My Not So Graced-Filled Life

“How long, Oh Lord, will you forget me forever? Oh how these words penetrate my heart. I so deeply yearn to be a wife and a mom, but at long last, I am still a single woman. I love my job and my life, yet there is something that I so deeply wish for. It is an area of my life where I always find myself looking for God’s grace because this is not at all how I pictured my life.

I scroll through my Facebook feed and read the news of a new birth, a new home, a new engagement, a new marriage…. I will admit that I am extremely happy for these friends and family. Yet my heart hurts so deeply. It is brokenhearted! And there is not enough chocolate to cover the pain of this ache in my heart. I want to hold my own child in my arms. I want to spend my Friday night cuddled up to someone special. But what if that is not the story God has for my life? 
And if that is not the story God has for my life, I have to remember to receive God’s grace with open hands. That is not an easy pill to swallow. Yet in all truth, I know that God is finding ways to show God’s grace to me. God has a way of showing up in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected people.
Just the other day,  I returned home from a weekend at a youth gathering. In my mailbox, there was bills and other junk mail, but there was also a package wrapped in brown paper packaging that caught my eye. I set the mail down and put away my clothes etc. After opening all of my mail, I finally opened my package. It was a gift from my friend Susan that she got while she was attending Allume. The gift was a book titled “Beautiful Uncertainty: Singleness, Surrender, and Stepping Out on Faith” by Mandy Hale. The book actually is an advanced reader copy. I thought I was going to have to wait for the book to come out, but Susan thought of me and sent this book and sweet note in the inside cover.  Her words “I pray it speaks to your soul” are another gift of God’s grace in my life!
There are days in this single life of mine that my life is not so grace-filled at all! I question where God’s grace is in the midst of yearning and questioning if God will EVER answer the deepest desires of my heart or if I will have to surrender knowing that this is not the story God has in store for my life. I honestly don’t think God would give me these deep desires for so long if they weren’t going to be eventually answered in my life. 
The single life can be so lonely. The single life can be so full of waiting and wondering. The single life can be so full of uncertainty. Yet the single life, especially when it feels like it is not so grace-filled, is more grace-filled than I can ever imagine! God has a way of showing me God’s grace through one of the hardest seasons of my life. And knowing that, I trust and wait for the gift of grace in the midst of this season of singleness in my life. Yet there are days that is so much easier said than done. No amount of chocolate or peppermint ice cream will make up for God’s grace which is always and ever enough! 
Readers, don’t forget to register to win a $500 DaySpring shopping Spree. 
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Today I am linking up with some of my favorites: Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa Linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, and Holley and Coffee for Your Heart.

 
 

How Long, Oh Lord?

Are you lonely? Are you deeply longing for something?

My friends, I AM! I am longing deeply to be a wife and a mother. I am longing to not come home to an empty house. I am longing for God to answer the God-given desires of my heart. I am longing to hold a sweet little baby in my arms. I am longing for….
Sometimes I feel as if I am the only one longing, but as my friend KA reminded me in a blog comment, there are probably many others who are feeling the same way that I am. There are many of you out there longing for the exact same things I am. And there are others of you longing for other items in your life. KA suggested that I be brave and share this part of my story, so I am. Besides brave is my #oneword365 for 2015 so it seems a fitting place to share this part of my story. And I want you to know, my friends, that if you are longing and lonely, you are not alone. I see you and hear the cries of your heart too.

I am a 36 year old single woman. Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a mom. I remember sitting on the floor of our house playing “House” with my little sister. I would dress my cabbage patch dolls up in my very own infant clothes waiting for the day that I could dress my real life little one up in those exact same clothes. But those clothes still remain packed away in a storage room at my Dad’s house. 
“Oh how long, oh Lord, how long?”
And there are so many in this stage of my life who are announcing marriage and pregnancy announcements. I am truthfully happy for them. But there is a huge part of me that is sad, who continually aches for these things for myself. I want to put my hand on my pregnant belly and feel my child kick me.  I even crazily want to NOT get a full night’s sleep because my child is awake. (Remind me of that someday when I DO have children!)
“Oh how long, oh Lord, how long?”

But I also realize that God might not answer my desires that way. There are days that I wonder if adoption is the path for me. I know there are so many children in the US and the world who are in need of a family. To be honest, I would love to adopt, but fear is the wall that keeps being put up. I wonder how my family and friends will react. I am frightened for what it would be like to be a single mom working at a church. Yet I know that if being a mom is a God-given desire of my heart, God WILL indeed answer that call.

“Oh how long, Oh Lord, how long?”

If you are like me, my friends, you continually find yourself asking this very question: Oh Lord, how long? I am reminded of the words we hear in Psalm 13; verse one (NRSV) “How Long, Oh Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” I honestly don’t see God hiding his face from me, but I do wonder how long I will have to wait and if those desires will be answered. And I am sure there are others of you who feel the exact same way.

“Will you forget me forever?”

That question is one that continually is on repeat in my mind. I trust in God’s promises for God’s people. Yet it is hard to come home to an empty house and long for something so deeply without seeing that prayer and that desire answered. However I have seen so many other prayers answered. I have seen my friends struggling with fertility issues and then all of a sudden they are announcing a pregnancy announcement. I have seen adoptions completed. But I also have seen the struggles that come with motherhood as well. I have seen my cousin have to lay two children to rest. I have seen many others who have never even gotten to hold their babies. And in the midst of both the joys and the sorrows, God has a way of continually showing up and knowing what we need.

God is a God of promises. But when you continue to ask the question, “How Long, Oh Lord, there are days that is so easy to forget.

God has a funny sense of humor. This morning I was getting ready 
for work listening to my favorite  Pandora station when this song came on. 
These lyrics caught me this morning: “This is for all the single people, Thinkin’ life 
has left them dry. Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup. You’ll never know until you try.”
And I don’t remember EVER hearing this song before today! 

I am linking up with these lovely writers today: