Longing or Living?
These past few months, the topic of longing vs. living has struck a chord with me. I have faced a number of changes that have left me, at times, longing for what was.
My daughter, Becca, who for the last 21 years has been my third appendage, has decided to move from Iowa to Texas. She has met the love of her life and is getting married!
She was home for a visit in June with her fiancé, and when they left to return to Texas, it hit me hard. She will be married in a few short months to begin her own family! I found myself longing for more time…time where she was still all mine.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” ~Genesis 2:24
I have to admit, there are times when I find myself pondering how easy it would be to live in a state of longing for what we want, what we had, instead of living what is. Periodically over the past few years I have found myself in that place of longing.
My son Thomas was married 3 years ago in April. I am blessed with a beautiful godly daughter-in-law, and yet my heart longs for those days when I could wrap my arms around him and snuggle with him when watching a movie or…just because.
With both Thomas and Becca, I have prayed since the day they were born that God would watch over the spouse He has chosen for them and that one day, when the time was right, they would meet and experience the love of their life partner.
Now that time is here and instead of longing for what was, I need to live the beauty and blessing of answered prayers.
After losing my dad and youngest sister, I find myself periodically in a state of longing. Longing for one more hug, one more conversation, one more piece of advice, just one more…
Each of these times of longing represent a place in time that I’ll never have again.
And, I have also entered each of these changes with a truly happy heart. I love that God blessed and trusted me with Thomas and Becca. I am grateful that He has blessed them with their life partners. I am grateful for the years God blessed me with dad and Sara. I am overjoyed thinking of them at home with their Heavenly Father where there is nothing but joy for them!
The Reality is that life is different. And when I look at pictures and/or have memories that scream "I miss those times!" it causes me to long for something I'll never have again. In those moments, with something as simple as pictures and memories, I find myself longing instead of living. Wishing for what was instead of what is.
Wanting a life that is no longer mine.
The truth is, fighting reality takes effort. And accepting reality takes effort. But only one of those things has a positive outcome.
It may not be the outcome I want in the moment, but it is the outcome that life has presented me. So, I choose to spend my energy being positive, accepting the life I am given and finding my joy in the center of it.
We have a world full of living to do on this earth, and that can't be done if we are pretending our lives haven’t change.
The reality is that we are going to have Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays that I will have to share with in-laws. But we still have them together and we need to live and celebrate those moments we are still given. I could long for my children and those who are now in heaven. I can wallow in the missing or I can live in the present, with sweet memories I carry with me.
I choose to live!
Next month we will be discussing this topic of Longing vs. Living in-depth in our Ambassador Community. If you are not signed up as a Women of Faith Ambassador yet, I encourage you to sign up today! Join your Sisters in Christ as we dig deep in our faith and encourage and equip one another.
Blessings and love,
Laura Pedersen is honored to be a Voice with Women of Faith. She is also a John Maxwell certified speaker and coach who has worked over 25 years in the field of human resources, organizational, and leadership training and development. Laura’s call to ministry came in 2011 after losing her sister, Sara Frankl.
Sara lived with chronic pain as a result of an autoimmune disease and was eventually confined to her home before dying at 38 years old. If anyone had reason to focus on the unfairness of life, it was Sara. Yet through her faith and trust in God, she surrendered her life to Him and therefore accomplished something few can…she chose joy!
In 2016, after being faithful to God’s promptings, Laura and her family were blessed with the release of the book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. The book is a compilation of Sara’s God inspired message of Choose Joy. Laura is the president of the Choose Joy Foundation, which was established in Sara’s memory.
As a speaker, Laura shares Sara’s legacy along with sharing her own life journey through divorce, loss, and breast cancer. Laura’s message is focuses on how the choices we make can transform our life. Laura believes that it is through our hardest times that we experience our greatest growth if we choose to surrender ourselves to God and trust in His will.
"WE ARE HERE AS SPIRITUAL BEINGS, LIVING OUT OUR HUMAN EXPERIENCE, WITH THE INTENTION OF GATHERING AS A COMMUNITY, GIVING OF OURSELVES AND DISCIPLING TO OTHERS, BEFORE WE HEAD BACK HOME TO HIM." ~Laura Frankl Pedersen