February 6, 2018

My Deepest Unfulfilled Longing

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 6, 2018

By Shana Schutte

Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. Jonah 2:8

In my early forties when marriage was still eluding me and I heard the loud ticking of my biological clock, my heart ached for a child. I have always wanted to be a mom, but the reality that my child-bearing years were ending hit me hard, laying me waste with the grief of unfulfilled longing.

One evening, I went to church and sat at the back and wept. I was wounded and angry. “God, I want you to turn back the clock! I want you to change my life! Why does this have to be my story!?”

I thought of other unmarried women I knew who intentionally became pregnant so they could become mothers. They went outside God’s plan but held the children of their dreams while my arms were empty. I knew my feelings weren’t right, but I couldn’t help but feel that doing life God’s way seemed futile. It’s not that I would have ever turned my back on Him, but I wondered why I didn’t get what I wanted when others who didn’t know Him, did.

One day, I wrote honest, raw words in my journal about my longings. Through my reflection, the Lord gave me clear perspective, drew me close to Himself, and renewed my trust in Him.

May 21, 2009

Every now and then, my faith is washed away in a torrential downpour of longing. In this stormy ache, everything I have learned about you, who you are, remembrance of what you have done in my life, and the truth of your love for me is washed away in a flood of desire for satisfaction—for something or someone that promises to put an end to my longing. In these moments, when I have forgotten you, when I don’t believe you are enough, I am most vulnerable to compromising what I believe, of laying you on the altar and killing my relationship with you for my own dreams, hopes, and desires I believe will satisfy.

Dreams, hopes, and desires such as love, intimacy, romance, children, sex, comfort, companionship, and significance. When these things dominate me, and I feel that I must have them to save me, it’s because I doubt that you are enough.

Doubting you, doubting your love, the doubt beckons me to trade you for an idol, a lesser love. But if I let you go, what do I have? Like the Psalmist, I ask, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” Who in all of earth, all of my city, all of my home, and all of my bed at night? Whom have I but you? No one. No one compares.

No, I will not kill my relationship with you by exchanging you for an idol, a lesser love, for my greatest love is you. I will not trade you in for temporary satisfaction. You last forever. Idols and lesser loves do not.

Are you trusting God today with your greatest desires and deepest unfulfilled longings? Or, are you chasing after lesser loves to get your desires fulfilled? Turn to Him today and let Him comfort your longing heart.

 

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you are enough. When my desires aren’t fulfilled, help me turn to you in my greatest times of longing and trust you. You are trustworthy because you love me; you loved me even enough to die for me. And, even though things don’t always make sense this side of heaven, I know you will make it all plain when I come home. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Application

Write the Lord a letter today confessing your unfulfilled longing and allow Him to minister to you.

Related Reading

Exodus 20:3-6, 1 John 5:21; Colossians 3:5

Post/Tweet today

When our desires go unfulfilled, Jesus is enough. #WisdomHunters #UnfulfilledLongings

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Comments

  1. Kirk says:

    Thank you once again Shana, for your Godly insight. I will pray that God will continue to allow you to speak through him to others.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Kirk,
      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words for Shana. Most importantly, thank you, too, for your prayer that God will continue to speak to her as she writes the devotionals. To have someone praying for you is such a priceless gift. Thank you, Kirk.
      Please know that I have emailed your comments to Shana.
      We are grateful for you, Kirk, and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      Believing and trusting,
      Gwynne
      “Devote yourselves in prayer. being watchful and thankful. And pray for us,too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
      Colossians 4:2-4

  2. Kathy Price says:

    Shana,

    Your devotionals are absolutely the BEST! And, today’s was hit out of the ballpark. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and even down to your most personal feelings. You are blessed and you share that with us.

    Keep the Faith,

    Kathy

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Kathy,
      Thank you for reaching out to us with your enthusiastic words for Shana. We are thankful that you are so blessed by her devotionals and we give all the glory to God! She is able to touch our hearts with her words (God’s words). It never ceases to amaze me that God puts the words in front of us at the time we need them the most. Thank you Father.
      Please know that I have emailed Shana your kind words.
      We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      May God bless you and yours in this new year.
      Gwynne
      “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
      Hebrews 10:25

  3. Laurie Langley says:

    Shana,

    The way you lay open your heart and soul to us, touches your readers deeply and challenges us to grow to deeper places with Jesus. You are an inspiration, a mentor and a sister in Christ to us out here. Thank you for taking the risk to show your deepest thoughts and feelings and how Jesus has seen you through. It challenges me to in the areas of pain and disappointment that attack my faith and trust in Him, my best friend.

  4. Saprana says:

    So many times your devotional comes to me and slams into my heart in just the right place and at the right time. I am married…ten years now and have been labeled/diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” which over the years seemed “unexplainable” to me. Yet, like you God has given me the revelation that my greatest treasure is found in him…only him; having a relationship in Him. To love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; seek the giver not the gift. I can identify so much with you! I guess God gave you your experience to share “for such a time as this” journey in my life. I thank God for you!!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Saprana,
      Thank you, thank you, thank you for your precious words of trust and surrender to our Heavenly Father during this time of “unexplained infertility”. Your words along with Shana’s words in “My Deepest Unfulfilled Longing” are powerful reminders of trusting our Father in the midst of uncertainty and sadness. Both of you truly “walk the walk” of love and belief!
      When you wrote “God has given me the revelation that my greatest treasure is found in him…only him; having a relationship in Him. To love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength; seek the giver not the gift”, you “shined your light (HIS Light) for others to see!!! Thank you, Saprana.
      I cannot help but think there are many others in our Wisdom Hunter’s family that need to see your words, as well as Shana’s words, whether they are dealing with infertility, sickness, singleness, or grief of another kind.
      At the end of “My Deepest Unfulfilled Longing”, Shana writes in her prayer, “And even though things don’t always make sense this side of heaven, I know You will make it plain, when I come home.” Amen and Amen.
      Please know that I emailed your response to Shana and I just know that it will mean a lot to her.
      We are so thankful for you, Saprana, and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Seeking the giver and not the gift,
      Gwynne

      “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
      I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
      Psalm 91: 1-2

      “I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all of my heart; I will glorift your name forever.
      For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”
      Psalm 86: 12-13

  5. A says:

    I hope this isn’t from bitterness but I waited years for a desire for a certain type of life and it never came. Now I’m in my forties and a cancer diagnosis children are not likely tho not impossible. I have learned a husband won’t fix any of my problems and may add a few. I had no choice but to long for something else. All the “good stuff “ of life just wasn’t gonna happen for me but suffering was I still had to find a way to be content. Now if I never get married it doesn’t matter bc every need I have He will have to meet

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear “A”,
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments. I am sure those words were not easy to write and we appreciate your honesty. Whenever I read a response like yours, I am always thankful that you spoke up. I feel there are many others in the Wisdom Hunter’s family that have similar feelings (similar hurts) and you are able to articulate your feelings and perhaps, theirs, too. So, thank you.
      I am sorry about your cancer diagnosis and pray that you are on the road to recovery.
      Shana’s “My Deepest Unfulfilled Longing” stoke a chord with many of our readers. I am always amazed and thankful for God puts the words HE wants us to read, in HIS perfect time, right in front of us. HE reminds us just how much HE truly loves us.
      Thank you again, dear friend, for taking the time to reach out to us. I know that was not easy.
      I am so very thankful that HE is “our Enough”.
      I loved how Shana ended her devotional with the prayer: “…And even though things don’t always make sense this side of heaven, I know you will make it all plain when I come home. Thank you Jesus. Amen”. so true…
      We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “So do not fear, for I am with you;
      do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you and help you;
      I will uphold you you with my righteous right hand.”
      Isaiah 41:10


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