“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Ps 62:8 NLT
I sat in my car in the parking lot of our apartment as tears streamed down my face. It was one of those moments where I hoped no one would notice I was still sitting there. I had just come back from a wonderful baby shower. We were celebrating the upcoming arrival of a little man that had been greatly prayed for and hoped for. Then my drive home, I received a phone call from another dear friend that they were expecting. It was more than I could handle all at once.
While I knew I should be rejoicing with both of my friends, inside I was fighting jealousy. The desire of my heart from the time I was a little girl was to be a mom. Caleb and I had been married for several years at this point and the desire was only increasing with each passing month. But for some reason I couldn’t see, it wasn’t happening for us.
Maybe you’ve been there too – in that place where God’s timing and plans don’t seem to match up with yours. Where the things you’ve been dreaming about seem farther away than you’d like them to be. Where the pain of unmet expectations spills over into tears.
As I sat in my car and cried, God began to encourage me with several things that I hope will encourage you as well.
1) Pour out your heart to Him
We serve an amazing God that in the middle of our frustration with His ways, asks us to pour out our hearts before Him. He is big enough to handle the anger, confusion, doubts, and fears we struggle with. Letting out what has been bottled up inside is the first step towards healing.
2) Receive His Love
When we don’t feel like we are receiving what we’ve asked for from God, it is so easy to doubt His love and care for us. As I struggled with my questions about timing and wondered if God would ever come through, I realized He just wanted me closer.
He wanted to sing His love song over my heart. He wanted to shower me with His love in the midst of my brokenness. God already knew what the next chapters of my story looked like even when I couldn’t see them. He wasn’t worried about them and He didn’t want me to be either.
3) Pray for someone else
This was the hardest step for me. After I cried and vented all that was on my heart and was reminded of God’s deep care for me, I began to sense the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit asking me to bless someone else. Asking me to begin to pray for other friends that were pregnant or believing God for children. Asking me to pray that God would meet the desires of THEIR hearts.
I think this was so difficult because I often view God’s resources as limited. That somehow if He gives a blessing to someone else, then He doesn’t have enough left for me. In reality, every prayer God answers for someone else should encourage me that He can do the same for me.
Praying for someone else was one of the biggest factors in conquering the monster of jealousy in my life. It’s much harder to be jealous of someone when you have cried out to God on their behalf and God answers.
It also became a form of warfare for me. Every time the enemy would bring feelings of jealousy or discouragement or doubt that God would keep His promises to me, I would begin to pray for others. Rather than feeling helpless when the feelings came, I had a weapon and I could fight back.
Miracle In the Waiting
I won’t even pretend to understand God’s timing and why some prayers get answered the way we want them to and other prayers seem to be answered with a “no” or a “not yet.” I do know that in the middle of our longings, God wants to change us.
Eventually, God did answer my prayer and we were blessed with two beautiful daughters. But the bigger miracle may have been what He did in me in the waiting. He drew me close to His heart, showered me with His love, and taught me how to extend that love to others.
I’d love to know how I can pray for you in your season of longing. Please send me an email or comment below so I can pray for you too!