Does it Feel Like Life is “On Hold”?

If I close my eyes I can go back there … back to when I was a young mom trying to take three over-active boys to Target.  I was not beyond bribery!  Popcorn and an Icee got me through many a tough time.  But even then we usually left in tears.

Although I adored my three little boys, there was a constant inner struggle to get back to the me I was before children.  It was like I was  watching the clock, waiting for the next stage of development that would bring some “normalcy” back to my life.

In my devotion today, I share a bit about when things started to change; when I admitted that trying to reclaim my “old” life was not going to happen.  Click here to read the lesson God taught me from the life of David on how to say goodbye to something you loved.

I promised to tell our devotion readers a bit more about the story. So here’s what happened.

When Robbie was three, my husband’s company closed their Phoenix office. He was the manager and they offered him a position in another state.  But we weren’t interested in moving … at least that’s what I thought.

When a past co-worked asked Tod to consider a position in Charlotte, North Carolina, my husband took a trip to check it out.  All the while saying he wasn’t interested … at least that’s what he thought.

After a few days on that scouting trip, my husband came home saying he wanted to move.  Across country. With no family. And no church. No friends. And me having meltdowns every trip to Target. etc, etc, etc.

I knew I could say no and we wouldn’t move, but for the first time in my life, I heard God speak clearly to me.  He said, “Your husband has never demanded his way. You need to say ‘yes’.”

So I gritted my teeth and said yes, crying when my husband wasn’t around.

We moved to Charlotte and I fell into a serious funk.  I won’t call it depression, but I was so very sad and lonely. The crying continued, and three tender little boys learned to hand their momma tissues.

After a few weeks we found a church, and a few weeks later on a Sunday morning, God started to reveal His plans. Turns out it didn’t really have to do with my husband’s job.  It had to do with my heart.

One Sunday morning, the pastor invited a young woman up to share her story.  I’d never heard anyone speak like that before and was moved deep in my heart.  Later that week, I was driving and heard this same woman’s voice on the radio.  It was Lysa TerKeurst.

And then I heard God for the 2nd time in my life. He said:  “Call her and volunteer.”

So I did. And in the fall of 1998, God introduced me to a tiny band of women sharing the message of the value of being a wife and mother. It was the beginning of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

As part of my first volunteer assignment, I read back issues of the Proverbs 31 Homemaker newsletter , and discovered my primary ministry was in my home. I read about other women learning to honor their husbands’ in their hearts.  And how motherhood was a calling as high as any position I might attain through my efforts.

My heart was undone, and my life took a 180-degree turn. God rearranged my priorities and I’m so glad He did.

That was 16 years ago, and I’m still learning to look for what God is doing now – not looking over my shoulder.  Those lessons sustained me through many hard years as we adopted two girls from Africa in 2005 and stepped in to the pain of our daughters. I’ve learned when it seems God has me “on hold,” it’s really a new assignment.

Perhaps that’s where you are today.  Feeling like the world is passing you by. May I speak some hope into that place of waiting?

God hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t turned His attention from you and on to someone else.  He knows exactly where you are and what your days look like.  He sees your tears, and knows your sadness. And I am confident, He has a plan to bring you joy again.

There is something He wants you to learn in this season.  And I imagine it has something to do with knowing Him in a new way.

So hold on, and focus on worshiping Him.  Play praise music.  Start every day with a Psalm.  Learn some old hymns.  Write in a gratitude journal.  Praise God for who He is, and let His comfort and peace rest on you.

I’m so glad you joined me today.  And if you haven’t read my devotion, please hop over there as my publisher is giving away copies of my book, I Used to Be So Organized.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the P31 Encouragement for Today blog and we’ll select five readers to receive a copy.

Wishing you joy!





  1. Jennifer says

    This is the second time in days I’ve read “God has not forgotten you.” Thank you for reaffirming his words to me.

  2. Amy says

    It felt like God was speaking to me directly through your words this morning. I’m in that exact phase of life with 2 crazy boys, ages 2 and 4 and a new baby as well. I feel like I’m living the same day over and over and have to remind myself that this is Gods plan for my life right now and this is exactly where he wants me to be. Your words this morning were just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

    • Karen says

      Bless you, Amy! I was in that position 31 years ago, too. It (and staying married) was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have seen the fruit of it, and I am still married to my best friend. The Lord called me back to His tender, gracious arms and I was introduced to Elisabeth Elliott on the radio. The world will not build you up in motherhood, but she will, saying, it is a high and holy calling. I thank God for a new generation of women like Lynn’s and Proverbs 31 who are doing the same!

  3. says

    Glynnis, I love your devotion! It brings back such sweet memories of those challenging days when my boys were little.

    I know your words will bring much encouragement, hope and purpose to young moms who are in the trenches today, longing to be finished with dirty diapers and nursing pads. May they see motherhood in a whole new way and recognize it as their greatest ministry.

  4. says

    How many times have I experienced the same when moving to a new place! (retired military & 2nd career overseas worker) Even though I knew God was there with me, it was still hard. Thanks for encouraging others.

  5. says

    Your words today really touched my heart….when I had my last two sons, twins, I wanted to work but the cost of two in daycare and the trouble of getting them, my other two sons off to school and I was overwhelmed…I was resentful for awhile. Then, I continued my newspaper column from home and a media consultant job from home and it helped me so much. I still love those boys (teens) and I made it through but watched as so much of life seemed to pass me by….but now, I am grateful for such wonderful times. They will not need me so much in the future and the seeds I have sewn will be far better use of my time than making extra dollars. You are inspiring and real. thanks!!!!

  6. Renee says

    P31M has been coming to my in box for quite a while now.How wonderful that you are a part of an amazing group of women! Every time I read your devotionals I am inspired to use it in my life. I remember when my children were little and wish I had had your outlook and knowledge then! I used to be such an organized woman, but now I have challenges that keep me from being as productive as I used to be. This has been difficult for me and when things aren’t organized I get very nervous. I know I need to “relax”, but I haven’t quite found that peace yet!

  7. Karen says

    My mother-in-law moved in 13 months ago. She is 95.. pretty healthy but fragile. I feel more tied down now than I ever did when we raised four children. The empty nest lasted less than a year. I read blogs and devotions & my Bible and I still feel so alone. I am tired (under my doctors care) and I just don’t care about anything anymore. I used to live by to do lists .. now I write them out and well, it doesn’t matter. ‘Does it feel like life is on hold’ … yes, holding out for a time when I can live without a curfew (we both have to be present when she goes to bed) .. have to have son come over to ‘grandma sit’ if we (hubby & I) get a chance to go out to grocery shop. Life on hold … people tell me it is a blessing she is 95. To me, it is a curse … so waiting and hoping I can find some peace for me before I go crazy. Sorry, God doesn’t always answer prayer …

  8. says

    Oh, friend, this post and your devotion today sparked tears for me… just whipped me back to all the years of saying “no,” “not yet,” “not now,” because mothering five little ones (ALL colicky!) demanded more than I had to give. I remember pacing the halls at night and crying out to God, “Is this ALL you have for me? Do you remember all those BIG DREAMS you gave me?” And, like you, He slowly changed my heart and opened my eyes to the “big things” He was doing right beneath our roof- namely, the BIG transformation He was doing in my heart… turning it from a place of discontent to a place of praise. I am praying for you as you launch your “baby boy” into his college years soon. Sending you a hug through these pixelated prayers today… and so thankful I got to give you a “real hug” over the weekend. Thanks for the beautiful words and rich reminder here today. Blessings!

  9. Stehanie H. says

    This was what my heart needs to hear. I am the mother of a 16 month old. I love him with all the love that I have inside of me, but I too struggle with “grieving” my old life and wishing the stages away to the time when he is a little more independent and I can do laundry or cook a meal without him clinging to my hip! Just like your Robbie, my son never took a bottle and always wanted to be held and moved around as an infant. It’s such a struggle to balance dying to self in order to care for my sweet gift from God while also trying to find a minute to myself so I don’t go crazy! Thank you, Glynnis, for being so honest and sharing that you also had these same struggles. I feel so guilty that I feel this way, but it’s nice to know that I am not alone. Working on finding contentment in God in the here and now…

  10. nancys1128 says

    I often feel like my life is on hold. I have to admit is a self-imposed situation, however. I have dreams and ambitions but allow myself to stay stuck in the day-to-day routine of life. Until I break free of the fear I am allowing to hold me back, I will never realize those dreams and ambitions until I break free of the fear. Having identified the problem is the first step out though, right?!

  11. says

    I, too, have 3 children. At the time that they were 1, 3, and 5, my 1-year-old got “kicked out” of Mother’s day out at our church. They said that she cried and screamed the entire four hours that she was there….evey single time. It was so embarassing!!! This year, they all left home …our 24 year old got married and withing two weeks, the 19 and 21 year olds both moved into apartments in Starkville, MS, to go to summer classes at Mississippi State. All three gone instantly! But, thank goodness, the sweet, precious man that I am left with at home is still my sweetheart after 28 years of marriage. We have started building furniture together (that’s how we raised money for our son’s wedding) and God has continued to bless us with more orders. I’m sad and happy at the same time. But I miss them so much it hurts!! Thank you for your message today.

  12. Melissa says

    Thank you for your devotional today. My family is on the verge of making a major decision – does God want us to stay here and stand our ground, or leave and start over somewhere else? Our lives are “on hold” until we get some guidance and clear direction as to God’s will for our family. I am anxious – thank you for reminding me that God is right there with us!

  13. Amanda says

    Thank u so much for this post. I struggle with this constantly staying home with my two little ones. Karen – I never thought about this situation from the perspective of caring for the elderly. Maybe you could hire a caregiver you trust to stay with your MIL one day a week so you could have something to look forward to. I know it’s expensive, but it’s worth it for some sanity! Just a suggestion. Hang in there :)

  14. says

    I loved reading your story about God moving your family to NC. Gave me chills! So cool to see how God orchestrates things in our lives when we least expect it. So glad you obeyed God’s calling and moved to NC or otherwise you wouldn’t be a part of Proverbs31 ministries and I wouldn’t have got to meet you!

  15. says

    Hi Glynnis,
    I came here from Compel and your words have me in tears today. I’m still heartbroken over things I’m holding on to, things I’m waiting for. When so many people say the wrong thing to comfort, these are the exact words I needed to hear today:

    “God hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t turned His attention from you and on to someone else. He knows exactly where you are and what your days look like. He sees your tears, and knows your sadness. And I am confident, He has a plan to bring you joy again.

    There is something He wants you to learn in this season. And I imagine it has something to do with knowing Him in a new way.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

  16. Bethany says

    I came to your blog to look for something else when this blog post stopped me. It felt like God was speaking directly at me at a time when I needed it most. I am currently in an “On Hold” season and was getting frustrated at each door that remained closed. I realized I was trying to make something happen myself instead of waiting on God. Thank you for this new perspective!

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