Defeating the Marianne Syndrome


That one little word which holds so much meaning to a single girl. Will I ever meet him? Will I ever be  a wife? Will I ever be loved? Or, perhaps I’m the only girl who thinks such brash, lovey-dovey thoughts . . . (gulp).

Since I think I qualify for female normalcy, (hmm?) allow me to be transparently honest. Love hurts; or rather, waiting for love hurts. It’s the vast unknown, the what’s-behind-the-corner outlook which causes aches. Aches which lead to daydreams, expectations, and silly gossip. And when these are unfounded, when there is no love to give place to dreams, pain comes like an active pulse. The terrible Marianne and Elinor syndrome of bursting spontaniously into tears, falling carelessly ill, and going about one’s business in a state of pensiveness.

And I know what that pain feels like–I’ve been female long enough to know that we were created to give love and to receive it. It’s natural.

But I’m learning to depend on something unnatural: The tender, all-knowing love of Jesus. You see, He knows me. He knows my thoughts without my sharing them and He knows my dreams. He knows how badly my heart aches sometimes and instead of chiding or mocking he gently brings His word to mind He speaks.

“Trust in the LORD
with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways
acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. “

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my
downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my
path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is
not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether”

How precious also
are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should
count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with

I look to the amazing love of Jesus and I know that I am safe–safe to cry my tears of fear or self-pity and safe to place myself in His hands. Odd enough, when I do so, I start to see my life falling into place and full of purpose . . . even without someone special. I begin to see that He has a marvelous plan (whether that includes my current dreams or not, He is good!).

I rest in His unfailing love and know that whatever I plan is second best when compared to His plan. I know that He gives me enough grace to boldly set aside mine for His. Therefore, I sing.

5 thoughts on “Defeating the Marianne Syndrome

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    First of all, yes, you are quite normal. ๐Ÿ™‚ The desire for love does become an ache many times. It is very difficult to see other young women our age dating, courting, marrying, and apparently blissfully happy in the thing that we want so much.

    But secondly, you are quite correct – the Lord knows. He understands. Others may tease us, tell us we're too impatient, tell us that the man-woman relationship isn't all it's cracked up to be … you know, all the unhelpful comments. ๐Ÿ™‚ But He never will. He understands our hopes and desires as young women and He knows how much we need love – His more than any other. Thank you for reminding me to trust Him. ๐Ÿ™‚


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    Thank you so much for sharing this, Frannie!! I used to struggle with this all the time. Wondering if there was someone out there for me, and why wasn't he here?? Then, I seemed to suddenly hit this moment when I realized that life wasn't all about getting married. Sure, I've been raised to become a wife and a mother, but that doesn't mean that that is what God's plan is for me. God has given me the grace to deal with the aching of not having that 'special guy'.
    I'm one of those people who would like to see the whole path in front of me, and not just little steps of it at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, God has had to teach me to be patient and do the task at hand first instead of worrying about the future.
    And He's also been teaching me that He is the one I need to keep my eyes on. Not looking for men around me, but to just focus on Him.
    So, thank you so much for this encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your fellow Sister in Christ,

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    P.S. I meant to tell you that your new blog look is positively elegant!! It looks like the English countryside … so beautiful and restful! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Hi Frannie – I'm sorry to pester you one more time, but I wanted to tell you that I awarded you over at my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Come on over and check it out!


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    Great post. Been thinking along the same lines recently! At church last week it was pointed out that "This is the day that the LORD has made" is a fact- but "I will rejoice and be glad in it" is our choice to make! Sometimes we must will ourselves to be obedient, because we will not always want to be obedient.

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