Dec. 27 // 4 min read
Hey y'all! Today I wanted to share with you three things that have really helped me deal with the longings of wanting to be married, dating, in a different season, or even just temptations to settle for worldly treasures instead of heavenly ones. I pray they encourage you, and I hope you had a refreshing Christmas, reminded of how Jesus humbled himself for our sake and became a servant, being born to die for our sins so we could know Him!!! There truly is NO other God like Him :o Wowowow. Just think -- without Jesus making a way for us to have a PERSONAL relationship with God, fighting longings for a relationship would be WAY harder...we'd just be chasing after other temporary things forever !! (And we'd also be lost in our sin, and it wouldn't matter even if we could deal with the longings well because we'd end up in eternal separation from God nevertheless!)
Let's dive in to the three strategies:
1. Long for something greater.
I know for me, my natural reaction when I'm really longing to be in a relationship is to try to stuff it down -- to fight it and do whatever I can to just make myself not long for anything at ALL. But I'm learning that this isn't always very effective, as it usually comes out from under the rug shortly after. A strategy that God has been bringing to mind recently is to find something greater to long for (God and Heaven!!) instead of trying to just suffocate my longings for a relationship. Heaven is something that we know is in our future as believers, and so when I start longing for a relationship, I try to switch gears and start thinking about and imagining what Heaven will be like.
I encourage you to take a moment right now, even, to pause and imagine what Heaven will be like and what you're excited for. I know for me, I'm looking forward to having a close relationship with God that is unhindered by my pride and sin and guilt!! What do you think heaven will be like?
The times I've done this, I've found that my longings for a relationship diminishes as it gets swept up in the greater dream and hope of being in Heaven with God one day - something far far greater !! I can't quite explain fully how this works, but it does!
1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (emphasis added). We are also called to set our hope FULLY on the grace that is going to be revealed to us when Jesus comes back.
I would definitely encourage you to also ask God to give you a deeper longing for Himself! He's the One that truly fills and satisfies us.
2. Read the Word and pray.
Isaiah 55 encourages everyone who thirsts to COME. Come and be filled by the Lord and by what is truly bread and truly satisfies! Delight yourself in the Lord (Ps. 37)! A very tried-and-true method that helps my longing heart is to open up God's Word and listen to what God has to say. Through opening the Word, my heart is both satisfied and filled with hope as I'm reminded of everything that I already have in Christ and the promises He has for me. Don't underestimate the power of reading Scripture!
Secondly, be honest with God. It's okay to enter into the longings and the pain and to bring them to the Lord. Tell Him all about it - pour out your heart before Him like water (Lam. 2:19)!! In an AMAZING book called A Praying Life (seriously -- this book is changing my life!), the author will often flip through the Psalms until he finds one that mirrors the thoughts and emotions he's going through. I've only tried this once, but it sounds like a really effective strategy! The Psalms are so raw and honest, and I love how they not only validate us but also point us to the Lord and teach us how to grieve and deal with emotions with hope in God.
In your conversations with the Lord, ask Him to satisfy and fill you. Pause, and listen to what He has to say! Surrender your longings to Him and ask Him to fill you with a deeper longing for Him and for Heaven. Let the longings of your heart be a springboard that pushes you to seek the Lord harder and be satisfied by Him in a new and deeper way. Let it lead you to pray bolder, too!! It's okay to ask for what you're longing for! Just be careful that you don't get stuck in the longings and fall into bitterness, jealousy, or discontentment, and watch your motives (James 4:3).
I encourage you to meditate on Psalm 42 - it talks about longing for God like a deer thirsts for water, pouring out our hearts before Him, feeling forgotten and cast down, and the hope we have in the God of our salvation.
3. Have a physical reminder.
This one has been a tremendous help to me! Earlier this year, I bought a ring that would remind me to seek first His kingdom. Originally, I had it on my left ring finger, which also reminded me that in the Lord I lacked no good thing. However, I've lately had my ring on my right ring finger to remind me that all the things I'm longing for aren't found where I expect it to be found. Instead of in a relationship or a particular guy, my longings to be loved, wanted, cherished, pursued, protected, and so many other things are fully satisfied and realized in GOD. Right now!! Not in the distant future. Wow!!
Having a physical reminder has helped me a lot - often, when I look down at my hand and see my ring, I'm reminded of the meaning behind it and that encourages me to cry out to God to satisfy and fill me.
You don't necessarily have to go and buy a ring or a new accessory, though - you could take something you have already and attach a meaning to it for those moments when you're feeling overwhelmed. When I paint my nails, I correlate the nail color with a theme that I need to be reminded of, and this has also been a very helpful tool. You could also write a reminder on your hand or arm or put up sticky notes in the places you need reminding the most. And definitely don't forget to pray and ask God to use it as a reminder, too!!
I pray this encourages you, friend!! I'd love to hear any tips that you've found are useful in coping with the longings, too ;) Thanks for stopping by - I'll see you in the comments or in the next post! <33
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."