A NightLight: On the Winter of Waiting

NightLight will post every Friday with encouragement for and questions from younger women. No matter your age, you are older and wiser than some, and you’ve been equipped to share through your story. Please read the guidelines and consider submitting questions or posts of encouragement or advice to nightlightguide@gmail.com.

The following post, submitted via email rings true even to me, a woman 10+ years married. Let’s respond to her in grace and also acknowledge the wisdom she shares.

The Winter of Waiting

Oh, how I have got myself in a difficult place with this sweet, mismatched man who has declared his affection for me! I wrote him a letter saying that we are not meant to be at least for now, which I still fully advocate in my head, and even deepest in my heart: for I cannot deny that there is no peace, no deep and unconditional peace there on his behalf.

The problem is that my heart was beginning to bloom under his attentions, feeling the sweet affirmation of being beautiful, and since I made my side clear, these pleasant words have stopped. His eyes still say that he thinks I’m pretty, but there are no words to confirm it. I myself chose to cut off this source of sunshine, return to the Winter of Waiting; now my heart must wilt back into the dormant state of sitting patiently, indefinitely, until the right and true source of Spring might come along.

I see why the Shulammite adjured so passionately the daughters of Jerusalem not to awaken love until it desired! For once the beautiful warmth of the sun has been felt, how much colder blows the wind when it is again clouded over.

Thus I must plod, Do patient, Do honest, Do humble, forgetting the profound delight of feeling a man’s admiration, and knowing that true Beauty and Love is yet to be found, infinitely better than this.

The melancholy version of this, which I have felt to my core in these transitory days, is ‘how does one deal with Lonely?‘ for I have heard that it is impossible to be complete when together with a man if one is not complete before his entrance.

This presents me with a paradox! For Jesus is wonderful, absolutely my Prince of Peace and the Savior not only of my soul but daily of my heart and its whims; but He created in me the desire to be with a man, to care for a man, to be cared for by a man. I have some Lonely in my heart that only He can fill, but also some that only -he- can fill. What do I do? In the moment that it strikes me, to what can I turn my thoughts? What do I read, whom do I call, what do I run far away from thinking? I can say to myself, ‘all in good time, dear, and how wonderful it shall be!’ but that does not fill the ache.

This time is not without its joys.. all I can do is live on, with my eyes closed and my faith open.

About me


Reply April 9, 2010

what a beautiful post. Your wisdom, writer, to not settle in spite of how good it makes you feel speaks volumes about you. Even married, I've learned that Jesus needs to be the Person I turn to to meet the deepest needs. He wants us to know that, and the sooner we learn it, the better. I'm still learning it...

    Reply April 9, 2010

    Yes! We'll never stop until the mirror breaks and we see Him face to face.

Reply April 9, 2010


Reply April 9, 2010

I made a similar decision when I was a mere babe, still in high school, lacking much of the wisdom that the above writer shows. I did not know why God said "no" about the boy I was dating who had promised himself to me and who seemed to love me so. I obeyed begrudgingly. And then turned back to him when college seemed so tough and lonely and again came to a place where I had to let him go, that second time for good. I began then to learn the lesson that God wanted to teach me the first time around: that He wants to be my emotional center, the strength of my soul, that no man can fill that void. It was in that season of singleness that God cultivated an already formed friendship into a relationship and eventually a marriage. I probably would have missed it if I were striving to find it for myself.

I don't know what the future holds for you, writer, nor do I say that marriage is definitely the gift waiting at the end of this "winter of waiting." But I do know that you are well on your way to understanding the blessing of deferred hope--that you can seek Him above all other things to be your sufficiency now and forever.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply April 9, 2010

What a beautiful post. My heart thought of the admonition in Song of Songs about not awakening love even before you mentioned it. Yet, even though we acknowledge the wisdom, it's an incredibly difficult and slippery path to tread.

Maybe this doesn't answer your question, dear writer, but I would say: Loneliness is one of the sharpest thorns in this twisted, sin-ravaged world. Marriage may diminish it, but it doesn't end it. Children may diminish it, but they don't end it. Deep community diminishes it, but it doesn't end it. It's a struggle from the time we are born to the time we die. That's why Jesus is a blessing. He is the One and Only who can consistently meet us in our lonely.

I'm not trying to say a fulfilling, godly marriage doesn't take the sting out, because it can. But loneliness is one of those solitary struggles we wrestle with for a lifetime. Knowing that you see Jesus as the ultimate answer to that question, even as you yearn for human companionship, seems to me the only real answer this side of heaven. In the now, we all wait.

Reply April 9, 2010

So beautifully written, and so wise! It's true, that marriage even does not end this longing that is in us, though, I believe from my own experience, that He gives us moments where all is RIGHT and GOOD with our spouse that are like a glimpse of something even better to come with Him. There are days when I just don't feel any lonely or sad and only good and full of every good thing, and I cry because I didn't know it could really be this sweet, but then the other days, the ones that there are more of come, and I wonder what I must do to get back to the sweet, and I'm reminded that it's not what I've done, but what He's given.

Reply April 10, 2010

Wow, from the words I hear wisdom. From the words I understand and nod my head in agreement. To have had the wisdom and understanding twenty-five years ago, I wonder if I would have known what to do with it. I had some understanding and I knew a little, but my deep longing ran over anything the little voice was saying to me. The little voice that I'm now finally learning how to hear clearly. Wisdom and understanding take years to grow. Blessed are those who gain it early. The boy I loved and longed for is now the man I love and long for. We have times of good and sweet. We have times of lonely. Winter winds can blow on the hottest summer days. But God is good, and He forever will be. And I finally get that. And I finally know and understand.

Reply April 10, 2010

I couldn't believe what my eyes were reading when i saw this post. I am at the very same place and i'm being tossed back and forth between resolve/understanding/hope and fear/desolation/doubt. Firstly know that you are brave and that knowing you are facing down the same situation brings me hope and encouragement that perhaps i am making the right decision as well. My story has taken many twists and turns and i've tried to "let it go" more than once..for my sanity i hope i am able to keep it up this time and not forget my reasons. I totally understand the pain behind the words when you say "I myself chose to cut off this source of sunshine, return to the Winter of Waiting".. that is what makes it most difficult. Is knowing that i have made this decision, and that i could "unmake" this decision at any time and return to a comfort i miss, and someone i love. I don't understand it at all. I don't understand how wonderful things can be not meant to be. I don't understand how God is to be trusted with seemingly impossible situations and lost hope. And the absolute worst is knowing that he, this man i love, does not understand, or "get it", at all. I know i have to love God first..and i know I want this man to know God and love God more than he loves me...i know that i can't change him, i know that only God can change hearts.. but i am forgetting how to trust God, and worrying that i am just being foolish.

Among all this despair though, there is somewhere, deep deep deep down, a knowing that He CAN be trusted. That it is never an unsafe thing to trust him with our hearts, and the hearts of others. I cannot wait till i am through this storm because the toll it is taking on my body, soul, spirit, and life is draining. I can only hope that in this time i come to know HIM more..come to love him more..come to have a more real and refined sense of hope and trust in the truest thing.

I know that much of what i just said was echoing the pain you seem to feel, but just know that you aren't alone, and that i believe in you and the Lord's ability to take care of every piece of the things we don't understand. I am incredibly strengthened to know that someone else knows just how i feel, and is still forging ahead in loving HIM first. I am praying for you, believe me.

Please write me if you ever want to talk or pray.

Reply April 10, 2010

This is so beautiful! Thank you, dear author, for sharing your heart and your thoughts with us. I agree with Amber; I understand and I've been married for 10 years. Before and now even during marriage, I sometimes feel this loneliness, too. I think it's because our hearts will always long for the ultimate Lover of our souls.

Reply June 9, 2010

i feel welcomed into this sweet garden....it will be good to visit here awhile!

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