Friday, July 14, 2017

Staying Close to Jesus Through a Busy Season

How to Have Quiet Time When You're Busy

Anyone else having a busy summer?!? I am not usually the busy type. Without any kids, a three day a week job and a husband who works all of the time, I usually have plenty of free time. I know, you're rolling your eyes at me right now, but it's true! 

Lately though, with remodeling a house, keeping up with this blog, vacations, work and regular household responsibilities, I have been a little overwhelmed. The one area of my life that has really taken a hit is my personal time with God and I'm starting to feel the effects. I've been more anxious, easily stressed and just plain moody.

Jesus promises rest to those of us who are weary (Matthew 11:28), but we have to make time for Him in order to receive it.  

So if you've found yourself in the middle of a busy season too, keep reading for some practical ways to stay close to Jesus when life gets chaotic. 

Play worship music

I love worship music. It gets my focus off of my circumstances and back on Jesus. Download some Christian music onto your phone or find a good Pandora station and whenever you would normally flip on the radio, listen to worship music instead. It will bring a positive energy to your day. 

As you listen really focus on what the songs are saying and offer up the words to God in prayer and praise. 

Some of my favorites are Elevation Worship, Kari Jobe, Hillsong, Bethel Music, Lauren Daigle and All Sons and Daughters. 

Listen to Podcasts

There are a lot of great podcasts out there. You can find sermons from well known pastors and messages from Christian speakers and authors. Most churches offer their sermons online as well. 

Always have some earbuds handy and listen while you're in the car, mowing the grass, laying by the pool, waiting for an appointment, cleaning the house etc. 

Podcasts are also a great option for when you're out of town and have to miss church. 

If you need a good place to start, you can my find my churches sermons here

Keep an Open Dialogue 

Prayer doesn't have to be done in a certain place, on your knees with your eyes closed. Instead, try talking to God all day long. Change the monologue in your head to a dialogue with God. 

As you fold laundry thank Him for providing you and your family. As you pay bills, thank Him for blessing you financially. Pray for those less fortunate as you recognize just how blessed you are. When you think of a prayer need don't wait until the perfect time to pray, pray right then. 

I think sometimes we obsess so much over the details of when, where and how we should pray that we end up not praying at all. God just wants us to talk to Him. The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I think that simply means that we should always keep an open line of communication with God. 

Utilize your Drive Time

I do some of my best praying in the car. It's the one place that I feel like I'm completely alone and there are minimal distractions. It's just me and Jesus and since most cars have Bluetooth capability people don't think twice (I hope) when they see me talking to myself! 

On those days that you just can't seem to find any extra time, use your time in the car as your quiet time. Pray, listen to a podcast or crank up the worship music.

Be Flexible

I like to spend time with Jesus first thing in the morning. I believe it's the best time because it sets my day off on the right track from the very beginning. But there are so many days lately that I have so much to do that I simply cannot focus first thing in the morning.

Be open to trying out a new time of day. Just because you didn't have your quiet time in the morning doesn't mean you can't do it another time. Maybe you could focus better at night when your day is done, try it out. During your lunch break do a quick devotional or read a few verses instead of scrolling through social media. Quiet time at an odd hour is better than no quiet time at all. 

Maybe you're used to sitting down and reading multiple chapters of the Bible at a time, really studying them as you go. Give yourself grace in this season to do a little less. It's much better than not doing anything. Try out the First 5 app or use the YouVersion Bible app to find a short reading plan.

If you're like me and when you sit down to have some quiet time all you can think about is what else you need to be doing, keep a piece of paper close by and jot down your to do list before you get started. That may help clear your mind so you can focus. 

I believe that the key to staying close to Jesus during a busy season of life is to weave Him in to every aspect of your day. I hope these tips help you to do just that. 

If there are some other things that have helped you, leave them in the comments. I would love to hear them!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Unexpected Lessons in Ministry

Lessons in Ministry

Are you exhausted from constantly striving to do good? Do you feel like you've been obedient to God's call on your life, but are discouraged because you aren't seeing any fruit? Have you been praying and praying for a loved one with no answer and no change in their behavior? Maybe you've been asking "what's the point in all of this?"

I have to admit that's how I sometimes feel about this writing thing. I love it and I know that God planned for me to do this and the words that I write are directly from Him, but sometimes it's a lonely journey. Recently, though, I received a gift that has really challenged my perspective. 

John Farmer was a man who I never had the pleasure of meeting, but I feel as if I know him. You see, he was a writer too and his son blessed me with a collection of his words. His writing is genuine and simple, but so powerful. Without having known him at all, I can tell you that he loved God, he loved his family, he loved others and he loved to make people laugh. As I read through his book, I found myself both laughing out loud and inspired to love and appreciate others more. 

What was most surprising about receiving a copy of John's book and hearing his story and the story of his family is what I learned about ministry.

God uses even the smallest of ministries

John Farmer is not a household name. You won't find multiple books written by him on the shelves of bookstores. There aren't any interviews featuring him on Youtube. Even still, his work is meaningful and it's finding its way to the people God intended it for.

In the midst of ministry and our Christian walk, it's easy to obsess over the numbers. The number of people we lead to Christ, the number of good deeds we do, the number of dollars we give, the number of followers we have. We can become so focused on measuring our success by these numbers that we forget what we set out to do in the first place.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't strive to reach as many people as possible, but the Bible tells us that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. The pressure to reach millions is unnecessary pressure. If 100, 50 or even just 1 person is all we ever reach, Heaven is expanded and God rejoices. 

I love the quote from Mother Teresa that says, "if you want to change the world, go home and love your family." 

Sometimes the people that God has planned for us to minister to are the people who are right in front of us.

It's obvious through his writing that John's family was incredibly important to him. His faith inspired his son, who inspired me and I hope this message inspires you. The living out of our faith has a domino effect. Never underestimate the impact you make by simply loving the small number of people God has entrusted you with.

God's timing is not our timing

As we serve God and use our talents to further His kingdom, our tendency is to want to see the fruit of our efforts immediately. Sometimes we do, but most of the time we don't.

 "What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
I love verse 11, "people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." 

I'm reminded of Ruth whose faith and loyalty earned her a place in the genealogy of Jesus, though she never met Him on this side of Heaven. And Moses who never actually stepped into the promise land, but through his obedience to God played a major role in leading the people of Israel there. 

Sometimes our reward is what we leave behind. 

In the front cover of John's book he wrote:
 "Never miss an opportunity to be a positive influence on young people with your proper actions, sincere pats on the back and words of encouragement."

He left a mission for all who read his book and it's being fulfilled even now by his son as he shares his father's encouraging words with others. 

There will be times when the fruit of our efforts comes days, months even years later and there will be things that we do in this life that we never see the results of, but God promises a harvest in due time if we do not give up. Just know that due time rarely comes on our time.

His ways are not our ways
I'm sure that he had many hopes for his writing, but I don't believe "Big John" knew the legacy his words would leave.

He didn't know that a student from his substitute teaching days would become a pastor, move to this small town and start a church. 

He didn't know that his son would become a doctor, move to that same small town and be baptized by that same pastor.

He certainly didn't know that I, a nurse who works with his son, would attend that same church and end up with his book in my hands. 

But God knew all along and that's what I love about Him. He knows every detail. Where we'll live, who we'll meet, our careers, our dreams, our fears, our failures. He knows it all and he weaves it all together in His perfect plan to bring us all a little closer to Him.  

 So if you're feeling weary in whatever it is that God has called you to do, I want to leave you with a little prayer of encouragement from John himself:

God, I hope that as I write, my pen you'll move along and give me the proper choice of words to make for the heavyhearted, a song.
Yes, please help me mix enough mischief in to lift the downhearted with a lurch,
but please help me mix a message in to reach those out of reach of church.
For not everyone uses a family pew; some sit on an old bar stool.
So please guide my pen as I write to tell them of the Golden Rule.
And certainly while I'm doing this I also inspire,
for those who are already lifted up, to lift up a little higher. 
And for those who have deafened their ears and don't try to listen,
please help me to live a shining example, that in their eyes will glisten.
Not an example of spit and polish or of ceremony fire,
but one of brotherly and sisterly love and concern for all mankind.
And God please help me to live each day so that when my final lines are writ,
Saint Peter won't look up and say,
"Hell! Here comes another hypocrite!"
-John G. Farmer

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Make Some Room!

Make some room for God to move in your life.

There's a song that our worship band does called "We wait for you (Shekinah Glory)" and it is the most amazing worship song. If you've never heard it, go look it up!

The song opens with the lyrics: "we wait for you to walk in the room." I've always thought of that line in a very literal sense: "God, come into the room. We're ready to worship you." But, as we sang it last Sunday, I heard something very different. 

God doesn't just want to come into the physical rooms of our lives. God wants us to make room for Him in every aspect of our lives.

Imagine a room so crowded with people you can hardly get from one side to the other. I was in a room like that recently. People were constantly bumping into each other. Everything moved very slowly. You couldn't hear what the person next to you was saying and if you walked away from the person you were with it was extremely hard to find them again.

I believe that sometimes the situations in our lives get just like that. Our minds get crowded with our worries, our fears and the advice of others until that's all we can hear. We struggle to shift our focus from our own plans and ideas for our lives. Our many unnecessary responsibilities keep us busy and steal our time. Our unbelief puts a limit on God's power. 

We wonder where God is, but even if He tried to come in we wouldn't notice Him.

If there is a situation in your life that God doesn't seem to be working on my question to you is: have you made room for Him to work on it? God can't move if He doesn't have any space.

The word shekinah comes from the Hebrew word shekinot which means to "settle in" or "dwell in." Whatever area of your life that God seems absent in, clear a space for Him to dwell in so that you can experience the fullness of His presence. That may mean freeing up some time to spend in God's word and prayer. It might mean surrendering your plans for your life so God can show you His plan. Maybe it means taking a leap of faith that doesn't make sense to you yet. Whatever it is, allow Him to settle in that free space today and do what only He can do.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What A Ghost Crab Taught Me About Jesus

What a Ghost Crab Taught Me About Jesus

Am I the only one who still loves to hunt for ghost crabs on the beach at night?

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, ghost crabs (also known as sand crabs) are sand colored crabs that spend their days hiding from predators in the sand. At night, when it's safer, they come out and roam the beach looking for food. 

If you shine your flashlight on the sand you will see them running all over the beach. It's a lot of fun to look for them and chase them down. 

Recently, my husband and I did this and as our lights revealed all of the crabs hidden in the dark, the Holy Spirit revealed some things to me that I want to share with you.

God is always there, you just have to look

My husband and I were walking in the dark for a long time before we turned on our flashlights to look for crabs. When I shined my light on the sand for the first time, there was a crab right beside us. In fact, there were crabs all over the beach and what I realized was they were there the entire time. 

How many of us are wandering in the darkness, wondering when God is going to show up and change our circumstances? God is just like those crabs. Whether you're searching for Him, acknowledging His presence or not, He's there. 

In Jeremiah 23:24, God says "can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?" Even if we don't choose to look for Him, even if we choose to stay stuck in the darkness instead of stepping into His light, He is there. He is in all places at all times. He's just waiting for us to call on Him.

If you've been feeling distant from God, know that He is not far away. He hasn't abandoned you. He is standing at the door of your heart, knocking, waiting for you to allow Him in. He promises that if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him.

How many of us are wandering in the darkness, wondering when God is going to show up and change our circumstances? Whether you're searching for Him, acknowledging His presence or not, He's there.

God is available to everyone

That night the ghost crabs surrounded everyone, not just those of us with flashlights. In the same way, God's presence isn't limited to certain people. You don't have to be super spiritual, have grown up in church, know the Bible front to back or live a sinless life to experience the love of God. 

His Word says everyone who calls on His name shall be saved. That includes the lost, the broken, the rich, the poor, those stuck in sin. Everyone. He requires nothing from you, just that you identify your need for Him and accept Him as your savior.

So many people believe that they can't follow Jesus until they clean up their lives. The truth is we can't truly clean up our lives until we follow Jesus. He didn't come for the righteous, but for the sinners.

When we know Jesus we see things differently

Having a flashlight made it easier to see the crabs just like knowing Jesus changes the way we see the world. When we become followers of Jesus, He changes our thinking. Our reactions, our words, our perspective and our goals all change to glorify God. 

"Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:23-24

A friend recently reminded me that when we know who we belong to we are able to handle tough situations with more grace. We are able to serve others selflessly and not sweat the small stuff because we know that our true reward is waiting for us in Heaven.

Following Jesus gives us a hope, peace and joy that completely changes our outlook on life.  

If find yourself wandering in the darkness without a source of light, consumed by the lie that Jesus could never accept someone like you, I pray that you would simply call on His name. He is there, waiting to change your life from the inside out.

Friday, June 2, 2017

7 Bible Verses for a Soul that Longs for Peace

Bible Verses for Peace

Everywhere I look I see people who are living in the absence of peace. People who are in a constant state of busyness, people who are in an unnecessary rush, overwhelmed by their to-do lists, people who are frustrated by their circumstances and more. God doesn't call us to live this way though. In fact, He is called Jehovah-Shalom, which means "the Lord is peace." 

The word shalom translates to more than just peace, however. According to Strong's Concordance, it means wholeness and completeness. This tells me that when we allow the peace of God to take over our lives we not only experience peace, but the fullness that He intended for us. 

Below you will find seven verses that I pray will bring peace to whatever situation you may be facing. 

1. "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." 
Isaiah 26:3

2. "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
Romans 8:6 

These first two verses are key! Peace has so much to do with the things that we allow to control our minds. Galatians 5:22 (bonus verse!) tells us that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness" so we can be confident that if we set our minds on the Spirit good things will come.

3. "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
Deuteronomy 31:8

It's so comforting to be reminded that God has already walked through your future. Every failure, every success, every disappointment and every celebration. He's already seen it and He's already worked it for your good.

  4. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

I believe that prayer aligns our hearts with God's will and it's when we are aligned with His will that we experience true peace.

5. "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

When we recognize that Jesus has already conquered everything, we are equipped to handle anything.

7 Bible Verses for Peace

6. "Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you. When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1-2

7. "Be still and know that I am God." 
Psalm 46:10

In times of worry and stress, stop and remind yourself of who God is. He is all knowing, ever present and all powerful. He is in control. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Nothing is too hard for Him.

So you have some verses to remind you that God is our greatest source of peace, now what do you do with them? 

  • Memorize them. Memorizing scripture saturates our minds with the truth. When our minds are saturated with truth, it's easier for us to recall God's promises when we need them most.
  • Pray them. So often we don't even know what to pray. When you're at a loss for words, pray God's promises back to Him. For example, "God, your word says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Please help me to allow the Spirit to take over this situation and align my thinking with yours."
  • Put them where you can see them. Print or write out verses that encourage you and place them somewhere you will see them often (desk, bathroom mirror, car etc). I like to set Bible verses as the lock screen on my phone so every time I pick up my phone I see them.

I don't know what's stealing your peace today, but I want you to be encouraged that God is there, willing and ready, to reclaim it for you. I pray that these verses would be a source of comfort you and that they would not only bring an abundance of peace, but also an increased faith in Jesus.

"May the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 15:13

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Day We Missed the Miracle

God is still in the miracle performing business. If you haven't experienced one, my question to you is: have you looked up lately?

Last week I witnessed a miracle and I didn't even realize it. 

If you didn't already know, I'm a nurse at the hospital on a cardiac step down unit. Our patients can crash at any minute and we're trained to handle that should it happen, but on any given day things go the way they are supposed to and all crises are avoided. However, last week, during a single shift, we almost lost three of our patients. 

On days like that you get extremely behind on your work. You most likely either miss lunch or stuff your face with the unhealthiest of meals in 5 minutes flat. You're overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted. You wonder why you even became a nurse.

So on that particular day, I was all of the above. Overwhelmed, hangry, exhausted and questioning my career choice. I called my husband on the way home (at least an hour and a half late) to complain about how terrible my day was.

As I reflected on the day when I got home, I realized that my perspective was all wrong. 
Yes, it was awful. Yes, we were all at work way past our usual time playing catch up. No, none of us got a proper break. Yes, three people almost died, but glory to God three people LIVED! Three lives were saved and I'm close to tears as I write this because I'm just realizing what I experienced. How could I not see the miracle that happened right in front of me, the miracle that I got to be a part of?

In Mark 6, we see Jesus' disciples experiencing something similar. The disciples are on their boat heading to Bethsaida. They are in the middle of a storm and having a terrible time crossing the sea. Jesus sees that His friends are struggling so He walks out onto the water to help them. When the disciples see Him walking on the water, they are frightened and think that He is a ghost. It seems like a legit reaction, but here's the thing, the disciples had just witnessed Jesus turn five loaves of bread and two fish into a meal for 5000 +! You would think they would have realized who Jesus was and what He was capable of. But the bible says that the disciples had not yet understood what Jesus did with the fish and loaves and their hearts were hardened. 
If you go back and read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000, you'll see that the Bible doesn't tell us the disciples' reaction to the experience. I think that maybe their reaction wasn't what it should have been. 12 people feeding 5000 sounds like a lot of work so I can imagine that they were busy. I'm sure they were exhausted. They were probably starving and maybe just a little aggravated because they would have beat the storm had they not been there so late. 

I think that just like my coworkers and I, the disciples were still surprised by Jesus because they actually missed the miracle He performed that day. Sure, they knew what Jesus had done. They were there; they helped him. My coworkers and I knew that three lives were saved, but instead of experiencing the miracle, we were focused on what the miracle was costing us. 

How often do we miss the amazing things God is doing both around us and through us because our perspectives are all wrong?  We allow our emotions to cloud our circumstances until we can't even see what's right in front of us.

My pastor always says "the servants see the miracles" and I believe that, I really do, but I think sometimes we servants forget to look up. In the midst of all of our serving and busyness we get on sort of an autopilot mode. We pray, we serve, we give. God provides. We check it off the list and move on, never stopping to appreciate His power. My call to my husband that night should have been one of celebration, but my focus was on all the wrong things. So instead, I complained when I should have been rejoicing.

Last week three people could have died, but they didn't.

God is still in the miracle performing business. If you haven't witnessed one, my question to you is: have you looked up lately? It may have just passed you by.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

To the Childless Woman on Mother's Day

To the Childless Woman on Mother's Day

 I'm writing you this letter today because I know that this week of celebration may be sparking some sadness in you. There are commercials on TV and the radio, cards, flowers and balloons in every store reminding you of what you already know: Mother's Day is coming up and you still are not a mom. While most every holiday magnifies the fact that you don't have children of your own, none stings quite as badly as this one. 

I don't know why this Mother's Day finds you childless. 

Maybe you're still single even though you always thought you'd be married with at least a couple of kids by now.

Maybe you are married, but your husband isn't ready for a baby.

Maybe you've been trying to get pregnant for what seems like an eternity. 

Maybe you're recovering from a miscarriage or mourning the devastating loss of a little one.

Maybe you've been given the heartbreaking news that you'll never have children of your own. 

Maybe you're impatiently waiting for a phone call that there's a child waiting for you to adopt or foster. 

Maybe you're a stepmom who never feels like you're good enough.

Maybe you don't want children at all, but you struggle with feeling like less of a woman because society tells you that motherhood is your primary purpose in life. 

Maybe you've lost all hope.

I know I could never begin to understand the pain of your circumstances, but whatever your situation, I know you're hurting while everyone else is celebrating. 

I know that you force yourself to put on a brave face even though you're dying inside. When people ask you when you're going to start a family or what you're waiting on you answer with grace although you can't stand everyone's invasive questions. I know that you lie to cover up your pain when you tell people you enjoy your freedom and your quiet, "easy" life. I know you feel like everyone is talking about you. You bet they're wondering if you're struggling with infertility or if your marriage is falling apart. 

I know what it feels like for your heart to ache as you hold someone else's baby and I know how it feels to be numb, not even wanting to be around babies anymore. I know that you sometimes roll your eyes when you see another pregnancy announcement on Facebook. I know you feel guilty for you lack of excitement for others. I know that you feel left out and like you don't fit in with your friends anymore. They seem to walk on egg shells around you as to not hurt your feelings.

I know about your Pinterest board; the one filled with nursery designs and pictures of irresistibly cute babies. I have one too. I know that sometimes you sneak over to the baby section at Target, imagining what it would be like to be shopping for your own baby while deep down feeling like you've lost your mind. 

I know that you're hurting. I know you feel empty. Lonely. Impatient. You feel hopeless. I know that sometimes you even feel angry. You ask God "why me?" But Jesus wanted me to tell you something this Mother's Day. 

He wanted me to tell you that childlessness does not define you.

Jesus wants you to know that your identity is not found in your circumstances; your identity is found in Him. You are not broken, unworthy, inadequate or less of a woman because you don't have or can't have children. The truth is, nothing in this world can dictate who we are. The only One who decides our identity is the One who created us. And the One who created you says:

You are loved

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17

You are chosen and you are God's special possession 

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6

You are God's masterpiece 

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

You are valuable

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

"What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor." Psalm 8:5

You are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own." 1 Corinthians 6:19

You are worth dying for

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

You are redeemed

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Ephesians 1:7

You know what I realize when I read those statements about my identity in Christ? I see that God's love and His favor over my life do not require anything from me except that I believe and receive them. His promises don't say "once you are married, then you'll be redeemed" or "when you become a mom, then you'll be valuable to me." He takes us just as we are and He uses our pain for our good and His glory. 

I hope that your future is full of tiny fingers and toes, little league games and carpool lines, but until then I hope you will allow God to replace your sorrow with joy, your hopelessness with faith and your emptiness with the fullness of His love. I pray that you would come to know that your identity in Christ is unchanging and unconditional. Rest in that this Mother's Day. 

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 
Psalm 34:18