During my single years, I would have told you I knew marriage wouldn’t solve all my struggles.
Of course not. I wasn’t naïve. I understood that marriage brings its own issues and building a family with someone isn’t just a
romantic drive on a starlit night. No duh.
But now, looking back, I did kind of think that the areas where I was currently struggling wouldn’t be that big of a deal anymore; instead, I’d just be dealing with different problems. Ones that included a husband.
And, of course, if you’re married you probably know that I was right and wrong. Both. At the same time.
Because being married brought new problems and maybe eased the old ones for a bit, but in the end, they were all kind of there, and in some ways were harsher than ever.
What do I mean?
Well, loneliness is hard when you’re single. Really hard. We know this and kind of expect it. So it’s easy to think that maybe someday you’ll be married and not alone…But it turns out you can be married and lonely and the harshness of the realization can send you reeling because now there is no “someday” out there on the horizon. It’s just…this. Because the fact is that a spouse doesn’t always fix your loneliness.
Sometimes you just have to face it alone.
When I was dealing with infertility, I would have told you that I knew a baby wouldn’t fix all my struggles.
Of course not. In fact, I wrote blog posts about the fact that I knew this.
But now, looking back, I can see that while I knew a baby wouldn’t heal it all, I didn’t realize how devastating it would feel to hold a baby while still holding all the brokenness that infertility had birthed in my heart at the same time.
I had no idea that I could hold a miracle in my arms and still need more miracles in my heart and mind.
Isn’t this the story of every place we find ourselves? Even when we get what we want—we still are faced with a void that can leave us gasping for breath, for life, for hope.
This certainly isn’t how we want the story to go. We want to be like, BOOM! Here’s the fulfillment of what you long for and now all those empty aching places in you are all filled up. You’re good. You’re whole. No more struggle in this area. Not again.
Yet over and over we’re faced with the truth: Nothing is enough, after all. Not really.
Right now as I’m writing this post, there is a big chasm of questions resting over my life. Some of the questions will be answered soon enough, but the deeper ones? The ones that show up when I am at my lowest, when my heart is hurting over death and loss and sorrow?
They require a little more pausing and a little more digging in and a little more turning my face toward the One-Who-Is-Always-Enough.
Because here’s the deal: all the wonderful things in this world? They’re not meant to be “enough”.
Even the most beautiful, most valuable gifts we have—like children and friends and spouses and homes—they’re good. Excellent. Comforting. Necessary, even.
But their job isn’t to fill up the emptiness in us.
Having a miracle baby was so beautiful. Seriously, it was breathtaking. Wonder-filled. Holding my baby in my arms has been one of the most amazing and glorious things I’ve ever experienced.
I also have a story of sitting on my bed three days after my daughter was born, clutching her to my chest and sobbing because I had never felt so broken or lonely or lost. Never. Not in my whole thirty-four years of life.
And when I tried to reach out and explain to two separate people how devastated I was—they both were confused because I was holding a miracle. And I understood; I was confused too. But somehow the miracle wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t enough because it was never supposed to be.
I needed more miracles. A lifetime of miracles. And not just the kind that you hold and touch and see—I needed the kind that pours into your soul and seeps through the broken cracks. The kind of miracle that whispers, “I see you. I hear you. I’m here.”
I needed Emmanuel.
Because we are created in His image and our souls are never at peace without Him. The empty void that brokenness leaves in us is never fully filled without this constant miracle: God with us.
Our hearts were created for perfect intimacy. Created in the image of a holy God who loves endlessly—and, of course, they long to be fitted against the One-Who-Is-Enough. The “enoughness” we ache to experience is found in the wholeness of Christ, where the sting of death is overcome.
So here is my encouragement, friends, here are the words I want most to whisper to each of us:
When you’re waiting and hoping for something good, hold tight to the One-Who-Is-Enough.
When you’re walking the miracle of a spouse or children or your dream-come-true, hold tight to the One-Who-Is-Enough.
When you’re feeling crushed under the agony of death and loss and all the brokenness this world dumps on us, hold tight to the One-Who-Is-Enough.
You’re probably still going to feel all of the emotions–the emptiness, the void, the loss, the pain–but you won’t be alone. Not really. And that’s the miracle we all need most of all.