I’m going to join a convent.
My thumbs tapped out the declaration in a late night text message to a friend, a coded SOS that my heart was not in a great place. As I waited for her response, hoping she was still awake, I briefly thought about looking up the nearest convent on Google Maps and sending her a screenshot to let her know just how serious I was.
This idea of a convent has become somewhat of a joke between the two of us. Neither of us is Catholic, so reality is, I couldn’t actually join the convent, though my friend and I have tossed around the idea of starting up our own Protestant nunnery. Those jokes come in weak moments — when my heart longs for love that no one else wants to return, when my heart breaks wide open with disappointment and unmet expectations, when I hoped again and ended up with the same result.
Still single. Still feeling unworthy of love. Still desperate to escape the pain of it all.
Because that’s all this convent idea is — the desperate cry of my heart to escape this endless cycle of hoping, only to end up heartsick once again.
I’ve spent many years waiting and hoping some guy would turn their attention my way, only to end up feeling like the lonely girl on the side of the middle school dance once again, sitting in one of those ugly plastic chairs, elbows on knees, trying to tell myself that it really doesn’t matter.
It does matter, though. It always does because marriage is one of those desires I’ve had since I was little, one of those dreams I am sure God planted in my heart to fulfill with His own hand in some crazy God way. And every time I think there might be a little bit of hope, the man I’m interested in turns his affections elsewhere, and my heart goes into protection mode. I tell myself that I don’t need marriage, I don’t need a man, and I will be fine being single forever.
And that’s the place where bitterness takes root and begins to grow because though I’m avoiding the pain, I’m also denying my heart hope.
Truth is, I may never get married, but even as I write these words, my gut tells me otherwise. I still believe a man is out there somewhere; it’s just sometimes easier to deny my heart, to tell it to stop crying, suck it up, and act like a real adult woman who is capable of taking care of herself.
The convent has always been the humorous solution so that I don’t have to feel all of these things. Because maybe if I wear a habit and walk around behind brick walls and tend to a garden, I won’t want someone special to pay attention to me. There will be no need because I will have taken a vow of chastity. There will only be women around because all the monks are at some monastery somewhere else, and I won’t need to deal with my heart in this way anymore.
It hurts — this wanting and not getting, this repeated hoping only to be disappointed. It hurts, and it is exhausting.
I want to believe the next time will be different, that maybe the signs of interest I think I see are really there and it’s just a matter of time before he asks me out for a donut or something. I want to believe that I’ll catch someone’s attention. But my heart is running scared. Because we’ve been down this path before, how do I know next time will be different?
The truth is I don’t. All I know is that I have a desire, and my Father is very aware of it. He’s not taking it away, and I’m trying to be open with Him about it. He may do something; He may not. He may ask me to wait a little longer, or He may be ready to reveal how He’s been putting pieces together behind the scenes all this time. I don’t know what will happen. What I do know is that a joining convent or starting my own is not the answer.
We can’t shut down our hearts. We can’t run and hide behind walls we think will protect us because we fear the pain of rejection.
If there is one thing I have learned in this journey of taking care of my heart, it’s that trying to tend to it on my own without the Father’s loving guidance is only a recipe for disaster. I avoid feelings and pain. I side more with logic and action — at least, that’s what I tell myself because it feels safer than sitting in my heart, feeling all the things and then handing it all back to God to hold on to.
I don’t need a convent. I just need Jesus. I need to trust that God in all His goodness will take care of my body, mind, spirit, and heart, that He will graciously handle my hopes, dreams, and desires.
And while it’s tempting to run away from it all, God keeps assuring me if I stick this out, if I stay right here with my Father and let Him do His thing, I will see a miracle.
I need to trust that God in all His goodness will take care of my body, mind, spirit, and heart, that He will graciously handle my hopes, dreams, and desires. #singleness -@JazminNFrank: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
You had me at your first line…I know what it’s like to have a desire in your heart that goes unfulfilled. I was married for 25 years, but the whole time, I wanted someone (my husband??) to love and cherish me. That wasn’t the case. Sometimes marriage does not equal love. I prayed for all those years for his heart to shift and it didn’t. Living with someone and feeling all alone is worse than actually being alone, I’ve found. But God…He took what seemed like disaster (my husband leaving for another woman) to usher in the fulfilling of my dream. Thirty-plus years after I said my first “I do”, I married the man of my dreams. God gave me a kind, god-fearing man of integrity who loves and cherishes me. One might say that’s an awfully long time to have to wait. It was, but God has been faithful to restore the years that the locusts have eaten and destroyed. I don’t believe God puts desires in our hearts only to not answer them. He just has a timing all His own that is not for me to fully comprehend this side of eternity. Loved your post and lifting you and the desires of your heart in prayer…
You are such a sweet soul Bev and what Bev said is true Jazmin – your future is bright and God has a grand plan for your life…all in his timing!!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’m in a wait period with adult children 20,s praying a lot. No change, but I haven’t forgotten them , not sure what the plan is, but i need to trust his timeline . Loved this post !!!!!!!!! Doing a study ps.23 on-line, hoping for direction, in my thinking, i also think through life’s valleys we grow, maybe see ourselves in a different light, finding ways to improve. Thanks (in)courage for the incouragement
Hi girls , I’m in a wait period , my. Valley is deep , trusting god i do believe we can grow in our valleys, and work on ourself. The wait is tough, I’m not waiting on a man but my children adults20,s who are living without god. I know god , even thow. Silent, will bring them back to him, and me
Jazmin Frank says
Be, what a sweet comment. Thank you for your words and your story. I too believe God plants desires he wants to fill in his time and way.
Thank you for sharing, Bev! My marriage of almost 13 years ended last October. I also felt unloved during the marriage and I agree, it does feel almost worse than being single. I hope God has a wonderful man for me down the line (I’m not ready yet anyway!) – I don’t want to be alone forever (I am 50). For now, my focus is on my kids and finishing up the ugliness of a custody battle. Thank you, for your wonderfully inspiring post.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’m so sorry for what you’ve had to go through. Praying that you can wrap up the custody battle. It’s sad what a marriage comes down to – a balance sheet and a battle. Praying that God will bless you with the hope of your heart when the timing is right…
There is hope for me yet!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Yes, there is always hope. Sometimes I tell God, “You sure took your time, didn’t You?” The lonely times built character and perseverance, and ultimately hope.
Prayers and blessings,
Michele Morin says
I’ve been married for nearly 30 years, but I still remember so much of what you’re experiencing now (especially the nun jokes, and I lived just a few blocks from a huge convent, so I entertained images of sneaking in…).
I honor you for folding the disappointment and the wondering into your spiritual journey and leaning into the lament in such a way that it’s refining your character and being transformed into solid gold by our loving Heavenly Alchemist. He wastes absolutely nothing.
Your right Michelle He never wastes an opportunity it is only in hindsight that we might discover how much we grew in the waiting!!
Thank you so much Michelle. It’s nice to know I’m not alone on the convent considerations 😉
I know it hurts. I’ve been there too with heartbreak in my younger years and then I travelled and met a lot of different guys some God fearing some not and I prayed thinking God wanted me to be with a God fearing boy that I had a huge crush on but nothing happened… later I met my now husband and I prayed and God sent me in this direction. I know it hurts but there will be someone out there for you. What I suggest is work on yourself use this time to do all the things you want to, follow where God leads you and stop focusing on the looking…this sounds crazy but when you are not looking that’s when matches appear well it has worked that way in my life. God will provide in his own timing and whenever that is you will know the timing is right!
Your post touched me in another way I am writing furiously and praying for God’s help for him to write through me to finish my thesis. It is due this coming Tuesday (Wednesday night here in NZ) and your quote to TRUST God with my mind, body and spirit and in his goodness will graciously handle my hopes, dreams (to finish this!!!!) is what I need to hear right now!!! Thank you and praying for God to bring someone into your life that will love and value you just like God does Xx
Susan M Shipe says
Jazmin, please don’t lose hope. At just the right time…Suddenly… THIS is how our good, good Father works! #hopechangeseverything
Good word, Susan, and a good reminder
I can so relate to your heart’s dream. I dreamed the same dream so much so that I allowed my own desires to cloud God’s will for my life and ended up in a really unhealthy situation. Allow God to guide you. It is better to be single than in the wrong relationship.
I feel like you tapped into my heart and mind and wrote this. Literally all my feelings. Thank you for sharing and reminding that I need to trust. You’re amazing. ❤️
Stephanie, I appreciate your comment. I wrote this one for you, dear heart. So that you might know God’s love and trust him with your deepest (and sometimes most painful) desires. He’s got you. You can trust him.
Mildred Morris says
This is so what I’m going through again. I so want to be in a loving relationship and only to once again get my my heart broken. This time I think it’s unrepairable. I pray and pray! To be loved and my desire is to be married. But, I’m single and I’m losing hope! I’m tired of feeling so broken. So I surrender all that am to God. I trust that he will take care of me. Thank for your words!
Courtney LaShea says
I’m a single, non-Catholic gal who has been threatening to become a nun for several years. Your words capture so much honesty about what this season has looked and felt like, Jazmin. Thank you for being transparent and brave with your story and your heart. It matters–for all kinds of women, but especially women like me, waiting and hoping and believing God cares about the unmet desires hanging around in our hearts. ❤
Jasmine Ruigrok says
Jazmin… honestly, have you been spying on my heart? I don’t know you, but I was floored when I got to the end of this post and realised we share the same name. I am right here, in this exact space, with you, right now. I feel like you’ve articulated everything I’ve been unable to say; singleness and that unfulfilled yearning is soooo difficult to talk about. I want to print this post and put it on my wall to remind myself that I’m not alone, that God knows, and He still has a good plan for my life, regardless of the outcome. My heart knows your pain so intimately; thankyou for sharing it so vulnerably. It has been a gift to my own heart. xox
Two Jasmine(Jazmin)s with the same heart cry. I appreciate you so much. And you’re right this is a hard thing to talk about. I’m on this journey of how to carry contentment and longing at the same time. It’s a weird sort of tension and I’m always grateful when I encounter someone who gets it. Blessings on your journey Jasmine with an s and I pray these words continue to remind you that God really does care for you, and you can trust him with your heart.
Megan Andrews says
Exactly what I needed . Struggling in the same area exactly, But God Provides and will always in his timing, not mine.
A Single Lady says
I’m 64 and still single…and okay with that. But, trust in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart? He will…they may not come in the way you envision, but we don’t have God’s eyes. A dear young friend of mine wrote a blog “more than single” of serving God in this season. She was asked to record spots for a Christian radio station with her wisdom… she didn’t want to be the “poster child” for singleness! but she said yes. And not that one can always anticipate this ending, but … she was introduced to a young man about the time the spots went on the air…they’re getting married this fall :-). Let God use you in this season! Sounds like you get that.
Jazmin, I understand! I remember crying out, “Lord, will I ever get married?!” A verse popped into my head. Philippians 4:11. I looked it up. “I have learned in whatever circumstances to be content. “ Ugh! Not what I wanted to hear! But asked God to help me and I stopped looking and began working on being content and making a home for me. A few years later He brought me my husband. He was worth waiting for! I will pray for you.
As I read this it reminded me of myself. I was headed to South Dakota to work with a mission organization. A friend said to me “What if you never get married.” That bothered me so much because I wanted to get married. While driving one day I was praying about this and the Lord spoke Matthew 6:33 to my heart. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I clung to that verse for 10 years. During those 10 years I prayed that I would not get desperate and I knew God always kept his promises. Where did I meet my husband? In a way that I never dreamed of. On the internet. We have been married 19 years and I am so thankful I waited. God has blessed me with an amazing, godly, sensitive, loving, caring, thoughtful and the list goes on husband. We have an amazing marriage and I thank God every day that I waited on his timing. I was 37 and he was 38 when we got married.
God has the man for you and He will bring him to you at the right time. It is so worth the wait.
Rebeca Ulloa says
Hi!! That is actually what I’m feeling right now. But God reminded me that He is the one who owns time. So I’m waiting confident.
Amy Harper says
I can remember being in your spot. I also wanted God’s will for my life and a Godly husband. I dated a lot of not so great guys that disappointed me too. Then at 29 I married who God wanted for me. Now some years later with three kids I can see how much worth it that it was to wait on God! In my case he wanted me to realize he was all I needed. When I got there my husband was around the corner. Thank you for sharing that God’s will is worth waiting for! ♥️
Rachel Williams says
Thank you for this, it is exactly how I am feeling right now. I feel very deeply that God has promised me a husband and that he will be coming ‘soon’. The trouble is, I don’t know what ‘soon’ means to Him! I’m trying to hold His promise in my heart and not try to make it happen in my time. It’s hard and some days it feels much harder. I actually thought a few weeks ago that maybe I should just join a convent!! Everyone always talks about how it happens in his timing and all that stuff… but it doesn’t always help when you’re going through it. Sometimes you see things at just the right time and they give you encouragement that you’re not the only person who feels that way…thanks!
Don’t you hate that “soon” answer? Haha. I’m always like, “God, could you be a little more specific?” But I think that’s all part of the journey of trusting him. And it’s a good reminder in this waiting to set our desires in the right place. I want a husband, but I don’t want that desire to outweigh my desires for God. I’m glad I could be that person for you today, to just sit with you and let you know I get it. Persevere in the waiting, and trust that, whatever the outcome, God is good.
As Bev said, sometimes it’s good to be alone and happy than be married. I was longing and hoping as you are. I prayed and fasted. Time was running out. I was constantly hitting dead ends. Then in 2017 I met this tall, well-mannered polite man. I was happy. I knew I was in love. I met his family, he met mine. Then this year we got married. How happy I was that now I had a lifetime companion and God had finally answered my prayers after 40 years. Every night I went to bed with a heart full of Thanksgiving.
But, that was the beginning of my unhappiness. The man I thought was loving, caring, well mannered, was equally loving and caring to 50 other women that he was communicating with daily. In the house I felt more lonely than I was when I was alone. He was constantly on his phone and computer. He never allowed me to touch his phone or use his computer, yet, both the phone and computer were mine. I had bought them.
Then one Friday evening, he forgot his phone in the living room and I was able to access it. What I saw was beyond disbelief. Many emotions ran through my mind as I scrolled down pages of chats with women. Most of whom he was calling ‘my wife’ and all the nice nicknames a husband is supposed to use on his wife. Most had asked him if he was married and he denied. He was communicating with this women from 5am in the Morning till midnight. They were in different countries, in all hotels and cities my husband had ever visited. 50 women and counting. The worst part, he had taken phone numbers of my female friends from my phone and tried to hit on them. I had lost all my friends and I didn’t know why. Now I knew. In a nutshell, I was confused.
When I confronted my husband. First he was angered that I accessed his phone. Then he told me he was addicted to chatting with women. He asked me to understand. Yet, looking back, our bedroom life was dead. We slept like perfect strangers. I have to confess that my husband did all the cooking and many other household chores. He didn’t want me to do them. But even with helping around the house, my heart was empty, more empty than I was when single. In fact, a month after we got married, I was rushed to ER when unexplained heart condition that doctors upto now have not figured out what was the cause. They did all sorts of tests.
Of course now we have separated and now back in the single’s lane. The amazing thing is that I am happier now because I have seen both sides of the coin. But one thing is for sure, I am trusting God. Though in my forties now, I know I am going to find the right man. I know I will bear children. Those are my heart’s desires and I know God cannot put them there just to torment me. We serve a God of love.
So Jaz, stay true to God and I believe very soon, you will come back to give a testimony. I also plan to come back and give a testimony.
Thank you for taking the courage to share, and my God bless you with your heart’s desires.
Nancy Ruegg says
‘Love the way all the commenters here are surrounding you with love, encouragement, and support! May they infuse you with the strength of THEIR faith in a God who does indeed continue to perform miracles. I also appreciate the universality of your message to us: “I need to trust that God in all His goodness will take care of my body, mind, spirit, and heart, that He will graciously handle my hopes, dreams, and desires.” AMEN, Jazmin! Especially appreciate that adverb, graciously. It IS with kindness and gentleness he handles ALL our hopes, dreams, and desires–a truth well-worth remembering.
Beth Williams says
Wanting something & not seeing that desire fulfilled is tough. God works in His timing not ours. I know as I too wanted to get married. It took 4 years for me to find Mr. Right. That was 15 years ago. I realize now that God was refining me. Making me into the person He wanted me to be. There have been times in life that I wanted to run away. Leave it all & start over again. That isn’t practical. God does care for us more than we know or think. We just need to trust His timing, & care for all our desires & needs. God gives us those desires & He will fulfill them. He wants us to learn patience & perseverance. Then He will graciously handle all our hopes, dreams & desires.
I also am single and feel that God has placed the desire for marriage in my heart too. The waiting is so hard but as you said God gave us this desire and God has the men who we are meant to marry and He will bring them into our lives in His perfect timing. Praying for you sister ❤️
Convents are places where women who are brave enough to commit their lives to the love of our God, not this worldly love, go and marry their one true love, Jesus Christ. They build the type of love you are looking for, not the physical urges but the unconditional love, the one who adores them, respects them, a great listener with great advice. A love and peace no human can give. Then they take that love and spread to those in need, not sit behind walls crying they have no one to love them. Maybe God is calling u to become Catholic and become a sister. Pray about it. Praying for you.
Wow, what an awesome community of women this is!! What great responses and love!! I just wanted to say for all of the singles ladies, no matter how long you’ve waited and how strong the desire of your heart, don’t settle. Don’t talk yourself into someone being okay or good enough when you know deep down that they aren’t. Wait for who God wants you to be with and you’ll be glad that you did. I’m 46 and in the process of divorce from my only marriage and there were definitely red flags from the beginning of our relationship which I ignored because I was young and inexperienced and looking back I’m not sure that I realized that I deserved a man that was more of a match for me. Younger me deep down probably though I should be happy that anyone wanted to marry me or something along those lines. You ladies are daughters of God and deserve the man that is right for you no matter how long it takes. I’m hopeful that sometime after my heart heals that God will bring the right man into my life the second time around (unlike the first time where I found a man and told God who the right one was!). It’s true too that feeling alone when you are right beside someone (especially a husband) is worse then being in your house/apartment by yourself. There have been many times during my marriage that I’ve missed my single girl apartment and the life I had then with my friends so enjoy everything that is enjoyable about being single while you are because there are many good things and don’t ignore red flags as they pop up!
I got married at 34. He was so worth the wait!
I am an older ‘Senior ‘ child of God.
I have been married over 50 years. I only came to Faith,
when I was 44. And what a journey it has been!
We have had many ups and downs and even tragedy, but I have
never seen the Lord let me down. He has been Patient and Gracious
while I have had a few tantrums.
“Why did You let that happen “ ? “ What am I going to do” etc;
But through it all God knows best.
Jeremiah 31 : 12 “ Your soul shall be like a watered garden”.
O Lord water Jasmin this day and cause her to know that You know all
and give her Peace.
Waiting to hear your story unfold as God hears and answers your prayer.