I know that most of us are longing for something. I know that longing is part of the deal, part of living in the not-yet-heaven. I know people who are longing to marry, who are longing to be healed from disease, longing for their children to come home, longing for the financial pressure to release. I get that longing is part of how we live. But today I feel angry and boxed in, like the system is rigged against me and everywhere I turn, someone else’s body is blooming with new life, while mine still, again, is not. …That’s why it’s hard, I think, to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. I love that line from the Bible, but it’s so incredibly difficult sometimes, because when you’ve got reason to rejoice, you forget what it’s like to mourn, even if you swear you never will. And because when you’re mourning, the fact that someone close to you is rejoicing seems like a personal affront.
~ Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet, p127~


I’m still hoping for a happy ending, but if there is one for us, it will be a little off-kilter and not nearly as tidy and poetic as I’d hoped. It will carry inside it a whole lot of tears and longing, and a few good lessons learned watching the lake one Saturday afternoon. I’ll keep celebrating the good news with each friend and each new baby, until maybe I’m the only one left in that dwindling circle. And I’ll ask for help and tenderness every time I find myself crying in the bathroom. And most important, I’ll choose to believe that sometimes the happiest ending isn’t the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.
~ Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet, p129~


2 Replies to “Longing”

  1. While my longing is certainly different from yours, I truly do understand…. It IS hard to rejoice with those who rejoice, sometimes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *