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Today’s Truth

The LORD is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all he does (Psalm 145:17 NIV).

 

Friend to Friend

Did you have dreams about what your adult life would be like? I had a dream of having a house full of giggling little girls and boisterous rowdy boys. After my son, Steven, was born, I felt that we were well on our way to making that dream a reality.

I loved being a mom! With Bambi-length eyelashes, chubby cheeks, and a shock of black hair (which later turned white), Steven had my heart in his tiny little fist the first time I laid eyes on him.

Eighteen months later, I was ready to plan for baby number two. We had conceived Steven with no trouble whatsoever, so I thought giving him a sibling would be just as easy.

We told Steven, “Mommy and Daddy are asking God to give you a little brother or sister!” At the end of our family prayer each night, Steven would add, “And God, please give mommy and daddy another Jaynes baby.”

But the next month there was no news of another Jaynes baby. Or the next…or the next. Months turned into years, and Steven continued to pray, “And God, please give mommy and daddy another Jaynes baby. Amen.”

Doctor visits, infertility treatment, and monthly heartbreak consumed my thinking. This is not how the story was supposed to go. The disappointment was crushing. The discouragement was visceral.

Steven was just about to turn five . . . and still praying the prayer for a brother or sister every night. It looked like we were not going to have more children, but I didn’t know what to tell this little tow-headed boy so full of faith. How do you tell a kid that he doesn’t need to pray a certain prayer anymore? Should I even do that? Was this seemingly unanswered prayer going to damage his faith?

“God, if this is Your will for our family,” I sighed, “You’ve got to take care of this prayer situation with Steven.”

We had a miniature table and chairs in the kitchen where Steven and I ate lunch together each day. One day while sharing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Steven looked up, and in his sweet little voice said, “Mommy, have you ever thought that maybe God only wants you to have one Jaynes baby?”

“Yes, I have thought that. And if that’s what He wants, I’m so thankful He has given me all I have ever hoped for wrapped up in one package, YOU!”

Then he cocked his little head and stated a prayer plan. “Well, what I think we ought to do is keep praying until you’re too old to have one. Then we’ll know that’s His answer!”

What a great idea. The truth is, I had been worried about Steven’s faith, but all the while, it was my own that was suffering. I was so discouraged that I was having trouble believing that God loved me.

Steven didn’t know how old too old was, but with a child-like faith, he did know God could do anything. If His answer was no, he didn’t have a problem with that. I told him no many times and he understood that no did not mean, I don’t love you. No just meant no because I am your parent and I know what’s best for you.

Everyone will experience disappointment at some point in life. It will look as different and unique as the fingerprints on your hand, but disappointments will come.

  • Dropping your son off at a rehab center instead of college.
  • Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary party.
  • Looking for a job rather than getting a raise.
  • Cuddling up with a good book rather than cozying up with a good husband.
  • Planning a funeral instead of planning a future.
  • Counting out food stamps instead of writing a check.
  • Moving up in your career rather than rocking a baby in your arms.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know this: God has a plan. I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases Jeremiah 29:11: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

God was talking to the Israelites in this verse, but it applies to us as well. God knows what He’s doing.

Shattered dreams open doors to better dreams…dreams we never even thought to imagine. They become fertilizer in which God’s best for us can grow. And that’s a promise.

 

Let’s Pray

Lord, today, I am giving You the broken pieces of my shattered dreams. I pray You will use them to create something more beautiful than I ever imagined. I pray You will turn my hurt into hope, my pain into purpose, and my mess into a beautiful masterpiece.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Now It’s Your Turn

What is one shattered dream in your life that turned into a better dream?
Consider memorizing today’s truth and repeating it every time discouragement or disappointment creep into your heart.

 

More from the Girlfriends

We’ve all got parts of our stories that we’d like to tear out or mark out of the narrative. I’ve got them. You’ve got them. But what if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? What if the worst parts could become the most powerful tools that God uses in the life of others? I know that they can. Check out my book, When You Don’t Like Your Story, and let’s learn how together!

 

 

© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

 

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7 Responses to “The Disappointment of Shattered Dreams”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Thank you writing this devotional ~ I’ve been praying for babies for a lot of years now, and even though I’m 46 years old, I’m not giving up. Although recently, I gave it all up to God ~ every thought I’ve ever had about this, every emotion, every tear. And within just a few moments, He gave me peace ~ and He even threw in a little joy as well. I don’t know how God can turn agony into joy. I don’t know how He created this beautiful earth out of nothing, but He did! And I know that I can trust Him, because He does plan to “give us the future we’re hoping for”, and I don’t want to limit what that may look like with my thoughts…I’ll wait and see what God has been planning! (Eph 18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, (19) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God. Amen

  2. Aly says:

    This devotional hit home for me today…

    We’ve been through IVF and plan to do it again soon. We desperately want a baby! Praying God really will give us the future we hope for. We are both 30 and have been married over 5 years. The discouragement month after month is excruciating…

  3. Carol says:

    Thank you, Sharon and Carolyn,
    Just a compliment to my own prayer this am.
    As an older believer, I can look at my own life as a former “prodigal daughter”. I, left the path for awhile, but God knew I’d be back.
    Now, my goal is trying to be that “beautiful masterpiece” of the Lord’s design and helping others along the way.
    Blessings to both of you this am.

  4. Lisa says:

    I lost my first pregnancy to miscarriage and I thought the pain would never end.I became pregnant again and was terrified it would happen again but God was faithful and gave me our son also named Steven.He has been the joy of my life for 32years now.He just got married to a beautiful Christian girl named Sally whe we adore.Those months of pain led to a wonderful blessing.

  5. Bernadette says:

    Hi sharon

    Todays devotion hit home. I had asked God for something good that he did not give me. I lost a lot of money to acquire a piece of land. I Had saved up and bought it fair and square only later to encounter land issues and lost the land.
    My dream had always been to own real estate. To have to pray night after night, day after day and still not see God come through for me has been very dissappointing. Especially because I know he can turn the situation around.
    Your devotion today has reminded me how many times I say no to my son because I love him.
    Thank you…for this perspective.
    Your son is one amazing boy.

  6. Diane says:

    Hi Aly,

    Don’t give up! I know a sister-in-Christ that was married for nine years, praying for a baby. One day @ church there was prayer for women wanting to conceive. Then it happened, she had a baby girl, Valentina. She has had two more children. Glory to God☝🏽

    Thanks Sharon for beautiful prayer!♥️

  7. Bonnie says:

    God turned disappointment to thanksgiving when we adopted our beautiful Korean daughter 36 years ago!

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