Sunday, May 26, 2019

When my "Maybe Someday" Doesn't Happen and I'm Left Longing



When my first son was born, I was so ecstatic that it was a boy. My husband had his first-born-son, and with that desire of his fulfilled, I felt I could give in fully to my own desires for a girl. Each pregnancy as we would have our ultrasound and hear “It’s a boy!” that hope would dwindle just a little, but the hope was still there, nonetheless.

Through the past ten years of having only boys, I would come across pictures of little girls or moms with their daughters, and my own longings would rise of desiring to share in that kind of legacy myself. Most times, I would sigh and console myself with the thoughts of “Maybe Someday!”

Several weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed when I came across a little girl dressed in a sparkly blue princess dress who was just about to curtsy. That familiar ache rose into my chest, I immediately thought “Maybe Someday” and continued to scroll. Then I realized what I had just done, and my heart dropped as I reminded myself that it won’t be that "Maybe Someday" anymore. That season is over. We have six sons. This is God’s best for us, and there’s no more looking to the future of “someday” that my heart’s desire will be fulfilled.

I paused and pondered the ways I had consoled myself each time those longings surfaced. And I realized that my “Maybe Someday” thought was my heart grasping at the illusion of having a daughter as my ultimate fulfillment – my heaven on earth. Really, when I looked deeper into those dark corners and exposed my hopes for what they were, I saw the truth. I had been worshiping an idea of future perfection. I had been setting my sights on an ideal that may happen in the days to come and expecting that the fulfillment would bring me perfect joy, delight, and happiness.

I’ve found myself here before – worship, such an easy thing to misplace – idolatry, popping up in my life again. In my focus on my “Maybe Someday,” I was disregarding the one thing (Person) who is the very fulfillment of that piece of my heart that is missing. Jesus gives me himself – wholly and freely. Having a daughter could never fill that void.

In the past, it was my desire for a husband – then life would be perfect.

If I had a child – then I would feel whole.

If we owned our own home – then I could feel like I could rest.

If only I didn’t have to work and could stay at home – then I could find my identity.

If I could just lose those pounds – then I would feel confident.

But each time, when the desire was fulfilled, I still found myself longing for the next best thing. And in the moments that my “Maybe Someday” didn’t come to pass, I felt jaded, depressed, and overlooked.

My friends, our hearts were made for eternity. We were fashioned with a longing, a longing that cannot be fulfilled in completeness this side of heaven. We desire beauty, peace, rest, comfort, perfect love, and so much more. But these things, these gifts that we have been privileged to experience on this tangible earth that we walk are only an imitation at best of what our heart desperately needs. And Christ as the giver has provided that in himself, in the giving of his Holy Spirit to walk with us. Each time we settle for anything less, we are like the children C.S. Lewis talks about who settle for playing with mud pies when they have been offered and ocean vacation (TheWeight of Glory).

Maybe your desires aren’t like mine. Your “Maybe Someday” might be about escaping from a painful relationship, finding financial stability, desiring healing for a loved one, finding a close friend, seeing that child turn back to the faith, or God easing your own physical pain. None of these desires are wrong in and of themselves. It’s when we allow our hearts to idolize our “Maybe Someday” and expect that result to bring about our salvation or ultimate joy that we step over the line.

Jesus is here, longing to bless us far more abundantly than we could ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). Your “Maybe Someday” may be fulfilled, and God may choose to gift you with a taste of himself in that way, but please don’t worship that gift. Glorify the giver!

Or like me, you may sit with empty hands and a “Maybe Someday” that will never be. Don’t let that pull your heart away from the only one who can fill it! We must realize that what our hearts long to experience maybe someday is not something we can find this side of eternity. Anything less than Jesus Christ, himself will leave us longing for more and cause us to idolize that for which we long.

Jesus offers himself. He is our perfect peace – even when life is not perfect. He gives us grace to do what is right – even when it is the last things we want to do. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. And when I am left with longings unfulfilled, he shows me that he is more than enough. 

2 comments:

  1. Hannah, I struggled through this years ago--first with singleness, and then when my dream of adopting a little Ethiopian girl whose life I had saved was shattered with the knowledge that I couldn't be a single mom and remain on the field. I felt like I was making the same sacrifice of Abraham with Isaac, only there was no ram in the thicket to save my dream. Honestly, that hurt doesn't entirely ever go away. I have learned that "No" is sometimes the answer, and while I may not understand the reason for the "No" I must trust that my Father has my best interest at heart. Hang in there, friend. You are a lot further along in your spiritual understanding of contentment than I was at your age!

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    1. Nancy, thanks for your encouragement! I can imagine how hard it was to experience the loss of that dream. My heart hurts with you. Thanks for sharing. One day, I'm sure you will meet so many women whom you have "mothered" in one way or another in the many places you've served! Blessings on you!

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