Blog 365 · Singleness

Not Being Chosen

Tonight I write for all those who understand – all those who will read this and weep because they know what it feels like. I don’t write to be pitied, to try to get comfort or attention, or to push any kind of agenda. I just write what it feels like so that if you feel the same – or have at some point in your life – you’ll know you’re not alone.

They say to write about all the places that hurt – to let your pain leak out onto the page and let it drain out of your bloodstream till the words have swallowed it up and painted it all across the page in dark smudges.

So I go where it’s not easy to go – write the words that are hard for this positive, optimistic girl to admit – where the pain has imperceptibly layered up over the years. It seems wrong to complain when my life has been so blessed and so filled with gifts I do not deserve. Yet no one gets to choose their heartache in life – and no one can say that a person’s heartache doesn’t hurt just because it seems less in scope than another’s.

And there is a pain that is difficult to articulate in not being chosen – in getting your hopes up again and again that someone might love you and only you – and then being passed over.

I have experienced so much love in my life. Love from family. Love from friends. Love from students. But there’s one kind of love that I’ve never received – the love of a man for a woman – the love that fills him with such holy wonder that he can’t help but want to spend the rest of his life with me.

And the absence of it makes my heart ache. It never leaves me, despite the days when I’m happy and content and feeling fulfilled in my life’s role. The absence of it can be dealt with – it doesn’t have to consume my life – it can be surrendered to Christ – but I don’t think it can ever be filled with anything else.

I’ve had such sweet hints of it in the past – lovely compliments, offers of dates and potential interests – but none of them materialized into forever. They dissipated like the smoke from an extinguished flame.

And the pain of not being wanted is what slowly wears a heart down over the years. The ache of going through daily life without a companion is raw. And the sympathies and the comforts come from those who don’t want me to feel sad, but those things won’t change the fact that life is sad sometimes and no words can ever change that.

I think I’ve spent a lot of time in the past trying to “write myself into contentment” – trying to rationalize and theorize – without stopping to recognize the pain of what really hurts in life. That doesn’t mean I disagree with everything I’ve written – in fact, part of the reason I wrote those things was to encourage myself on the tougher days. But I don’t want to deceive you and make you think I’ve got everything under control with not being married – because in all reality, there isn’t a day I wake up without feeling that empty place inside of me where it feels like a husband should belong.

And most married people will say to me, “Oh, don’t worry – he’ll come along in God’s timing” – which they can say with confidence because that happened for them.

But there actually is no guarantee that I will ever get married, and that’s not really where I should put my hope anyway. Instead of hoping and wishing for something that might not happen to me, I have to put all my hope in the one guarantee in life that never fails – Christ alone.

Because every day that I wake up with that empty ache inside of me, there is one who knows all the pain that ever was who can fold me in the safety of His arms. The scars on His wrists are evidence that He knows the deepest suffering ever to occur to a man, and He resonates with my hurting.

He’s not a fairy godmother who waves her wand and makes my wishes come true. I may never get that one thing I want more than anything else in life.

But if not, He is still good.

If not, He walks with me through my darkest valley.

If not, His rod and His staff comfort me – I know I will not be consumed by despair.

If not, He is the one who holds all my tears in His bottle.

If not, He offers the compassion of a Father who aches with His child.


My Savior knows more than anyone what it means to be utterly alone, abandoned even by His Father – the perfect unity severed. And He gladly chose to be rejected so that I didn’t have to be forever separated from Him.

If I didn’t have that hope in this life – the hope that one day I will see Him face to face, touch His scars, hear Him whisper my name, and see all my hurting fade away – then I would have no reason to live. He makes it all worth it.

My pain is not insignificant to Him. He hears every broken prayer – even the ones that I can’t articulate, but only feel in the depths of my soul. And He answers every single one with His nearness. The pain is not necessarily eradicated. But it is given a place to rest when I can’t bear it any longer.

And that place is with the One who chose me long before I was even born.

Image from unsplash.com.

18 thoughts on “Not Being Chosen

  1. I completely am there Lydia. Thank you so much for sharing! Just the other night, I was trying to tighten a couple bolts on my futon, and clearly struggling, I angrily threw a pillow across the room. Sounds funny right?! but the emotions of always having to fix everything myself exploded and I curled up on the futon and cried – and let Jesus hold me. It's a struggle and there is no guarantee, but you're right, no matter what happens, God is good.

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  2. I know what you mean … sometimes it builds up inside of us without us even realizing it until the smallest thing can push us over the edge. God is definitely so good to hold us in those moments and simply let us hurt in his arms.

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  3. Your story was also beautiful, though I'm sure so very painful to walk through … thank you for sharing it with me. The more we share our stories, the more we come to see that we are not alone – and never were, for like you said, our heavenly Father has designed us and chosen us and always keeps us near to Himself.

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  4. Thanks for putting into words what I've been feeling for years. As a woman now in my 50s and never married, not too many people understand the pain of not being chosen.

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  5. You have no idea how much this resonated with me (and with my friends when I posted this), and brought tears to the surface that have been “pushed under the rug” lately. Several guys have initiated a pursuit (and I respect any man who takes that risk!) but most haven't been grounded in God, can't provide a basic income, are addicted to pornography, are lazy/passive or narcissistic, or have emotionally unhealthy/abusive traits. They haven't dealt with their baggage. And I can foresee that marriage at this time would be more difficult than even this heartache in singleness. I'm glad I found out before we got to the marriage altar, but this “hope deferred” repeatedly does things to your heart–you HAVE to run to Jesus to stay strong, resilient, and tender-hearted.

    Singleness has been the greatest test of my faith, and the greatest agent for God's sanctification, WHEN I accept every consequence and disappointment with submission and faith in a very good God. There really isn't any alternative when facing unwanted singleness–you can have at attitude, choose cynicism, bitterness, immorality/rebellion…but all of those will destroy you. Jesus came to bring us abundant life. It IS a supernatural act of God to *thrive* in unwanted singleness–but God wants to give us the supernatural by faith. Our season pushes us into His arms–the only place to go, but the most healing place to be.

    Elisabeth Elliot shares Amy Carmichael's poem, “In Acceptance Lieth Peace,” which was soothing to my soul:https://newthingspringingforth.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/in-acceptance-lieth-peace/

    Thank you for sharing and pointing to Christ's sufficiency. He is worthy of our love and lives!

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  6. So very, very true … such good lessons, though they are so difficult to learn. I love that poem by Amy Carmichael and have read it many times in this season of life – again, such good truths! Thank you for reading and sharing.

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