The Longing Soul

We all have longings. Longings that are deep in our hearts. Longings that motivate us and push us forward. Longings such as dreams. Dreams of being married, or starting a family, or entering a new career. Longings such as desires. Desires to be loved, accepted, belong. When our longings are there, but are not met, we become disappointed, frustrated, even angry. It can be very painful.  We begin to shake our fists at heaven and cry out to God “Why have you given me these longings, these good desires, yet you have not fulfilled them?” The hope that we have in these frustrating longings is that God knows and sees us here, and He promises to fill us, if not with our specific longings, with Himself. This is our hope and encouragement. That Jesus will fill our longing hearts with Himself. And that is truly what we need Him to do.

I will be 28 years old next month, and I’m still single. This is not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. I have a God given desire that rages within me to share my life with a godly woman, to do ministry together, to raise a family together, and just to be partners with Christ in His work. Up until this point, it has not happened.

It has been a really frustrating thing to have a desire, a good God given desire within me, to be married, to have a family, to partner with someone in the gospel like this, and yet for it still not to happen. Every time a woman I have clicked with has only viewed us as friends it has been like a knife to the heart. It hurts. Every “no” feels like the “no” will be my destiny and that I will be single forever. I have been frustrated with this, and with God in this time. I’m super impatient.

This morning I slept in, and when I got up, I got into the word. Psalm 107 was where I was today.

For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9).

In this verse, God really met me where I was. He encouraged me that the longings in my heart for marriage and a family are good. They are. They are God given.

In this season though, God has withheld these things from me, due to His love and His wisdom. Though He withholds the desires of my heart in this season, He promises to do this: To satisfy my longing soul. How? By giving me Himself. By showing me over and over and over again how much He desires to know me, and desires for me to know Him well. He promises to fill my hungry soul with good things.

He promises to give me everything that I need both in this season of loneliness, frustration, and heartache. If I will just cry out to Him. If I will recognize that my longing is good and right, but that only will I find true satisfaction and fulfillment to my longing through Christ.

I don’t know where you are today. If you’re reading this, maybe you’re in a frustrating season, where it feels that good God given desires are being withheld from you. That is frustrating. It is frustrating when we long so deeply for the good things that God has given us desires for. Be encouraged though. Whether you are waiting on a spouse, a friend, a new job, an easier season, just know that the longings you have, God will fill. Maybe not in this season with the good things, but with Himself. He is all we need.

May we cry out to God in our longings, in our heartaches, in our distress, for He hears us. He promises to fill the longings that we have, the disappointments that we’ve faced, the storms we’ve walked through, with Himself. What an encouraging thing. For when we are filled by Jesus, we are actually filled fully, and not just halfway.

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You Just Haven’t Seen it Yet

Success and growth are not instant things unfortunately. I wish. They take time. They take hours and hours of commitment. To change. It’s so tough. It’s tough to change what we have been doing our whole lives. It’s like switching our brains to think differently. We have created patterns and thought processes that are like habits to us. Even though the climb to the top is tough, and we will fall, many, many times before we even start to make progress, hold out hope. You may not see the progress of the climb you are making, but as Danny Gokey writes “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.”

Almost three years ago, I started a journey. A very difficult one. I left the ministry and I moved home to try and make sense of my life and the struggles that had resurfaced. I needed change to happen in my heart and in my life.

Change was not easy. It was not something I wanted to tackle at first. At first, I ran. I ran because I was angry. I ran because I thought God didn’t love me anymore. I ran because I had disappointed and let down people, and then eventually I just stopped running and sat down.

I sat down with all my fears, my shattered dreams, my anger, my obsessive thoughts, and I just was there, surrounded by it all. That’s where I found Jesus again, or better yet where he found me.

Jesus just sat with me. For awhile, just quietly. Just sitting together.

Then me and Him began to speak again. I began to ask Him why did He call me to something I could never do. Why did He give me gifts and talents I’ll never be able to fully use.

I told Him my fears. I told Him my hurts. I told Him how lost I felt. And He was just there.

He listened. He comforted. He spoke into my hurts. He showed me He wasn’t leaving, and that He loved me regardless of what I could bring to the table or not. He reminded me that I was His.

I hemmed and hawed and doubted. I was double minded. I wrestled with this. I wrestled with God and with His unconditional love for me, even in the midst of my own wrestling and sin.

Then eventually as we are sitting there He asked if I wanted to walk again. I said I don’t know. I don’t know if I even can walk again spiritually. I think I want to walk again, but I don’t even know how to anymore. I don’t know how to follow you or obey you anymore. I’m terrible at being a faithful Christian.

Just take one step. That was all he said. Decide to walk again. And if you fall, that’s okay because I’m here with you through it all.

I hemmed and hawed at this. For awhile, I just sat there, frozen, paralyzed, unwilling to move. I didn’t know how to move. To walk. I just couldn’t, or so I thought. Eventually, I got up.

Wounded and limping and hurt and disappointed, Jesus pulled me to my feet, and I began to walk. I would walk a few steps and then fall, and then I would get back up, and then I would fall, and then I would start crawling. At times, I would even crawl backwards, back to the place where I had been.

I would go through times where I would ask for help, and then run from that same help that I had asked for. I would ask for accountability, and encouragement, and then ignore that same encouragement.God never left me though. He never did.

It took a myriad of things, even repeated things, repeated truths, repeated wake up calls but FINALLY, in the last week or so, God has really started to shift the tide in my life. Even though my consistency with my behavior hasn’t changed, my thoughts are starting to. I’m starting to once again remember who I am in Christ, and what He has for me in life.

It has been a long, excruciating, tiring process. There have been days where I have had trouble getting out of bed. Days where I’ve missed work. Days where I’ve isolated and ran and hid. God was with me though through it all.

Every time I wanted to give up, He encouraged me. The break through that I needed and desired was just around the corner. I just couldn’t see it yet. I’m glad I kept going though. I’m glad God kept me and loved me and put others in my life to do the same in this season of life.

I don’t know where you are today. Maybe you are still sitting in the desert in the dust. Maybe you are filled with anger and doubts. Maybe you are running from God, from others. My encouragement to you today is to keep going. Keep pushing. Keep fighting. Keep hoping. Keep getting up in the pain. Keep seeking.

God is not a God who leaves his children on this cosmic hide and go seek game. His promise is this “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). 

I’ll leave you with the encouraging words from Danny Gokey’s song Haven’t Seen it Yet: 

He is moving with a love so deep
Hallelujah for the victory
Good things are coming even when we can’t see
We can’t see it yet, but we believe that
He is moving with a love so deep
Hallelujah for the victory
Good things are coming even when we can’t see
We can’t see it yet, but we believe that

It’s like the brightest sunrise
Waiting on the other side of the darkest night
Don’t ever lose hope, hold on and believe (don’t ever lose hope)
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet
You’re closer than you think you are (yes, you are)
Only moments from the break of dawn (Oh)
All His promises are just up ahead
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet (oh)
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet (oh)
(You gotta hold on, hold on)
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet (oh)  (Lyrics taken from Songwriters: Colby Wedgeworth / Ethan Hulse / Danny Gokey Haven’t Seen It Yet lyrics © Essential Music Publishing)

Hold onto the hope that Jesus is with you even in the darkest of places, and that even today, you are closer than you think you are to breakthrough and true life. Hold on.

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