I am closer to forty than I am to thirty and I am still not married. Since my childhood, I have dreamed of getting married and having a family and it has only grown more intense as the years pass by.
After one particularly heart-wrenching break-up, I found myself at my end.
I was so tired of “putting myself out there”. I was tired of the endless disappointments and grown weary of the waiting. As more and more friends began their marriages and welcomed children the restlessness in my heart increased. I began to doubt and question, is this ever going to happen for me? I hated the idea of being single forever, and I wondered if I could learn to be happy if that was my reality.
There have been deep aches and longings within my heart and soul for years that have remained unanswered. I have prayed and begged God to come through for me. I have shed tears and endured heartbreak. I have been brought to my knees and left wondering if He is even listening to me.
In the midst of this struggle I was introduced to a prayer entitled Be Satisfied with Me, sometimes attributed it to St. Anthony of Padua. The first lines read:
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
to have a deep soul relationship with another,
to be loved thoroughly and exclusively,
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone,
with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.
When I first read this I have to admit that I was agitated and even a bit angry. It sounded a little bit like God was giving me an ultimatum. I struggled with the words and I wasn’t sure if I even believed that a relationship with God could actually satisfy these deepest aches and longings.
As a Christian, I know Jesus is supposed to be enough. But if I’m honest, in my lived experience, that hasn’t been easy to believe and accept.
Yet, something kept drawing me back to these words.
Sitting with these words led me to a place of self-reflection. What does it even mean to be satisfied and content? If I never did get married could I be satisfied and content as a single? Could being loved by God be enough?
I started to realize that God wasn’t giving me an ultimatum between the two; He was trying to do what was best for me.
In an article from Desiring God, I found this,
“We were designed for more than the trivial pursuit of pleasure. The hard truth is that we will never find relief if we continue to seek it through possessions or through people. Seeking satisfaction in the things of this world is like chasing the wind. Once you’re finally exhausted and weary from your pursuit, you’re left empty-handed and disappointed. You’ve wasted valuable time chasing nothing when you could have been pursuing true joy and peace… At the root of our dissatisfaction is a never-ending thirst that nothing in this world can satisfy. We’ve been duped into thinking that a better job, more money, cooler friends, another spouse, or a new life is really what we need.
He realized that there is someone greater than people or possessions that can truly satisfy. God offers us himself in the person of Christ. Jesus exceeds our expectations, provides for our needs, and fulfils our desires. Christ alone can provide the satisfaction and joy we so desperately seek.”
I learned in the process that being content is a daily choice. Contentedness is not conditional on others but is found within one, unchanging thing—God. He wants us to be satisfied in Him because it won’t run out or leave us wanting more. It’s the only thing that is enough.
I became more intentional about focusing on the blessings in my life and all that I did have rather than only looking at what I wanted and lacked. As I did so I began to see how generous God’s daily love and affection for me is. I started to feel more and more fulfilled and content with His love alone.
This fall I will indeed be getting married but in the most unexpected ways, I have come to realize that God has been the one to exceed my expectations. Not in the man that He has brought into my life, but through His deep and abiding love for me that satisfies in ways no human ever could.