I was about 20 when I realized having a baby was the desire of my heart; I was 42 when God said no. That’s 22 years of hoping, praying, and believing He would give me the desires of my heart. Over two decades of wondering, believing, and relying on God’s strength to keep moving forward.
We tried fertility treatments, acupuncture, herbal remedies and all sorts of prayers for healing. Nothing worked — not even the prayers people said for the “sins of our fathers and mothers.” Not even the anointing with oil, the prayer shawls, the books about how to seek God’s will and receive the desires of your heart. God said no.
What are the desires of your heart? Has God said no, or is He silent? Here, you’ll find a few ideas for living well in peace and joy even when your heart’s desires are dying on the vine.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4.
When God Says No to Your Heart’s Desires
Have you been hit with a disappointment or loss? Maybe you feel abandoned and rejected by God. Instead of being tossed and turned by your emotions and sinking into the depths of despair, take a different approach.
Try saying yes to God’s no.
Pretend you can see your life from God’s perspective
Imagine this: what if God didn’t grant you the desires of your heart because that person, place, or thing would’ve actually been harmful for you – or others – in the long run? Take my desire to have a baby, for instance. What if the baby was born with a disease or condition that I couldn’t handle? My mom has schizophrenia, and my aunt died from a terrible combination of ALS and Parkinson’s disease.
I always believed there was a reason God didn’t bring children into my life. He said no to the “desires of my heart”…and sometimes I think kids weren’t a true desire of my heart. I thought it’d be wonderful to have children with my husband. I remember looking at my three-month old niece when I was 20 and melting with yearning for a baby. But now that I’m 47, I believe God’s no is better than my yes.
Tell me why God said no to the desires of your heart
First, what are the desires of your heart?
Maybe you want a better, healthier marriage — or you want to at least start dating a man you admire! Maybe you want to be a teacher, preacher, or fisherman. Maybe you lost your husband and the desires of your heart are about getting the past back. Maybe you have cancer, or your mom died. Maybe the breakup or divorce is so depressing and hostile that you just want to die.
Now that you’re thinking about the desires of your heart…imagine why God said no.
List the reasons God denied your requests
Brainstorming session! Pull yourself out of the depths of despair, and start thinking of a few reasons why God said no to your heart’s desires. Start with 10 reasons He said no, ranging from believable (eg, God said no to raising my husband from the dead because he 92 years old and would have to die sometime anyway, and resurrection would just prolong the inevitable grief) to ridiculous (God said no to my heart’s desire to have a baby because there aren’t anymore babies left at the factory).
Get weird and creative — have a little fun listing all the reasons God said no to the desires of your heart. Later, you can read the more serious articles such as How to Find God and Heal Your Broken Heart. Right now, lighten up a little. Use the comments section below, or your Blossom Journal (any notebook). List at least 10 reasons God denied your most heartfelt desires.
Ask God why He said no
Truthfully, I’m not a big fan of asking God “why?” about anything. He’s got His reasons, and they’re none of my business. He’s organizing and maintaining the whole entire universe — He’s got more on His mind than my little life and requests. I know He loves me and He’s working all things together for my good…and that’s all I need to know.
It took time to get to past asking God “why me?” Now, I wonder“why not me?” when bad things happen. Not because I lack faith, but because I have faith. I know God allows good and bad into the lives of all His children, ranging from Eve to Jesus Christ. The circumstances of our lives aren’t a reflection of God’s lack of love or concern for us. They’re just circumstances of our lives.
That said, however, the best way to develop a strong, healthy relationship with someone is to talk to them. Ask God “why?” — and all sorts of questions. And listen to His answers! Talk to Him in your journal, in daily commute, when you’re sitting on the pooper or zoning out during a boring work meeting.
Love God for who He is, not what He gives you
The stronger your relationship with God, the less you care when He says no to the desires of your heart.
When you love God for who He is, you have all you need that’s why the verse says to “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4.
When you truly delight yourself in God, you already have the desires of your heart. Him! And you have faith, love, peace, rest, salvation, freedom. You have everything you need when you truly delight yourself in the Lord. Everything else is icing on the cake: the baby, the good marriage, the remission of cancer.
What do you think, my friend? It can’t be that easy to just move on when God says no to the desires of your heart…or can it?
If you’re struggling with grief and pain — especially after a breakup or divorce — read How to Trust God After a Heartbreaking Loss.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.