I have been slightly suspicious that some people get engaged just to piss other people off.
Like that really socially awkward chick that creeped the crap our of you your freshman year? Yeah, Facebook just informed you that she’s engaged to that longhaired, greasy-faced goon that engaged in light-saber battles on the weekends when he wasn’t too busy staring for too long at the chests of other women.
And there is no way in hell you would trade places with her…frankly because you had a class with her fiance once and he always smelled vaguely of Cheetos and the air always felt a little moist around him and that was troubling…
But that gut-rot is still present. There is something in the moment of reading that post while taking a Netflix binge break in your sweatpants in your parents basement after berating yourself for polishing off the iced animal crackers only a couple hours after opening them that makes you feel jealous.
There is something in our deepest longing that rouses a passion in us. First the passion of fulfilling the longing at all costs, often followed by the passion of the longing thwarted.
If you ever want to feel like a longing has been thwarted, go to a wedding of a not close friend and bring a crappy attitude as your plus one.
Jealousy is not something we ever want to admit to, but it is that always lurking presence as a friend talks about a great first date, as you stand awkwardly waiting for the bride to throw the bouquet, as you buy diapers for your sister’s baby shower.
I think we’re too afraid to admit we’re jealous. It’s an unattractive and sinful thing—we’re all on the same page—but it’s still a reality. Jealousy is still something we need to own. To stuff it down is to let it fester and to let it fester is to let yourself become bitter.
We are to mourn for those who mourn and we rejoice with those who rejoice , it’s true. But what about when someone’s rejoicing brings our own mourning to light.
It can be painful to watch your girlfriends go down the aisle when you don’t even have a date at your side. Friend, I totally get this.
I also get (and had to get it the hard way) that ignoring the fact that it is painful can be harmful to you and your friendships. Please, as you start attending weddings and showers this spring, be honest with God and with yourself. Acknowledge the pain you may feel, but also don’t forget that this is a time to celebrate your friend.
Because here is another truth: The fact that your friend is getting married doesn’t mean you won’t. The fact that someone else feels joy in a season where you are experiencing mourning doesn’t mean you can’t rejoice with where they are at.
Acknowledge what you feel, yes please do! But also learn to maneuver the tension of joy and pain as they exist side-by-side.
I think Joy Eggerichs speaks into this really well. I’ve had a huge woman-crush on Joy for a while and have really appreciated the ministry Love and Respect Now.This ask Joy video addresses this topic really well. Watch to the end for some great sing-a-long fun.
2 thoughts on “Bible College Spinster: The Longing Thwarted”
A friend told me a few days ago, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’ve been thinking on that a lot lately. Thanks for the post, Alexis!