I paced the length of the darkened room—back and forth, back and forth—waiting, listening for signs of change. Moonlight shone through the windows, casting eerie shadows across the floor. I might have been uneasy—if I wasn’t so annoyed.
For many weeks, our church had been anticipating an evening with a man from the other side of the world—a speaker gifted in words and faith. I’d looked forward to this outing with my husband, an opportunity to join with friends, to be strengthened and encouraged together. Instead, here I was, stuck in a back room of the church—where we normally gathered for hot drinks and good conversation—pushing a pram, back and forth, back and forth.
Our baby, Josh—usually so placid—wasn’t settling well. I’d followed our usual rhythm that day—breastfeeding and cuddling and putting him to bed on time—all so he’d be ready for sleep when we arrived at church that night. My efforts were fruitless. Instead of winding down, Josh was wide awake, intrigued by all the sights and sounds around him. So, there we were, mother and son, pacing in the dark.
Halfway through another length, I stopped to peer across the timber deck to the auditorium’s exit doors. Everyone was so close—yet I felt miles away. White slivers of light glowed at the curtain edges. What are they doing in there? I wondered. I wish I could see. Only moments before I, too, was in that brightly lit space, relishing the music and singing words of surrender to God. I was hungry—ready to receive whatever He wanted to speak to me, do in me.
Now, I was alone in the dark and my soft heart had turned hard.
I huffed and strode on, my insides churning. God, this is so unfair! Why do I have to miss out? This is a one-off opportunity. Why did Josh have to be like this tonight? He’s normally so easy. This is just an attack of the enemy to keep me from being blessed!
A cooing sound from the pram snapped me out of my rant. My shoulders slumped and I sighed. Father, I don’t want to be like this. I’m so sorry. I love Josh, love being a mum. I just wish I didn’t have to miss out. Please help me.
Swiftly, His reassurance came.
Daughter, you won’t miss out. You won’t miss out. It’s My work in you that you need, and I can reach you wherever you are. I’m not dependent on any speaker to move in your life. I have no limit. As you choose to be faithful in the roles I’ve given you, I’ll make sure you get all you need to keep growing in Me and live well. You won’t stagnate. Trust Me. As you take care of your baby, I will take care of you.
His tender words brought overwhelming peace. Of course. I didn’t need to be in the other room to be blessed. God was with me right where I was. He was the giver of good gifts and He would continue to lead me and supply all I needed for every day, every responsibility.
My perspective was completely transformed. This time away from the crowd with my baby wasn’t a sacrifice. It was a gift—precious time in the presence of God, my own personal ministry session. I leaned close to the pram, watching Josh’s face light up when our eyes met. Wonder and compassion flooded through me. It must have been strange for him, being out so late at night, strolling in recurring loops in a room full of shadows. I lifted him from the pram and held him close, savouring the feel of his body in my arms, the sweet smell of his skin. He snuggled against my shoulder while we swayed side to side, my hand rubbing up and down his back. ‘It’s okay, precious one. It’s okay.’
Before long he tilted his head back and yawned. I giggled softly, kissing his forehead and stroking his wispy hair. ‘Time for sleep now, little man.’ Lowering him into the pram, I tucked the blankets around him, my heart welling with gratitude. How long had we been out there now, just the two of us in the silence? For most of that time I’d been robbed by my own bad attitude, my limited understanding. Now I could see. It didn’t matter if I didn’t hear a word from the famous man. The Master teacher was with me—and would remain so through all the years ahead.
Twenty-four years have passed since that night. I still remember God’s powerful promise—and over and over I’ve seen His faithfulness to keep it. I haven’t missed out. Yes, there have been times when the enemy has tried to pull me down and I’ve had to warfare to see God’s breakthrough. More often, the disruptions have come through the everyday ups and downs of life and my own fluctuating attitude. As I’ve walked through all those years of challenge and wonder, refining and joy, God has walked with me—speaking through His word, whispering to my heart, sending His people to help, moulding me even through the fire. In truth, it’s often been in the most disrupted, overwhelming times that I’ve seen His grace in greatest measure. And so it continues.
How about you? Maybe you’re not juggling young children. Maybe you’re facing other challenges that seem like a disruption to the path you thought your life should be on. Can I encourage you? God sees you. He understands what you need, has a clear plan and will meet you right where you are. As you choose to be faithful now in the roles He’s given you—even when it’s hard—He’ll strengthen and enable you, providing all you need and shaping your life into all He intends it to be.
“Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
JEREMIAH 29: 13
Writer and blogger, Susan Brown, has a passion to see people walking in freedom, identity and purpose. Whether in her work as an occupational therapist, raising her four children, speaking to groups or offering learning support to children and teens, her desire has always been to help people thrive. A strong believer in the power of authenticity, Susan often shares her struggles, failures and learnings with others, offering understanding and support as they work through their own challenges. When she’s not writing or working, Susan’s favourite way to relax is to immerse herself in a good story, preferably while reclined in a deep, gently swaying hammock. In her more energetic moments, she plunges herself into gardening, cooking, walking local trails with her husband or playing in the waves at the nearest surf beach. After twenty-five years in Launceston, Tasmania, Susan has recently moved to Wollongong, south of Sydney, where she lives with her husband, Mark, and three of their children. Her memoir Skinny Girl: A Journey Through Anorexiawas published in 2021.