**In light of the recent onslaught of news regarding the terrors of ISIS in Iraq, we are all grieving and deeply burdened for the innocent Iraqi civilians, including brothers and sisters in Christ, fleeing for their lives. While we plan to continue with our scheduled posts, it feels imperative that we acknowledge the devastating events taking place right now in Iraq. We are working on what we hope will be an insightful post listing various ways we can help in the midst of this horrendous situation in the Middle East as well as ways to stay informed in order to pray specifically and effectively. For now, we encourage you to visit the following two links, both of which include ways we can all get involved, even from a distance. May God provide supernatural peace, protection, perseverance, and provision for all who are facing such severe persecution. Crisis in Iraq – five things you can ACTUALLY do to help IMB, BGR call for aid to Iraqi Christians,Yazidis

Now on to today’s post by Mandy Holton

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In my younger days I dreamt often of how my life would unfold. I imagined a husband who loved God with all his heart, who would in turn, love me with all his heart. I also looked forward to the pitter patter sound of three or four little ones’ feet running around a quaint, little home, all of whom looked like a perfect mixture of my husband and I — and maybe even a couple with curly hair like their mommy. I longed to be surrounded by wonderful family and sweet friends whose hearts were tightly knit with mine.

I was saved at the age of 18 after living a rebellious life, but I knew nothing of the God I had called out to for salvation. I was a Christian who simply believed. In the years following my salvation I attended church, went on mission trips, helped teach kindergarten Sunday School, volunteered to visit new visitors at our church, but never attempted a relationship with Jesus. My bible was simply an accessory I wore on Sunday mornings. Matthew 15:8 says, “You honor me with your lips, but your heart is far from me.This was me.

God was gracious in spite of myself. He granted me my heart’s desire by giving me a husband who loves God and loves me with all his heart, two beautiful and precious little girls who are a perfect mixture of me and my husband, a quaint home, and the best extended family and friends whose hearts are tightly knit with mine. But lest you for a moment think that my life is perfect, I have to admit…something still wasn’t right. My marriage wasn’t always bliss; my dream of a big family fell apart when a fertility specialist explained it was not likely that I would be able to conceive again. And while I have wonderful family and friends, I was still not fulfilled. The dreams I had imagined and the blessings I had been given were handed to me, but I was not fully satisfied.

I began to recognize my satisfaction was wrapped up in people, things, and status. The more I placed my longings, my desires, and my satisfaction in people, the more I was disappointed. I remember one night, early in my marriage, slipping out of bed and lying on the couch quietly weeping as I poured my heart out to God telling Him of my disappointments and the longings of my heart. I wanted Him to fix what was wrong. Shortly after, I made a commitment to read through the Bible in a year. At the end of that year I was amazed at the faithfulness and loving-kindness of the God I hardly knew before. That December I received an invitation to be part of a discipleship group with 12 other women studying through the One Year Chronological Bible. That study led me even deeper into a love for the One who satisfies my every longing and desire. I learned of His redemptive plan from Creation to Revelation and His very great love for His people. I saw His mercy and relent from giving people what they deserved and His continual pleas and warnings calling for a wholehearted devotion to Him. I clung to Jeremiah 29:11 many times when I needed to trust in God’s good plans for my life, but I somehow never read a couple verses down. Verses 13-14 say, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. I will be found by you.”

I stopped putting unfair expectations onto my husband and others, and I placed my deepest needs, longings, and desires all onto Christ. I realized and now know that in my best effort to love and in other’s efforts to love me, no person could meet the depth of my needs or satisfy the desires of my heart

God alone is able to satisfy the misplaced desires that otherwise set us up for failure in every relationship we have. Is He enough for you?

Is He enough when your husband disappoints you?

Is He enough when your child has issues beyond your control?

Is He enough when you don’t measure up at work or at church?

Is He enough when you are diagnosed with a major illness?

Is He enough when the very things you have dreamed and hoped for are shattered?

Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply ALL my needs according to His riches and glory.” He proved himself true to me through every promise given and every promise fulfilled. He is my greatest need. Do you believe that? Do you intimately know God and his faithfulness in your own life? May I encourage you to pour out your desires to Him, delve into the Word of God with the intent of knowing Him, make a plan to spend time in prayer, make yourself a part of a Bible-preaching church, and find a woman to mentor (train and instruct) you through God’s Word. Don’t let your bible simply be an accessory; make it your life!

The greatest gift you can give your children and husband is a mommy and wife who doesn’t put the burden of misplaced desires and expectation onto them, but is able to say Jesus is sufficient. 

So, how about you? Are you satisfied?

May these words be the cry of our hearts.

Mandy Holton

*What have you found to be helpful in developing an intimate relationship with God, and what are areas you hope to continue to grow and be challenged in? Please leave your thoughts and comments below! Also we’d like to encourage you to visit our “Recommended Resources” page as we update it frequently with practical resources you can use to draw closer to the Lord yourself, and pass on a genuine faith to others. 

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