Have you ever made yourself feel nothing because you fear if you allow yourself to experience pure joy that your happiness will be stolen from you? This is how I felt when I was a newlywed. I was blissfully happy – in a way I didn’t know was possible for an average person. But I repressed so many emotions because I was petrified that my special moments would vanish and I would be left with nothing.
Sounds sad, doesn’t it?
It is sad, but I was desperately trying to save myself from potential pain. So, I stifled laughter and happiness with the intention of protecting myself from harsh disappointments and dishonored promises.
When I was little, I had friends who would wear a white dress, a toilet paper veil, and hold a bouquet of dandelions. They would walk down an imaginary aisle to an empty altar.
The older I became, the more empty altars I encountered.
You know, the altar you dream of in your mind when you meet someone who tells you all the right things and who checks off most of the boxes on your prayer list. Or, the empty altar you encounter when God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you expected.
Becoming vulnerable positions you to grow in your relationships, but it can also have damaging results if you share intimate details of your life with someone who does not have your best interest at heart. If (or when) a breakup happens, we are left with broken hearts, shattered dreams, and empty altars.
Empty altars because you were not just thinking about the moment, but planning for the future. Empty altars because your expectations were not met.
Every time I found myself broken, I rediscovered an altar of prayer.
I learned that God will never waste pain.
The circumstances in your life that break you – whatever it may be – can be repurposed into something of value, but only if you allow God to bring healing into your life. Trust me; it is better to hurt for a little while now than to hurt for the rest of your life if you are outside of the will of God.
I didn’t get to this place overnight. I had to learn how to stand up for myself. I had to learn my worth. You are worth pursuing, you are worth waiting for, and you are worth loving.
It does matter who you marry.
Empty altars have led me to answered prayers and eventually led me to the beginning of a beautiful marriage with someone who encourages me to be myself, supports my dreams, and who blesses my life with happiness. When you feel empty please don’t lose hope because God desires to fill you with His purpose, His calling, and His perfect will.