Have you ever wanted something so bad in life that you weren’t sure you could ever be happy without it? I have. And it was one of the hardest seasons of my life. I shared about that struggle a while back in a blog posts called: When God Doesn’t Give You What You Desperately Want.
I shared about my journey from being single to getting married, and then to eventually struggling through infertility and two heartbreaking miscarriages.
The one thing I so desperately wanted was to have kids, and it was the one thing God wasn’t giving me. Over the next few years God did some serious refining work in my heart.
Slowly but surely, I learned to surrender my will to His, and to trust that His ways were better than mine.
To this day, God still hasn’t given Zack and me children, but He has shown us, in a powerful way, that He is enough. However, the journey of learning isn’t over. I haven’t arrived at that perfect place and I still have days where I struggle and have to actively choose to surrender my desires to God.
In fact, just when I thought I was in a really good place, this past year has brought some new and unexpected challenges my way.
It was one thing to surrender something I desperately wanted to God…but it was another thing entirely to praise God for giving other people the very blessings I desperately desired.
Right when I thought I was on solid ground in my trust of God, the floodgates opened. Within a matter of weeks, I heard more pregnancy announcements than I had in years. From several family members, to close friends, to acquaintances.
Everyone seemed to be getting pregnant.
This reality brought new challenges in my trust of God in ways I never anticipated.
Not only did I have to trust God in His plan for me, I had to trust Him when He gave other people what I desperately wanted.
Have you ever been in that type of situation? Everyone around you seems to be getting the very thing you desperately want and pray for, but God isn’t giving it to you?
It’s hard. Really hard. I know.
When we’re squeezed in such a personal and heartbreaking way, our response to God is a direct reflection of the state of our heart.
We can choose to respond in one of two ways:
- Genuinely celebrate God’s gift to that person.
- Cry, complain, and question why God isn’t giving that to us.
Which way do you typically respond?
I’ll be honest and say that I have definitely responded like #2 many times. It may seem normal to us to respond that way, but sadly, it shows our complete lack of trust in God.
Here’s what’s going on in our hearts when we feel like we can’t celebrate with someone else:
Most people think jealousy is the main issue here, but it’s actually a heart of pride. When we can’t celebrate with someone else, we’re ultimately saying, “God, you don’t know what you’re doing! If I were in charge, I would never have done it that way.”
When we can’t celebrate, we aren’t embracing God’s plan for that person or for ourselves. We’re pridefully saying that we know better than God and that He should conform to our desires. Our prideful hearts are detestable in God’s eyes. Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord.”
Idols aren’t just stone statues from ancient days, they’re anything we elevate above our love for God. When we want something so badly that it hinders our ability to celebrate with others, we have clearly made an idol out of it. When we long for something more than we long for God, we believe the lie that God isn’t enough to satisfy us. We think, “if only I had ______, then I would be truly happy!”
Until we crush our idols and learn to find total satisfaction in God alone, we will never be able to genuinely celebrate with others when they get what we desperately want. Psalm 16:8-9 says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.”
A lot of us would say, “my identity is in Christ alone,” however, not all of us truly live out that belief. When we refuse to celebrate with others who get what we want, that is a clear sign that we are not finding our identity in Christ.
We are basing our identity in getting that thing. We don’t feel complete without it. We don’t think happiness could exist outside of it. We don’t think our purpose is fulfilled without it. Those are all lies and signs of a misplaced identity.
When we fully embrace our identity as children of God, we will be content with the mission God has given us without any strings attached. We will view our lives from a Biblical lens and realize that we are “set apart” children for God’s work, and our lives are about glorifying Him.
Matthew 6:33a reminds us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” But first…that’s our mission. We don’t need anything else to be complete. God will take care of the rest and give us exactly what we need (not want).
I’ll be the first to say I don’t live my life perfectly in these areas.
However, over this past year, God has worked and re-worked my heart to trust Him in deeper ways than ever before. I had learned the value of actively training my mind and heart to think Biblically.
Instead of giving in to my wild emotions, I have had to redirect my thoughts to meditate on truth (almost daily). And you know what? It has made ALL the difference in my life. It has transformed my heart to be able to genuinely celebrate with everyone who announces another pregnancy. Instead of pouting, I praise God for another life and for the blessing of children.
If you’re struggling to celebrate with others who get what you so desperately want, I want to challenge you to actively retrain your heart to think Biblically as well.
Here a few great places to start:
- Remind yourself of what your purpose is as a Christian (Matt. 28:18-20).
- Trust that God is good no matter what (Psalm 107:1).
- Embrace a life of surrender (Luke 9:23).
- Remember that trials can draw you closer to God (James 1:2-4).
- God’s plan for your life is tailor made for you (Proverbs 16:9).
What do you need to surrender to God today? What have you been holding onto so tightly that you tend to elevate it above God? What is God asking you to trust Him with today?
For more on this topic, check out my post: When God Doesn’t Give You What You Desperately Want
Let’s chat below.
- How do you handle the news of someone else getting what you desperately want?
- What is God calling you to fully surrender to Him today?
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