Choosing to See Beyond Your Grief

Choosing to See Beyond Your Grief

May 1, 2017

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

I remember when I heard the news. I was elated and squealed and cried! I hugged our kids, my husband, the dog and anyone else close enough to grab!

I asked my son and daughter-in-law a million questions. And then, hours later, alone in my bed, I processed the news … alone in the reality of fresh loss. The sadness closed in like the final curtain after a beautiful play. Elation was replaced by reality — a reality that brought feelings I never expected.

The reality is, I’m blind. I am about to become a grandma, and I won’t see my grandbaby’s eyes. I won’t know if he has Clayton’s nose or Caroline’s mouth. I won’t see his smile. I won’t see his tiny hands balled into fists as he toddles on chunky little legs taking his first steps. I was deflated. I wept. I asked God a million questions as I hugged my pillow.

Lord, I won’t be able to care for him or take him to the park or color with him or even play peek-a-boo.

Will he think of me as the grandma who isn’t fun? Will he feel safe with me? Will I be the grandma he’s unsure of until he’s old enough to understand?

As I tossed and turned and prayed and cried, I thought of how much I wanted to feel gratitude, not grief. Joy, like when I first heard the news … before sorrow clouded my vision.

I lost my sight at 15, but now at 53, becoming a grandma is forcing me to grieve blindness in new and unexpected ways.

Grief and gratefulness can share the same heartbeat, but they don’t always share the same viewpoint. I want to see beyond grief and fix my eyes only on gratefulness.

That’s why I need to see with my heart. And, sister, I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one. But we can’t unless God opens the eyes of our hearts, as our key verse says:

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18).

When God opens the eyes of our hearts, we can see the hope to which we are called. We’re not called to despair or constant grief; we are called to hope.

God wants to open our spiritual eyes so we can see hope with our hearts. When we see with our hearts, we see blessing and potential tucked within loss and disappointment.

When we see with our hearts, we focus on what we have, not what we’ve lost. We view our situations, our whole lives, through the eyes of gratefulness. And grateful eyes will always see hope.

Seeing with our hearts doesn’t mean we won’t still hurt. It doesn’t mean we see everything through rose-colored filters. Grief is still real, and grief still hurts. But when we ask God to open our spiritual eyes, we see beyond the
loss.

I may not see little dimples and dancing brown eyes with my eyes, but I can feel wonder when I touch that satiny skin. I may not see that baby’s sweet face, but I can hear a thousand anthems of praise in his giggle. I can caress infant skin bearing the fingerprint of God and feel gratefulness and hope radiate through my grief. I can and will see that baby with my heart.

You may hold unexpected grief in your heart today. Maybe you carry a burden that makes you grateful or a gift that makes you cry. No matter what life looks like for you today, God can help you see it with the eyes of your heart.

I know He can, my sister, because that’s what He’s doing for me. When we see with our hearts, hope bursts on the horizon, no matter how cloudy or dark the day.

God is the one who opens eyes. He opens eyes of the blind and those who see perfectly but are blinded by disappointment, loss or grief.

So, if what you see discourages you, ask God to open the eyes of your heart and fix them on what is unseen. Because what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Dear Lord, focus my spiritual eyes so I can see Your hand, Your heart and Your purpose in all I experience. Let me see with my heart today and every day, so I can see hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Get a “See With My Heart” braille necklace for you or a friend as a reminder that God is good even if we can’t physically see His goodness right now. Click here for more information.

The negative thoughts that hold you don’t have to control you anymore! Jennifer Rothschild is partnering with us to help set women free of their negative self-talk and replace it with the powerful truth of God’s Word. You do not want to miss this life-changing study. Registration for the Me, Myself, and Lies Online Bible Study is now open! Learn more here.

CONNECT:
Order Me, Myself, & Lies or Me, Myself, & Lies for Young Women between now and Sunday, May 8, and you’ll receive free bonus gifts. Plus, if you order both books, you’ll get a free audio book! Visit MeMyselfandLies.us to claim your gifts!

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Consider how your perspective will change if you see with your heart. How can your day improve if you’re willingly blind to what bothers you and choose to see hope instead?

Choose one difficulty, loss or hard relationship to focus on today. Ask God to open your eyes to see it through His eyes. Then act according to His view rather than your own.

© 2017 by Jennifer Rothschild. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Susan G. says:

    Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful insight that can only come from God. He has blessed you with the talent of compassionate writing that blesses so many. I’ve been encouraged so many times by your books.
    I have a feeling God is going to bless you in many new ways with this grandbaby! 🙂
    Bless you as you continue to bless others.

  2. Thank you for this message! I just shared it with my partner.
    Besides, i pray for us and for all people in Proverbs 31:

    “Dear Lord, focus our spiritual eyes so we can see Your hand, Your heart and Your purpose in all we experience. Let us see with our hearts today and every day, so we can see hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

    Thanks for this prayer!

  3. Carole says:

    When my daughter was expecting twins, we knew there was a chance that one of them would not survive. We prayed for a miracle, but we still lost a precious baby girl. Our emotions were so mixed up, but through it all we found the miracle God had planned for us. Our baby boy was completely healthy and we thank God for him every day. The experience strengthened our faith and our family bond.

  4. Connie says:

    Thank you for this lesson. On 1/24/2016 my oldest daughter gave birth to her second child. The baby girl survived but my daughter suffered severe complications and died a day and a half later, never being able to hold her baby. I constantly prayed throughout this ordeal. I knew whatever happened a God had a plan. Less than an hour after getting home, we received a call from dcf. We needed to apply for custody of my daughter’s two children or they would be placed in foster care. My wonderful husband and three teenagers have helped me provide a wonderful home for my two grandchildren. I grieve the loss of my daughter but try to stay focused on the blessings of her two children (as well as my husband and three teens). Grief and thankfulness can definitely reside together.

    • Connie, I am so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of your daughter. I just said a prayer for your family. ~Lisa~

    • Praying for strength and comfort for you today. May you see countless blessings as you raise your precious grandchildren.

    • Connie,
      Bless you my sister! I’m sure God has and will show himself strong in your situation. I claim for you his promise that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. Hang in there dear. Your grandchildren are so blessed to have you as you walk them through this journey called life.

  5. Jennifer, you will be the Grandma who teaches your grands to walk by faith, not by sight. You will be the Grandma that hears what your grands are NOT saying. What you cannot do for toddlers will be made up for with what you give to doubtful and tweens and anxious teens. You will be their best listener–the one who listens with the eyes of God.

  6. As the calendar turns to May, my family will be celebrating the first birthday of my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl. Additionally, we will be remembering that, on the day she was born, my mother (her great grandmother) suffered a massive stroke. Your timely message of “choosing” joy and gratitude over sorrow and disappointment guided us then as it does now. As we help blow out the candle on that first birthday cake, we will remember and celebrate another child of Jesus who is at rest with Him now. Thank you for your sweet reminder that joy and gratitude is a choice. I pray that we, as women of faith, strive always to make that choice.

  7. I need this right now. I just found out that my husband is involved with someone else. I am willing to try to make our marriage work but I don’t know if he is and my heart breaks. Additionally we just received custody of his 9 yr old son (my stepson) one year ago and I don’t know how to deal with the potential loss of my entire family, not to mention what this will do to my beloved stepson. He has been through so much in his short life and I really need help seeing this situation with my heart. I hurt so bad that it’s hard to remember that God is on His throne. Please pray for us.

    • Becky, I am so sorry to hear about the assault on your family. Pray Ezekiel 37 and believe that the same God who rose Jesus from the dead and the same God who breathed life into those dry bones, will also breathe life into your marriage. Please keep the faith for your marriage!!

    • Oh, honey I’m so sorry and I’m right there with you. I hope you can get some counseling right away if you haven’t already – please check out affairrecovery.com, surviving infidelity.com and beyondaffairsnetwork.com
      You are not alone, and God still is in control.

  8. Thank you Jennifer for this reminder for God to open the eyes of my heart when I’m discouraged…..beautifully written. My father lost his eyesight almost 16 years ago right after I had my third child, my daughter. Since then he developed dementia and his health keeps declining. I will say that even though he can’t see my beautiful daughter and her two older handsome brothers, he definitely can hear them. I will definitely remember not only to see with my eyes but see with my heart. Blessings, ~Lisa~

  9. Gayle S says:

    Beautiful – yes, Lord, let me see with my heart.

  10. Mary Z says:

    My words cannot express enough what my heart is feeling for all of you brave, courageous, God-loving women. Thank you for sharing your sorrows turned around through the love and grace from Jesus Christ.

  11. GODONLYKNOWS says:

    I needed and will mark the scriptures in this message in my Bible. I also understand what the writer is saying in some ways.

    Even in the harsh struggles of life, one thing that God has taught our family is to try and have a Christ like heart. A BIG Challenge daily! But daily one needs weaned of all the things of this earth on what it has to offer. We have a loved one who suffers with many health issues. But this loved one also lost a good bit of their eyesight to a rare eye disease, then years later a disaster, and other health issues. To where we have learned and continue to learn this life lesson on letting the Lord prune the things one can see with their earthly eyes over the things one needs with their spiritual eyes.
    The lesson is,
    We all have a carinal heart. We were born in a sinful world. The devil loves to steal kill and destroy. But how much do we have a Christ like heart? It is one thing we have continually learned with the blindness in this household. Because you see many of us look with our carinal earthly eyes at the things of the world. But when you’re blind you have to focus on many things in life in a different aspect. Sort of like the author of this devotional today was saying in her writing.
    How much do we look at the things of the world with a Christ like heart? If we viewed EVERYTHING!!! With a Christ like heart… then how would our world be around us? Would we be more positive over negative? Would we trust the Lord more for the things unseen over the things we would see with our earthly eyes? Would we long for the things of the world with our earthly eyes over our Christ like eyes? Would we strive to be more true and understanding with our Christ like eyes over our earthly eyes? There are many saga’s one could contemplate if they would view things with their earthly eyes over striving to have a Christ like view on EVERYTHNG in our life.
    Close your eyes once. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? Ask the Lord to show you what you may be missing with your earthly eyes, over having the spiritual eyes of Christ!

  12. 12 weeks ago, I discovered that my husband of 23 years was having an affair. When I asked him to end it and commit to our family or leave, he left. My three teenage daughters, college age son and I have been devastated. But, in the midst of our grief and shock, there have been so many moments of gratitude: our church family circling around us, my girls’ faith unwavering; friends who text or show up just in the right moment. I don’t understand what is happening to us, but I do trust the God has a bigger, better plan than we had previously imagined. Thank you for the imply message.

    • Timely message**

    • Oh sister, I am so sorry. My heart breaks for so many of us who have experienced such devastation and pain. The grief is so real and raw.
      I pray you will see God’s faithfulness in your life, as HE is unchanging, unwavering, and good.

    • Oh, honey I’m so sorry and I’m right there with you. I hope you and your children can get some counseling right away if you haven’t already – please check out affairrecovery.com, surviving infidelity.com and beyondaffairsnetwork.com
      You are not alone, and God still is in control.

  13. Martha Butz says:

    Thank you for blessing my life today. I am facing a difficult life altering health situation. God is good and my husband and I know we can trust Him to keep the eyes of our hearts open.

  14. Tina Sclarandis says:

    Just exactly what I needed to see this morning! Choosing to be blind to disappointments!

  15. Jennifer, thank you for your devotional today. I can feel some of your pain. I have lost a great deal of my hearing and it is so difficult for me to understand many people, especially children even with the help of hearing aids. When my granddaughters were babies and toddlers I was so close to them as they did not know about my hearing loss. But now that they are older (8 and 12) they tend to ignore me because they need to repeat things to me and even then I can’t understand them most of the time because of the tones of their voices and the speed at which they speak. They get frustrated and just give up on talking to me. I feel like they think I am stupid or ignoring them when in reality I just can’t understand what they are saying and they don’t seem to get it as I can understand many other people with the use of lip reading and slower speech patterns. I have given up on phone conversations and FaceTime with them and many others because of my hearing loss. It is so hard to live like this, it is so isolating. I so want to be part of their lives but I just don’t know what to do.

    • I to have major hearing loss and can totally connect with you! I have and still go through the things you have described. It is very isolating. I have been so shocked by some negative reactions of others. Even though they seem to ignore you don’t take it personally, it’s just because of their decifits in knowing how to be around your disability that they turn from you.

      I find that explaining to them how to speak with me helps them. Like asking them to speak slower, louder, making sure they are in front of before speaking etc. It doesn’t always work but it does help. It can be frustrating for everyone. I will be lifting you and all with sensory loss up in prayer.

      I pray that our Father will show us how to use our other senses in these difficult situations. I pray for others that they will see with their hearts. God Bless you 💖

    • Vicki, girl…my heart is heavy for you. Praying God’s touch on your grand daughters and wisdom for you. May He bring maturity, healing and comfort .

    • Vicki, I’m so sorry. You may not be able to communicate with your granddaughters that much in real time, but how about communicating more with them via the written word – writing letters, cards, texts and email? Or maybe you could all spend some time together learning sign language using YouTube tutorials? Hang in there, and know that they love you even though they have the impatience of youth.

  16. Thank you for this message. This past year has been hard we lost my mom in love and 3 days later welcomed my grandson she wanted to hold him and tried to hang on but that was not to be God’s plan. He is the first great grandchild and my in laws couldn’t have been more excited. My daughter struggles with guilt as she was not well enough to attend the funeral due to complications during delivery. Please pray for strength and that our eyes will focus on His blessings.

  17. Rachel says:

    Praying for you and your grandchild. I pray he sees you as all of the wonderful things you are.

  18. Thank you so much for these words. I quit my job of 15 years a few months ago because the stress of the job and the toxicity of the environment was eating away at me. I have grieved that loss for months now, thinking only about how I had been wronged by my employers and co-workers rather than being truly grateful that I was in a position to take a break for a while, and for the opportunity to stay home and take care of the house and kids , which I had longed to do for years. I pray that going forward, my eyes will remain open to the blessings that come from situations like this rather than choosing to wallow in grief.

  19. Thank you for this. I had an experience this weekend that is exactly how you put it, I grieved again something that I try and let go of. All over again I had to ask God to help me look for hope in the situation and to leave it in his hands.

    It is nothing compared to permanent blindness or some thing mentioned above, but it still causes my heart to ache. And it is why I was blessed to read your devotion today.

    Thank you for the reminder. And congratulations on your new grandbaby coming.

  20. There are people who are not physically blind that do not see with their heart. But these people unlike yourself lack compassion. It’s very hard for me to be around someone like this because I just don’t get it.

    Thank you so much for your testimony it has opened my heart in knowing now how to pray for ones that don’t see with their heart. I will keep you in my prayers that your greif will continue to turn into joy.

    I have major hearing loss I can connect somewhat with your sensory loss. For me my eyesight picks up on what I can’t hear. In your case your ears will pick up on what you cannot see.

    I praise God that this is possible for me. God Bless you and thank you again for your testimony 💗

  21. Towera says:

    Open the eyes of my heart Lord I want to see you.

    All the best on your grand child

  22. Jennifer,
    Thank you for this message today. I am always touched by your insight. God speaks through your mouth.
    I am so happy for your new grand baby to come. I have a feeling he/she is going to bring you tremendous joy, and that the bond between you two will be very, very special.

  23. Bridget M. says:

    Jennifer ~ congratulations on your family’s joyous news and on becoming a grandmother! Thank you for sharing your honest story of struggle. Being a believer does not mean we never have moments or even seasons where we cry, are sad, heartbroken, or feeling deflated and depressed. Those very moments when we know we should be completely elated, ecstatic, and overjoyed yet we in an instant hear that voice that reminds us that we won’t be able to fully participate in the same way as others. We get so consumed by these thoughts and don’t realize because of our personal situation, we will likely share in that joy in a very unique way that we cannot yet understand in the present moment.
    Praying for a very special connection between you and your new grandbaby. I enjoy your studies and messages and am so excited to see you join the P31 community with a new study. Blessings!

  24. roxanne says:

    Thank God for the gift of writing whats on your heart. I was truly blessed by . Keep strength from the Lord

  25. Thank you for sharing your heart. I was blessed with your words and perspective. We take so much for granted and need this lesson of hope. As I started reading I couldn’t help but think of sweet friends who had children pass away,but by the middle I was reflecting on a relationship in my life. Thank you.

  26. janny holder says:

    I pray that I have your faith this devotional to me summons up our true faith. what God is doing in our lives is bigger than what we are seeing at the moment. I know that situations, devastation and disappointments happen for a bigger reason. We can see better and learn from our experiences bad or good….God is working it out.

  27. Jill Strickland says:

    Trying hard to choose JOY and gratitude after the sudden passing of our 21 year old son about 7 months ago. Trying to see this grief journey through eternal eyes, but it is hard, a daily struggle to do so. But I know the only way to survive is through the strength, grace and love of God. And He has shown himself to me and my family in beautiful ways during this time. #ahugandiloveyou

  28. Jennifer,
    The bible speaks of having eyes but cannot see. Many precious children have parents and grandparents who are spiritually blind. Not yours! Praise God! You see clearly and God will use you to bless your grandchild abundantly. It will be reciprocal, I’m sure. But oh how blessed your family is to have you and your spiritual (in)sight.

  29. Jennifer, thank you for sharing this. My daughter lost most her vision at age 13 and reading this made me realize how many different emotions she goes through on a daily basis. Trying to be a normal teen is impossible but one thing she has been a faithful teen. She has always seen with her heart and I pray she continues. Congrats on the new grandbaby.

  30. Thanks for sharing this devotion, I had an ectopic pregnancy January this year and the grief has almost overwhelmed me. Some days are good, some days are very tough and tearful. I pray God opens the eyes of my heart to see His purpose in this pain. God is ever faithful.

  31. Emily Dejewski says:

    Thank you for this amazing article. I so love this….God knew that I needed this today.

  32. Debbie says:

    My heart rejoices with the new life you will be welcoming!! Grandchildren are God’s sweetest blessings, indeed!! I would encourage you to relish in the fact that you will be able to hear, touch and even smell your grand baby! I have three grandchildren that my son-in-law and daughter will not allow my husband and I to go see!! We have been given no reason why they have been taken from us……it is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever had to walk through and I can’t even imagine what it is doing to our precious Grands that don’t know why we have not come to see them. We miss them and long to hold, hug and kiss them!! I do have the sight to see them yet I am not able to see them!! It has been a hard journey that I know not why but I have had to trust in the sovereignty of God that one day He will return them back into our lives. I have to ask Him for extended grace every time I see a grandmother enjoying her grandchildren! I will pray for the eyes of your heart and would ask you to pray for mine!!

  33. Jennifer Palacios says:

    My relationship with my husband is difficult. God, open my eyes to see it through Your eyes. Please help and guide me to act according to Your view rather than my own. I need your guidance and strength as my husband’s heart has hardened. I ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.

  34. Jesse Noel says:

    Congratulations on the news of your grandchild! And thank you for your candid and heartfelt testimony. I think we all need the reminder from time to time to see with our spiritual eyes, to pray for the Lord to open the eyes of our hearts. Reflecting on the truth of your words brought the song to mind (anyone else?), and I have a feeling it will stay with me all day long.

    • EXACTLY! Jesse Noel I have been singing that song ever since I read Jennifer’s words this morning♫
      What a beautiful praise song it is! “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord”♫ “I want to seeeee you”♫♫♥
      I will be singing it all day now. Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

  35. Wow. Perfectly beautiful and brave. Thank you.

  36. Becky MacKay (laundrymama) says:

    Wow! You wouldn’t have known that several times today (and it is only 11am) tears have already streamed down my face over not just one reality of my life but several. In fact, the most recent time of tears was just before the title in the email caught my attention. Thank you for sending my mind and today, especially my heart back to scripture and the truths of God’s Word! I needed and need that. Thank you for sharing your journey so that God could use you to impact me. May God bless you.

  37. Michelle says:

    Thank you, Jennifer. I needed to hear that. God bless you!

  38. Jennifer—I am praying that your vision is restore. God is our healer and he can heal you. I really believe he led me to write this to you. You can have sight to see this precious bundle of joy. The Bible says whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loose in Heaven. So in the name of Jesus I bind blindness and loose sight to Jennifer in Jesus name. Lord, we believe you are the healing and you can bring sight back for your honor and glory. In Jesus’s name. Amen

  39. Karin Floyd says:

    This morning I rejoice in this news that you shared! I view the scripture in a new way as it speaks to my heart. To God be the glory and thank you for this ministry!

  40. Vicki Anderson says:

    Looking forward to this next study!!! My heart is so burdened with the cares of this life,but this I know, my redemer liveth and he gives me strength and hope to endure and overcome!!!

  41. WOW! Jennifer, what awesome, encouraging words! I love it. I have no doubt, you will love that gbaby and be the best Grandma ever! Love and congratulations to you and family.

  42. Very encouraging. I just wonder how the grief you are experiencing is different than the grief of not being able to see your own children as you lost your sight at age 15.

  43. barbara says:

    I believe that if we all were blind the world would be a much better place. There wouldn’t be any judgment for we wouldn’t know the color or any one’s skin or what they looked like. GOD bless you

  44. Tanya Tomasovich says:

    Jennifer,
    I so needed to read this today, and needed the reminder to ask God to help me look through the spiritual eyes of my heart! My husband has been in the hospital for 6 months, made it to a rehab for 2weeks and 1 day and was rushed back in to ICU@the hospital last week. I am experiencing both grief at his prolonged illness, and gratefulness that God is walking beside us both now. Today; your message reminded me that although this is so very hard, not to despair, to HOPE, to fix my eyes on what is eternal! Thank you Jennifer for this reminder today, and most importantly Thank You God, for letting me know you are always with us!💜🙏

  45. Today, I didn’t get a very important thing that I was really praying to God to give me. I was really sad, but when I read this article, I realized that I was wrong. Then, my mom’s words came in my mind,” God is our father, and we should never question Him about what He does since a father knows better what is right and what is wrong for His children.” After that, I thanked God. Now, I want to say thanks to you because you made me realize this. Thank you.

  46. And Congratulations for your grandchild.

  47. Thank you, Jennifer! I love how you’ve described the way grief can mingle with our joy. So often we think it must be one or the other. But God understands both, and He helps us walk through both! Thank you for sharing your unique and refreshing perspective! ~Laura Jane, howtobless.com

  48. Eric Williams says:

    Proverbs are always timely

  49. Oh my, your devo today really touched me. I also sit and think about grandchildren someday. I have lost use and strength in my right hand. Wondering how I can
    I pick up a grandchild someday, burp them, all the things I need my right hand for makes me feel useless. The reminder that this is temporary not eternal, that God is there, and he will provide a way for me to still make memories someday gives me peace. Thanks for using the gift God gave you to lift me up today!

  50. What an amazing and beautiful testimony. God is using your loss of sight to help others see His truth. I am moved and renewed. You are amazing and have such a gift. I could feel your emotion(I began sobbing on paragraph 2) and felt the presence of God as I read. Thank you for this blessing tonight. I really needed it.

  51. You are an inspiration and may your spiritual eyes see and know your grandchild fully. You pray for that dear one and you will be known as the grandma that prayed and made a difference!

  52. Deborah says:

    So beautiful. Thank you always and God bless you. You have blessed me through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour. May he comfort you.

  53. Thank you for this beautiful message. Sometimes grief and loss isn’t right in front of us. As I turn 44 this year and having never been married and a single mom, I have given up hope of ever finding a loving Christian husband. I don’t know what I have done or why I have never found the love I wanted but I do know that God has special plans for my daughter and I am to raise her in his light and in his word. I have given up hope of ever having more children, and that breaks my heart. I wanted to be the mom who had a loving husband, 7 children (yes I was crazy when I was 15 and dreamed for this!) and wanted to be the PTA mom. I’ve never been married, have one child and am back in school at my age trying to get a degree so I can earn a good living for us. My grief is so hard to bear sometime when I see friends who are happily married, having more children. I don’t know why this lot has been chosen for me, but I know somewhere, somehow, God has a plan.

  54. Thanks I really needed to hear that message today. I’m 43 and I should be praising GOD, every second of the day as much as he has brought me thru, but today I let my circumstances control my day. See when I was 14′ I had to have surgery on both hips, due to a medical condition. But over the years I got as best as it could be with my legs, my words, I had a good run. But now I’m having complications again, and due to one hip having issues, which causes one of my feet to turn more outward now, my walking has gotten worse. So I began to mourn about my loss of walking normal, instead of rejoicing that I am able to still walk. But as I begin to read and see with my heart , I realize that I still have so much to offer. I may have a funny walk, but I’m not walking alone, Thanks, And GOD BLESS.

  55. Lynne K says:

    Oh how I needed to read this today! Thank you, thank you!
    The mix of joy and hope along with grief and despair gives us a flavour like none other. God bless you one and all. What a wonderful ministry.

  56. Miriam says:

    Amen! Beautiful! I so need it to read this!!! ♡ The Lord used you to open more the eyes of our hearts!

  57. Lisa B says:

    Thank you. I just realized my husband is blinded by disappointment, loss and grief. He is unable to see the joys in his life. I can pray for him to see with the eyes of his heart and ask God to help BOTH of us to see through His eyes so we can live in gratitude for our blessings.

  58. Thank you for sharing this devotional! I know God was talking to me through you. Just last night I sat out on my front porch sobbing tears of grief and disbelief for my pending divorce and lost relationship with one of my daughter’s. This is never how I imagined my life would look. I keep praying for a miracle but God hasn’t given me one yet.
    I am going to instead pray God will open the eyes of my heart to be able to see through His vision a new plan for my life and that I will be able to get through this grief that seems so insurmountable.

  59. Jennifer…thank you so much for your words of hope. They are a balm for my soul!

  60. Jennifer,
    I couldn’t agree more with your encouragement to have a healthy perspective on life. I want to take this opportunity to encourage you about being a blind grandmother. My mother in law also has RP. She could barely see my first child. She was completely blind when my next two children were born. When my children were past the toddler years she babysat for me by herself, in her home where things were familiar to her. My children are adults now, and throughout their childhood she was always there for them. She constantly let them know she was praying for them in college as they prepared for exams. When they started driving she “took them out” to dinner. She has been very active in their lives. It blesses my heart to see my kids showing her respect, tenderness, and affection. As she has aged, they have learned to help care for her. Having her as a mother in law and grandmother to my children has been a tremendous blessing to me. Do not believe the lies that you won’t measure up because of your blindness for one second! Any child will be abundantly blessed to have you (with all your life’s experience and faith) as their grandmother. Congratulations!

  61. Deena East says:

    Our church recently lost our pastor to another church, our main campus was planting another church in what is considered West Katy, instead of Sunday school we have small groups that meet on different days of the week, usually on Thursday, today I got email saying they were moving the class to a different day, so I will not be able to go. And I usually don’t go that much anyways.
    Anyways the group wants to see where to go from here, with the pastor leaving, he has decided not to go to the other church. I will miss him dearly. But the small group always leaves me out of important decisions​, I won’t be going next week because I usually work on the day they have decided to meet. Plus they want to talk about what they will do regarding the 3rd campus,(there is a meeting after church on Sunday. I have been praying about if I will return to the 3rd campus or go to main campus or just stay out of church for a while, this hurts all the way around
    Deena

  62. Betsy Heller says:

    Jennifer,
    Thank you for this devotional message today. As the wife of a stroke recovery patient for the past 11 years, I very much understand grief and gratitude sharing the same heartbeat. I am grateful that my dear hubby is still with us and that I have a million memories of us raising 3 boys during this time.
    But I also understand the grief when there is a life event that I/we can’t experience (or maybe experience the same way). It’s church Valentine’s Day dances and marriage retreats to handicap unfriendly destinations that cause me to grieve anew too.
    Thank you for the reminder that each day is a choice and I am choosing to embrace it and love life for Him. With gratitude it all seems so much more manageable and the world a friendlier place.
    Betsy

  63. Jennifer, THANK YOU so much for your gift of sharing God’s Word.
    Once again HE touched my heart and gave me His Hope!
    I will definitely print this article, as a keeper.
    It helps me to not feel so alone in my heartache. Each of us have different burdens and heartaches
    but how blessed to be reminded of God’s Sovereignty.
    Thank you for “opening my eyes to see” His plan and His Holiness. Open the eyes of my heart Lord!!
    Because He lives WE CAN face today and tomorrow.

  64. Boy I needed this My sister was murdered 39 years ago and my grief is just as bad today as it was then. I just can’t get over it.I know she is in heaven because she knew the Lord ad her Savior. But my pain is overwhelming. I will Pray for my eyes and heart to see right

  65. Carmen Y. Dimas says:

    I love this ministry, I don’t know why I’ve stopped receiving these daily e-mails every day. How can I continue to receive them? It’s hard to get the day started without you. You are a blessing God Bless you.

  66. Shadra (Hubbell) Jenkins says:

    Jennifer, thank you for your insight. Tomorrow is the funeral of my very best friend. She too is a Jesus lover, so I know where she is and that she has ultimately won her battle with cancer. I wouldn’t wish her back to continue struggling, but my heart & my mind wrestle between joy for her and grief for me and all the others who are missing her. Lord, open the eyes of my heart to see as You see.

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