In the Waiting


We all have something for which we remain postured in hopeful expectation. Waiting is often that anguished “pause” between absence and abundance that causes us to drop to our knees and cry out to the Lord for our longing to be filled.

It’s been four months since my three-year relationship died in a pile on a Tuesday. I neither knew it was coming nor know now how to adequately navigate completely out of these waters of grief.

Yes, I still grieve.

But based on the unsolicited general consensus, I should be over him by now and well on my way to moving on. “Forget him,” they say. “Find someone new,” they add.

I will!  Sheesh.

Give Me a Minute

Please give me a minute to grieve, for “God’s” sake!

I don’t want to miss what I’m supposed to hear in this uncertainty.

After all, I believe the Lord has me in this hurt so I might better understand loss; He has me in this darkness, so I might fully sense His presence; I’m experiencing this pain so I can recognize what it is to be held by Jesus.

Why are we all so quick to try to pull each other out of this place of discomfort when it is smack-dab in the middle of this anguish that God reveals Himself more fully?

And why, oh why, do we assign a timeline for grief based on that which was lost?!?

If a woman miscarries, she is allowed to mourn the loss of that baby forever. If we lose a loved one, we have permission to grieve in different ways for the rest of our lives. Your house burns to the ground, and a GoFund me page is deemed completely appropriate, even if you caused the fire.

But lose a pet, lose a significant other, or lose your ability to bear children and “Come on, get over it already!” – Just “get a new pet,” “find a new boyfriend/girlfriend,” or “adopt a child!” It seems society decides when it’s appropriate to shorten or lengthen grief’s scope.

If you ask me, it doesn’t matter if you lost a hamster or a husband, there is still hurt and loss involved.

A loss of any kind requires that the individual re-purpose a dream that carried joy and hope for them. Not for you. For them! What’s more, it also means they are now required to start over.

And it is there, in the “starting over,” that we encounter the grief.


Starting Over

As I sat around a campfire with friends last weekend, one of them asked me, “Debbie, when was the last time you were completely and totally in love? Like, this is the one, I’m all in, kind of love?”

My heart sank in acknowledgment of what I already knew, as tears began to stream down my face for what I didn’t want to admit out loud: “I’m still in love!”

I then started to cry even harder – partially because I felt embarrassed to admit to a group of married couples that I’m broken over a breakup that happened four months ago and partially because my mascara was pooling up in my lap.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said. “It’s too fresh and I’m still processing everything.”

“What happened?” he said. “Why did it end?” he continued. “Was it mutual?” he persisted.

“I really don’t want to talk about it. I really don’t.”

“…But I will say this: You know you really loved someone when you don’t hate them for breaking your heart. And I don’t hate him, even though I’m clearly still hurting. I will never say a bad thing about him. Ever. And I’m grateful to have experienced the kind of love that’s not easy to get over.”


In the Waiting

If I’m honest with myself, some of those tears are as result of “still being single” and not knowing why. Some of those tears are as a result of having to “start over” again now and needing to muster the strength to do so.

But most of them, okay, almost all of them, are as a result of being back “in the waiting” –back in that place where I must fully surrender my own hopes and desires to the Lord and trust that He has it all figured out. I need to trust that one day He will answer my prayer to be a wife.

We all have something we’re longing for — a baby, a job, a heart transplant. Do not give up on the prayer. He hears you and He will lift your anguish — just as He is lifting mine a little more every day.

It’s always difficult when you have someone/something in your heart but you can’t have it in your arms.

So until then, focus on seeking Jesus, not a spouse (or whatever that one thing is that you’re longing for: (insert here: _______________________).

The latter is not a guarantee, but Jesus absolutely, ALWAYS is!



  1. Bernadette says

    Wow………that was awesome……you are so right in everything that you said and how you feel…..You are going to be blessed with the man of your dreams some day but for now……Go ahead and cry, it’s good for your soul.
    Love you lady!

  2. Dawn says

    Praying for your ❤️ to heal, sweet Debbie! I wish I could give you a big hug.
    Blessings to you as you wait…Dawn Vedral

  3. Meghan Paduano says

    Your precious words have spoken directly to my heart! What you have gone through is heart wrenching but you have taken what the enemy has intended to take you down and used it to worship our wonderful Lord from your knees! You are a true warrior and I for one am inspired to fight the good fight even when my heart feels irreparablely shattered. God uses the broken vessel to accomplish his will and you are so faithful to praise him and seek him through these crushing days. There is a quote that I held onto when I was going through a difficult trial and it was “Don’t doubt in the dark what has been promised in the Light.” God has promised you his beloved, victory and success, and he always keeps his promises! Embrace this pain and use it to remind you to pray for the one you love and never stop believing that God can heal any situation! Much love to you and I will be praying for you dear girl! ❤️Meghan Dale Paduano

    • Debbie Smith says

      Thank you, Meghan! I’d give you a big hug, if I could!

      There’s something that God keeps putting on my mind in all of this that prompts me to write and that is: NEVER WASTE THE PAIN. In telling my own story, even if I appear “weak” or too vulnerable to the on-looker, I know it can meet someone else in the midst of theirs — and help pull them out of it too. I’m not ashamed that I still have tears because I know that I’m getting stronger every single day. xo

      • Anonymous says

        You are getting stronger! I have not stopped thinking and praying for you since last night and I feel compelled to tell you something that I’m sure will seem out there but I have to say it anyway…..
        The world will tell you to get over him and move on, that you’re a gorgeous vivacious girl who is too good to dwell on some jerk who doesn’t want to be married. And they are right! You are truly gorgeous and smart and have an amazing magnetism that makes people want to be around you and read your words that are so inspiring, and it is completely within your right as a human being to walk away from this guy and not look back. It is supported by scripture even if he has been unfaithful, but as a sister who has been betrayed and broken before by their spouse I can honestly say that you still love him because you have a divine love for your husband. While we were still sinners God sacrificed his son for us! Jesus went to his death and separation from his Father knowing that Judas and Peter , his closest friends and confidantes, were selling him out for a few pieces of silver and denying even knowing him! He was heartbroken and terrified and yet he carried on and prayed for their forgiveness! How do we explain this kind of love? It is Divine! And you have this divine love living in you in the person of the Holy Spirit! You prayed for years for God to bring this man into your life and took vows to love him until death,and people are surprised that you are still in love with a man who has left you?
        If we look to our Father for what LOVE is we see that it cannot be understood by human logic. We repeat the Bible verses during our wedding ceremonies but do we honestly believe what we are saying? 1 Corinthians 13:7- “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER ENDS …” I would venture to say that you can and are still loving someone who has lost his way and that through miraculous Godly intervention he can even find his way back to you. Stand on the promises that your Holy creator has given you. People will think you’re crazy and that you’ve lost your mind or pride or whatever, but what will Jesus think of you for bearing this pain?
        I think you know he will be right there with you, collecting every tear! And I, your sister in Christ, will be praying for you every heartbreaking step of the way❤️

        • Debbie Smith says

          To be clear, we were not married but that doesn’t change the truth that God is in it with me. And while I can’t imagine the devastation of a divorce (outside of what I’ve experienced as a child of divorce), I would venture to say that to sever a holy union would be much more painful — and so I am sorry you yourself had to walk through something so difficult. While I do think the spirit to fight is admirable when it’s so painful having to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to let go of, I find it more painful to ask someone to stay when you know they left for a reason. Even you don’t understand it. Love is hard and since it always involves broken, messy people, it can also be messy. You’re right that LOVE NEVER ENDS. For sure God’s love never ends. xo

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