“You’re worth every hurt my heart’s been through
I’d go through it all again, if I had to
To get to you”
– Kenny Chesney
I suppose that once you’ve found that special someone lyrics like these make sense. You swear up and down and to the moon that all the struggle was worth it. Knowing what you know now, knowing the happiness that you hoped for is real, you’d go through all the struggle again if you had to. But as a single person, as someone who isn’t married yet, lyrics like these can strike a not so happy chord.
The reality for a not-yet-married person is that we aren’t sure if the struggle really is worth it. We aren’t sure that our desire for marriage, or the fulfillment of our vocation, will ever actually come. Sure, we can listen to songs like this and hope that the struggle, that the ache we feel, will be worth it. We can hope that when (as opposed to if) that person comes along, we can join the ranks of those that say we’d go through it all again. But the point is that right now we can’t say that because we simply don’t know.
It is an underlying theme of the not-yet-married life to wonder if our vocation to married life will be fulfilled. There is an ache that goes beyond mere curiosity. Some days we are at peace with where we are at, other days hope gives way to despair. So what’s a not-yet-married gal or guy to do? Stop listening to all of the sappy romance songs that affirm the love they already have? Some days that may be exactly what our hearts need, but I don’t think that means we have to gouge our iTunes library and delete all of our love songs. I would contend that we take lyrics like this and find hope in them. We rejoice for the people we know who have already found that love. We look at their example and see that there is hope for the rest of us. We also take a minute to pray for our future spouse, where ever they may be. We pray for all of those people who are like us and still searching for the fulfillment of their vocation. We take heart knowing that we aren’t alone in this ache and in this struggle. In some of my more difficult moments, I’ve found comfort knowing that my future spouse is facing the exact same struggles I am. Even now I can unite my sufferings and my hardships with him. One day, when he comes into my life, we can rejoice over having faced the struggle and still found each other. Even the struggles of the time before we meet will unite us when our time comes.
So listen to the happy songs and hope and pray for the day you can sing those lyrics and mean them. Know that you are not alone. You are not broken. One day, God willing, you’ll be able to say that all the struggle has been worth it. If not for your vocation, then for the day you greet God face to face, because surely, He’s worth every hurt we’ve been through. His love, His joy, and the mere blessing of knowing Him is worth the ache. We’d go through it all again if we had to, just to get to Him.