• Dana L. Butler

Why Longing and Trusting Are Not Mutually Exclusive

“All my longings lie open before You…”

 Psalm 38:9 NIV (Click for other versions.)

Yesterday we had a potential match.  A birth mom with a precious African American baby boy who’s just a few weeks old.  She didn’t choose us.  She chose a couple who are unable to have children biologically.  I’m so happy for them… really, genuinely rejoicing with those who’re rejoicing right now.… and yet, at the same time, this is the most difficult “falling through” of a possible match up to this point.

Seems like it gets a little harder each time: the suspense while we know our profile’s being presented to a birth mom, the waiting, the longing, the praying of these 2 prayers simultaneously:

Father, please, my desire is for this to be our baby…for this time of waiting and aching to be over…to hold our baby in our arms.  Please let it be…


Not our will, but Yours.  And we trust You to place this baby in the perfect home for him/her…and to bring us the perfect baby for our family in Your perfect time. We trust Your plan and Your ways, Father.

There’s this tension that the Lord asks us to hold in our hearts in seasons like these: the ache of a longing yet unfulfilled…and the peace of complete trust in His perfect plan and His heart to give us good gifts.

These two sometimes seem mutually exclusive.  How can I really trust God and keep my heart in a position of surrender to His will while praying prayers like “Please bring us our baby soon… Please let this be the one…” Don’t I have to shut down these desires, at least partially?  To silence them in order to fully rest in God’s sovereignty? To numb myself somehow to the intensity of the ache?

And yet I sense this invitation from the Father:

“Allow your truest, deepest longings to lie open before Me…WHILE you trust Me.

The reality here is that He asks us to do anything BUT shut down our heart and silence our desires.  He asks us to willingly ache before Him… because it’s in this ache of longing that He desires to deeply encounter our hearts.

He is asking for our honesty.  With ourselves, before others, and before Him.

In light of that, here are my honest desires:

I long to hold my new little one.  My arms ache for him/her more each day.  I long to teach Isaac to be a big brother.  Isaac is 2 years old now and the disappointment of having my children spaced a little further apart than I was hoping they would be sometimes weighs heavy on my heart.  Sometimes it’s hard to trust God’s heart to give us His best, to trust that His plan for our family really is perfect.  The truth is, I sometimes really, really wish I could hurry Him along.


He also asks for my trust.  And there are these other desires also, to which I hold tight…and this is where there is tension:

I long to hold my new little one… But even more, I desire His perfect plan, His perfect timing.

I have to continually remind myself to trust His plan and His heart… and yet I cling to the truth…

  1. That He is faithful.

  2. That His plan is to give our family His absolute best.

  3. That He has the perfect baby and the right birth mom situation picked out just for our family.

  4. That He works all things, even [and especially] the aching and longing and waiting, together for our ultimate good and for His greatest glory.

And so… His invitation is simultaneously into trust…and longing.  

Peace…while aching.  

Joy in the midst of the waiting.  

Willingness to hold this tension~ deep desires waiting to be met… along with a sweet rest of faith in His perfect faithfulness.   

“My times are in Your hands….” (Psalm 31:15)

There is intimacy here… deeper trust, deeper leaning into Him, more pressing into His heart… and HE makes it worth it.  All of it.

Oh Father, let me continue to respond well to your invitations even while I wait.

A question to ponder:  Where in your heart do you have God-given longings that are still unfulfilled?  In what places of your life is God asking you to hold this tension also, of aching and trusting?

Be blessed today, friend, to discern His invitation to you, and to hold this tension in your heart with grace… encountering Him deeply as you do.

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