When a Longing Goes Unmet

Last week through twitter I happened to come across an article on singleness. (Let me say upfront that although I’m using that as a springboard, this post isn’t about singleness, but rather each of our different longings. Because let’s be so honest, that is one of many longings left unmet. Okay, I feel better now. Grin.) Before reading it all the way through I quickly glanced through bits and pieces and the sweet girl who put herself out there had mentioned that she was 23 years old. A couple hours later when I had a moment, I actually read the entire post but realized her age had been removed.

And then I got to the comments.

It was no wonder that she removed her age because the first comment that I laid my eyes on was from someone ripping her to shreds for writing an article on singleness at the age of 23. What did she know? They were 34 and had waited a lot longer. How dare she?

Instantly I got defensive for this poor girl because a) I know all too well what it’s like to put yourself out there to then get slammed by the people instead of built up and b) since when was there an age limit that we could talk about singleness? Since when could we not express our desires until we had been labeled an expert? I didn’t comment because my blood pressure was too high and I’m pretty sure I would have said things I would have later regretted, but here is what I know and I would have said to that sweet girl if I could go back to that post:

The longings the Lord gives us are real. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 67, each desire and longing the Lord puts in us in something we have to lay down every single day.

At 23 I thought the world was ending because no one had put a ring on my finger. It was right after college that I was swimming in the deep end of all things weddings because that was the age that I watched seven of my close friends walk down the aisle to their beloved. Every turn I took I ran into another wedding, and with great joy, mind you, but I was reminded that I too had a longing that had yet to be fulfilled. If there was ever a time I could have said, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” that would have been it.

Following that year, I’ve learned a lot about myself, grown a lot and matured in many ways regarding my present season, but I don’t discredit that year any more than I do this year.

When we are vulnerable, I don’t think we’re asking for someone to slam us into the pavement, rather, we need to hear, “I understand.”, “I’ve been there, too.”, “There is hope!”  “I’m so sorry you’re hurting.” and “You are not alone.” While I need people speaking truth to me every day and believing for me when I’m weary and tired, I also just want people to listen without fixing or listen without giving me their go to Jesus answer. We know God is sovereign, God is good and God has not forgotten us when life looks strangely dim, but we also need a safe place to share our longings and not be shamed for feeling alone, or misunderstood. There’s a time and place for correction and truth, but when compassion is extended, even if we don’t fully understand, that’s when ministry happens. Heaven forbid we become people who throw the first stone at those who are trying to live honest lives.

Last week I happened to have a little more alone time than usual and in some silence, I realized I had let a handful of anxiety slip into unnecessary areas of my life. I was achy and although on the outside things looked peachy, my insides were a hot mess. Later on in the week after I had the wherewithal to put my thoughts to paper (which doesn’t always happen, by the way) and I was able to make some sense of the stirrings I continually sit with. The truth is, I know I can sound like a broken record, and maybe you feel like that too, but in reality, no amount of freedom, success, friends, right words, traveling, passions, sleeping in (all of the perks of singleness) can suppress a deep longing that gets left untouched. (This is true of any deep longing in any season of life.) That list of pros are things I pursue and do all the time, but it doesn’t fill the void where some true longings lay dormant. This I do know, some longings are to be placed at the feet of Jesus everyday, it’s a faith journey and a trust walk that honestly gets more personal every year. This is true for every longing or dream that’s been shattered whether you’re 20 or 72. The thing of it is, when we entrust ourselves to Jesus, we don’t get to pick and choose how He develops our character to reflect Him. That’s where faith comes in. Trusting that He really does know best and do best.

But at my ripe age of 28, I’ve also learned that every longing inside of us, though we may not know it at the time, is a deeper longing for Jesus Himself. An emptiness He’s put there that can only be met by His love and mercy. When we’re dry and weary, we really want Jesus. When we’re discouraged and lonely, we really want Jesus. When we’re hungry and searching for something, anything to sustain us, we really want Jesus. A day is coming when every longing we’ve ever had will be met by Jesus Himself. That alone gives us some joyful expectation and hope.

Instead of hitting on an already bruised soul, might we extend some kindness and ministry to those that share with us so tenderly? Let us be the ones to remind them that God really does withhold no good thing, and if He is withholding something, as much confusion and pain as it brings at that time, it is ultimately for our good. We’re all deeply flawed humans just trying to get along with and love other deeply flawed humans. Kind words, tender hugs, and a chance to weep with those who weep goes a long way in a cruel and unkind world.

So to you who have an unmet longing, whether it be a husband you long to share life with, a child you long to bring into your home whether through adoption or naturally, a wound from a relationship that is still so fresh and you’re longing for the redemption of a bruised heart, a longing for a dream or passion to come true that’s laid dormant for years, a longing to do something you’ve been waiting to do, a longing to move up in your career, the longing to grieve something you’ve lost, whatever it is, to you I say:

Your longing is safe with Jesus, and please, Lord, I pray you’re longing is safe with us. You can weep for what has yet come to pass. You can be honest. You can rejoice when that thing for which you’ve prayed so long comes to fruition. You can talk about it in the here and now. You don’t have to talk about an unknown future. Sometimes the hardest question to answer when our lives are spinning is, “What’s next?” We want to know, “What’s now?” What is Jesus doing in you today in the midst of your unmet longing? Here you have permission to be honest. You have a voice.

Because Jesus cares. Jesus is holding every tear. Every unmet longing. And Jesus is working everything out for your good and for His glory. Lean into him. Do what it takes to trust him, whether that means putting yourself out there or keeping it in the secret parts between you and God. Your longings are not foreign to Him. To you and to myself I say, God is so faithful, dear sister. Take heart.

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
    they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
    and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
    all who swear by God will glory in him,
    while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Psalm 63: 1-11

 

 

O Lord, all my longing is before you;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
    and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
    and my nearest kin stand far off.

12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
    those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
    and meditate treachery all day long.

13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
    like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 I have become like a man who does not hear,
    and in whose mouth are no rebukes.

15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
    who boast against me when my foot slips!”

 Psalm 38:9-16

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100 Responses to “When a Longing Goes Unmet”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Mary Ann says:

    Amen! Jesus – You are the Answer!

  2. 2
    Elizabeth says:

    I have been there. I have camped out, unwillingly, in the dusty desert of a dry and weary soul. This semester of school has been hard. Harder than the last, even when I thought that was an impossibility. I understand the idea of an unmet longing.
    I fought tears as I read this post because I thought the other’s in my University’s cafeteria might be unnerved by my public sobbing.
    I especially loved the paragraph when you reminded me that all the empty spaces in my life, are places I have not yet surrendered to the Lord. This is something the Lord has been just recently teaching me. In my busyness this semester, I have neglected my personal time with the Lord. I have kept up my prayer life and have not stopped talking to Him, but because I neglected The Word of God, I cut off that avenue for the Lord to talk back to me. Two weeks ago, In a moment of desolation and despair, I got on my knees and cried out to the Lord. When I got up from that moment, my situation had not changed. My to-do list was still a mile and a half long. I still had due dates and responsibilities. I was still employed at a job I hated. But God had put his hand on me and patiently reminded my soul that He was all I needed. He is able to fill every emptiness. His grace is enough.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.”
    –C.S. Lewis

  3. 3
    Suzanne in RI says:

    Thank you

  4. 4
    Maria says:

    So good and true, Lindsey! The Lord had me walk the road of singleness, so I get that one. 🙂 Yet we all have the common experience of heart desires in one way or another. Recently Beth tweeted something good that went something like, “Let’s not be Christian hammers going around looking for nails to pound but be gentle and loving and encouraging….how refreshing in this broken world.” And isn’t that the way we are to be as Christ followers? You are making a difference Lindsey. Keep on keeping on in our faith walk!

  5. 5
    Selena says:

    Lindsee,
    Thank you! You don’t know how much I needed to hear this today. My unmet longing for a husband and family has been heavy on my heart for the last couple of days. I don’t talk about it with anyone, mostly because I just usually keep things to myself, but also because I get tired of the comments that aren’t really meant and don’t really help (like it’ll happen one day, or be glad you don’t have a husband- they make me feel like what I’m going through isn’t important or not serious), but also because I’m afraid of being pitied. So I keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Your posts make me feel like I’ve been having a good talk with a friend because they always come when I need them most. Thank you for the reminder that I can share anything with Jesus and that He will always be there for me. He certainly sent exactly what I needed today. May He bless you for being open, honest, and loving enough to share with us.

  6. 6
    Kathy S says:

    This message is like oil to parched skin, Linsee. I am in a “Christian” marriage – for 24 years – that has been a train wreck from day one – literally.

    I, though married, too, have longings and hopes for a Godly marriage. And it may never be. But the compassion and listening ears of those closest to me are treasures – to say nothing of how God the Father is teaching me that Jesus will fill my wounded and voided heart.

    Unmet desires bring me to the Cross of Jesus and I know He made me just the way I am – for a reason. But a warm hug from a friend, a sister in Christ, can soothe many tears and a broken heart.

    I pray that those unkind words spoken to our sweet 23-year-old sister-in-the-Lord who was simply baring her soul, are rejected and never visited again in her lifetime.

    • 6.1
      Lindsee says:

      Yes, those longings and desires bring me back to Him every time, even after I’ve searched for them elsewhere. I pray that is always the case. Bless you, Sister. Praying the Lord lavishes His sweet love upon your head today.

  7. 7

    So sweetly spoken. Thank you.

  8. 8
    Agnes says:

    I am amazed at how the Spirit of God is so impeccable. . Today I felt down and out, facing so many setbacks and anxieties and my ever wondering heart. I know God loves me and sometimes I lose track of His good and perfect gifts at the right time. Thank you for the reminder that indeed Jesus makes everything beautiful in its time.

  9. 9
    Keri Lee Robbins says:

    Thank you Lindsee. Thank you.

  10. 10
    Janet from FL says:

    I have a son who is 29 and single. He lives in Illinois though, and you are in Texas. I will tell you that my husband and I met through a Christian dating site, and we have been married 13 years now. I prayed and he prayed and God brought us together. We lived about 10 miles apart, but had never met before. God can work miracles!

  11. 11
    wendy van says:

    To all of the single ladies, there is strength in waiting on the Lord. It is so worth the wait for our faithful God to provide the perfect gift that he wants us to have. In my singleness God showed me gifts, qualities and characteristics that I liked in the guy friends that I had over the years. It made me truly appreciate and respect them all the more. When the time came for me to marry my husband I could see all of those gifts were wrapped up in my guy. It really is worth the wait. Please enjoy where you are in your season of singleness. Just like in singleness, in marriage, there are times of unmet longings and desires. Your husband is not created to fulfill all of them. You still have to trust God. Embrace those feelings of longing. It’s God calling you closer to Him. Trust Him because He has a wonderful gift for you and it really is worth the wait.

    • 11.1
      Lindsee says:

      Yes, Wendy! We all have unmet longings and desires, which can only be filled by Jesus in every season of life, married or not. (Singleness was just my example here, but I know there are many longings left ummet.) I definitely hope it didn’t come across that I’m (or any of us) are waiting one day for a husband to fill all of our longings, or that the one things (or many things) we’re longing for will bring ultimate comfort. No, I know they’re from and for the Lord, no doubt!

  12. 12
    annette says:

    this is beautiful.

    “When we are vulnerable, I don’t think we’re asking for someone to slam us into the pavement, rather, we need to hear, “I understand.”, “I’ve been there, too.”, “There is hope!” “I’m so sorry you’re hurting.” and “You are not alone.” While I need people speaking truth to me every day and believing for me when I’m weary and tired, I also just want people to listen without fixing or listen without giving me their go to Jesus answer. We know God is sovereign, God is good and God has not forgotten us when life looks strangely dim, but we also need a safe place to share our longings and not be shamed for feeling alone, or misunderstood. There’s a time and place for correction and truth, but when compassion is extended, even if we don’t fully understand, that’s when ministry happens. Heaven forbid we become people who throw the first stone at those who are trying to live honest lives.”

  13. 13
    Angie says:

    Oh Linds…
    Seriously, this made me cry…
    I hung up in mom today because she just
    would not quit bothering me about why I’m not
    married and that I’m getting too old for kids.
    When a longing is unmet as it is and then you
    are bothered about it once a day everyday…
    when you are trying to let The Lord work in you
    so there is no baggage when you finally get into
    a relationship…it just hurts when someone digs at you
    for their own selfish wants.
    I can’t tell her I’m waiting for Jesus to work in me so I’m
    ready, because she calls me a nun…
    Just over it. Thank you for your post…
    I needed it.

    Xo
    Ang

    • 13.1
      Nikki says:

      Angie,
      My experience was a little different. When this topic would come up with my mom and me, she would try to tell me reasons why I shouldn’t want to be married. Reasons like “you’ll always have a mess to pick up behind him,” “you’ll never have time alone,” and many other things like that. I didn’t get the encouragement I so desperately needed in those moments. I pray you realize that as much as we love our moms, they don’t hold the answer… God does! And He always works it out for our good. I waited a lot longer that I wanted to (I was almost 39 when I got married earlier this year), but I know without a doubt that waiting was the best thing I could have done. Be patient, do His work in the meantime, and God will bring the perfect person to you in His time.

      Nikki

      • Angie says:

        Thank you so much for that, Nikki.
        It touched my heart, and thank you for
        being so honest about your own
        struggles w your mom.
        You are right, His answers is what
        matters.

  14. 14
    Diana A. says:

    Hello LIndsee 🙂

    I want to share what GOD gave me today in my own “longing” that is on WAIT.

    “The LORD is Good to those who wait hopefully & expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him – inquire of and for Him-, and requre Him by right of necessity & on the Authority of God’s Word.” Lamentations 3:25 The Amplied Bible

    God Bless you Lindsee, & may you find comfort in Him!

    Girl! You are the BOMB! 😀

  15. 15
    Tina says:

    simply beautiful…

  16. 16
    alyssa says:

    Dearest Lindsee,
    Thank you for this post! I too have been in a season of waiting… waiting for healing for my husband, for him to feel His Father’s love again. And during this time so many marriages around me have been under attack by the enemy. Some have had victory, others have buckled under the attacks. It is HARD, sister, this world can be so ugly! The prince of darkness is darker than anything we can imagine, and it’s easy to let him block our view of The Light. Actually, SSMT has been SUCH a huge blessing in this time. Funny how God prepares us for what’s coming, how He draws us close before the times get the hardest so He can protect us. One of the first scriptures in my SSMT journey comes out of 2 Cor 12:8-10:
    Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord 3 times for Him to take it away from me. But He said to me “My grace is sufficent for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasures in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and pressures because of Christ. For when I am weak, I AM STRONG.
    I am strong. I am strong. I am strong. And so are you! 🙂

  17. 17

    Thank you for this, Lindsee! I’ve been thinking on this a lot lately…the balance between how we can pray deeply, fervently, consistently for a desperate longing while not allowing ourselves to be crushed/downright get our feelings hurt if He never gives it. THAT’S A HARD BALANCE TO FIND! I am young, a mother, and live with significant health problems. For a while, I stopped praying for healing…finally assuming that just isn’t what God had for me. But recently I’ve been feeling the longing to pray for it again…so I have. But when I open myself up and “go there” in faith with the Lord (knowing very well I’ve prayed these things before and they didn’t happen) well, it’s raw place to be. Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂

  18. 18
    Bonnie Palma says:

    Lindsee,

    That was very well said and necessary to be said. Thank you for taking the time to speak to this young woman’s need and remind all of us that Jesus is what we always need for our unmet longings. Bless you!
    Bonnie Palma

  19. 19
    Audrey says:

    Thank you for speaking truth, Lindsee 🙂

  20. 20
    Lots of Questions says:

    I have a longing I’m ashamed to admit. I long to be out of poverty. I don’t even admit we’re there to my friends or extended family. And we’re not “poor” by world standards, but by US standards, we fall well below the poverty guidelines. I long to be out of it. Is that selfish? Is it wrong to long for that?

    I don’t love money. And truly, Jesus is my heart’s desire. I just long to have enough to live on month to month without juggling so much. It’s stressful. We do without Christmas – and have for seven years. We do without vegetables some weeks, meat others. I do without health insurance too.

    I’m grateful for what we do have. Yes, all our utilities are still on, I have a computer and internet, and a roof over my head. But it could be gone instantly, because we’re behind on everything – rent and utilities.

    So that’s my longing. And I question daily whether I’m wrong for longing for it.

    • 20.1
      Steph says:

      Dear sister,
      I do not believe that this longing is wrong or selfish. I also believe that He wants us to bring these requests to Him and to ask, as a child would ask Her Father, for the desires that are on our hearts. He loves you! For some reason, these are the boundaries He has allowed in your life right now and I know from experience that He gives joy even in the midst of lean, lean times. I will send up a prayer for you right now, that God will give you joy, peace and contentment. And also that He will open the doors of blessing in your life in His perfect timing.

    • 20.2
      Diana A. says:

      Dear Questioning Sister,

      I just wanted to say I am praying for you. I long to encourage you… it is stinking tough some days!

      Be steadfast & confident within your deepest part of your heart & soul, GOD IS Good!!! I too walk a very desperate path financially, and it can be so soul-sucking. Maybe now that you know someone else has a hard time too, it will be some form of salve for your soul. I have dark days of “why” and then bright days of “REJOICING” inspite of great lack. TRUST in GOD – He still is on His Throne, He still can make us strong, He still can use these tough experiences to our better good.

      Much love to you sister in Christ, You Are a Valuable person in the family of GOD!

  21. 21
    Valerie says:

    Amen and Amen. I wish I could give that young girl a hug too!

  22. 22
    Cathy says:

    Lindsee,

    at 52 and still single, your post brought tears streaming down my face. You pinned my feelings of singleness. With a very small immediate family and married friends, the Christmas season usually causes the “perks of singleness” to be buried. As the season fast approaches, I will be reading your blog often and placing my unmet longings at the feet of Jesus. And strive not to ask “why”. Thank you for sharing your heart and “seasons”. And reminding me of “hope”

  23. 23
    Sandy Bowers says:

    Love you Lindsee Lou! To all those in situations that seem unfulfilling….God knows your situation. He knows how you are feeling and the worries & frustrations you have. He wants us to trust in Him and trust that He has the best plans for us.

    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

  24. 24
    Kris A says:

    I recently had 2 conversations, one of which prompted a “Well, now that you’re too old to think about having kids, you can focus on lots of other things in your life.” and the other a “Maybe it’s not too late. There’s still time.” comment. I’m not sure either of them are the hope and focus Jesus wants me to have, as both are about the result of that longing for children rather than completely submitting to Him.

    There’s a part of me, though, that wonders why God puts longings into a person for a specific thing more than other longings and then leaves them unmet. I was patient through singleness. I was thrilled to find a man I wanted to spend my life with. I trusted all the women at church who equated my longing with God promising me that thing I longed to have when we went through fertility treatments. I came to hate Isaiah 54 and the feeling that it was offering me second best with the veneer of a promise. I believed God would redeem this longing when my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married. I hoped through relationships since then, thought maybe the fulfillment of this longing would come through stepchildren when I dated a single dad, and battled the not-so-subtle message from pop culture that says an unfulfilled longing should be forced to happen through your will if you want it badly enough. I wondered if maybe I should’ve “settled” for a man whose greatest compatibility with me was a desire to be a parent and rejoiced in not being married to someone with whom that was my only commonality. And now, I don’t want to close the door on a promise if God HAS promised it to me. I don’t want to lack faith in His ability or desire to fulfill those promises. I just wonder if it was ever a promise to me.

    And so I wait patiently, as much as possible in my flesh, to see how God will make this all work out, whether that longing will ever be filled on this earth in the manner I’ve most desired. I fight against the desire to say to God, “Haven’t I earned this by now?”

    So when people make those comments, I’m never really sure how to respond. I just nod and say, “Perhaps.”

    • 24.1
      Lindsee says:

      Kris, I hear you, Sister. While our longings can be so frustrating, I’ve found they’ve been most soothed by the Word of the Lord. When I turn to Him in complete surrender, despite all my hurt and longing, He is there. One thing I’ve had to realize is that I can’t say He’s promised me marriage or children, but if I’m in Christ, if He is my Savior, He’s promised me Himself and eternity. I humble myself and submit to His authority. I’m praying right now the Lord would send you a sweet, tangible blessing! You are loved.

      • Kris A says:

        Thank you, dear Lindsee. It becomes especially bittersweet when my friends welcome their blessings. I’m thrilled beyond words for them, knowing the longings they’ve had mirror mine, yet watching it happen always to others. [Which totally helps me to empathize the “always a bridesmaid” phenomenon.] I wish we women didn’t sit in Bible study and talk about promises this way. All I can do is to make my speech more Scriptural about this area and recall all the blessings He has given me. And I am blessed in amazing ways. Much love to you and many prayers for the journey.

  25. 25
    Rebekkah says:

    This brought tears to my eyes… In a season of recent heartbreak, and trying to figure out what on earth I’m doing with my life, it has been so hard to trust that Jesus has a plan… You’re so right about us needing people to talk to who will just be with us – I dont have that right now, and it’s been hard. But your words reminded me that I am not alone, not ever. So thank you 🙂

  26. 26
    Kelley Mann says:

    Beautiful post!

  27. 27
    Debw says:

    Can’t help but think of the Proverb “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” When our longings are fulfilled, may they result in life that branches out from us to others, so tha many are blessed by the Lord’s goodness.
    And may they also keep driving us closer and closer to HIM!

    Deb–who is 41 and still longing for a husband and children, and also for her sister to be healed of her cancer.

  28. 28
    Caitlin W says:

    Thank you so so so so so much for posting that, just what this 23 year old woman (usually still a girl though) needed to hear. Reading with tears in my eyes and a new encouragement in my soul.

  29. 29
    Darla says:

    What a joy to read this; thank you so much, Lindsee. One of the best and heart-touching blog posts ever. Second only to the cereal post though :-P. God bless you!

  30. 30
    Megan says:

    Someone on my Adoption Agency’s FB page just shared this, and it was exactly what I needed at this season! We have 3 biological children, but long for more, and cannot have more ourselves. My arms ache to hold another baby. I cannot imagine the pain of infertility, and do not compare my longing to someone who is going through that, but I deeply desire another baby.

    We recently found out that our wait for our adopted baby will be much longer than anticipated; and although I want another infant so badly that it hurts, I may have to put that on the alter and choose to up our age range significantly. We’re praying through it right now.

    So many well-meaning people try to comfort me by saying that I should just appreciate the children I have now (which I do), that God has a plan (which I know), that it will probably not be as long as they’re telling us (which it probably will), and that I should just take it to him (which I am). My sweet husband reminds me often to be gracious with them in both action and thought, but sometimes I almost have to mentally check out so that I don’t burst into tears or say something ungracious. We are at the beginning of this journey, and I’m hoping I’ll formulate a more appropriate response the longer we wait.

    I’m going to go read this again and bookmark it to read later, but it’s just so soothing to be to be validated that sometimes I just need someone to hug me and say, “Man, this is hard, and I’m here for you.” I do have some friends who are saying those things, and I’m so thankful for them. Also a good reminder to BE that friend when my friends/family need it.

    Thanks for writing this.

  31. 31
    Katie says:

    Oh Lindsee! Yes, amen and yes!

    This is both an encouragement to me in a season of longing (for my husband to find a job) but also a gentle reminder and some practical advice I needed to know how to help a friend who is also in a season of longing/mourning that I don’t totally understand.

    Fixing to share the heck out of this!

  32. 32
    lynda rickey says:

    Lindsee, Wow! What a great post. You are quite a lady and I’m proud to know you. I’m 43 and still waiting. I have always longed for a husband and a family of my own. Jesus has not given me these things. I don’t understand what He is doing but He loves me and has my best interest at heart. I will trust Him to take care of me in the meantime.

  33. 33
    Jennifer B says:

    Tears. This is so on time. You just don’t know!!!! Thanks

  34. 34
    Karen says:

    Thank you Lindsee! Just this week I’ve been dealing with an unmet longing for reconciliation with someone who has refused my attempts to connect. I know God is with me but I’ve been very sad.

    • 34.1
      Angie says:

      Karen,
      I understand where you are. I’m not aware of the
      situation history, but I can tell you what The Lord led
      me to do…I stopped paying attention to how the person
      thought of me. I just placed my attention on reading scripture
      and painting it out on canvas. Everytime the thought would
      come I would speak out 2 Cor 10:5 and pray how
      much bigger God was an that He would take my expectation
      away regarding the future of this relationship.
      Things are not perfect, but right now it’s more about God
      maturing me and transforming me then a friendship
      that needs reconciliation. He is true to His promises.
      Isaiah 42:16 blessed me recently, I pray it also
      blesses you 🙂

      Angie

  35. 35
    lucia fox says:

    What a timely word. Although I haven’t been able to put a finger on my feelings…this spoke to me 🙂

  36. 36
    Caroline says:

    This has to be one of your best posts yet! I love your heart, girl. And I echo these sentiments 100%. “The thing of it is, when we entrust ourselves to Jesus, we don’t get to pick and choose how He develops our character to reflect Him. That’s where faith comes in. Trusting that He really does know best and do best.” Yes, yes, YES!!!

  37. 37
    Rachel says:

    Beautifully and compassionately written… And yes God with holds our unmet longing for good reason – even if it doesn’t feel good or if we never fully understand. He loves us. He longs with us… After all he is waiting for his Bride too!

  38. 38

    My Lindsee Lou… I think I’m going to just read this everyday for the rest of my life. Seriously. Even today, as I sat in my house and played with the daughter I’ve always longed for… there was a moment that I felt lonely. A moment that I sat there and felt like I wanted something more. Thank you for reminding me that that “more” that I wanted is Jesus.

    Love you, my precious friend.

  39. 39
    Miss Mae says:

    Oh, Lindsee. The Lord knew I needed to read this tonight. I’ve been in a season of deep longing for over two years now, which doesn’t sound like that long, but when you’re in it, it feels like two HUNDRED years sometimes. Or at least twenty.. 😉
    My situation is one that I am not free to share with many, which makes it that much harder, having to hide my deep hurt, the constant ache in my heart…. I definitely know how our 23-year-old sister feels, having been rejected and, in effect, thrown to the ground, told that I’m too naive and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, every time I’ve finally been brave enough to bare my heart to the one person in my life who everyone would expect to be the one to care, if anyone would….
    I really am not sharing even this much to make you or anyone feel sorry for me but simply to say that *I know.* I know the hurt of longing, and the hurt of rejection when you’re brave enough to admit that longing. And I’m so thankful for places like this where we can safely share our hearts, our hurts, without fear of rejection or ridicule. Where we’ll get a hug instead of being cast aside (even if it’s just virtually;)). Where others will share Truth but they’ll also share Love and compassion and understanding.
    I’m thankful for this ministry, and I’m thankful for you. <3

  40. 40
    Lauren says:

    I just want to say thank you! I’m about to be 28 in two weeks and my plan for my life hasn’t quite turned out the way I wanted. I long for a husband and a family but that has yet to come into the picture. Normally when I get the e-mails for post updates I delete them and go back to the site later if I have time, but this time I opened the email and read it right then. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! Thank you! I don’t feel alone in this I needed that reminder. Be blessed!

  41. 41
    sharon,GA says:

    GodBless her. May I say in all humility that although we DO need caring listeners and Ive had some 🙂 but we need God more, and in the midst of the barren deserts a compassionate leading to Jesus is the only one that has always lead me to refreshing healing waters…the answer bursting forth from the heart of one whos found NO other way but him. delivered in sincere compassion..a prayer can be listening but with heavens hug. On second note..what I pray she will soon know and Im sure Ill revisit again in another season…Jesus IS every longing fulfilled (proverbs?). …painfully surrendering our longings to him he fills and wipes our tears in glory, and we find in wonder “the liberty of those who have longer have nothing to loose because they have nothing to keep” and we CAN do without anything, he is all we need.. and his life has possessed us. and its just about that time he knows we are ready for what WE thought we needed then. And its perfect.

  42. 42
    Tammie says:

    Thank You Lindsee for this post. It’s a good word and good reminder.

    I am 40, and single… a few years ago i was a step away from an engagement; it blew up but over and over The Lord affirms that He was all over that… and holds my questions and desire for redemption tightly in His Hands.

    Our hungers show us our hearts… Deut. 9

    Every day we take on the death of Christ, so that the Life of Christ may manifest Itself in us… 2Cor 4 7-10 … it’s been my matra recently.

    Have a good day!

  43. 43
    Dawn says:

    Many years ago now, it was none other than my OB/GYN who brought healing to my soul after a very early miscarriage. After hearing others in their well meaning rationale say that it was for the best, etc., it was she who said, “Yes, but it still hurts.” Her fitly spoken words were a balm to my soul that I have never forgotten and have tried to repeat many oppropriate times to others in pain. Regardless of the source of our hurts, sometimes we just want someone to acknowledge our pain.

  44. 44
    paula grett says:

    Beautiful tks for the reminder

  45. 45
    Lynne says:

    Lindsee, I am certain we would be the greatest of friends through Christ! Once again God has used you to minister to my soul. I have been under the Holy conviction about unmet desires, one of them singleness,through my current bible study. I truly feel as if I am in a season of Jacob…as in, I just keep holding tighter and tighter to God yelling “I will not let go of You until You bless me!!!!”. I would rather feel weary and exhausted by wrestling WITH God, than AGAINST Him. I am waiting for my day when I can stand and say “Surely God was in this place” over each and every unmet desire, no matter how God reveals Himself in them! I will tenderly hold you in my prayers. May God Bless You!! Lynne

  46. 46
    Teresa says:

    Thanks, Lindsee, for the conviction you’ve given me through this post. I must admit, when I saw “23” I rolled my eyes. At 34, I do think my longing is different. But then I remember back to 23 and remember that my longing was the same then. And I would never go back and wish my 23 year old self what I know now–I wouldn’t have been able to handle knowing I would still be single at 34. It is the great privilege of knowing the Lord for 15 years that allows me to say that He has sustained me through 11 years of wanting marriage and children for myself as I watch those around me marry and have children. And in some ways, at 34, I have more contentment than I did at 23 because I have years of faith to back up that longing. And years of blessings that I may not have had if I had been married early. So, I can say with certainty to those 23 year olds out there…The Lord is faithful. He never gives you more than you can handle. The Lord will bless you beyond belief. The Lord will give you ways to satisfy those longings by alternative means while you wait. If you wait unto glory, the Lord is still High and Lifted Up and the Sustainer of your soul.

    • 46.1
      Lindsee says:

      Amen, Teresa! I always thank the Lord for not giving me a peek into the future, because I know I couldn’t handle the wait if I knew how long I had to. The longing is different at different ages, for sure, but it’s still a longing nonetheless. Blessings to you!

  47. 47
    sharon says:

    Prayer.. go to jesus with them…how often does THAT happen?…in a ministry world? outside, rarely…but when it does, such love! And affirmation of understanding of a real need. ..even typed post of prayer in heavens hug would lift all to higher plane… Again (big smile) Jesus is the key to how we (both sides) respond…we just have to know how to use it..and being on one side of the equation Will teach us about the other side…BOTH difficult in our own strength…leading us to him all the while. Christian slamming doesnt coexist…willfuly chosen….Seems there is a christian culture in America that needs to get saved! prayer 😉

  48. 48
    Kathleen Stewart says:

    thanks Lindsee, this deeply touched my heart. I’m a 42 year old longing heart waiting for God to answer my prayers. I shared this on facebook hoping it will encourage so many other longing hearts out there. God Bless.

  49. 49
    Teri Lynn says:

    Wow! It is so amazing how when you are longing for something that you come across encouragement and words that help you learn toward God every time. So Awesome! I too have a longing. I work full time, go to school full time, and have a husband and two children with one on the way. I love children so much and I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom and more involved in serving and helping children, but just never been able to do it yet. So I patiently wait on God’s timing because I know his timing is perfect not mine. Thank you for this encouragement this morning. Thankful heart.

  50. 50
    Margie Smallman says:

    I loved this post and soooo agree that it doesn’t matter AT ALL what age we are…..longings are longings. This isn’t, in any way, a competition as to who hurts the most, for the longest, etc… Christ’s sufficiency feels so real at some phases of life and so intangible through others. I’m in a “Girls Group”, we call it, and have loved seeing how, over the years, in our VERY different places in life, we each need the Lord as much as the next but in varied ways. It causes us to seek Him together, pray, cry and cheer one another on…..through everything.

    I’m 47 and single and understand the angst of the younger girls…(we’re ALL girls!)…. and yet the perspective of those who are my peers. I’ve eaten my share of words over time and really “get” that we’re in this together!

    Life here is SHORT and our promised inheritance is going to be somethin’ else!! So, in our great times and in our painful times, let’s uplift one another and keep walking with Jesus!!

    Sooooo thankful for you all!
    Margie 🙂

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