A friend longs to meet someone special and settle down. Without a partner, she’s convinced she’s strange and unlovable. If she could just meet someone right – things would fall into place. She’d be validated and finally she’d fit.
Another measures her value against her weight. Since having a family, she can’t fit into her old clothes and she feels frumpy and unattractive. If I can just lose a few pounds she murmurs, I’ll get back my confidence. I won’t feel depressed.
‘Ladies’, I declare, topping up our rose. ‘Let it go. You’re perfect as you are. Having a partner won’t fix things and neither will changing your shape’. A pause as we meditate on the peanuts and my enormous wisdom.
‘What really matters is having a baby. If it doesn’t happen I’m not sure how to cope’.
If I get X, my life means something. Without it, I’m junk. Either things are ‘right’ and work out according to (my) perfect plans…or they’re ‘wrong’; because if I’m out of control then God must be too.
These desires aren’t necessarily wrong. There’s room in our faith for genuine, biblical grief; mourning over the good gifts we want but don’t have. But how do we feel the thing without being crushed by it? How do we affirm our desires without letting them control us?
There are no easy answers, but perhaps these are baby steps in the right direction…
be open to God saying ‘no’ and ‘not yet’ (even though I really, really want it)
be willing to consider life without these things – and take my grief to Him
remind myself of who He is. This is not a weird test or God taking a power nap. It’s my loving Father working out what will bless me most.
look for the ways in which Christ is present right now – in my singleness, in my unemployment, in my childlessness. Thank Him for these things.
seek out opportunities to serve and bless others from where I am, not from where I want to be.
stay open to hope by placing it in the one person who won’t disappoint.