I was lonely. The feeling ached within me, sharp and pulsating, like a rusty knife twisting my flesh. I was tired of being single and tired of feeling left behind, like the lives of my friends left me trailing in the dust. I saw the stories people posted on Instagram — photos of fresh new babies and wedding plans. I knew two things deep within me: first, Instagram never tells the whole story, and second, God’s timing for my life is far better than mine. But still, I was lonely.
It was 11:30 at night on a Monday. I was still working in a major city, but I lived in a small village an hour and a half away. It was at night when I drove home when the worries would come. It was often in this long stretch of time — after I’d worked a busy shift and was tired — when my defenses were lowered. It was when the fear snuck in. It was when shame whispered lie after lie as I watched the city lights sink further behind me in my rearview window.
On that particular night, I was feeling rejected, defeated, and left behind. I couldn’t help but wonder if God had forgotten me. Could He see me? Did He know how lonely I was?
As I drove, I heard a loop play over in my head.
You’re just not lovable. That’s gotta be the truth. Maybe there’s something wrong with you. Something off. Maybe you’re just not lovable.
I was angry at the loop of lies flinging through my mind, and I slammed my fist against the steering wheel. I was irritated. It was too late for this. I couldn’t fight them. The more I heard the lies, the more I kept wondering if maybe they held a sliver or two of truth.
Suddenly my gas light appeared, signaling I needed more fuel. I was in the middle of the highway after midnight and my gas was almost gone.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I muttered. I wasn’t very close to home, so I found a spot to pull off and looked for a gas station with cheaper fuel.
I pulled over, popped the gas cap, grabbed my wallet, and got out of the car. I punched in my debit pin, unhooked the plug, and shoved in the nozzle.
All the while, I couldn’t get the lies out of my head.
Maybe you’re just not lovable.
Tears threatened to spill. I wiped my eyes angrily. I didn’t want to be in this place. I wanted to be content. I wanted to be grateful. I wanted to trust that God has great plans for me, whether or not they included a good relationship or marriage or a baby.
I want to trust and believe in the goodness of God, but sometimes the lies are so loud.
I heard the gas glug glug glug as it began to fill my tank, and I looked up into the night sky. Everything was black, except for what landed right in front of my vision.
There, on a hill going up the escarpment, was a bright, shining lit-up cross. I knew the cross immediately. It’s been lighting up this area since 1966. It was built to shine over the city.
Even though I knew that cross has been lit up every night for years, at that moment, it was just for me. I think God does that sometimes. He takes the ordinary everyday things and turns it into the divine, as a way to fuse His love into our very being.
I couldn’t take my eyes off that huge, brilliantly lit cross. I stared at it and heard God speak to me, deep within my heart.
Unlovable? Look at the cross. I died because I love you that much.
Tears fell. I returned the nozzle, capped the gas cap, and slid into my car. I couldn’t stop staring at the cross.
Jesus, who was rejected and despised by so many, died for me. The God who made the entire world put skin on, took my sin and my shame upon His very being, and died for me. King Jesus loves me. It’s the foundation of my faith, and yet I forget it so often.
I drove home, meditating on the love Jesus has for me. I can’t be unlovable because He died on that cross for me. He showed me the very essence of love.
When the lies start shouting, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
When shame threatens to unravel me, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
When I can’t understand the plans God has for me, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
Look up. Can you feel it? The love He has for you pulsing and beating and bleeding? Keep your eyes on the cross.Leave a Comment
Linda Sprunt says
Beautiful story, Aliza! Thank you for sharing so vulnerably. Such a poignant reminder of God’s amazing love and grace to each of us!!!
You’re beautiful, Aliza. And so brave. Thank you for your vulnerability. Keeping my eyes on the cross.
I love the Lord, for He heard my cry. This post was timely. I thank God for the message and messenger. Be well.
Very moving, thank you for sharing your story and wisdom. In the city I live we have a similar cross, which lights up the river valley. In passing, I have prayed upon it many times. This give it new meaning.
Heart warming and a wonderful reminder when I have my pity parties which seems to be popping up more often these days.
You’re not alone in your loneliness Aliza. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Thank you for sharing ❤️
Aliza, how brave you are to speak about your discoveries, even when you’re hurting! Keep shining and others will be drawn to your beautiful light. God has a plan and it will be wonderful!
This is so incredibly timely. Thank you for sharing.
Maura Michael says
What a Godwink! He knew what you needed at the right time and provided for you. It is often hard to keep our eyes on God when our heart is so heavy. I pray you continue to feel the armour of God surround you so you can defeat the lies the enemy is slinging your way.
Karen Knowles says
Excellent reminder of God’s love for us! Thanks Aliza!
K K says
Beautiful—your story resonates in my heart. While I don’t know what God’s plan will look like for you, I can tell you that He has written my story in a way I could never have imagined. I felt those same longings and fought those same lies. And at 38, I married an amazing man and gained an almost 10 year old stepdaughter. And then almost 7 years later after all of our attempts to grow our family (naturally and through adoption) had come to naught, God brought us twin 2 1/2 year old girls. And even that description is the “Instagram” version, not picturing the tears and the prayers and the weariness. Praying for you in your journey. Much love.
MARGHERITA GUERRA says
So sonpowerful. There was and have been times in my life that i felt so so empty ,lonely.
What a wonderful powerful reminder that gods love for us is unconditional.
Pat Furlani says
I’m sitting here weeping. I needed to see the cross today and yesterday. Thank you ❤️
I too feel lonely. I also feel unlovable even though I know, deep down inside, that’s not true. At times the lies are so loud – it’s hard to escape them. I have to learn to ignore them and replace those lies with truths that shout so loud that my ears hurt!
Thank you for sharing your story – you’re amazing. Even though you are struggling, you touched my life and I’m grateful for that. I too will look to the cross!
Marian Frizzell says
Yes, yes, yes. Eyes on Jesus until everything else falls into place. May his love resonate within us so strongly that there is no room for anything else.
Kathi Lipp says
I love that God gave you a cross just when you needed it. I love this reminder of His specific love.
Ruth Mills says
Our Titus 2 ministry is reading Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s Lies Women Believe and the truth that sets them free. Your post is a living breathing example of how replacing a lie with the truth works. Thank you for sharing your struggle & The Cross’s answer! Bless you!
I definitely needed this reminder this morning. Thank you for sharing.
karyn j says
i sometimes struggle with the when and feeling like i’m the only one. thank you for sharing and thank you for the reminder that our God is always there and He reminds us of His presence when we need it most. this was just what i needed!
Beth Williams says
Jesus loves me this I know. We may comprehend this but it is so easy to forget. Our lives get busy & we get tired. That’s when the enemy starts attacking us with lies. He knows we are vulnerable & will probably believe them. We must remember the cross & Christ’s suffering for us. Then we can defeat those lies & believe the truth that God loves us so much He gave His only son to die a horrible death for each of us. Jesus left the splendor of Heaven, came down to broken Earth, & bore our sins on that cruel cross. We are loved more than we know or think.
Like you I wanted marriage. I prayed 4 years for a Christian husband. Finally God sent me a wonderful loving man. Remember Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you & not for harm.” He has great plans for you Aliza. We must be patient & wait on His perfect timing.
Beth in Canada says
Thank you for your openness Aliza! I think November is the perfect time for this type of message. At least in my part of the world, it’s often a windy, dark month! Thanks again for these reminders & hope you have a community you can be yourself in.
Jodi Thiry says
Just what I need(ed) many many days of the year as a single 57-year-old.