Tag Archives: hopelessness

I was interviewed this week on a “Faith and Infertility” series podcast, talking about our journey through infertility, loss, suffering, and adoption.

Reliving a journey of tears is never easy, yet in the spirit of bringing hope I was honored to share our story.

One of the most poignant questions I was asked was…

“What do you say to someone who is in great despair right now, hopeless, maybe even angry at God about their journey and pain?”

I’ve been asked this many times over the last ten years, yet this time something different came out of my mouth first…

“No one can successfully navigate suffering alone. We MUST have relationships and a community we can lean on and depend on when our own faith is under siege.”

This answer unlocked a subsequent flood of sorts, on this subject of not doing life alone…

We are made to be in relationships, doing life with people who deeply care, those we can share our dreams and hopes with, trustworthy friends. They notice when we’re not at work or didn’t make it to church or a connect group this week.

They’re like those friends who took their sick friend on a cot to go meet Jesus. Arriving where He was speaking they found no room to get close.

Undaunted, they hoisted their friend up onto the roof and started attacking that roof until a hole big enough was ready. They lowered him down right in front of Jesus, who healed the man and marveled at the faith of those friends.

Don’t you want friends like that?! Unrelenting, energized by your need instead of put off by it? Focused on getting you to your miracle no matter what it takes.

I had a group of friends just like this, who helped carry the miracle of our twin daughters into our arms. They prayed for years ahead of time, and when the news of the pregnancy emerged, went to prayer around the clock til the decision was made in our favor.

For years prior they bought me baby gifts, left voicemails saying, “They’re coming don’t give up.” They stood, prayed, believed, and broke through roofs til our faith became sight.

No wonder I call them my midwives! I honor them still and want to be this unrelenting with friends still suffering and hopeless right now.

So how do you find these unrelenting friends?

During seasons when we may not feel so desperate for friends is actually a great time to find these faithful types. Dive in, network, get to know one person and let them lead you to others. This is exactly what I did when moving to NYC, knowing only one person and starting over relationship-wise at nearly 40 yrs old.

I’ll share the link to this infertility interview soon when it’s posted, but meanwhile let me encourage you that true friends are borne for adversity. Their hope and faith can help save you from losing yours.

They’re also the best ones to party with when your miracle happens and joy returns!

I’m cheering you on in whatever you’re still waiting for right now…

Absolutely_nothingWhy is it that so often things seem completely on hold and standing still?

It struck me today that just a year ago I was utterly exhausted and discouraged about how little sleep I was getting, and in the months that followed how little progress we seemed to be making on getting our baby twins to sleep.

I was reading every book on sleep training, applying all the techniques diligently, trying to be patient, not being patient, thinking for some reason our girls might never sleep through the night.

After six months, one Monday morning we were both at our wits end, so I googled “night nurse” and the next day the wonderful Lisa Bailey, a 16-yr registered nurse pro, spent the night.

She didn’t sleep but the babies did, with hardly a whimper or wake-up. She came two more nights and they slept both nights, all night!

Her awesome tricks-of-the-trade plus our own learning had finally yielded a breakthrough.  And ever since, our darlings sleep 12 hours a night, with few exceptions except for occasional colds, travel, or teething.

Isn’t life so often like this? The monotony of waiting, pain, worry, hopelessness, zero signs of change, zero evidence of breakthrough.

And then, THEN, everything is different.

It felt similar while waiting 10+ years for a dreamed-of move to NYC. Years of working, trying, investing, learning and zero apparent possibilities. One day after long meetings I called my Mom in tears, feeling completely wasted and out of hope that a move would EVER open up.

What I didn’t know was a dinner I’d just had that evening with someone I’d only just met, was THE open door. That man would make a call in the next few days and just two months later I’d be living in NYC.

So whatever it is that feels hopeless, forever on hold, or without any movement, really IS moving. Because YOU’RE moving, and so are a dozen other things you have no way of seeing or knowing are in motion. But they are. And so are you.

Be encouraged today while you wait. Your breakthrough is on the move toward you even now.


Ever feel like your dream is about to boil over, or maybe it’s not cooking at all? What do we do in these tension moments?

In the Love Your Life Lesson series, Lesson 2 — ReaRANGE Your Dreams, Lynette illustrates how a few simple moves can position your dream in its best spot, without discarding your progress, yet waiting for the best timing, leading to the results you dream of.

Last week our friend T-Bone Barnes died suddenly of a heart attack.  We got the call at midnight and rushed to the hospital to be with his wife Sheila. Just hours before he was at the church prayer meeting, sharing this scripture with a young woman preparing for a missions trip.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Prov.3:5-6

This is one of my favorite life passages, having clung to it at times when nothing circumstantially made sense. 

  • Years of waiting on marriage, no possibilities, such hopelessness
  • Miscarriage, surgeries, infertility, no answers
  • Stage 4 cancer in our 3rd son, crying out for a miracle
  • Working tirelessly for victims of sex-trafficking, opposition, sleepless nights

Life is full of mysteries, yet one Anchor holds when we choose to trust the One who makes crooked paths straight, eventually.  It is a choice after all, and having seen God’s faithfulness prove true every time, I will live no other way.

He is wiser, more loving, kinder, more faithful, generous, even lavish, beyond our understanding.  And so, we trust in Him.

Patience….so many things in life require it, but at times it feels like it’s running out, not a drop left and still no breakthrough.

What’s a person to do when, like that last little bit of toothpaste, you’ve pushed, squeezed, twisted, and forced every last ounce of patience, yet still need more?

Patience is a virtue, but unlike the latest gadget I find on the internet, patience is much more elusive and often hard to come by.

One simple strategy does seem to help however…..having a clear, definitive picture of exactly what it is I’m waiting for — the PRIZE.

When I take my eyes off the angst of the wait and set them on the prize, I get a forward-looking, future-hoping, fulfillment-planning view on what is yet to come.  At times this exercise feels a bit fake or unrealistic, when contrary facts seem to be screaming all around.  Still, deciding to trust, believe, and watch for the things I desire, fixing them clearly in my mind, does deposit patience, much like a marathon pushes a training routine forward.

Patience in many respects, is the art of hoping.  And hope is a choice, not a feeling.  I choose to be a woman of hope because it’s better than being a hopeless woman full of despair.  Fortunately, I don’t have to be patient for everything all at once.  While waiting for one thing I can achieve another:

  • Waiting for a promotion I pursued outside-of-work volunteering where I was promoted quickly
  • Waiting to get a raise I learned the art of feeling rich on a dime, an art I’ve never lost
  • Waiting for a husband I traveled the world, pursued my career, discovered surprise gifts I didn’t know I’d love
  • Waiting for children I mentored others, and the skills of motherhood grew in my own life

In short, I may be stopped at a red light but I can put on lipstick.

Knowing I need patience, I agree to let it work into my being as I hold to the prize yet to come.  I will wait.  I will not compromise.  I cannot control timing but I can position myself to be ready, poised, and positioned to receive in God’s perfect time.

“Toned and buff” by patience, a lovely aspiration indeed.

The other evening walking to our favorite dinner spot, I bumped into two beautiful women, friends of mine.  They started sharing how discouraged they’ve been about being single.  One tried unsuccessfully to hold back tears.

“I just helped one of my best friends pick out her wedding dress,” she said.  “And all I could hear in my ears was, ‘You’re 28 and have never had a serious boyfriend, what’s wrong with you?'”

The other one shared, “I’m about to turn 30, with no prospects in sight.  It’s easy to feel utterly hopeless!”

Boy do I relate!  I married at 42 and until then, accompanied each of my best friends, my sister, and myriads of others, down the aisle toward all MY dreams.  I threw the showers (first for weddings, then many babies), and looked around to find my hopes fading and options increasingly rare.

So how does a heart hold on without any signs of change?

There are several ways, not rocket science but effective nonetheless.  Here are the few I shared with my two friends…..

1.  Keep Dreaming Other Dreams — Maybe you can’t make your dream relationship happen, but what other dreams can you make happen?  Do you want to travel?  Write a book?  Redecorate or take a cooking class?   Start a new career?  Buy a fun car that only a single would enjoy?    Use this season to do these or other dreams.

So often single women feel “on hold” or “held back” because they imagine so much will change when they do get married.  Maybe it will, but likely it won’t, and in the meantime you can bring your heart alive by dreaming other dreams.

There was a time when I realized part of my frustration in being single was really about not having a home of my own where I could express my love of decorating and entertaining.  While I had enjoyed some wonderful roommates, it was time to get my own little place.  Wow, the fulfillment I imagined would only come in sharing a home with my husband, suddenly happened by just moving out on my own.  No more waiting to buy a Cuisinart, or a beautiful table and chairs!

While love and marriage tarry, move boldly in the direction of other dreams.  This is THE MOST empowering thing to do whenever a dream feels on hold and out of our control.

2.  Enjoy Your Friends — This may sound obvious, but even after you get married there are certain ways that only friends can enliven the heart and satisfy the soul.  No one relationship is ever an “all-in-all” so take the time now to cultivate varied relationships that bring joy and courage while you wait.

I always dreamed of going to the ballet with my husband, then I married a man who doesn’t like the ballet!  I’m so glad that before we met I was enjoying the Nutcracker with my friend Elizabeth who worked for the ballet and got free tickets.  Nothing like a girl’s night out to satisfy the female soul.

3.  Spend Time With People Like the Person You Want to Marry — 85% of people meet their spouse through mutual friends.  Think about your dream man and imagine who his friends are, where he spends his time, what he probably enjoys doing.  Then make a point to get involved in those settings, not trying to manipulate, but in a sincere desire to position yourself where you also belong.  For me that meant finding a dynamic church full of “whole” people (without “issues”!) who care lots about their faith and making a difference for God.  It also meant attending certain conferences and being proactive in business circles.

There is nothing quite as attractive as someone living their dreams, full of life, engaged in a variety of interesting things.  Open to relationships YES, but not desperate or increasingly depressed.  Bottom line — the more people you know, the more people you know.

4.  Be a Woman of Hope — Lastly, choose to keep hoping.  In spite of what you see or feel, regardless of how things look or don’t look.  Hope is a choice, not a feeling.  Hope is also a “beauty treatment,” making the face beautiful and alive, while keeping the heart engaged.  We all choose whether we will let facts and circumstances determine our countenance, or if we will believe in a power higher than our own and a sovereign plan at work, even amidst no signs of change.

I have determined that for every dream in my heart I will be a woman who hopes, no matter how long it takes.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being single until the age of 42. Rather, in my Type A, first-born, choleric personality, here is how I knew it would go:

  • Meet Mr. Right in college
  • Marry at 25
  • Have two girls and one boy by the age of 35
  • Raise a family while simultaneously using my television degree in some way
  • Enjoy marriage and family life, entertain other families in our home
  • Instead, college graduation came and went with no sign of Mr. Right anywhere. Meanwhile, most of my girlfriends did find theirs in college. So I threw the showers, stood up in the weddings, celebrated their joy in fulfilling MY dreams.

    Every year I thought, “This is my year,” but alas, years came and went.  So, seemingly, did all the great men.

    Somewhere along the way I knew I had to make a choice. Would I enjoy this season of singleness, regardless of how long it lasted? Or would I bemoan and grow more bitter with each passing year?

    Thankfully, I chose joy, hundreds of times, over and over, often amidst heartache, tears, and unanswered questions of why it was taking so long.

    Now married to my wonderful husband for nearly six years, am I ever glad I fought to find joy before he came. Because, interestingly, the fight for joy is not unique to singleness. Every season has its gifts and challenges that so easily steal hope and joy, married or not.

    I’ll be writing much more about this topic in the weeks to come so please keep checking back. You may also enjoy my podcast series Single in the City.  I would love to know your thoughts, questions, or ideas for HOW to stay joyful while you wait.