Can longing, contentment, and thankfulness all reside... together?

The sun was coming through the window behind me on that beautiful Thursday morning. It was one week before Valentine's Day of 2013. I was sitting in the living room of my friend Heather's townhouse where I'd been living since October. How could I remember it was a Thursday?, you might ask. Well... Thursdays were a treasure during those days. I had only been living in Delaware for about 5 months and my schedule was COMPLETELY packed. Sunday - church stuff, Monday - online classes, Tuesday & Wednesday - church office, Thursday - down time :), Friday - church office, Saturday - always something crazy going on. You get the picture... Thursdays were my sabbath. My day to have an extra long quiet time, catch up on my sleep, and do whatever I felt like doing. Some of those days I spent babysitting the sweet 8 month old twinpack... honestly that was more like therapy to my soul. Some of them I would bake... like all day.. also therapy to my soul. And some days I would go do some visiting.
Babysitting had been cancelled for the day so my agenda included an EXTRA long quiet time, lunch, and visit with the Troutmans. It was during my quiet time that my cherished Thursday shifted from relaxing to convicting. From the beginning of the year I'd been working through Lady in Waiting for the 2nd time around... trying to keep good perspective on my singleness. Also in my quiet time I was following a read-through-the-Bible plan. In both pieces that morning, thankfulness & contentment seem to be the pounding themes.... which left me asking the question...  
God am I not being content?
Please understand... I DEFINITELY wanted a husband... like right away... but I also felt very content. My life was full with ministry and friendships.
I didn't sit around crying eating Ben & Jerry's day and night.
I wasn't crying pleading for a man every hour.
I felt very content.
So again I asked the question... God am I not being content in my singleness?

He spoke something in my spirit that made my heart tighten and my head drop.....
I'm not asking if you're content in your singleness... I'm asking if you're thankful for it.
Dunn. dunn. dunn.
Que the waterworks.
Truth is... I wasn't.

 I was content to be where He had me but I was by no means thankful to not have a man in my life.
Be thankful in all circumstances, He reminded me.
That all sounded fine and good but how could I be thankful that I didn't have something I was asking God for?
Anyone else out there feel me on this?
I didn't know how it would happen but I made it my mission.... to become thankful for my singleness.

That afternoon, I headed out the door to visit with my friend Emily and her super sweet kids. At they time she had a set of 3 year old boy, girl twins who loved to play with their tag along 1.5 year old baby brother. It was just the spark I needed in my afternoon.

As the kids played, Emily and I chatted about her previous role in full-time ministry to college students. Her face lit up as she talked about her job and what a joy it had been in her life. I couldn't hold back... I asked the obvious question... why did you let that job go?

What she said put it all in perspective... I got married and then got pregnant with twins. Please don't get me wrong Brandy, I LOVE this season of life but sometimes I miss the season of ministry before I had a family.

Her words were so honest and so beautiful and they made such a huge impact on my life. 
To be honest I was so overwhelmed by God's presence and His timing that I couldn't even explain to her in that moment how God had used her.

I remember getting in my car that bright February afternoon and pulling out of her neighborhood with tears of joy and thanksgiving streaming down my face.
So many times I'd left her home or the home of others and thought I can't wait to have THAT.
So many times I'd left with the memories of sweet smiles and tackle hugs and wish that were
MY season.
So many times I'd left content but surely not thankful.
But that day as I left laughing and crying in the presence of my almighty God.
I left loving every moment spent with in her adorable precious season but being THANKFUL that was not my own.

Not because I didn't want to have to change diapers and have sleepless nights.
Not because I didn't want to chase toddlers and clean up toys all day.
Not because I don't think that raising my children in truth will be the greatest ministry in my life.

But because, I was thankful for the ministry He was using me in right then.
I was thankful for the chance to disciple middle school girls without worrying about dinner prep.
I was thankful for the ability to be involved in many ministries without neglecting a home.
I was thankful for the chance to meet and counsel young adult women not feeling like my husband would feel 2nd priority.

Am I telling you that the longing went away? Absolutely not.
That was February and Joel didn't start pursuing me until July (mind you we got married in October).
Those 5 months before him I still greatly longed for a husband.
But I longed out of a thankful and content heart.

If you hang around here in my Sweet Aroma very much, you know that my heart has been doing some longing this past year. You know that I've been longing for our family of 2 to grow to 3 or 4 or 5. While I try to be very transparent in my longing and my prayers and my hopes and my thoughts, I also want to be transparent in my thankfulness.

If I were writing the plan, I would have already conceived...
but I'm thankful that I'm NOT writing the plan.
I'm thankful for this time to spend free time with Joel and grow our marriage through this trial.
I'm thankful for the added appreciation I have for pregnancy, babies, and children in general.
I'm thankful for the sweet women I've got to bond with who have been or are on this journey.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to pray for them, encouraged them and be also encouraged by them.
I'm thankful for the truth God is speaking to my heart and the hope He fills me with so lovingly.
I'm thankful for this season.
Even when I'm crying. Even when it's been a bad day. Even when it seems faith is hard to come by.

I'm thankful. I'm content. I'm longing.

"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5.18
"for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."
Philippians 4.11
"O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you."
Psalm 38.9 

What is that you're longing for that you are also thankful you don't have yet?




  1. This is beautiful!! I love your thoughts Brandy! You are so right that each of these things means something different, but we can certainly be grateful for the season we are in.

  2. Thanks Daisy! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. thanks Brittany! :) Happy thanksgiving!

  4. WOW. This post hit me so hard this morning! I've never really thought about the difference between being thankful and being content. I'm definitely having a hard time being content in the season I am in right now, but I have been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for the things I am learning and working on in this season. Thank you for this!!

  5. Thanks for stopping by Jenna! Glad it spoke to your season.... I tell you that morning God showed me this it was like Him hitting me upside the head with a brick haha... It is strange though how we tend to learn and grow so much more in those seasons that aren't our favorite. Hope you have a blessed thanksgiving!


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