About the Author

Glenna is a writer, speaker, and singer-songwriter who loves to encourage women to know the Lord more deeply by seeking Him in His Word. She lives in Southeast Missouri with her pastor-husband and two young sons where she is busy writing her first book (P&R Publishing).

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  1. Thank you so much for this post. I pray that all works out for adoption.
    I too deal with joy in one hand and bitterness in the other. This Sunday would have been my son’s 41st birthday. However he was murdered 11 years ago and the pain sometimes is too much to bear. Thank you for the quote about 10 looks to Christ.

    • Cherlyn, I’m so sorry for your loss. I am praying God meets you in your thoughts and brings you comfort. I cannot imagine what losing your son would be like but I ask the Lord to hold you close to him.

      I also too thank you Glenna for this post I think I need to reset my mind also on God but for different reasons, thank you for the ‘how to and encouragement here’. I also too will pray for your journey in adoption.

      • Thank you, Jas! My story ended well initially, and then got a lot worse.
        But, here I am with an 8 year old and an 11 month old, and though the road to get to my youngest son was more perilous that I EVER could have imagined, the Lord was steadfastly faithful as He always is.
        I’m so glad my post was encouraging for you in your own circumstances. I love that God teaches us through many different venues, and that the “resetting” is applicable for all of life.

    • Cherlyn, I pray God brings to you a peace that passes all understanding. I, too, am so very sorry for your loss.

    • Cherilyn,
      I cannot fathom the daily pain and loss you have lived with for the past 11 years. I am a mother to young sons (yes, that second adoption did result in a precious addition to our family last August; he was unspeakably worth the wait), and my heart hurts for the loss you have endured and continue to endure. I pray that the Lord is near to you in your pain, and that He draws you close on the days when it feels like too much. I think it must have been strange for the people of God to welcome a Savior from humble beginnings who lived a brief and poor man’s life, but the fact that He suffered so much means that He understands our pain. He is with you in yours, I am certain.
      Prayers for you today.

    • Cherlyn, may Christ’s peace envelop you today. Loss hurts so much; I am so sorry that you have this pain. Our Lord is so close to the brokenhearted; I pray that He enfolds you in His tender arms today and every day to hold you close to His heart that hears and bears your pain with you.

    • Cherlyn,

      So sorry for the loss of your son. May God send comfort, peace and healing to your weary soul. I’m praying for you and your family!

      Blessings 🙂

  2. Sometimes I think I’m so smart and have to remind myself that just because an idea is good does not mean that it’s in God’s plan for me. Although fame and fortune are appealing, I seldom long for them. But even if I have dreams that would almost certainly further the Kingdom, they may not fit into the more perfect plans He has made for me… Blessings on you and your family… Nancy

    • Thank you so much, Nancy. Sometimes the path before us is not the one we planned to travel. But, you’re so right–His plans are perfectly woven together for our future and for His glory.

  3. Thanks Glenna,
    You really expressed how I felt this am. I have to reset every time I see my ex. I get so overwhelmed with every feeling: love, hate, jealousy, bitterness, betrayal.
    I’m struggling to rebuild and restart my life after a painful, bitter divorce. He is living the life.
    I literally will have to stop, look up and pray to reset.
    Thanks for another view on God’s love for us and where we have to focus our heart and mind

    • Deb–Keep hitting that reset and “forgive” your ex each time the Holy Spirit leads. You may not necessarily “feel” like it or want to forgive him but make the decision to obey God by forgiving your ex. It in turn frees you to have peace and sweet fellowship with God. And it is a noble thing to do–forgive.

      God brought me through a divorce 25 years ago and it crushed me and I worried about my little son not having his father in his life day to day. I experienced my own internal bitterness toward the LORD, my ex and many friends who were happily married and starting families. I couldn’t understand why it was my marriage and little family that had to fall apart. Why did God let it happen? In time, the LORD revealed some answers. The most important one was that without my life falling apart, I may not have sought the intimate relationship with the LORD that I desperately needed. I made poor choices in choosing my marriage partner; but God forgave me and helped me press the reset button over and over again. Just want you to know you are not alone.

      • You are so right! Forgiveness is a choice. When we choose not to forgive or can’t seem to forgive at the moment when Satan attacks us, we are the ones who suffer. God has blessed us by providing His Son’s example of forgiveness through the cross on which He died. We can even say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” And when they know what they are doing and hurt us God’s strength and grace are available to us to help us obey His command to forgive. I choose not to be bitter when I forgive, and I also have to keep my eyes on Jesus to make it possible. When I refocus on God and not my situation, He is there to fill me with His love.

    • Deb,
      That’s so much hurt you’re feeling and sifting through, and I know it comes on afresh each time you are confronted with your loss.
      I admire and commend you for seeking to forgive. I pray the Lord makes His presence especially known to you as you seek Him during such dark days. He cares for you, friend, though it is hard to see it. Hold fast to the One who holds fast to you and who will never betray or forsake.

    • Deb,

      Praying for you. May God send peace, contentment and healing to your wounded soul. Keep reminding yourself of God’s goodness.

  4. This was truth that I needed to read this morning. Thank you for sharing your experiences regarding having bitterness in one hand and joy in the other. I’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and the LORD has opened my eyes and my heart through your encouragement, Glenna. Praise Him for His great gifts!

    • I’m so thankful to hear that, Tina! I prayed all morning that the Lord would use my words and experiences to shed light on His goodness in the midst of painful circumstances. We have to work to starve the bitterness out of our hearts, but focusing on the Lord and His goodness is exactly the way to do that.

  5. Oh how I absolutely loved this. What a blessing that our Father loves us even when we falter, doubt or grow weary in the desert. Such a beautiful reminder to turn towards the light of Christ who will always bring his grace and peace!

  6. Love this, Glenna! Through different circumstances, I have felt the same things. It is always knowing God’s Word and speaking the truth to myself while allowing it to really saturate my heart that brings my emotions and thoughts in line with the truth. Life is messy and hasn’t gone the way I thought it should, but I remind myself that I’m not in control. God is, and He is loving in all He does in my life. It’s the process of transformation and it’s totally ok to be in process.

    • Absolutely, it is! That process is the sanctification that the Lord will be working out in our hearts until He calls us home. I’m so thankful that He’s okay for us to stay “in process.” Thank you for your words!

  7. These words this morning made me examine my own faith and belief system. I am reminded not you question God and His incredible ability to govern this world and meet my needs. I only add salt to my wounds when I waddle in this self pity. To God be the glory as I patiently wait on Him to answer my prayers.
    Thank You!

    • Tracey, I’m so glad you were able to take a moment and examine. That reset button in our hearts is helpful and I think is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Prayers for you as you seek the Lord and pray through the matters of your heart.

  8. Thank you for those words of encouragement! I needed that this morning!

  9. Thank you for the reminder to look up in the midst of my circumstances. This timely post came through on my email this morning. I’m far from home with my husband at a sex addiction intensive meant to help my husband with past sexual abuse and his subsequent choices that have followed. I’m overwhelmed with the darkness he has been a part of. I hurt for myself and our 4 children. I want to flee. But for today, as I ache, I will choose to believe God has been with me this entire time and He never stopped loving me. And my circumstances are blurring my vision literally through nonstop tears, but I will look up. Thank you Glenna.

    • Oh, my eyes are full of tears reading your comment. I ache for the hurt you are experiencing, but I praise the Lord that you are looking to HIM in the midst of such anguish. He is your anchor; don’t let go of the One who holds you securely in the palm of His hands. You don’t have to think about looking up tomorrow. Just do it today and know there will be grace for tomorrow when you wake up in the morning. Let today’s grace be enough for today. I’m studying Psalm 107 this week, and there is a section where the Lord faithfully brings His people to the safe harbor they long for after spending time tossed about on turbulent seas. I pray the Lord does much redemptive healing in your marriage and in your heart, and that He will soon bring you into the safe harbor you long for.

    • Wounded, I am praying for you today. I have walked your path and lived your pain. The last year and a half have been the hardest of my life. Keep holding on to Jesus with all that you are. Trust in His love for you and that He will never leave you or forsake you. Praying the truth of the Word of God out loud as I walk through my difficult days has been my lifeline. Spending time soaking in His Word, in worship, and prayer each day is what has upheld me. Jesus’ grace is sufficient for even this and He will give you the strength to walk this dark valley and into His light again. Love and grace to you, dear one.

    • Wounded,

      Keep looking up and trusting God. He can and will heal your husband and family. I pray He sends peace and contentment to your weary soul. Know that you are being prayed for daily!

      God Bless 🙂

  10. I loved this so much that I read it once pre-coffee and again post-coffee, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Looking at Christ instead of my circumstances is one of my favorite approaches to dealing with suffering, and you expressed it so beautifully. What a wonderful, God-honoring, people-encouraging post. Thank you, Glenna!

    • Thank you so much, Marissa! The hard roads the Lord has taken me down over the past 12 years have absolutely been worth the pain because He has taught me how to view hardship–and that is through the lens of Scripture with my sight set on Jesus.
      Your comment means a lot to me!

  11. Thank you. your words are words of honesty and truth. I pray that you soon have that baby in your arms. Waiting is hard, but it is where we grow. I am learning that about so many areas of my life. God Bless you!

    • Thank you, Mary! That baby was put in my arms last August, and he’s 11 months old now. It was a rocky, rocky road to be able to keep him in my arms, but the Lord was ever faithful to teach me to trust Him throughout.
      You are SO right–waiting is where we grow. I’ll quote you on that!

  12. Thank you Glenna for your inspired words of encouragement in times of “longing and waiting” . I will pray for you and your family. I too am in a season of waiting. My husband had a double lung transplant a year and a half ago and i thought the waiting then was the worst of it. He is struggling emotionally, and is not thankful for this second chance. He is miserable and actually mad at God, if he believes in him at all. It is hard to be on so many medications and his life is certainly not the same, for either of us. He has no joy and no zest for life. God is with us, and even now and these verses perfectly placed to remind me of this today. Putting on the armor of God, to be strong and stand firm and pray us up. Not to be distracted or defeated, remembering who the enemy really is and that even this battle is being fought in “heavenly places”

    • Ann, how I admire your commitment to be firm in your faith in God during such a difficult time! May the Lord build up the same fervor in your husband as he struggles physically and emotionally. I believe God uses suffering to help us trust Him, so that will be my prayer for your husband, and I’ll pray for continued strength and perseverance for you.

    • Ann,

      Praying for you and your husband. May God send peace, contentment and healing to his wounded soul. I pray he senses God’s loving arms surrounding him. Prayers for steadfastness in your husband and a zeal for life to come back.

      Blessings 🙂

  13. I like the Scottish pastor’s quote but you know it only took one good long look at Jesus to recieve healing for the woman with the issue of blood, salvation for the thief on the cross. I think most of the time we forget the enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. John 10:10, as opposed to Jesus and life more abundantly. It was Mary who sat as His feet and received the one thing that was needful and He said it would not be taken away. Luke 10:42. It is very easy to get wrapped up in our daily lives and turn our focus away from Him, we must be reminding ourselves not to do that. I too, pray the red tape off your adoption, but if He has something else in mind you will know. The Dept. of Family and Children’s Sevices, has so many children waiting for foster care, and they can be adopted. God Bless.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Rebecca! Our story ended well, though it took years for our family to grow. We finalized our son’s adoption in March of this year.
      You’re right–one good look at Christ is all we really need. It’s my forgetfulness that’s the problem! 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to write a kind response!

  14. I love this!! Thank you for sharing. I shared this on my blog awidows.world.

    My journey as a widow at a young age, has been tough, it’s also been filled with many blessings and an evident presence of God carrying me through. The most recent message he has given me is to step out, trust and have the courage to share my story with others…so here I am getting started and feeling unsure of where things will lead…but I’m trusting.

    • Thank you for sharing this, Tanya. I love your message of being carried through grief and stepping out in trust. Sharing your story could be a ministry God is leading you to–if it is, He will equip you to do it. Keep trusting Him; He is faithful!

  15. Glenna,

    Prayers that the adoption will go through. May He bless you with another little one. Over the past few years I have gone through a gamut of emotions. My aging dad moved into assisted living. He had multiple medical issues including dementia. It got to the point I had to quit my job last June (2015). It reached a peak in January 2016. I have witnessed a miracle from God. My dad is much better mentally. He is enjoying life more now. We can go out for walks & I can take him places.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, what a servant’s heart you have to care for your dad and to rearrange your life to do so. Praise the Lord for his improvement and for your willingness to serve your dad.

      Our story ended well, and our youngest son is 11 months old now. My boys are gifts I’m thankful for every day.

  16. “When your circumstances blur your vision, look up. Look to the Lord and let Him tell you what is true.”

    Thank you for this encouragement. I am at a point of blurred vision and tempted to stay there but I want to choose to believe what the Lord says is true. I have been through much over the past recent years and through deep introspect I realized I was angry with God. Though I felt so distant from Him I know He has never moved. He has brought me to a point where I no longer want to run but to submit myself to what He desires. I am asking Him to help me turn my fears into faith and my tears into trust. I want to truly believe that He does all things well. So today my prayer is “Lord my circumstance is blurring my vision, help me please to look up to the hills from whence comes my help. Help me to look to you and believe what you have told me and are telling me is true.”

    Thank you so much.

    • Thank you for sharing this, Mary. Savor that position of not wanting to run but choosing to believe in the Lord’s faithfulness to you. He is for you, and when you don’t know what to say–just say back to Him those words you shared from Psalm 121.