Mourning & Dancing: Day 10

Fallen and Redeemed Work


Today's Text: Genesis 3:17-19, Ecclesiastes 2:18-26, Romans 8:19-23, Ecclesiastes 9:9-10a, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:12-16

God created us as complex creatures, capable of feeling and sensing a whole garden of emotions. Made in the image of our Creator, we can both grieve the wrongs of this world, and celebrate the sweetness of this life.

This 2-week reading plan will lead us through a series of passages from Scripture that examine the seasons of mourning and dancing in the life of a believer. In the written responses here on the site, our writers will enter into this tension, articulating their personal experiences with grief and joy in hopes of freeing you to explore your own. By immersing our hearts and minds in God’s Word, and honestly presenting our laments to Him, may we remember that God is present with us, He is good, and He is faithful.


Fallen Work Scriptures—
Genesis 3:17-19, Ecclesiastes 2:18-26, Romans 8:19-23
Redeemed Work Scriptures—Ecclesiastes 9:9-10a, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:12-16

I was once a well-oiled working machine, churning out articles, speaking at conferences, ministering within my capacity and out of my weaknesses and strengths. While I’d never envisioned myself as an unmarried woman, I found fullness and contentment in the plot God had given me to tend.

Then I got married. And moved. And moved again. I’m no longer in my home, or church, or comfort zone. I still don’t really know anyone here, and we haven’t found a local church home in the D.C. area yet. We feel displaced.

Meanwhile, all the work that’s been done in me and through me is suddenly no longer for me. I can’t write about singleness anymore. I’ve begun to see others picking up the banner I laid down for the gift of marriageand I’ve resented myself for losing it. My heart echoes King Solomon’s words:

“I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun.”
-Ecclesiastes 2:18-19

There is this sadness in me that I cannot shake. The earthly identity I worked hard to build, and tried my best to bear faithfully, is no longer mine to carry. Those days of fruitful ministry feel very far behind me across the chasm of this difficult year. The Enemy loves to taunt me, to tell me I’ve wasted and been wasted, that all those words and thoughts are now lost. It’s hard to trust that my previous work has not been done in vain, though I know it was never mine to begin with. It was always His.

I dreamt of this time for years, didn’t I? I longed to be married. Why then is it so hard to reconcile the work I once did with the work I’m called to now? I agonize over how to spend the eleven-hour days stretching from the still dark hours through sunset when my husband returns. I sweep the kitchen floor, wash the towels, and put fresh flowers in the vase, growing weary and resentful of all I’ve lost, straining to remember that I’ve also gained.

Happy as my husband and I are together, happy as I am to be called his wife, this place in life is still not our true home. It isn’t supposed to be.

Today I do four loads of laundry. I sweep the kitchen floor. I write this post. I text Nate and our friends to tell them I love them, that I’m praying for them. I heed King Solomon’s words: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). But in my struggle as a new stay-at-home wife, I remember that work is still work, no matter the title, no matter how blessed. At the fall, God told Adam so: the work of his hands would be hard from then on (Genesis 3:17). And it still is, for all of us. It will be until the day in Glory when pain in all its forms is no more (Revelation 21:4).

Sometimes the days drag on, the work feels endless. I can’t sort through the mountain of to-dos quickly enough, and yet it feels like I’m searching for things to do with my hands. But this is the plot to which I am called today: this home, this house, this husband. It is a life both better and harder than I imagined, and it’s being redeemed by God with every light and heavy step along the way.

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”
-Philippians 2:13


Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

  • Elizabeth S

    Needed this in the season I’m in… thank you!

  • This is really good! I graduated college with and engineering degree and couldn’t find a job. I can see now that doors were closed for a reason and it gave me no other choice than to follow my dreams to do ministry, missions and the arts. I went to Thunder School in Nashville a few months after graduating and it has been a journey ever since. I didn’t realize how much I had defined myself by what I did in school, but God is showing me that above all, I belong to him.

  • Thank you for this. We recently moved away from class friends and ministry we had for 6trs in beautiful AZ to return closer to home in MO. I was an honoring wife though I did not want to move. I’ve struggled with the grief of loosing our friends and Life there. I feel purposeless where I am now. I’ve literally quoted Solomon! Thank you letting me know others have experienced this grief too but reminding me that I do have purpose. I needed that. God is using you.

  • Haley White

    Thank you for this!

  • Lori, this was the saddest post I’ve read on SRT! I am so sorry for this difficult transition period you are going through. I do hope things have gotten easier since your wrote this. Although I can’t relate to this one, I feel so much pain for you. Prayers will continue to come your way!

  • Calista

    I hope you’ve found a church by now! Just in case you haven’t, give Monterey Church a try! It’s in Warrenton, VA, I believe. I can relate to what you’ve gone through. I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes and I fill the space with food or tv or both. Thanks for that verse in Romans!!

  • @loreferguson thank you for your words. They really resonated with me. I am in a similar season. I have gone through school, gotten a masters degree in education, taught for 3 years and am now….at home. No kids. As a military wife, my life sometimes seems at the beck and call of the Air Force. I’m at home now because we are planning for 2 moves this year. And so, like you wrote, I do laundry and check my endless to do list, but also seem to be looking for work to do with my hands- such a strange place to be when it seems there is so much to do and yet you feel frantic to be busy and productive! To be purposeful. Thanks for the reminder that this place, too, is a called position. A verse that God spoke to me in this season is 1 cor 7:17 “17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.” Where we are is where we’re called, and it is a divine place- just like the other places we’ve been.

  • This is a lesson for my next season of life. I’ve been unwell with M.E for a couple of years, managing to just about hold down a part time job, but no energy for housework. My husband has been working hard full time plus tending to the house. We have a baby on the way in August, and moving house in the next month or two. I will be stopping work and have been dealing with feelings of guilt that I will not be contributing financially for a while. Actually, I wonder whether God has ordained this time for me to rest and heal, but also to focus on housework first, that will be my job, so my dear husband can rest when he comes home in the evenings, and once baby is born, spend his time with his son/daughter. It always amazes me how God knows exactly what our family needs. Thank you for this reminder today, it has been a great encouragement to me in a time of big change!

  • Definitely needed this today!

  • Elizabeth

    This is exactly what I have been going through! Being a stay at home wife and mom makes me feel almost like my life is amounting to nothing but I have to remember that God has me here for a reason! This was truly beautifully written!!

  • I’m going through a similar phase, but at a different life stage. I was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, but before that I had a thriving career in the publishing world. Now, though I am able to do some editing and writing from home, I long for the identity and fulfillment I once had in my career. I know my identity comes from Christ, and He is sufficient for me, but I guess we all long for human recognition. I’ll be praying for you, Lore, as you seek after God’s best plan for your life.

  • April M.

    Lore, thank you so much for sharing these words that were good reminders to me today! I am not sure if you will see this, but we have some friends who started a church in DC about 5 years ago and just wanted to recommend it to you. These people love and treasure Jesus and live out the Gospel well!

  • I feel like this was written just for me. I resonated with everything you wrote. I am a single woman, however made a move back a few years ago to my hometown in the west coast after living in Philly for 12 years. My career and independence defined me while I lived in Philly. Now, even after 4 years of being in the west coast, I’m still feeling displaced and incredibly lonely. My heart also echoes and resonates with Eccl. 2:18,19. Thank you for speaking to my heart.

  • I’ve been married 37 years, and for my husband’s job we have moved cities 6 times. Each time I had to start over–finding a church, friends, doctors, shopping, schools, finding clients for my small consulting business, and on and on. At times the loneliness was almost palpable. I remember thinking I could die there and no one would even know. I have learned that suffering produces great fruit. Those experiences shaped us profoundly, we see now. God has burdened us deeply to reach out to others who are lonely or new, and it has become our personal ministry. We would have been content to never reach out, had we not agonized through repeated loneliness ourselves.

  • Good for me to read today. I am entering into a new season as I am working, going to school, involved at my church, and now starting a part-time internship. All exciting things but the thought of how to balance day to day activities seems too much for me to handle. I feel passionate about everything I do and have to continue doing it all. However, I don’t have much strength right now. It was encouraging reminder that I am supposed to do each thing for God who promises to work in me when I am looking to Him. Lord, please be my strength and well as for all the ladies as well. We need You so desperately!

  • I feel as though I could have written this. Truly. My family moved into the DC area just 3 months ago and while we’ve found a church home we have not yet gotten into serving mode. I had a full time ministry position that I had taken as a single woman and I’ve left it 14 years later as a married momma of 2 kiddos. Left that position for a secular office job. Left my stay-at-home-momma job for a full day away from my kids job. My identity was more wrapped up in being a worship leader and mom than I ever realized. There are days I sit at my desk and wonder, is this worth it? I know we made this sacrifice to enable my husband to finish school, to be near my family, but I truly, truly, truly am struggling to find my way, to find connections, to find home. Reading over everyone elses comments has been such an encouragement to me. I’m going to find the work the Lord has for me to do at this time and in this place and do it for HIS glory and with ALL my might, because He is a good good good GOOD Father, and this world is not my home, I’m just passing through.

  • God is so good and His timing so perfect! Your words could have been mine but as a newly stay-at-home mom with my twins. I left a job I loved to stay home and do a job I love more, that I’ve prayed for, for years. As I fell asleep last night I struggled with inner turmoil over leaving so quickly, not getting to say long goodbyes to those who were my family, their children mine for so many years. Thank you for putting these thoughts down and giving Scripture that always speaks truth! My restless heart is quieted. This season is full of change but there’s immense beauty and joy in it

  • Becky Miller

    Ecclesiastes 2:18-19, what a comment. Your words touched me deeply today. I am behind on this study and this may be the reason. I am married, for forty years almost. But I am in a similar place. I retired while taking treatment for cancer, not really a choice. I feel lost and unnecessary. Your words spoke to my heart. I also prayed God’s close present to you. Ecclesiastes 9:10 is going in my verse to turn to when in need. Thank you.

  • Brittany

    This was really powerful today. Scripture that I’ve been repeating to myself lately repeated one after the other. Sitting in my car on a lunch break at work, praying God reveals my purpose. My job is difficult sometimes, as are most. Thankful God is with me all day, even when I forget that I’m working for Him. Thankful for His grace.

  • Michelle

    Thank you to each of the writers for sharing your hearts so openly. Just recently we were going through a busy month of lots of visitors an my husband busy with work and I was trying to kid wrangle and homeschool our 3 littlies. I was really treading water and feeling the disconnect and the tension between my husband and I growing. One day I said to God why should I do all this to help my husband? He’s not even noticing that I’m doing as much as I can. He doesn’t deserve it! The response was not audible but the next closest thing- but I do. The Lord deserves my utmost, my best always. Another time recently while struggling with my eldest and his attitude I was feeling deflated about wanting to delight in him despite the attitude but responding badly. Again the voice in my heart, delight first in me!

  • This resonated with me today. I am still figuring out what it looks like to fulfill God’s call on my life in married life. I used to feel like I would be totally fine single my whole life. There were many things I wanted to do and so many ways I felt like I would make a difference in the world. Now, I feel like I am just floating through life, without purpose. My husband is in leadership at our church as the worship leader, and I feel like I am just added on–my husbands wife. It is not at all how I pictured my life, and I have been struggling greatly with this. I feel like I have no purpose and that I am just going through each monotonous day until it’s over. I have been reminded that part of marriage is being a support to our spouse, so instead of trying to find “my thing,” I want to be supportive where he’s at in this time. And I’m sure there will be different times in our marriage when things will be different. But I need to be fully present where God has me now.

    • Jenny

      I can really understand where you’re coming from. As a military spouse, I’ve definitely felt like an “add on” as I follow my husband and his career around the country- sometimes working, sometimes not. One thing I’ve been praying lately has helped me: “God, how can I live the fullest life NOW?” I’ll close my eyes and think about what a FULL life would look like to me in this season and I believe He’s led me to a lot of different opportunities as I prayerfully consider how to spend my time. I signed up for a pottery class, started volunteering at a local homeless shelter and am looking for writing groups in the area. God has people and opportunities for you NOW that will prepare you for what’s ahead. I will say a prayer for you today, Ashley! That you hear Gods specific callings for right where you are. :) also 1 cor 7:17 has really helped me as I consider the place I’m in a calling from God.

  • Jenna Hoff

    May I gently ask a question. ….why does being a wife and married now mean you must stay at home and not work?

    I don’t mean to imply you must work now that you are married. But if you have 11 hours of boredom and struggle to fill the hours after doing all the laundry etc and if you are healthy and well and miss your former lifestyle of working and out of home contribution, perhaps this is God’s way of gently letting you know that there is a place for you in the workforce.

    Maybe you could find a small part time job to break up the day, or start a day home where you babysit a local child, or volunteer at your church or a local hospital or soup kitchen. Your writing is excellent. …maybe you could write more about newlywed life or a different topic altogether.

    I think as women we can undervalue our skill sets or what we have to offer. But I don’t believe God wants us to sit at home bored and unfilled while there is an entire world of hurting people with needs that we have skills to contribute towards. Some may disagree but I don’t think being a wife and working are mutually exclusive. Now that you are a wife and have even more rich life experience you may have even more to contribute to others. Maybe you could spend a few hours per week at a teen crisis shelter and mentor young girls in need.
    Please don’t think this is a criticsm but a gentle encouragement.


    • Sarah

      These are excellent questions, Jenna. This echoes some of my own learning process as a new wife a few years ago, as I found outlets to work and serve that mirrored God’s desires stirring in me. As I grew into my own new place in the world and how that looked different in a new city, now married, it also brought joy to our marriage. I was refreshed being all of who I was created to be, and brought that back into our home and relationship. I’ve also found these outlets of work and service, dreaming and creating, when activated in my life, bring joy to my role as a mother.

      Good questions to ask as we pray and seek wise counsel for our own lives. “I have come that you may have life, and have it in abundance.” John 10:10

      Prayers for you, sisters, as you determine what is uniquely best for your life!

    • Emily

      I had the same question and thoughts… honestly kind of confused about this post so I’m glad I wasn’t alone. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lore – I became a stay at home wife in the Spring when I left my job to look for work, and you’ve written about the struggle of being a stay at home wife (no kids) in a way that is so honest and connective for others who are facing what feels like such an isolating place!! There are secular blogs out there for stay at home wives, but I haven’t found anything for Christians seeking to follow the Lord. In changing your circumstances, God has given you a new subgroup of hurting people to love on and minister to. Your words bring to life dark emotions we may not know how to phrase and your post provides opportunity for a community of people all struggling with the same “stay-at-home” status to connect and encourage one another. This discussion that isn’t being had in most churches, and it encourages my heart to know there are other beautiful godly women in the same place I am. THANK YOU!!! Don’t stop writing and speaking! We need you.

  • Beth Rayburn

    Lore, you have transitioned from singleness to married life, I am transitioning from a stay at home mom to one with an empty nest. The feelings are the same regardless. Any new place feels strange and a bit awkward. Doing whatever your hands find to do, and doing it with the confidence that God is with you, that is the mundane that glory needs to cover. Your next step will unfold. Be blessed.

  • Jennifer W.

    Wow, this was really convicting to me. I realize I haven’t really let down the “mantle” I was carrying when I was a single missionary for a decade always praying for a future husband and family. In the short span of two years, I met, married and had a beautiful baby girl with my wonderful husband. We are growing together and I love being married. But I feel so much guilt for the ministry I am no longer doing. And I read this post and think I am still doing SO much more than folding laundry and texting people I love them. I work 15 hours a week at our church, I am a leader in our women’s ministry and I have sweet one year old girl. I haven’t ever let myself be that wife and now I need to be a mom too and I haven’t taken the time to allow myself to be in the season that God has so graciously granted me. If you read this, please pray for me. I really don’t know how to get out of all of the commitments that I have to my church and I feel that if I let go of the ministries, I will just feel guilty all of the time that I am not doing more. Meanwhile, my husband is beyond stressed that we are so busy, we can’t lose our baby weight from the stress even with diet and exercise and I am missing sweet time with my baby girl. We are totally open to God giving us more children, and I really want to see God help me find my rhythm in this season before we just add more “to-dos”. I need real vision for my home and to receive grace to be the shepherd of my home and not of everyone else right now. Thank you for anyone who feels led to pray. I know that God hears.

    • Kylee

      Praying for you Jennifer, that God would reveal in your life the commitments & obligations He has called you to handle, and help you drop the stuff that’s not meant for you. It can be so hard to know what we’re supposed to do when everyone seems to think we can do it all — so lean in to God and let him guide you in this season! The guilt from dropping commitments will pass in time, and you’ll be on your way to finding enjoyment in this season vs dreading it. Prayers, prayers, prayers.

    • Phylicia

      I hear you… Praying for you Jennifer!

  • Brittany Burkman

    Lore I hope you read this- there is encouragement in your posts about singleness despite the fact you are married. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you should stop posting and working for singles. Please keep doing that because I find encouragement in your messages.

  • I moved home a few weeks ago after serving in China for the 3 years. Being back with my family has been great, but I often feel like I left my purpose and ministry on the other side of the world. Though I’m not married, I can relate to your emotions of transistion and am thankful that we serve a God who holds our hand and never changes through the ups and downs of new stages in our life! Thanks for the encouragement! PS. The song Seasons Change by Unites Pursuit has really encouraged me in this time and I thought I’d share in case others in transition need a tune to lift their spirits!

  • Maria Baer

    Oh— this. This is me. I had a great identity as a single woman and then I got married last year and I feel like I’m drifting. I feel resentment especially when I feel I’m not being appreciated for everything I gave up even though I know I’m where God wants me to be. I find marriage hard and I pray that I shake this feeling.

    • Phylicia

      Praying for you Maria! The transition from single to married life can be a difficult one. I know I struggled to find my new identity but was reminded by my cousin – my identity isn’t wrapped in what I do or don’t do, it’s in Him and who I am to Him. I’m His daughter and His hope for me is to follow Him. I had to create an identity of who I wanted to be as a person, not in a career or status, but as a woman of God. He gently reminded me it’s ok to let go of the single me and embrace the married me He designed. It’s another step in life but I’m still the same person: a daughter of God.

  • Come to National Community Church!

  • Jacqueline

    This: “I agonize over how to spend the eleven-hour days stretching from the still dark hours through sunset when my husband returns. I sweep the kitchen floor, wash the towels, and put fresh flowers in the vase, growing weary and resentful of all I’ve lost, straining to remember that I’ve also gained.”

    Thank you for putting words to my recent experience. My husband and I just moved to a new country for his job and I cannot work here without a permit which will take months. I left my friends, family and job behind at home and I don’t know a soul here. He’s gone most hours of the day and it’s tough. But I’ve also gained a lot. I’ve gained more time to spend in God’s Word. I’ve gained a more relaxed, slow-paced life, which is good for my formerly high levels of stress and anxiety. And I’ve gained the opportunity to support my husband in more practical ways as he takes on this new challenge. So, I’m going to keep doing all of this ‘with all my might’… and try to maintain this fresh perspective. Thank you.

  • Christina

    Thank you. Maybe someday I will have a husband. I’m 38 and single and that is God’s will for me today. God needs me to learn to have faith in him alone before I have a husband because I can easily become codependent on a human. I am in a job search and pray I get a position at St. Luke’s a faith-based hospital in my area. So far they are the only people I have had real contact with and am excited about working for them.

  • ~Lakeisha

    Beautiful post, thank you!!!! Love the scriptures today!

  • This post spoke to me so much today. I have found myself in a huge point of transition – having to balance preparation for the future while finishing large tasks in the present to wrap up the past. And all at once I am too busy to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for the change, a time where I will have new unfamiliar and maybe undesirable work. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I loved Philippians 2:14-15 – “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”. What a beautiful reminder.

  • Christen Stevens

    I really got a lot from this post. I love the scriptures you chose because I think it’s easy to forget that God has blessed us with this life and we must do our very best, no matter what the task.

  • Livin On Holy Yoga And Oils:)

    This is going to sound terrible but does anyone else feel there is to much scripture to read? I feel like I am able to take to heart a smaller amount of scripture than when I read so much it all gets lost somehow. Some things so stick out but not as much.

    • I understand :) but really after the study of the day, you’d realize only one scripture or two stands out. I think you should focus on the one that ministers to your heart most.

  • Allison Janae

    This is so fitting for today in particular for me. I will be needing a lot of prayers for my boyfriend today. His dad will be addressing some news towards him that will be hard to hear/accept. Please pray it does not fall on deaf ears and that his heart and mind will be softened. Pray also for strength, for all of us.

  • Thank you for sharing. You put words to my experience and what continues to be a lot of my world. I appreciate your honesty!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever read the verse at the end, Phil 2:13 in this context. Thanks for shedding new light on it!

  • Lore, You and your husband are welcome to join us at Luther Place Memorial Church on Vermont Ave NW in DC. We’d love to have you worship with us.

  • I can totally relate to this post. For me it was the transition between working wife with no kids to stay at home mom with a brand new baby. It was tough and lonely figuring it all out. On top of that we moved across the country so I knew no one. We had to find a new church, new friends and get used to living so far from family. We are almost at the year two mark. I prayed for a new Christian community and a few close friends and God provided, in his perfect timing. Don’t give up Lore. Hang in there. Our God is so faithful and He has this new plan for you that is better than you thought or imagined. Thank you for what you do; for sharing your story and he love of Jesus in every season.

    • Jennifer Wood

      We have such similar stories! Almost married two years, moved across the country for my man, our baby is one year old now. New church, new job, new family and trying to make new friends! I will pray for you! God has blessed me in this new season but it has definitely been stretching and challenging!

  • In past years, I’ve been happily busy serving- working with teenagers, kids with special needs, leading medical mission trips. Now I stay home with my littles and do not formally serve anywhere. It’s the season of life I’m in- being present with my hubs and kids. It’s easy for me to fall into thinking that I’m a slacker, that I’m doing “nothing” with my life to honor God. But God help me to work wholeheartedly in this season, rejoice in it, serve you well!!

  • Hi Lore,
    Thank you for your honesty In sharing the grief in losing your old “purpose” in life despite the gaining a husband and the joy that can bring.
    I too am in a season of life as an empty nester to an only child who had cancer, but is healed, Thank God. I had such a busy life raising her and taking care of my elderly mother who was dying at the same time as my daughter’ s illness.. I knew what was expected of me at that very hectic time in life. I was very busy doing what I knew God had me do. Now my daughter has grown up and gotten married.
    So I am now in a new season in life and am not really sure what is expected of me. I am a doer, I like to be busy. The things that were important to me,
    Like taking my daughter to sports and friends, and a spotless home, no longer appeal to me.
    I am learning to use this time to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what he has to teach me.
    I am learning that God is redefining who I am as my roll in life has changed.

    • Christa

      Thank you Terese. I’m not quite where you are, but I dread getting there. I have been called to be a kindergarten teacher and, after 20 years, still love “playing school” and serving my kindergarteners everyday. My daughter is 12 and I spend most of any time away from work taking her to dance, cheer, tumbling and competitions all over the country and Texas. We are always on the go! Somehow, my hubby and I still find time for date night! But, sometimes, I wonder if I will be lost when this season ends. My daughter’s growing up, not needing me as much, so I know it won’t be long. Eventually, retirement will come. Thank you for your wisdom. You reminded me that I am here to first serve the Lord, not my job, or my child, Although I cherish every moment. It gives me hope that when our nest is empty, I will still find purpose in Him.

  • Lore, thank you for putting into words how I often feel. I longed for the day that I got to be a stay at home wife (or domestic engineer, as I now title it). I thought it would be picture perfect & that I’d love it; I’d keep the house clean, make homemade meals for every meal; we’d get pregnant right away & my Hallmark movie channel life would continue on perfect & blessed. That was 4 or 5 years ago. Our family still consists of my husband, myself & our two animals. We do have two unborn babies in Heaven but my arms are still empty. Thank you for the reminder that is this not our true home. Thank you for bringing the Bible verse of Philippians 2:13; I shall put this verse in my heart & work on acting it out in my life.

    • Erin

      I love you Tosha and am so proud of the work you are doing. Miss you, friend.

  • Love the honesty & transparency of today’s devotional thoughts. We’ve all been there (or will be). I’m ‘adjusting’ to retirement right now – much anticipated, but yet trying to find my place & purpose once again – struggling at times. I welcome the tasks – dedicate them to Him; celebrate opportunities to be with family & chances to connect; take each day as a blessing & come with expectation into His Presence for communion & direction. Thanks for a thought-provoking devotional!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us today, Nancy! Praying for you in your adjustment!


  • Thank you for this post! I was prompted by the Lord to leave my job back in October 2015… It’s been almost 10 months since then and my husband and I moved across the country a few months ago. I’ve been trying to land a new job in my field but no luck. I’m not even sure if what I was doing is STILL what I want to do.

    The Lord has been speaking to me a LOT about identity lately. My identity was found in what I DID and not who I am as a child of God. It’s a continual struggle as I am now a full time house wife with no kids. I feel guilty most days for ‘not doing enough work’. I need to remember that in this season I need to work hard for the lord in even the small things.

    • Kelley

      Hi Steph! I feel like our stories are parallel, the God prompting you to leave a job and the identity struggles. I left my job as a legislative staffer in the Spring, and it’s been the hardest and yet most spiritually nourishing season of my life. I’ve been applying and interviewing but no offers yet, and I feel like I’m just getting the hang of “life can keep moving when you’re unemployed”. Thank you for sharing your story!! It’s encouraging to know there’s someone else out there who is seeking to obey God in the same way He’s leading me right now. “In your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” -Psalm 139:16

  • Claire Dial

    I know of a very good church in Arlington. It’s called Portico Arlington. They meet at HB Woodlawn at 10:30 AM. It’s located at 4100 Vacation Lane in Arlington. It is made up of mainly young marrieds. The pastor is fantastic.

  • Annie Luther

    Thank you for sharing. I would recommend The King’s Chapel in Clifton, VA. It’s my home church and though it might be a 20-30 minute drive, I find the community and mission wholly worth it. Christ’s peace x

  • Melody Suarez

    I’m recently engaged and am getting married next August but for some reason lately, I have been really missing my single days. Not that I don’t enjoy being in a relationship but just that being single, you are able to give your full undivided attention to the Lord and serve Him with all your might, rather than trying to please your husband all the time. I really took that for granted when I was single and always thought the grass would be greener on the other side, but even now, I’m still craving something more, and I know that something more is my Heavenly Father. I think it just reminds me that we were made to crave heaven, to be with Jesus, and that this life on earth is temporary and fleeting. Obviously I’m going to serve my husband still and love him, but even when I’m married, my identity is not in marriage, it’s in Jesus Christ. It reminds of the quote by C.S Lewis: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
    Can’t wait for that day! I think it’s good for the single ladies to know that marriage is not going to satisfy the way you think it will. Marriage is good and God created it, but it’s not the best thing, God is the best thing and enjoy giving him your full attention!

    • Christina

      Praying for you Melody. Engagement was the hardest for me too as I separated from my singleness permanently; it was a giant step of faith for me. Trusting that as my husband and I became one that we would make our life about God’s purpose just as I had strived so hard for in my singleness. It hasn’t always been easy in our 9 years of marriage but I can certainly say that God does indeed use marriage to make us more holy and not just to make us happy. There will be times you will have to be on your face in prayer for your husband to lead you and times when you can feel that you are clearly not in alignment with God’s will; your husband won’t do it perfectly all the time but God will honor our dedication to Him even in the mess of life. Press into God as you love your husband; He will care for you both gently! Xoxo -CW

      • Melody Suarez

        Thanks so much for sharing that Christina! I love that you said marriage is meant to make you more holy and not more happy! I read a book that reiterated that same message. It’s called Sacred Marriage. It totally put into perspective what marriage is about in a spiritual and Godly sense and I absolutely loved it! Thanks for that reminder :) and I’m excited to see all that the Lord will do in this new season of life and transition. Congratulations on 9 years! I will be praying for your marriage too and that it can impact others like your words of wisdom have impacted me. Super grateful!

    • She Reads Truth

      Melody, thank you so much for sharing your honest and encouraging thoughts today. Your post is one I’ll return to! Glad you’re in the SRT community.


  • This really spoke to my heart. Thank you for sharing. I recently got laid off from my job. My husband and I have been married for about a year and a half. I am a college grad but have never really found the “perfect” job where I felt I was using my talents. every job I pursued has not worked out since I got let go. I prayed and prayed and over and over again & I have felt God telling me it was okay to follow my dream of owning my own photography business. So, this past month I have been pursuing that dream. As a person who likes to be busy and hates sitting and waiting…it is hard for me on the days when I feel like I am a stay-at-home-wife like you were saying. Some days I don’t feel my business growing or see the good that has come from this time of trusting God or the good in the ordinary day of cleaning and laundry. Some days the Devil likes to remind me of my anxiety and fears and the fact that I don’t have a flourishing career right now and it holds me back. But, I know God is faithful even in the small things. He has provided a part-time job this past month & a promise of one in the following months as well. He hasn’t left us in this season of waiting and trusting. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I love how you say “But this is the plot to which I am called today: this home, this house, this husband”
    So often I forget this.every season is one that we need to embrace, especially the ones that produce growth. Thank you!

  • Caroline

    Thanks for sharing this Ecclesiastes verse. SO powerful. I hate the taunting of the enemy… oh how it feels so true sometimes…

  • Keri Underwood

    At my bridal shower this past weekend, everyone wrote down advice for Josh and I. One that stuck out to me was saying that even when you’re fighting and you don’t want to serve him or clean the house or make dinner, do it to the glory of God and not for him. We don’t have to do things for people BUT we are called to serve. So if we focus on doing the wifey duties for Christ instead we will see that our heart will soften.

  • Megan Craig

    Lore’s testimony is so encouraging – I’m like her, always busy busy before God did unexpected things in my family life and now I’m a stay at home mom. It’s an identity and lifestyle shift – more mundane than I imagined, and yet infinitely more joyful because I’m being faithful to my calling. I mean, I still hate doing dishes and cleaning up toys 20 times a day, but there’s purpose there. It produces a new, quiet, unshakable faith in my heart.

  • I just finished reading Laura Story’s book “When God Doesn’t Fix It” and would highly recommend it. It has helped me so much and given such a different perspective in dealing with hard times and trials.

    • Verna

      For those of you who joined us for the When God Doesn’t Fix It OBS and want to repeat the study, on your own or with a small group, you can still save $4 off on all of the study materials using the code LAURA4.

      You can find all the resources here >>

  • Sarabeth

    This is beautiful. I struggle with being in a job that is good but not what I truly feel called to do. Yet He has said “Wait” when I plea with Him to fulfill my dreams and calling. I too struggle with my hands itching to do something. Even in my job that I must continue in, there are times that I feel underutilized and ignored. However, He has called us to do His work wherever we are. Lord give me the strength and love to do Your work where You place me.

    • Sarabeth

      Ps 90:17 “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
      Establish the work of our hands for us-
      Yes, establish the work of our hands.”
      My prayer for all of us.

  • I almost can’t believe how timely this message is today. Today is my last day of work at a job I love with people I love in Las Vegas, NV as I again uproot everything for the second time in two years to move back across the country to DC. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that today I say goodbye to so many people and things I love, all while continuing to step out in faith and go where the Lord has called me. The choice to walk by faith and not by sight is no means an easy one, but I trust that in all of this it will be done by God’s grace and for his glory. My life is not my own, and if he wants to uproot us every few years to keep us feeling like we’re in the valley and cling to him in dependence, I welcome that! As strange as it may sound, I am convinced one of the best things in life is for life to be difficult but for Christ to give us himself. I pray we all take that leap of faith today to step out into the unknown of where God’s calling us, knowing he will be with us every step of the way.

  • Balance. Something I for sure struggle with. Choosing to spend time on activities that provide little long term value to the plan God has for my life and instead finding I lost in an hour on Facebook. Some of my dissatisfaction coming from choices that I have made to neglect that which God has called me and instead choosing that which has little value. I am grateful for my family and my work. I find myself overwhelmed when I say yes to too many things. Not considering what God would have me do with my time. What he finds valuable? This year I am going to make sure what ever tasks/work I do is in line with his will for me so that I don’t get overwhelmed and find myself too distracted to do the ministry of raising my little disciples, teaching and loving children. Working with all my heart on that which he has given me to work.

  • Diane Huntsman

    The more noticed we are in a ministry the harder it is to go to the unnoticed life.. But God notices the unnoticed and His eyes are the most important.. Stripping is good when God desires to do a work in us.. I’ll never feel as important in a life that doesn’t have much glam to it, but I am important to God no matter what I’m not doing for the applause of man.. His ways are not our ways they are higher.. ❤️

  • Christina D.

    Today I’m thinking about all of these comments and this devotional. I became a mother two years ago and I am quite smitten with my daughter. But since my pregnancy we have made two huge moves and with the first I left my nursing career. It has been hard. I frequently feel “less than” as a stay at home mom, especially as I watch so many of my nurse friends who have babies return to work. Outside of being at home I kind of feel useless. I even had a dream recently that I was going to have to find a job again and I felt overwhelmed with anxiety because it has been so long since I worked that I no longer possessed the knowledge/skills to do my job, which is a huge fear for me. Additionally the two moves uprooted me entirely from friends. Thankfully the second move brought us much closer to family which really is a gift (I’ve lived away from them for 15 years). But I’m finding I still miss the certainty of my identity through my career and the comfort of close friendships that were forged over the course of many years. While I have faith and family to anchor me I still so often feel adrift. I am so grateful to spend the time at home with my daughter during these very transient early years of her life but I still water that seed of discontentment and allow it to take root in my heart. Lord, you know the value I carried in my identity through my career and friendships was still worthless compared to you. Please sew your peace in my heart during this season. Shine a light on the goodness and joy but also the quietness and solitude and the space it allows for me to abide more deeply in You. Weed out the discontentment in my heart that is so often my silent companion. Make room for rest and peace.

    • Ijeoma

      I pray the peace of God that surpasses all understanding dwell richly in your heart, giving you the wisdom to know what step to follow. If it be according to the will of God, I pray the dream the Lord has given about your job come to fruition. Don’t give into fear. He’s still at work in you, Christina.

    • Beth

      Christina, I pray you find peace, but maybe that peace would be some form of getting back into your career. As a nurse, you may think about just taking a contingent position somewhere. Some commitments are as little as 12 hours a month (one shift). Maybe that would put your mind at ease that you are not losing your skills and knowledge and also bring you some companionship outside the home. I’m not trying to discourage staying home with your child, just giving you something else to pray about.

  • Tochi Heredia

    Ugh, this was surprisingly timely.
    I’m currently struggling with the balance of ministry work and my missionary calling, and my secular job and career calling.
    I very often feel like Solomon, that everything I do is in vain, I feel like I strive for doing a good job in every aspect of my life, but I usually fall short and end up disappointed at myself. Some days I just sit and stare at my work pile, thinking why bother.

    How refreshing and marvelous it is that our Father doesn’t really care about WHAT we do, but rather HOW we do it. I think that He gladly takes everything we do as our service to Him, as long as we do it with a humble heart, selflessness and for His Glory.

    Today I’m praying that He shows us the way He wants us to spend our time and resources, and that our hearts find joy in it.

  • Elizabeth

    I used to live in DC and also have to recommend DC Metro Church. Amazing. I miss it every day.

  • When I read your words, it was if I was reading my own. Starting out in a new place is hard. But, being where the Lord has placed you is the best. The long days waiting for my husband to walk into the door are probably the hardest part. We have found a church family that we love but making new friends is still a challenge. Thank you for being transparent, which ministered to me.

  • Thank you for obediently writing your heart (i.e. Holy spirit goodness). I sent this to three of my friends as it connects to closely to our late-twenties life style. THANK YOU for your honest words. They brought about feeling of being known. So grateful.

  • Katheryn

    Thank you for the reminder that my time at home as a wife/mother is not wasted. Today’s reading has given me renewed motivation to get our too large of a house under control, and to be thankful for my time home with our toddler.

  • Brittany

    Thank you for this. I uprooted myself to follow my husband and a job out to the Midwest and have been struggling to find my place. I appreciate your opening up. I am originally from the DC area and attended McLean Presbyterian Church, which has some pretty excellent people. Thinking of you in your church hunt and empathizing with how hard that is.

  • Thank you for sharing this word today. DCMetro is another awesome church in the area; Alexandria and Fairfax locations.

  • You should check out Christ Our Shepherd church in DC!

  • I so needed this bible study today on the meaning of work after the Fall and after Redemption. Great scriptures and lesson.

  • Thanks for sharing your heart so honestly this morning, Lore! Thought I’d throw my two cents in on DC area churches since that’s where I grew up and spent two years of my adult life. The Falls Church (Anglican) was where I spent my childhood years and Church of the Advent is where I went as an adult. Both are wonderful! I still miss Advent, even after being gone for two years.

    • Liz

      I was also going to suggest Church of the Advent or its sister church on the Hill, Church of the Resurrection!

  • Churchmouse

    Not so very many years ago I was thriving in a very public local church ministry. It was rewarding, fulfilling, good Godly work. I loved it! God and I were tight. Then… Church upheaval. Not once but twice. Ministry there became difficult. My spirit unsettled. God wrenched me from that place. I cried. I complained. I begged God for an explanation. I was doing good work for His glory so why did it all go crashing? Today, years later, comes understanding. Those ministry years were simply preparation for now. I thought that former ministry was the goal. Not so. It was just part of an on – going journey. Would I serve Him privately, quietly with as much diligence as I had publicly? Would I see the small task as every bit as glorious and important as the large task? Would I trust that He knows exactly what He’s doing when He’s moving me? Sweet sisters, I would not trade what I am doing now for ‘back then.’ Today is every bit as richly rewarding but it took that preparation to get here. He has opened doors I could not even imagine, still quiet ones without fanfare. But He is there and that is all that matters.

    • Melea

      I needed this lesson today as well as your comment. I am going through something very similar. Our loving Father is also calling me to serve Him quietly and privately after having served Him so publicly for so long. It’s a hard transition. Thank you for sharing! Your words give me the clarity I needed regarding my situation. ❤️

    • Rhonda

      Wow…you just wrote of my story, Churchmouse. Looking forward to the doors He plans to open.

  • I told you about my new small business yesterday that God led me to start. They are boxes for every season-
    Anyway-here’s the Fb
    I don’t have many real friends to ask them to join. That’s something I’ve been praying for-Godly friends. I’m praying for all you girls today-no matter where you are in your journey today.

  • Lore, welcome to the DC area! It is certainly a different kind of mission field. We would love to have you join us at Restore Christian Church in silver spring me ( Wherever you land, I pray that God will soon put the person(s) in your path who will be able to walk with you in this journey He’s set for you here and in this new stage of life, amen!

  • Cindy Young

    Lore and Veronica, I pray that our Heavenly Father, who is faithful in all of the seasons of life, will meet you today, right where you are and you’ll recognize His embrace and relish His peace and comfort.

  • I completely feel you sister! I felt that I had such a thriving ministry before I got married. It was well-defined, fruitful, and highly suited to me and the gifts God gave me. I knew that when we got married three years ago, it would pull me from my familiar geographic zone, not out of state, but far enough to really snap those cords of connection to what I had known and had been doing. I knew that it would be good to take a year off of doing any sort of committed ministry so we could focus on our new marriage, but it’s been sluggish getting started in anything else. We don’t have children yet, which are usually a good catalyst for ministry, and everything I used to do is just beyond reach. We have also committed to working hard now so that I can stay home when they do arrive, which means I have little spare time for extra activities. I do lament over what used to be and the freedom I had as a single woman – the experiences I was able to throw myself into for God. But I know this is a season of my life and God is still using me in small ways. You are in my prayers, friend! I know the heart-hurt this can give. I’m sure some wonderful women on here are in your area and can suggest churches for you.

    Thank you for your story today.

  • Come to @DCMetroChurch in Alexandria!

  • Veronica B.

    I’m having similar issues, but in reverse. I was a wife for 8 years. I loved it and I thought I was good at it. Then my husband decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. That was two years ago and while I have come to terms with my divorce, I am now struggling with life as a single person. I got married right out of grad school, so I’ve never really lived on my own and had my own identity as an adult apart from my husband before this. It is so much harder than I would have imagined.

    I love the freedom I have… I can go wherever I want, whenever I want. I can take spontaneous trips without having to check in with someone else. I can use my finances however I see fit, without having to check in with my spouse. But it is also hard and I miss a lot of the little things that having a life partner comes with: walking down the street holding hands, coming home to a hug, always having someone to talk to at 2am when you can’t sleep because of stress at work or you had a nightmare. These are the things I’m struggling with right now.

    I’m working hard to focus on the good things and trying to be patient and allow God to work through this phase of my life. But it is just that… hard.

    • Frieda

      I have been hoping that someone else would share what I’ve been experiencing and feeling. After 31 years of marriage I too am grieving the loss of what I thought would be forever and trying to figure out how to fit into my life that seems like forever right now.
      I know that my Savior has me in his arms but I must admit that I feel at times so detached from Him as well. I don’t know how to do this or fit into this life. I have recently moved also, to southern Houston area, and need to find a church home for community. But truthfully, many days are just too hard and I find myself being a hermit rather than doing the hard work of meeting new people.
      This is the first time I’ve posted on SRT. It’s crazy thinking to feel so blessed by those who share their hearts but I feel so hesitant to share my own. I know the enemy wants win right now but I cling to the One who will never leave or forsake me. Thank you SRT women of God.

  • Grace Covenant Church has a DC, Chantilly, VA and Sterling, VA locations!! Come worship with us :)

  • I attend DC Metro. There are locations in Alexandria, Fairfax and Woodbridge. I love it there.

  • Kristine L

    I moving to a new school, onto a new team. I’m working with new people who don’t know me or my strengths and I’m struggling to carve out a place for myself versus just putting my head down and allowing myself to be absorbed. Then today’s reading reminded me that my true call is to shine like a light, not for myself or my personally glory, but always as a reflection of His light. Perhaps with that as my goal, the rest will fall into place.

    • Patti

      Hi Kristine. While our situations are different, I understand. I’ve been a classroom teacher for 20 years and moved 6 years ago to a new city. I have not been able to find a full time teaching job in all that time. In fact I had a job interview yesterday that did not go well. I knew the moment the principal and I locked eyes – before we even spoke – that she was not going to hire me. Not going into the detail, but let’s just say the interview wasn’t good. Have you ever had somebody yawn and rub their eyes throughout an entire interview? When I got in the car to leave I cried out to God , “Why am I doing this? Why am I spending hours on teacher portfolio binders to present, calling schools to inquire about openings on their faculty, checking online job sites?” Like Solomon I feel like I’m blowing in the wind. So today’s devotion/scripture study was meant for me. :) My true call is to shine like a light, not for myself, but as a reflection of HIs light. He will not abandon me. Thank you for your comments. Thank you, SRT.

  • I have been married three years and a mother for almost a year and half. I selfishly thought these roles in my life would fulfill me and that I’d be natural at it all. I’m far from it! its the hardest thing I’ve done and on most days I just want to hide from it all. we also have just moved. I’m away from my family for the first time and support system. someways I feel like I’ve just been tossed into the deep end of the water without knowing how to swim. But is it possible to slowly drown not from the chaos of the waves but from the mundaneness of it all? that has been the hardest thing for me. keeping joy and a flame of passion alive. which is sad and selfish of me. I have been blessed with another day, I should be thankful and make the most of it, but it’s hard to keep that mind set. I wouldn’t say I was holding on to a past role or ministry more I was holding on to an idea or dream of what this kind of life would be like and the kind of person I’d be in response to it. it’s not what I thought it would be and I’m not responding how I thought I would. trying daily to come to terms with it all and be content and at peace trusting God.

    • Chrissy

      This was helpful for me to hear and encouraged me.

    • Emily

      Completely agree that motherhood isn’t always as natural as it seems it should be- and it’s really hard most days!! Moving and uprooting your family is a long, tough adjustment too. Am going through the same things right now- know you’re not alone in this!! ❤️

    • Debbie

      It’s funny how we start out in a new season of life. It was the same with me as I birthed my first baby. Changes yet slow, feeling lonely yet overwhelmed. Now years later my children have their own homes, I have grandchildren, and a few months ago I retired after 44 years in nursing caring for others . Wow, time is so strange and this new chapter I say “what am I going to do with the rest of my life” So I ask God to be in whatever He has planned for me as I have done for so long. I am finding that even introverts need others to feel content. Praying for all the SRT sisters whatever stage you are in. Praise God he is faithful !

  • A corporate level person is going to be at the office this morning. He was there Monday too, and he was such a jerk that I very nearly walked off the job, and I’m the type of person that wouldn’t dream of doing that sort of thing. This was timely reading this morning. Usually I love my job and I enjoy doing it well. It’s good to remember I’m working for God not necessarily people. Pray for me please ladies. I’m going to need it and I will happily return the favor.

  • This whole series has been incredibly timely for me. I lost my job last week and moved houses. I’m still sorting out which way is up as I try to figure out what life looks like now. And yet, God is still faithful through it all.

  • McLean Bible Church, with several locations, is worth checking out if you haven’t already!

  • Welcome to DC! I work in Georgetown but live in beautiful Loudoun County! You are welcome at Community Church in Ashburn!!!

  • BJ Vickers

    My son and his wife live in Aldie, VA, not far from DC. They attend Community Baptist Church and I know they would love for you to visit.

  • I hardly have words to describe how this makes me feel. Convicted and conjoined at the heart. This place is not my home, and this life, this identity, isn’t “me” at all.

    Nothing about my life is what I thought it would be 30 years ago, and I wrestle with desiring to be satisfied with a life which has been turned upside down and sideways, and I’m not quite there yet.

    I’m also in the DC area, displaced from all the things and people and identity that gave the illusion of security and blessing and happiness. But God knows why He chose this rocky road for me. And how could I be so ungrateful as to chafe at the opportunity to draw ever closer to Him through the sorrow and loss, finding my true calling and identity in Him alone.

  • Blessed by these words. I am currently making a career change, and it is so easy to feel like the transition should be easier, though it’s almost like I’m letting go of the identity in my vocation I wore for so long, to put on another. Reading this helped me feel more able to move into the messy transition, knowing that it is good, and where God wants me to be, even if my feelings don’t always match up.

  • Wow. It’s amazing how God uses blog posts to convey messages of stillness and contentment. I really needed this today. I am transitioning between seasons, and to find contentment in every situation is hard but so important.

  • I’m in a similar place. “In-between,” by choice – receiving mentoring, tending the soil,. Words describe but do not title me for the first time in three decades. My “brand” is vapor! It’s private, holy and sometimes lonely. Your post has helped me remember to balance the reaching in with reaching out – thank you. So poignant – this entire series. ❤️

Further Reading...