Almost two years ago I went through a break-up.
As anyone who has gone through that nasty thing knows, it’s not fun.
I cried like a baby.
I was angry, bitter, full of questions that I demanded answers to, knowing deep down that I would never get them.
Nothing before this happened had been so hard.
Nothing before in my life had caused me to realize my absolute need for Jesus.
Before the break-up happened I was praying some pretty dangerous prayers.
Prayers like: “God, make me more humble”, and “God I want to know you more”, and “God, rid me of anything in my life that isn’t a part of you.”
LORD HAVE MERCY. (if you’re praying any of those right now, keep doing it, but know that Jesus loves those prayers and will most definitely answer them)
Through the whole process after the break-up, I realized several things about my relationship with Jesus.
Firstly, I didn’t trust him. (I actually told him this again and again, haha)
Secondly, he wasn’t the first in my life and I had several idols.
Thirdly, I wasn’t being real with him and my relationship to him was suffering because of this.
But I’m not really writing about any of those things today. (maybe I will some other time)
What I’m writing about is the problem Jesus told the Apostle John to write to the church of Ephesus. (Revelation 2:4)
They had abandoned their first love.
Why? They had become very good at discerning false teachers and doing good works but they had forgotten to tend to the romance of God they were called to. They had forgotten what a real relationship with Jesus was and had instead become busy with other false “loves”.
I, like Ephesus had done this same thing. Was I still in relationship with Jesus? Of course, but I had placed it on the back burner, to simmer quietly while I tended to another love.
I was trying to put her where Christ only ever was meant to be. Our relationship become a giant idol, blocking my vision from the pure beauty of Jesus.
It took me far too long to realize that the space in my heart I was trying to fit her in was never meant for her.
That space was created for the One who made it. Only he could truly fill it as it needed to be filled.
And we do this, so easily.
We come up with excuses for our replacement of God such as “Well, God created that longing for a reason” and “God never made us to be alone”, but in reality, they are often excuses for our idolization of relationship and romance. Are these things true? Yes, but in a healthy attitude that comes from a place of fully knowing God and being fully satisfied in him and him alone and then seeking relationship out with another not out of a place of need, but of desire to share the wondrous life and love we have already found in the God-man Jesus and through the intimacy of his Spirit.
People, that longing for a relationship is real. Trust me, it is. But if you find yourself thinking constantly about wanting someone to share your life with, it’s because you haven’t been sharing it with Jesus.
When Jesus says that he will fulfill every single one of our requests, I don’t think it’s always in the way that we typically translate those verses. We think “oh great, I can ask for a house and God will give me a house.”
Maybe yes, and maybe no.
Maybe the way he fulfills your request for a house is he teaches you how to abide in his love so fluently that he becomes the very house you live and dwell and eat in, and your desire for a house no longer is an idol in a high place but a simple note in your pocket.
God cannot be everything we need without LITERALLY being everything we need.
Jesus wasn’t a poet with pretty words meant to satisfy the sound of crickets. He didn’t just fill empty space. He meant every word he said. When he said he said he provides everything needed for life he meant it. (2 Peter 1:3)
For a while after the relationship, all I could still think about was getting back together. And after that subsided, all I could think about was finding “the one” before I kept growing older.
Hear me out, the desire for a spouse is right and godly and beautiful. I am by no means condemning the righteous pursuit of romance and family.
But I personally needed to know something: that Jesus is LITERALLY all I need.
I think we often think that the reason we’re lonely and unfulfilled is because we don’t have that special someone by our side, kissing our cheeks and saying sweet-somethings. But in reality, the reason we’re lonely and unfulfilled is because we have forgotten about our First Love and haven’t learned how to cultivate real intimacy with the One in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells (Colossians 2:9)
Do we talk to him, converse with him daily, even hourly? (and I don’t mean praying; there’s a difference between praying and conversing, but that’s for another time)
Do we hunger for his presence? Do we thirst after his pure Word? Do we find ourselves dreaming about him, imagining what it will be like to see him face to face?
Is there a sense of beautiful mystery in your relationship with the Lord or has it does it feel like he’s just another roommate?
Here’s my point of saying all of this: the space in our hearts where we might think needs to be filled by another person might actually be the space where God needs to be.
Often we mistake our desire for more of God as a desire for a romantic relationship.
It’s far better that we know how to cultivate our romance with God before we pursue romance with a person.
This was my problem. For so long, I thought that space was the space another person needed to fill when in reality I simply needed Him to fill it.
If you go into a relationship because you have a space that they have to fill, you will be constantly in a state of unhealthy dependency, unmet expectations, and unfulfilled desire. Why do so many people hop from relationship to relationship? They’re searching for someone that fills that space perfectly, and the truth is that no one does, because no one is perfect.
Sure, you might think for the first month, year, or 5 years that they fit it perfectly. But eventually, the cracks will show, the space will widen, and you will be left wanting more, fantasizing that there is someone, someone out there, that will be the perfect romance.
I think much of our searching for “the one” is simply a cover-up for our ingrown longing for a divine romance with our Creator.
And in doing so, we never reach fulfillment.
Let me tell you, not out of boasting or arrogance, but Jesus is so much better than we think he is, and he is so capable of filling that space in your heart from where that eternal ache is birthed every morning from.
He is the best lover and the very best best friend.
Don’t get me wrong, we still need human relationships and dating and getting married can be incredible and healthy for our body, soul, and spirit. But those things cannot be pursued from a place of need. They are gifts, and should be seen as such.
For me, personally, right now, although I joke about being single and wanting someone, it’s largely comedy for me.
No, I’m not desperate. (although let me tell you I certainly was)
No, I don’t need someone. (although I do still hope for one someday)
Literally, Jesus is enough for me right now.
He has filled the space I thought I needed someone else to fill, and that has made all the difference.
He has given me a love for him that I have never had before and cause me to feel his love like never before.
No, I don’t lock myself up in a room for days on end spending time with him (although maybe I will someday, we’ll see). I have many friends who I enjoy spending time with, I enjoy spending time with Jesus no matter where I go or who I’m with and I have many dreams and desires that I hope to accomplish in my life. One of those is finding a spouse and having my own family. But it no longer has a hold on me.
When it happens, it will happen.
And I cannot tell you how freeing feeling that is.
Jesus is all you need.
He really is.
Romance is great, but his romance is greater.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”