is this: You know when you have just eaten, but then you smell something yummy? Like popcorn, chocolate, pastries; something really speaks to you. And suddenly your body is telling you “Yes! We ARE hungry again. Pick the one with the most frosting please,”. You are not really hungry, it's just you want it and your desire works with your subconscious to say it's ok to have it.

 

This is longing. My husband works nights. Any woman who has a husband that works 2nd or 3rd shift knows how difficult it can be to juggle a schedule. I get to see him for about 2 hours out of each day he works. Those 2 hours are typically spent as “family” time because the kids need to see him too. And so I long for him. Especially at night. It doesn't matter that he's kept this schedule since I've known him, I'm still not used to it. And  I am not someone that likes to go to bed alone. This is an example of longing.

 

Or perhaps you have a husband like I had with my first marriage. In that marriage I longed to be seen. Each day blended with the next of the constant cycle of kids, laundry, messes to clean up. There were some days he didn't speak to me at all except to tell me what I missed and what needed to be done next. I longed to be a person, with real feelings and a real existence.

 

In both these situations I found a truth that most people won't tell you. The longing is a lie and the thoughts that come with the longing are deceitful.

 

Only God can fill a void. No man was meant to. I discovered it one night while I was in bed, propped up on a pillow, the curtain to my window slightly drawn, sitting in the dark awaiting my husband's return home. It was 3am and I knew I'd be lucky to get about 3 hours of sleep if he were to come home THAT moment. And lucky for me he did. He came to the bedroom, changed his work clothes and chatted with me for a moment about his day. And like every other night, he needed some time before he could go to bed, so off to the living room he went to watch a little tv and forget about work for a while.

 

Me? ...Oh I curled up in my covers and fell asleep in no time. Although, I got jolted awake about two hours later. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and light from that light bulb woke me. And I just had to laugh at myself. All those nights I wasted sleep and had a groggy, unpleasant start to my day and for what exactly? When I woke up he was next to me, I didn't even hear him come to bed. I got to speak to him for all of two seconds and he didn't even come to bed right away. I realized there was a void and I was waiting for my husband to fill it but it could never be filled by him.

 

That void was the fear of being alone. See my husband could never fill it, because it became a void every time he left the house. He had to be present for me to feel secure. I realized how silly I was being. That no matter what God was with me. From that night on, I talked to God until I fell asleep. And now that void is filled, because only God can cast out the fear of lonesomeness and longing.

 

As for the other. The attention I needed from my first husband I wasn't getting. And it made me feel like I wasn't a person and was less than I was. And shortly after my realization of being alone, I came to find that all that time I spent in sadness and anger that my first husband made me feel that way, it was all a waste of time. I spent a long time with that man, and the entire time I never felt like a person, when all along if I had just relied on God to show me what and who I was I never would have felt like that. The way other people treat us, even if they are our husbands, does not dictate who we are or what we are.

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