“My cup overflows.”

Had God told me 10 years ago that I would be watching my little sister get married, watching my siblings have babies, watching my friends fall in love, while I was—what I would have considered—still an “older single”, I would’ve panicked and fought that.

But here’s the amazing, revolutionary, wonderful way God works:
He didn’t tell me.
I wasn’t ready for it.
But in those ten years, as I’ve sought Him,
He’s shown me a deeper joy,
a more genuine prayer life,
a fuller heart,
a more peaceful mind,
a richer life than I could have dreamed.
He leads us one step at a time for a reason, friends.
Don’t be frustrated that He doesn’t reveal tomorrow to you.
You can’t handle tomorrow yet
because you are not tomorrow’s you.
You are today. And His grace is for this day. His ways are so perfect.
And His heart is trustworthy.
I trust Him more now than I ever have.
I know He is good.
I’ve tasted a more complex, and all the more rich, sweetness to His goodness in this season than I ever have before.
It’s a grief-laced joy, but it is true joy.

I’ve not been given the privilege of holding another’s hand in marriage, but I’ve been given the privilege of holding others’ hands in grief and joy and fellowship.
I’ve not been given the privilege of bearing my own children, but I’ve been given the privilege of befriending the children God’s placed in my life, each one a precious, particular gift from my Heavenly Father.
I have no family of my own, but I belong to the family of God, and specifically, my local church, and it is the most beautiful, tangible, eternal miracle of grace on this earth.
My cup overflows.

“For You, O LORD, have made me glad by Your work;
at the works of Your hands I sing for joy!”
– Psalm 92:4

What if I never get married or have kids?

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If the answer is “No,” is He still good?

I’ve asked God for the good gift of a husband and children more times than I can recount. I’ve poured out my heart to Him. I’ve known paralyzing moments of pain in the silence of the unanswered request. And I don’t believe I’m the only one.

So, what do you do when your prayers remain unanswered? What do you do with the nagging sense that God is withholding something good from you? What if you go your whole life without getting married or having kids? What do you do when you feel pathetic or shallow for wanting something so badly?

The Ache Is Real
Sister, your unfulfilled desire for an earthly husband and family is God-given. Don’t brush that longing aside. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Open up the honest depths of your heart to your merciful Savior. He is listening. He hears every sigh. He keeps every tear. The more deeply you open up to Him, the more deeply His grace and truth can flood your heart, the more real your faith in Him can be. His character and His Word can withstand your hardest questions. God wants all of your heart. And He is honored in your drawing near to Him in your brokenness. (Psalm 103:13-14)

The Ache Is a Gift
This world is not our home. Christ redeemed us for an eternal inheritance. Therefore, our unfulfilled longing, in whatever form that takes, is a gift He has given us to declare His trustworthiness. Do you realize how much pleasure you bring your King when you declare with your words and life, “I love and trust my Lord more than I want ____.”?

Unfulfilled longing is also a gift we can use to minister to others. We are surrounded by people who need the comfort of fellow sufferers, fellow endurers. That is part of the beauty of the Church. Jesus did not leave you alone; He means for you to live life, in all its glorious tension of joy and sorrow, feasting and fasting, forgiving and confessing, with other believers in a local church.

Because of this, every day of your life is filled with purpose, opportunities to know Christ better and bring Him glory. Look around you with a grateful heart and behold the green pastures your Shepherd leads you through. Offer your empty hands to the children around you in need of care, let the overflowing love in your heart spill over into the lives of those around you, share your time, energy, and mercy with those in need, and find JOY!

The Ache Is Not Everything
The grace of God revealed in the gospel enables us to face our worst fears with invincible faith–not because of our strength, but because of God’s trustworthiness. What if you never get married? Is He enough? Is He truly, really enough for you?

God the Son has purchased your eternal bliss with His blood. God the Father has, in love, picked out the perfect path for your good and His glory. God the Spirit has been given to you to be your sufficient strength, comfort, hope, peace, and joy. God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe knows your name and caused you to be born again to a living hope, to an imperishable, undefiled, unfading inheritance–Himself! Even if God grants you the gifts you long for, it is He alone who satisfies the exploding longings of our hearts—

He satisfies us in the morning with His steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)
He satisfies us with good so that our youth is renewed as the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5)
He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

Is He not enough?

The Ache Is Not Forever
One day soon, the shadow will pass away into brilliant Reality, and Jesus Christ will finally be with His Bride forever. If you have trusted in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins, you will by His grace be a part of that holy, happy, glorious family forever. Set your hope on that day! And enjoy this day, living in the good of your certain future.

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. – 1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)

Out of the depths of silent night

Out of the depths of silent night,
Immanuel, come hear our cry:
Our grief is strong and burdens great;
The night is long and hope is faint.
You came to set the captives free,
A Morning Star of joy and peace,
Why does this darkness feel so deep?
Why can’t our weary spirits see

Glory, glory, glory
In the darkest place
Glory, glory, glory
Let Your mercy reign

Out of the depths of silent night—
A Savior born, a mother’s sigh;
The darkness trembled at this Star,
A beam of hope for troubled hearts.
You came to make Your blessings known
And bear our curse of death alone;
You came to share our suffering
So in our sorrow we could sing,

Glory, glory, glory
In the darkest place
Glory, glory, glory
Let Your mercy reign

Words aren’t enough sometimes.

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Words aren’t enough sometimes–
Just feelings, surging,
Changing a heart beat to steady churning;
A heavy coal burning; a silent sigh, yearning
And I don’t know what to say.

Words aren’t enough sometimes–
To carry this aching
To your broken heart, so far away
To share in the sorrow, share in the weight
And I don’t know what to say.

But when the Man of Sorrows
Splits the sky
And gathers up
His weeping Bride,
The flood of love will rush in
And fill every crack within.

Carry on, weary one
Towards the Rising Sun.

The Helper

This morning, my eyes opened to clouds, doubts, and fears. A familiar gray hollow inhabited my soul. I needed to be filled. I needed to take in, again, the Old Story which sleep had erased.

My foggy eyes trailed over glorious terrain. John 11-John 15. So many different facets of the Savior. Weeping over the loss of a friend, then calling the that friend from death to life. Dwelling on His possession of the universe, then bending down to wash his disciples’ feet. However unspeakably glorious the words, I am made of flesh, and it took everything in my weary body to focus on what I was reading. It wasn’t until the last few sentences that a spark caught fire in my soul:

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” [John 15:25]

I had been reading from a distance, trying my hardest to draw near, but feeling woefully inadequate of such a task. I just wanted a glimpse of glory. I needed a glimpse of my Savior. And as I passed through verse 25, a beam of light broke through my cloudy heart:

“But when the Helper comes”

I am not alone. I am not on my own. He did not leave me as an orphan to struggle through this scary world. He sent the Helper. The Comforter. The Holy Spirit. The same Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, sealing Evil’s defeat, is the Spirit He sent to me. My prayers changed under that ray sunshine. My cold anxieties melted into springs of gratefulness as I gloried in the Blessed Spirit of truth, the Blessed Father from whom He comes, and the Blessed Son who sent Him to me. 

Oh, I long to be with You
Where my feeble faith
No longer shames
Oh, I want to honor You
On the weakest days
Of hollow grays
Holy Spirit,
Shine Your light on me 

[Ocean Tides]

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Like ocean tides, my feelings change;
My passions ebb and flow.
I go from soaring heights of love
To gripping fears of woe.
My zeal is unreliable
When fueled by circumstance,
But when I feel so far from God
I know I’m in His hands.

To bring me near God gave His Son
Who bound Himself in flesh,
And on the cross my debt was paid
For Christ has died my death.
I can’t escape this timeless love
Christ did not die in vain;
The souls once bought with Jesus’ blood
He always will sustain.

So, when I face the darkest night
Of sorrow, gloom, or doubt,
I’ll call to mind this truth unchanged:
He’ll never cast me out!
From Him I come, to Him I go,
This life, so short, will pass,
And death is now the door to bliss;
I’ll see His face at last.