Surely my husband will love me now. I have a few friends who have spoken these very words. Surely, after I’ve done this, I’ll be loved. After I’ve lost weight, had another baby, made more money, changed my hair, then he’ll love me. Then I’ll be accepted. Then he won’t want that other woman. Then I’ll be good enough.
“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.” -Genesis 29:32
Leah, the unloved, how she walks around in despair living day to day depressed knowing her place! Her hopeless situation was seen by God. He hears her. He continues to bless her, but does she really see it? Does she get it? Is she still trying to earn Jacob’s love? Or is she allowing the creator to provide love for her?
“Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.”
It isn’t sinking in yet, Leah. Three healthy boys into this ill-fitted relationship and Jacob is still not into you. God is giving you joy through children, but you don’t get it. Dear Leah, you are trying to fill your life with love from everywhere but from where it really matters.
God is good to me. I live a luxurious life in a country where I am free to come and go and worship as I please. I have a warm home. I have family who love me. Yet, there are holes in my life. There are days when I feel so lonely. There are bad days when something seems missing and the ache is more than I can bear. When I focus on the holes in my life, I attempt to fill them myself. I fill them with food. Then I step on the scale, and as I self-loathe, I decide to run a few more miles. I stare in the mirror and berate the reflection, and I fix me with a new hairdo. I buy things. I become unsatisfied with my blessings and blame those holes, those empty places, on my lack of stuff. I work more hours deciding that if I only make more money then I’ll be filled. I determine to fill those holes, and it never works. After my futile attempts, I’m still lonely. I’m still unsatisfied with my reflection. I’m exhausted.
Moreover, some dear ones fill their emptiness with loveless affairs, alcohol, or drugs. Some of us fill our emptiness with temporary passions that only cause more pain, more solitude. Some of us simply live in want of more thinking that life is always better for someone else. Some of us consider what it would be like to fall asleep and never wake up.
Leah is trying to fill that empty space. There is a cavern in her heart and she desperately needs love, affirmation, and attention. Leah tries to fill it on her own. It isn’t as if Leah doesn’t deserve love. Look how hard she works! She painstaking pleads to earn the love she desires, and time and again her attempts fall short. Leah is left standing alone with another baby to hold watching Jacob devotedly and gently hold Rachel’s hand.
Take a breath. Sip your coffee…
1. The promises that you see in the movies and in marketing are not real and will never give you what your heart desires. A perfect marriage, perfect children, a perfect body, sweet always-present friends, won’t fill the hole that God’s love fills. Relationships with people are important, but the most important relationship is the redeeming love from your Father. Never forget that.
2. Today, if the loneliness comes, take note of how you self-medicate. Do you make a joke to bring lightness to your heavy heart? Do you immediately think of a bottle to wash away your pain? Do you get out coins to grab a bag of chips from the machine? Do you grab your purse and head out to buy a new outfit? When you notice how you medicate, remember this:
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:19
You are loved. Never forget that.
Friends, if you are experiencing symptoms of depression and feel a hopelessness that you can’t crawl out of, please seek help. I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve taken medication when I couldn’t crawl out by myself. There is no shame in this struggle. Seek help.
If you are considering suicide, please talk to someone first.
Contact: Suicide Lifeline