the gift of being an only one

sometimes we have
this ache in our days
that never goes away

sometimes others will
ask after this ache
they’ll ask if we’re okay

but often we never really
know what to say
so we play a game of
“i’m good”, “i’m fine”, “i’m okay”
because we don’t have
a language for our pain

we can confirm or
deny if we’re okay
but often it’s easier
to brush this away
“i’m good, thanks”
how about yourself?”

we don’t really want to know
about the other persons ache
we just want to ignore our own

so every time we say
“i’m good”, “i’m fine”, “i’m okay”

what we are really saying is:
“i’m not okay, because i don’t know what else to say”
“i’m deflecting on details, because i’m ignoring my ache”

i don’t know about you
but most days i have this never ending feeling
that life is not meant
to be this way
that there is meant to be
the absence of
this ache and pain
that there is meant to be
more joy and beauty
in everything i see
in front of me

{… and if you know me you’ll know i’m a
beauty-chaser and still fail to see beauty!}

our inner worlds
seem to have this language of their own
sometimes they’re beautiful blurbs
sometimes paragraphs of pain

most days this pain plagues me
why aren’t i happy?

why do i always feel
as though there is something

why do i fill silences
with self-sabotage

why do i invest
in intimacy
that only


i pretend
that this ache
doesn’t break
something in me

but everytime
i pretend this ache
doesn’t exist

it’s as though
the ache
c h i p p i n g
at me
d i g g i n g
all that
keeps me

i want to be
good, fine, okay
but the ache
speaks to me

that i am broken
that i am helpless
that i am needy

i know why
this ache is in me
not because
there is something
m i s s i n g
but because
i am called
into intimacy
into wholeness
into love
into joy

but what
i struggle to reconcile
is how this call
into intimacy
doesn’t eliminate
my suffering

there is still
going to be an
a c h e
this side of eternity
because of the
b r o k e n n e s s
in humanity and in me
and because of how
sin grieves

y e t
in the ache
in the brokenness
in the grief
grace breathes

oh how
my sin grieves
but even still
grace breathes

i have been
by my suffering
by my aching
that i have forgotten
the beauty
in this kind of breathing:
g r a c e

this is why
i am aching

i am yearning
for filling

looking for that
which jesus is

u n d e s e r v e d
that is the title of this gift
a gift my aching is too proud
to accept

but what if
the ache
is the gift?
what if
the ache
is the place
for grace?

where need
and beauty
b r e a t h e

where all that
is asked of me
is to receive

not to receive
once the ache
stops aching

but to receive
before the ache
came into being

and to receive
when the ache
is asking
for filling

so when my soul
seems to believe
that something
is missing

let my soul sing
of jesus’ offering

his offering?

f i l l i n g

“out of his fullness
we have all received
grace in place of
grace already given.”

john 1:16

“for it is by grace you
have been saved,
through faith — and this
is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God”

ephesians 2:8

“but he said to me,
“my grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made
perfect in weakness.”
therefore i will boast
all the more gladly
about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power
may rest on me.”

2 corinthians 12:9

“God’s law was given so that
all people could see
how sinful they were
but as people sinned
more and more,
God’s wonderful grace
became more abundant.”

romans 5:20

so i know
this ache is in me
because i am called
into intimacy

yet somehow
i have this habit of believing
that temporary intimacy
is capable
of the same

but here i am
once again
l e a r n i n g
the. same. lesson.

because every time
i allow
temporary intimacy
to spark
something in me
it only leads
to breaking
and hurting

every time i am given
a taste of what it means
to be investing and have feelings
in this realm of temporary intimacy
i am met with unmatched intimacy

i am yearning for intimacy
pressing into this pulse of love
only to be left to flatline
and find my heartbeat again

and when i find that beat
i rediscover that aching

i find myself aching
because i am left

my ache
is broken intimacy
and rejected love

not that i can say
i’ve found love
in this temporal

but maybe that
is saying something?

every time i am given
a taste of intimacy
it. scares. me.

it. scares. me.
because it seems that
every time i am given
a taste of intimacy
and start investing
it is taken from me

but perhaps
if i am only tasting
and investing
in this
temporal intimacy
i will always
be aching
for more intimacy

maybe the intimacy
i am desiring
the connection
i am needing
the aching
i am experiencing
is only found
in eternity

and is not eternity
set in our hearts
{ ecc. 3:11 }
that we may taste
and know
d e e p
d e e p
in that
a c h e
that there is more
that our hearts
are made for

so today
it’s time to change tact
instead of giving you
another string of single sorrow
{see heartbreak aches 1 + 2}
i’m going to translate
this temporal ache
into eternal praise

i want to see pain
as character-forming

i want to see suffering
as a cause for enduring

i want to see endings
as new beginnings

i want to see seasons changing
as an opportunity for growing

i want to learn to see that investing
is worth the risk of greater hurting

i want to see how my heart breaking
means i can receive deeper healing

i want to see unmet longings
as a map to eternal yearning

i want to see how heart-learnings
help us navigate this heart-living

i want to see my heart-shakings
as signs that god is working

he is
stretching and shaping
replacing and destroying
all that is in me
for i know he is in
the business of remaking

and in and through it all i want to see how my aching
creates a place for receiving god’s love offering
and space for receiving the riches of his grace

today i am choosing
to see singleness as a gift
a grace from God
and an opportunity
for greater intimacy
the eternal kind
only found by dwelling in the word
and allowing the word to dwell in me

last night
i listened to a podcast
that helped me reframe
the ache into praise

the “made for this” podcast
has a recent episode titled:
“a totally different way to date”

during the episode JP pokluda
said their is a simple question
you can ask yourself in the morning
if God has given you
the gift of singleness:
“did you wake up this morning single?”
if the answer is yes
then the answer is:
God has given you
the gift of singleness

“count it all joy, my brothers,
when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith
produces steadfastness.
and let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.”

{james 1:2-4}

singleness can be seen
as a trial or ache
but it can also be seen
as a gift if you allow
God to use it
to shape you

so too
is dating a gift
and marriage a gift

whichever gift
we have been given:
there is grace

grace upon grace
for all of our needs

and each gift
comes with its own

“i want you to be free from anxieties
the unmarried man is anxious
about the things of the Lord
how to please the Lord.
but the married man is anxious
about worldly things, how to please his wife,
and his interests are divided.
and the unmarried or betrothed woman
is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how to be holy in body and spirit.
but the married woman i
anxious about worldly things,
how to please her husband.
i say this for your own benefit,
not to lay any restraint upon you,
but to promote good order and
to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

{1 corinthians 7:32-35}

did you see it there at the end:
the eternal intimacy, the undivided devotion, the steadfast love
this is where our aches find their place

this is the gift of being an only one:
to be able to have undivided devotion
for the only one who can satisfy
our longings for intimacy


Respond from the Heart