I’m going to be honest and vulnerable with you today and tell you something that’s been on my mind a lot. So, here’s the thing, I’ve been having a hard time being single lately. For all you twenty-something ladies out there, I’m sure you have felt this pit of loneliness at some point in your life. No? Just me. Great.
So I call this place I’m in a pit because that’s exactly how it feels – a deep hole of emptiness that I have somehow dug for myself and I can’t seem to crawl out of it. It’s just me, the hole and the dirt and let me tell you, it’s pretty lonely and gross down here. I don’t recommend making a home out of this.
In an effort to make my journey back into the world, I decided to start a 30-day challenge for myself. Each day for 30-days I would do an in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 13’s characteristics of love. Day 1: Love is Patient. Day 2: Love is Kind. Day 12: Love never loses faith. And so on and so forth.
It’s been an incredible journey and I recommend it for anyone, in whatever season you may be in. Each day has brought with it its own set of challenges and joys. For example on Day 3: Love does not envy, I happened to only hang out with friends in relationships that day, followed by a night of listening to all three of my roommates giggling with their beaus. Some days have been harder than others, like, Day 10: Love is not glad in injustice, but rejoices when the truth wins out. But with every day of this challenge – easy or not so easy – I’ve seen that the Lord is clearly present in each circumstance.
Today’s verse, day 14, is: Love perseveres.
I looked up the meaning of “perseveres” and it says “to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly.”
What stuck out in this definition is the line “continue steadfastly” because it makes me think of the verse “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” I pointed this out to my friend Courtney today and she told me that whenever she sees the line “steadfast love” in the Bible, she circles it. She said that it came up so often she stopped keeping count a long time ago.
A song that has been playing on repeat on my iPod and in my mind since the 30-day challenge began is, “How He Loves.” I’ve been particularly focused on the line, “I am a tree” because that’s how I feel – swaying back and forth against the wind, ready to break. But today, in my study of perseverance, I heard the line that God has been whispering to me all this time: “He is jealous for me.”
The reason why I have been doing this 30-day challenge has been in hopes of wanting to be pursued by a Godly man and hoping that I find him in the process. But I’ve got it all wrong. Here I am chasing after Future Husband when the ultimate definition of Love has been chasing after my heart. This study isn’t supposed to be, “How to make Sarah the perfect girlfriend/future wife.” No, it is about learning what love really means and how to love well, whether it’s your friends, your husband or your God.
All the qualities of love that I have been hoping someone feels about me have already been fulfilled and have been with me all this time. He loves me. He is patient in waiting for me to come around. He is kind even when I’m irritable. He does not keep record of my wrongs. I belong to Him and when my heart pursues and desires the things of this world, He is jealous. Not because He is selfish, but because His love will never hurt me, it will fulfill me and most importantly, it is enough.
Let me rephrase this a little: He is jealous for YOU. And because HIS steadfast love for US never ceases, so should OUR steadfast love for HIM. It should persevere. And then keep going, and going, and going.
I’m not saying that I have it all figured out yet. In fact, I’m still single at the end of this challenge, but I’m okay with that because I’m still learning how to love. Good thing I have the perfect teacher.