As the oldest in my family, I’ve always grown up taking care of myself. My mom was a single parent, and my little sister was five years younger than me. I ended up being a second mom to her because that’s what big sisters do, especially as latch-key kids. But because I’d always been the optimistic and cheerful type, it felt good knowing I was helpful and wasn’t a bother or burden to anyone.
Never did I ever dare complain; it would’ve been a luxury to do so. A good day was getting up with a smile, finishing homework, helping out with dinner, and trying not to fight with my sister when we were home alone.
But one thing I didn’t know was missing only became apparent after I grew up and found myself single and thirty.
One night, I was praying, though I don’t really know what I was praying for. I was thanking God for loving me, but the next minute, I felt so very, very lonely. It was a loneliness that didn’t seem to have rhyme or reason because I had friends and loved doing ministry in community.
I know You love me, Jesus, I began, making sure I started on a good note. I’ve tried my best to love others the way You love me, I continued, putting my best foot forward.
But the tears broke through. The frog stuck in my throat gave way to the waterfall of tears lodged deep inside, tight behind my chest, where the courageous, I’m-doing-fine, be-strong self was protecting the part of me that longed for tenderness.
God, is there someone to love me? Someone real that I can touch, who can hold my hand? I whispered, through choking tears. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want someone to hold me, to kiss me. I need someone to love me, Lord Jesus.
There it was, the truth: I needed someone to love me.
I’d never said it so bluntly. To say something like that out loud seemed sacrilegious. I felt the shame of even admitting such a thing. All I need is Jesus, I’d told myself my whole life. This was the truth I’d built my life and faith upon, giving me strength through many seasons of journeying alone.
But now a new intimate prayer I just voiced startled me. What would God would do with my loneliness? In the intimacy of honesty, what happened next changed my soul so deeply.
It was something like what the prophet Elijah might’ve felt as he ran away from Jezebel. Elijah didn’t hear God in the earthquake or the fire. Elijah heard God speak in a gentle whisper. Something about hearing God’s loving words gave Elijah strength to stop running and return to His calling.
God loves us in our moments of longing and need. He whispers, I love you.
I looked up at the stars through the window that night, and as I did, a verse came to me:
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of stars; He calls them each by name.
. . . His understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147:3-5 (NIV)
I heard Jesus whisper, I lit these stars in the sky thousands of years ago, so that you would see them light up this very night for you. I see you. I love you.
Dear friends, God’s understanding has no limit. None.
Nothing we experience on our journey through life can keep God’s love from holding onto us. Nothing can separate His gentle hand from holding onto ours. Instead, Jesus lovingly takes our hands, drawing us even closer to His embrace, so He can feel the touch of the tears that fall on our cheeks.
There is no need, no weakness, no longing that Jesus doesn’t want to touch and love back to life.
Jesus understands you unconditionally, irrevocably. You are safe in His arms.
Needing tenderness and affection isn’t shameful or weakness. It reflects the beautiful part of you God made, just like the amber sunset God paints in the sky and the softness God put in the petal of a rose. Your longing for love isn’t a liability; it’s your humanity upon which God’s love for you ignites.
Like a beautiful robe clothing my shame, God’s words from Scripture became my heart’s shelter. God didn’t send me someone right away, but when I unexpectedly fell in love with my husband years later, I was reminded that just like Ruth never expected she would find Boaz while gathering leftovers in the fields for Naomi, I was not forgotten. God hears the dream you dare to whisper in private.
During this month, with so much focus on love, remember God’s mission is loving you. Let Him hear the ache in your voice and the whispers of your dreams. To love is to be vulnerable. Take time to talk to Him openly. Listen to His whispers of love just for you today.
What is something you want to ask God that comes deep from your soul?
Don’t be afraid to open your heart to God. Pray and ask him.
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God loves us in our moments of longing and need. He whispers, I love you. -@thebonniegray: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
This is beautiful. I have heard God’s whisper, as well, and it startled me to think that this omniscient, all-powerful, Lord of Armies God could be so tender and intimate. He holds our hearts with such gentleness. I would love to have a relationship with my 2 adult children again, but in a new, healthy way. Even more than that, I want them to have a genuine relationship with their Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus. That is the real desire of my heart. Thanks.
Praying for your relationship with your children and for them to renown Jesus! Amen.
Beth Williams says
Praying for your relationship with the adult children & theirs with God. May He change their hearts & turn them back to Himself. Prayers that they will open their eyes to see the love you have for them.
Bonnie Gray says
Thanks for sharing your prayer – the desires of your heart so vulnerably. Bev! May you feel God’s reassuring encouragement He holds your children and your relationship with them close to His heart.
connie harrison says
Bev, God is faithful, and I know you know that. He does hear your cry for your relationship with your adult kids, and for them to have a close relationship a genuine relationship with Our Lord and Savior! God is orchestrating all this now, even though we can’t see what’s happening now, “you wait and see” in His beautiful timing everything will fall in place, and your healthy relationship with them will be restored! Love in His Name! He is our Beloved! and we are His!
God I know you love me and your here. I know that Jesus is leading me down the path you have made for my life but at the same time I feel confused. You led me on the hardest and greatest adventure of my life in completing a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. To which I saw you at work and it was all so amazing and I’m so very grateful. You provided a job in purchasing at the University to feed my family and now an offer to go fixed term for a year. I am grateful but I’m confused do I take this job? We need the money. But it’s not what I thought you would have me do. It is true I don’t live in a metropolitan city with opportunities aplenty in humanitarian or those types of jobs but my family is here and I’m still a wife and mother.
God what do I do? Make your plan clear to me. I want to partner with you and do your good works Oh Lord give me discernment. Have you changed your mind? I need to know the difference between a selfish passion and what YOU want me to do. I want to hear you God and I will follow.
Beth Williams says
Praying God will send the right job soon. May He guide your steps & bring the right people in your path.
Father, give Jas a discerning heart to know Your great love for him and the great plans You have for him and our family. Plans to prosper and not to harm, to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…” ~ Philippians 1:9-10
Thank you so much Beth, it’s means the world to me!
Bonnie Gray says
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for touching Jas’ heart to open her prayer to you so deeply about something that’s feels confusing. Reassure her of your guiding hand and specifically, I ask that you give her guidance about her job and help place some information or insight that will help give her direction into where it would be best for her and her family right now, for this season in her life. I especially pray for your peace and reassurance that you will be faithful to help her, in the choice that she will be making. I ask you bring her clarity, in a way she’ll understand this from you, even if it’s your still quiet voice. Thank you for guiding Jax her whole life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. // thanks, Jas for sharing. This verse came to my mind and I hope it nourishes your soul : Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”Is 30:21
Thank you dear Bonnie! I especially love the verse!
Michele Morin says
I never want to take for granted God’s gift of people in my life. Thank you, Bonnie!
Bonnie Gray says
Thank you, Michele! Hope you have a lovely week!
Beth Williams says
My longing is for God to guide my next steps. He gave me a great part-time job last year at hospital. Then in December they closed my unit due to RN shortage. It has been two months now & it hasn’t reopened yet. I still get to go in & get my hours, but it isn’t the same. I miss my unit & my people. Hubby was having bad weekends at work & is thinking of applying for an out patient diagnostic center job later this year. We need guidance.
Bonnie Gray says
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for Beth and touching her heart to open her prayer to you during this time that both her and her husband need your guidance. Reassure her of your guiding hand and specifically, I ask that you give her guidance about her job and help a door of opportunity in the current season of change. I especially pray for your peace and reassurance for this couple – that you will be faithful and answer their prayers. Thank you for guiding Beth and her husband in seasons past. Help them in the ways that can lift their spirits best. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Beth Williams says
Thank you very much!! I loved your book Whispers of Rest!! You are a great writer!! May God continue to bless your writing & your life!
Oh, Boy! You really got me with this one. It described me perfectly. I wanted so much to have that human companionship and become a mother. However, instead of reaching out to God, I made. some really poor relationship decisions. In the mess, God blessed me with my amazing daughter, but I have a lot of healing to do from trying to take control myself.
Bonnie Gray says
Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing so vulnerably from your journey. I’m whispering a prayer of encouragement for you because I have such a soft spot and heart for single moms. 😉 You deserve to be loved, to be nurtured and I pray — Dear Jesus, reassure Elizabeth of your love for her and touch her heart where it feels most tender — especially during this week, I pray you send her little touches of your love and your care for her. Help her on her journey of healing and thank you that you’ve brought her so close to you and nothing can keep your love away from her. Place the friends and people in her life to bless her with your touch and be your voice and hands of friendship and care. Bless E and her daughter, whom you both love so much. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
That’s beautiful. Thank you so much!
I prayed that same prayer yesterday. That someone would hold me; hold my hand; someone to go home to. I’ve never been so specific as that. I, too, am hoping he answers my prayer for a husband.
Bonnie Gray says
Dear Jesus, thank you for Louise and how you’ve touched her heart to be specific with her longing and desires and needs. You understand her completely and I pray you will send someone to love Louise the way you love her — Bring this real person along her path – you know how to get him to her and her to him, as that is her prayer that she’s lifting up to you – and I pray that you will guide her during this time to nurture the beautiful heart and woman that you’ve created her to be. Help her to feel as loved and beautiful and cherished – in the same the way you do, each moment you gaze upon her and hold her hand through each day. In Jesus name’, Amen.
Mildred Morris says
That is my prayer. God, is there someone to love me? Someone real that I can touch, who can hold my hand? I whispered, through choking tears. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want someone to hold me, to kiss me. I need someone to love me, Lord Jesus.
Bonnie Gray says
Dear Jesus, you’ve felt each tear drop and the pain of feeling loneliness. I pray that you you reassure Mildren with your arms of comfort and let her know how very much she is loved and how you’re right there with her. In your own special way, that only you can do, touch her with your loving presence and understanding. I pray for her desire to have someone real love her and hold her hand – and I pray that you bring her friends along her path to ease her loneliness. And in your amazing wisdom and power, guide her, as she lifts up this desire for someone to love her, and give her a special encouragement this week to know she is beautiful and cherished as your treasured daughter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This is exactly where I am, too and have been for some time now….;-/
I also have struggled with, ” shouldn’t Jesus be enough?”
But, I believe that He created us for relationship and we all desire to be loved by someone that we can touch.
It can be a very lonely existence without that, even with friends and family in your life.
Thank you for this, Bonnie. I so love and appreciate your transparency and willingness to be real and genuine.
It is so inspiring. Love you, my dear sister in Christ. <3
Bonnie Gray says
Hi Patty, I love how you’ve experienced such a whole person perspective on this longing for love and yet, also asking for the grace to be honest and also trusting. It’s so real – and we all feel more connected and less lonely knowing we’re all in it togehter and can relate to each other. Thank you for sharing your words here – and so glad to have your voice here in our community! 🙂 xoxo
be encouraged !! I was alone and busy in college. I had no time to date or even care to…however my truck kept breaking down. over and over I went to the mechanic garage. it was the wiring..out of the blue it caught on fire then it was the starter..out of the blue this horrid truck would not start when I was in a hurry. I prayed and prayed…why wouldn’t God look after me ??? or so I thought…
turned out I married my mechanic. little twists of fate are around us and God certainly has a plan for our lives.
almost 20 years later we still laugh over this horrid truck that constantly broke . my hubby did his best then to keep it up and running for this young woman ( me), but we began a friendship and dated.
Jeremiah 29 : 11 is what I was constantly reminded of when I didn’t know what to do with my life.
Bonnie Gray says
I LOVE your STORY!! from a car breaking down to meeting your beloved husband!! so many twists and turns – and yet, God is in control. Thanks for sharing your story and Jer 29:11, Krissy! Thank you for adding your story to our community! appreciate you so much!
Charlotte Orth says
I can remember feeling that way when I was divorced. Now I feel afraid of losing my husband since we are in our seventies. People our age are being widowed all around us and it scares me to think of my life without him. Thank you.
Bonnie Gray says
Thank you for sharing, Charlotte! It’s so wonderful to have different sisters-in-Christ share from real life experiences – it connects us to each other as we can encourage and comfort each other. And to know we’re not alone. May God bless you and your husband abundantly and love you each even more deeply through each other’s love! Lord Jesus, reassure Charlotte of your love and care and your complete understanding. During this season when there is are people going through widowhood in this season of life, bring your word and promises of faithfulness bring her comfort and strength. May you use Charlotte to bless others and encourage others, loving them through her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for this… may God continue to inspire His words through you and your life. You’re helping others more than you know.
Bonnie Gray says
Thank you so much Dalvys! It blesses my heart so much to hear this and encourages me to keep writing and sharing! May you feel as beautiful and beloved as you truly are this very moment by God – for you are!
Thank you for this ❤️ I needed it
Nancy Ruegg says
“Listen to His whispers of love just for you today.” But how easy it is to allow guilt, busy-ness, distractions, and more interfere with listening to those whispers. Thank you, Bonnie, for your gentle reminder.
Nora Kualii says
Bonnie, You have opened up a well here so to speak. As I am scrolling through the many comments, it’s apparent your words penned have resonated deeply with the women here, myself included. I have longed and prayed for a break through with my complacency. I have good intentions to be productive, making strides in overseeing household finances and managing the home, but then it’s like becoming paralyzed to make progress. I know God knows my heart and see’s the desire of my heart, but I just can’t seem to move past to a point of routine and progress. I’m still praying for a breakthrough where I can feel confident about the tasks before me. Thank you for the reminder God longs to hear our cry and the desire of our hearts.
I couldn’t sleep the other night. This was my heart’s cry. God spoke directly to me through you. Thank you Father for hearing me. Thank you for loving me so much. Forgive my doubt. Thank you, Bonnie, for telling us your heart’s cry.
Thank you Lord for loving me unconditionally!
Bonnie Can God do a miracle for me and bring someone into my life at age 71?
Thank you for your inspiration & words of wisdom. I was married for 22.6 when my husband walked out & went to live to Hawaii for work. During these 7 years, he alienated my children from coming home during their college breaks. These divorce proceedings have been going on for 7 years. 3 years ago, the divorce was final, but not the assets. He has stolen everything he could & threw away the rest of my belongings in dumpsters. I was able to recover my Fathers Bible & some photographs … All my clothes were ruined & had to spend money I didn’t have. This poor decision of marrying the wrong person, has cost me my sole inheritance, my relationship with my children & a life full of sadness … I am persevering for justice through the Courts. I am so tired… I have never given up. Going thru 8 lawyers & a corrupt system of law. I do not want to give up because I feel the Lord saying “ Its almost finished, run the race, finish well.”
Need prayers for Gods strength & courage. I trusted the wrong person & have had everything taken away. I am fighting for my house that was the inheritance that God gave me from my parents. I know the feeling of loneliness & feeling that God has forgotten me… But I know Joseph’s story of his Brothers betrayal & the thirteen year’s he endured. I am reminded of Genesis 50:20
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Thank you & I know, that I am loved by the one who made it all & have Sisters In Christ that are experiencing the same tribulations.
Your story is inspirational & helps me to know, we are from the same tribe.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I am thank full I am saved. Along with my Husband. As no one else in my Family saved. As with them and them into the ways of world. There way of living and doing and saying things can be so hurtful. That I have to bite my tongue say nothing. Pray for them leave them at the foot of Cross the Jesus. Many many times I have had to leave the room because of what they have said. I know Jesus wouldn’t want me to say anything back to them. To let them know their words have really hurt me. They don’t understand they don’t live with me to see my sustation. Why I have the problem I have. They think ok it just me. That nothing wrong with me. Then they say words that hurt. It to do with my hearing. They think I hear more than I let on. I getting it sorted. I answer them if I think they are talking to me rather than them think something wrong with me. If I didn’t answer them because I can’t hear them probably. They are not living with me every day too see it for themselves. So I do what Jesus would have me do. Say nothing too them to get into rows. Just leave the room. Go into another room if visiting them and that happens. As I know Jesus Loves me he wouldn’t want me say anything thing too them. He want me too do that. Know I am Loved I precious in Jesus eyes. Jesus see what they are doing is not nice because they don’t understand what I am going through and they are off the world. Jesus showed me this and it help me big time. Jesus said Dawn I Love you. Don’t let them get to you. Remember this they will not change until they get saved. Keep praying for them. Forgive them for their words. Leave them at the foot of the Cross with me. Remember you are loved and very precious to me. That is all that matters. I have done that. You know what that has help me so much. Along with all your lovely reading from incourage. I do so much enjoy I pray for you all. I know that I have Jesus. I am glad to be saved. I pray for there Salvation. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Is there someone loving me, comes right from my heart. I am married but feel not loved,, I have no children and for my family I am just the one they turn to for help. Never interested in how I feel. I always have felt like I was nothing. Yes I feel lonely. But somehow I believe God showed me what His plan is, I just don’t understand how He will make that possible. And it might take several years to get there. I know that God wants me to grow in faith in the mean time and to learn to love myself just as He loves me, but in the mean time it is still very hard and difficult an sometimes I just want to give up because I feel lost , alone and scared. Although I was raised in a christian family and accepted Jesus as my Saviour at a young age I always was scared of God that He didn’t want me to be happy. and now at 55 I have to learn that God loves me, really loves me unconditionally and is interested in every part of my life and has plans for me. good plans. But sometimes anxiety takes over again and I feel lost and scared and doubt Gods plans.
Love this. We were created for community! I just wrote about something similar… I was reminded of the new believers in the book of Acts, where they “continued in the Apostle’s doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowship, and prayer.” He loves us so much and will help us find the community and relationships we need! xoxo