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To the Girl Who Feels Hopeless

By: Kristen Clark

Feelings of hopelessness have been on the fringe of my life these past few years. As Zack and I have traveled down an unexpected road of recurrent miscarriage and infertility, I have felt the waves of hopelessness knock at the door of my heart many times (watch our story here).

For many of us, unfulfilled longings can often be the biggest funnel toward hopelessness.

As I’ve wrestled with my own unfulfilled longings, I’ve come to the realization that the way I choose to respond to my disappointments will take me down one of two paths: Either I will go down a path toward hopelessness, or I will choose to respond in a way that leads my heart toward true hope and joy.

Unfulfilled longings and deep disappointments are a reality in all of our lives. But as hard as they may be, they’re not the real culprit for our hopeless. Our circumstances are often the spotlight, shining the truth on where our hearts have gone astray.

Hopelessness happens when our heart is set on the wrong thing.

When the object of our affection and satisfaction is set on anything but Christ, we have set our heart on the wrong goal. A simple way to discover where your heart has gone wrong is to ask yourself this question:

What do I want so bad in life right now that I won’t be happy unless I get it?

It could be anything…even really good things.

  • Having a boyfriend.
  • Getting married.
  • Having kids.
  • Having an understanding husband.
  • Getting a new job.
  • Getting accepted into a university.
  • Passing hard tests at school.
  • Restoring broken relationships.
  • Making the sports team.
  • Seeing a family member get saved.
  • Making new friends.
  • Losing weight.
  • Etc.

Hopelessness happens when the satisfaction of our soul hinges on “that thing” (whatever it is for each of us) for our ultimate fulfillment and joy.

Sorrow hits when our hope is determined by our circumstances.

The only way to restore true joy and hope back into our lives isn’t by getting what we desire, but by setting our desires back on Christ. When loving Christ becomes the central focus and desire of our hearts, we restore great joy and hope back into our lives — even in the midst of unfulfilled longings.

As I’ve wrestled with my own unfulfilled longings over the years (and right now), I’ve felt the gentle nudge of Scripture reminding me of where to rightly place my hope. As wonderful as having a baby would be for me, it can’t be the central goal of my life. My hope can’t hinge on whether or not I get what I desire. My heart must be set on loving and trusting in Christ above all else.

Over the past few years, an unexpected passage of Scripture has helped me set my heart on Christ.

It comes from Lamentations 3 and has been a great source of encouragement and hope for me. As you read it, take note of the progression of how the author goes from despair to finding true hope again:

“My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord…’ But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:17-18, 21-25, italics added).

True hope is found by setting our hearts on Christ.

As we remind ourselves of who God is and what His love and faithfulness mean to us, our hope will never run dry. Because of Christ, we can have hope again. We can find joy again. Regardless of whether our circumstances ever change or not, Christ promises to be enough for us. He is the one our souls truly long for and need.

As you face seasons of hopelessness in your life right now and in the future, pull out Lamentations 3 and let it become your personal prayer. Call to mind who Christ us. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. Remind yourself of God’s love. Redirect your affections back to Him. As you do this, your heart will transform from hopelessness and despair, back to true hope and soul-satisfying joy.

Let’s chat below.

  • In what ways are you struggling with hopelessness right now?
  • How do the verses in Lamentations 3 encourage you to find hope in the Lord right now?

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12 Responses to To the Girl Who Feels Hopeless

  1. Maddy K says:

    Kristen, this has been an eye opening week for me! God has kept bringing me Lamentations 3:21 to me. In fact, I read it this morning! I have been convicted to share this verse with a friend going through depression. Thank you for being willing to be used by God.

  2. Esther Roos says:

    I love this post. It totally just brought me out of what i thought was my life, a constant ongoing struggle to get what i want, and into the love of christ.

  3. Esther Roos says:

    Also, I love that Lamentations passage.

  4. Michaela Richmond says:

    My eyes were welling up with tears as I read that passage. Because of my chronic illness and constant pain I’ve had for years and years I want to give up. It does feel as if “He has made my skin and flesh grow old and has broken my bones “. Thank you for reminding me though that “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” and “no one is cast off by the Lord forever”. I needed to remember that.

  5. Loved by HIM! says:

    Beautiful Kristen! I feel so much for you and applaud you! Your an amazing example.

  6. Vivian says:

    Thank you for this post , it has given me hope, I am struggling with feeling of hopeless in the way that I don’t have what I though I would have at certaing age, a boyfriend, friends, university but this verse gaveme hope that the Lord is good to the soul that seeks him

  7. Alaina Stewart says:

    Lately I have been struggling in a place of my life that isn’t relying on God alone. I turn to the world, and to my friends. But that road has lead to hard break and has just made me want to cry instead of delight with joy. I am putting God in control now. The verses in Lamentations 3 spoke truth and of great hope. And that truth and hope come from God. Lord, I pray that everyone who reads this will be touched and that they will just depend on you.

  8. Beth Ferback says:

    I have been specifically praying for joy lately, it feels like life has progressively gotten harder over the past few years and I find myself envying for the joy/unconscious optimism of my younger self. I have been struggling to recognize if the release of unfulfilled dreams is succumbing to hopelessness/lack of faith or is a healthy surrender to God to let go and hold tight to Him. I believe God is starting to answer my prayers for joy but still feel I a CPR victim in limbo. The Lamentations scripture is so tangible and encouraging…I definitely need to reread that. It reminds me to choose God and refocus on Him. Thank your being honest and sharing the hard parts of your life.

  9. Hannah says:

    In those kind of situations a woman has only two options – seek the route cause (e.g. autoimmune diseases) and treat it or take a pause and use contraception. The video made me concerned that you are against both things, I hope I misunderstood you. Miscarriages are not only emotionally and physically, painful but life-threatening.

    The Lord teaches us to be stewards of our body. That definitely does not mean that you have to do a IVF or anything morally debatable, but take care of yourself.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Recently I have been struggling with hopelessness in having a boyfriend. A while back I had an awesome relationship but for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. I find myself alot of the time seeing all my friends with these super cute relationships, and I long for that. I long to share my personal experiences with someone else. But I recently heard some really good advice. It’s that whatever season you may be in, it’s always purposeful. Whether in a relationship or not, there is always a purpose to serve. Speaking to all my sinlge ladies right now: this time of waiting is not a curse. God is giving you the opportunity to grow closer to him and find your peace in him, so that when the time comes for you to have that relationship, you will already be steady in the Lord, so that you won’t fall.

  11. Anonymous says:

    For me personally, I am struggling with friends and friendships. Over the past summer we have been looking for a church closer to us instead if in that is 30 min away. I was finally making really good relationships with some friends, and then we started the journey. This isn’t easy on anyone in our family, but it really hit me hard. I’ve cried several night because I think ignore what my friends would be doing. My parents have thought of moving, but the house we have is perfect for our family. We’ve searched all over, and with over 3/4 if the churches, when we walk in no one talks to us. As a teen girl, that’s hard for me because I am an introvert and need people to talk to, and people to talk to me. It’s really hard when you walk in a youth group and you and your sister are ignored completely. We are still looking, but for me, it’s almost that I don’t want to make friends becaus I know that they’ll be taken away form me as soon as I have a close bond. I’ve had two BFFS, one that ditched me after I was homeschooled, and one that I can’t see often cause she lives so far away. I do have a few friends, but only two my age, and I never see the one, and I do see the other, but I don’t really enjoy what she likes to do. So I need friends, but don’t want to make some cause I’m afraid of them being pulled away from me again. I know I can be more out going, but I’m scared to. Those verses remind me that God endures when nothing else does. He will be my one friend that will never leave me. And HE will comfort me in this hard time.

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