When You Feel Like Something’s Missing and You Don’t Know What It Is?

Sharon JaynesEnough, Expectant Living, Prayer, Praying for Your Child 67 Comments

One Spring, our family hosted a ten-year-old Russian foreign exchange student. I got to be his mamma for six weeks. He went to school with my son and got a taste of what the American Christian family is all about. Alex’s English was very limited, and we depended on hand signals and facial expressions to get by.

One day, I tried to get him to write a letter to his parents. I pulled out the stationary, handed him a pen, and pointed to a picture of his mom and dad. “Why don’t you write a letter to your parents,” I suggested. He had no idea what I was talking about.

For twenty minutes I drew pictures and tried to get him to understand what I wanted him to do. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he looked up at me and said, “What do?”

I just hugged him and put the pen and paper away.

Oftentimes I feel like our little foreign exchange student. I see beauty mingled with pain and suffering and wonder…what do? I feel close to God but not close enough, and I cry…what do? I worry about my child’s future and fret about the present and whisperwhat do?

Yes, there are Bible verses that help steady our feet with each of those scenarios, but the truth is, the ache for something more, something different, will never completely go away this side of heaven. The Bible says, we are aliens and strangers in this world in which we temporarily live (1 Peter 1:2, 2:11). Our real citizenship is in heaven, and we’re just passing through this wonderful, sometimes painful, thing called life.

Solomon reminds us, “He (God) has planted eternity in the human heart,” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT). We were made for eternity, and as long as our feet are here on this earth, we will experience a glory ache that only heaven can fully satisfy. We will always feel a certain something missing that may be hard to define.

For the longest time I felt there was just something wrong with me…that I was fatally flawed because I never felt total peace all the time. “What do” echoed in my heart as I tried to figure out what my problem was. But now I realize, it’s because I wasn’t made for this world. Don’t get swallowed up in guilt because you have that nagging feeling that something’s missing. It is! You’re not home yet. Until we get there, savor the moments when God’s presence is strong, and look forward to the day when there will nothing missing at all.

Heavenly Father, sometimes I get so discouraged because I just don’t know what to do with that ache for something more—that gnawing feeling that I’m missing something in my relationship with You. Help me to remember that this is not my home. Help me to not feel guilty or discouraged when nothing in the world satisfies the ache, but to look forward when every longing will cease. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What does it mean to you to know that this is not your home? Leave a comment and let’s share.

A Sudden Glory Sharon Jaynes

Today’s devotion was taken from my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Click here to read the first chapter and more.

Also, it’s not too late to pre-order your copy of Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe: A 30-Day Guide to Powerful and Effective Scripture Based Prayer and receive FREE BONUS material…including 5 video lessons. This book is for moms, grandmas, aunties, or anyone praying for a child. Click here to learn about bonus material you’ll receive if you pre-order before September 5.

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Comments 67

  1. Awesome message for me today. I have been feeling lonely and wonder we’re is God. Keep me in your prayers.

    Thanks Family
    Sister Carolyn.

  2. Thank you for this message. I’m now in the “what do?”moment and I feel the world crashing down on me – everyone (kids, husband, friends, charity work) wants a piece of me and I’m torn with guilt for not fully fulfilling any of my roles.
    Your message gives me strength to know I’m not alone. Thank you

    1. Dorothy – I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on these things but lead to here. My last couple of years I have been torn in many directions with my family. I was trying to start a new beautiful life with my fiancé. But had overwhelming guilt of leaving my senior mother for long periods (she is very self sufficient but won’t be someday). My daughter is trying to have her first baby and I had guilt that I may not be around all the time for the pregnancy and new baby. This guilt was instill daily by comments from them. And my fiancé was not happy when we spent time away from his family. I was constantly torn in 3 directions. Trying to make all 3 of them happy. But no one was ever satisfied or happy. And it was all “my fault”. I have now lost my fiancé… the love of my life. He believed I was more needed in the town with my family and he needed to be with his sons in another town. It’s been 3 months. I cry daily. Not sure when I’ll get over this loss. Still serving my mother and daughter. They are a blessing from God. But so alone. It never seems like it’s “my turn” but that seems so selfish to say.

      Not sure if this will ever be read but felt good to write it out through the tears.

      1. Christine – I read your words and understand your feelings. I have a second husband who is not pleased with the amount of the time I give my grown boys and my 80-year-old father who lives with us. It’s a never-ending battle it seems but I can’t imagine losing the love of your life over it. That’s a hard one! Why do we as women feel responsible for everyone around us? I believe it’s how God made us……caregivers.
        Just know that you are Not alone in your feelings and struggles and I pray that God gives you peace over your situation. It’s beyond me for sure but NOTHING is beyond HIM. I pray God brings you someone to share your life who accepts your situation.

      2. God will make a way when it seems like all is lost. In the meantime, allow God to be your best friend and comforter. God will a way , he works in ways we don’t understand.

      3. I read it Christine and God bless you and remember no good thing will he withhold for those who trust in Him… and that old line about letting love go and if it’s meant to be it will come back, till then trade your sorrow for his Joy ..that is always his will🥰✝️🙏💕

      4. I read it Christine, Praying for you. Father God hears and sees you. Your sacrifice to care for your love ones doesn’t go unnoticed. Brighter days ahead.

      5. Your comment “never felt so alone” struck me. I too have felt very alone in the middle of a crowd…but then I remember that God said your are never alone and I will never forsake you.
        You have three best friends all the time…and God sent the Holy Spirit to reside in your heart, so he is always close.
        It’s not easy, and your time will come. Just wait till that previous baby is in your arms and you will have another
        “Friend” for life! Welcome to Grandmotherhood! Best job a woman ever had!

      6. Oh I so understand the feelings of being torn between being available for my 86 year old mother 7 hours away and my life still helping my youngest grandson living with me all while having to work part time to supplement my income. I’ve always felt responsible for everyone and everything.

      7. I hear you, Christine. One thing I had to come to terms with is, is it me that is setting myself up on the guilt feelings? Do I not deserve for others to care about my needs also? We as daughters/mothers/wife’s do this all the time. Partners should be there for support and vice versus. To help pick up the pieces and work together to make it work (with prayers to God for speaking to our hearts for his assurance), not to make it harder. But I know that conversation with others is not easy because we as women don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling; but others need to know that you are human too with human needs. God will show us the way, but if we don’t ask for guidance and a shoulder that says, I made you; I hear you and I know your heart and give it all to me, then the guilt feelings will take over. Allow yourself to take care of you. To say; I love me for me. You may find that the others are stronger than you might think and understand.

      8. Christine, I read your email and completely understand the feelings of being torn, guilty, and alone. I read something yesterday that says you’re not alone… you are separated. God separates us to move us to the next level for three reasons:

        1. He wants to give us the tools necessary for our destiny.
        2. He wants us to clearly hear HIS voice without all of those other voices clouding our minds and places us in a season where he can train us and teach us how to know His voice.
        3. He separates us to make us unrecognizable to the people who only knew us by our wounds. (My personal favorite.)

        Know you’re not alone, you’ve been set apart by God. Know there is no condemnation in those that love the Lord, so stop beating yourself up and thinking you have to be everything for everyone else. If you’re their savior, then they won’t look to Jesus for their needs.

        I’ve been there and I’m praying you through this season.

      9. I’m so sorry. May god help you and bless you with his very best. It’s hard to make everyone happy but it sounds like you are doing your best

      10. Even though you went through all this, God was with you the whole time. It may feel like life is falling apart but we need to remember that God is always working for us, & through us so we can come out better & stronger then before. I’m sorry to hear about your fiancé, but it gives you all the more reason to focus on God & His plans for you. I pray that whatever you’re going through you will just be reminded that God is with you through & through & that He Loves you so very much, never forget that, Godbless you ❤️

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  3. I tossed and turned praying as my husband with a younger onset dementia transitions to memory care today. My prayers were fragmented and broken and morning couldn’t come soon enough. Thank you for the reminder that the heart will always ache in this world.

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      Oh Martha, I’m so sorry. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 56. It is so hard to watch. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

      1. Sharon and ladies,

        I know all too well the feelings of helplessness and sadness as we watch our loved ones go through life altering health issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. My mother was diagnosed at age 66. For 12 yrs she battled the disease with the last 3 yrs being bedridden.

        I watched my dad struggle to take care of her with patience and love. One day I was praying and God spoke to my heart and mind to sell my home and move in with my parents to help take care of my mom. I was the oldest of 3 daughters, and a single mom of grown children and working, but I obeyed God and did what He told me to do. I got to care for my mom and my dad for 8 yrs until my dad passed away at age 80 of a stroke(before my mom) and then the last 3 yrs of her life bedridden
        In her home. I will say it was hard and overwhelming at times, but Praise Jesus he was with me every step of the way and I enjoyed spending those precious times with my parents. I know that I will see them again one day in my eternal home. So until then I keep pressing on in this temporary home here on earth. God Bless you all! ❤

    2. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this Martha! I too had a husband with early onset dementia. Praying God will give you strength and encouragement one day at a time! I wish I could give you a hug!

    3. Oh, Martha, my heart aches for you! Father, please wrap Martha in Your strong arms and hold her so tight that she can feel the squeeze! Hold on to her and help her to hold on to You. Give her everything, EVERYTHING, she needs today to get through this day, and all the tomorrows. Thank You that time and space mean nothing to You; You see the beginning and the end and every moment in between. Please help Martha to trust You implicitly in this time when everything else seems to wrong, so unsettled, so chaotic. Give her a glimpse of Your Glory. I ask this in Your Son’s Amazing Name!

    4. Martha, my prayers are with you. I lost my husband 9 years ago to Younger Onset Alzheimer’s; he was just 63. It was a horrible time in my life, but with God’s help, I made it through.

  4. And I thought I was was keeping it a secret. Sometimes I just cry. I so long for my Lord’s continual presence, which I know I have, but daily life gets in the way. Thank you, Sharon, for understanding and your prayer. I prayed it with all my heart ❤️

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    2. As a licensed mental health therapist, I’m very aware of my own thoughts and feelings. I often am frustrated that my joy is fleeting. Even though I’m a long time Christian and my life is so blessed, the sense of something missing remains. Thanks, Sharon Jaynes, for putting into words what I couldn’t. What do? I wait patiently for my Lord to call me home to himself. Until then, that sense of something missing remains.

  5. Sharon, I love your posts. You are down to earth, forthright, strong and independent. You speak right to our heart and our needs. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, peritoneal cancer and obstruction. 11/8/22-4/1/23 at 62. Grief is overwhelming at times and tho I know God is near, I long for his daily presence. Thank you for todays devotional. Xoxo

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  6. Lost my oldest son to COVID 9/11/21. I long more then ever to be in heaven. I know he is with Jesus and that is the only thing that gives me hope.

  7. WOW, as I read these comments, I have been feeling the same way for a long time. Wondering if my prayers for friendship, would ever be answered or fulfilled. Yesterday I spend the whole day just listening to God’s music and words. This did fill my heart. Thank you for your support and guidance, we all need to stay together.


  8. This message was great! I’m excited to know that we are going into a beautiful place. We have a passport to Heaven! Thank you Lord!!

  9. Thank you for today. I lost my son 15 days shy of his 42 birthday. It will be 2 years August 29th since he went home to glory.
    I know where he is and I know I will see him again one day; however, I feel unsettled when I think about how I wish we were together innHeaven. God is in control , this was my sons day. Not my day. I still struggle and I thought I knew pain, but you do not know pain until you looses a child.
    Thank you for sharing Gods words and your own experiences .

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  10. I hate not getting GIG, but this feels so much more intimate. Thank you 🤍. I feel like I’m just here. Just existing,moving through life not living. What do? Some many questions & I’m not getting any answers 😔

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  11. This is a perfect reminder for me today as I’ve been feeling like something is indeed missing. Struggling with illness and just not myself has also led to issues in my marriage. I’m just weary! Praise God for putting the longing for eternity into our hearts! Come Lord Jesus!

  12. I often have to remember “Be still and know I am”. I tend to get overextended in my multi-job existence and need to focus on what truly is important. Though life here is merely a temporary thing, God put much beauty and joy for us if we take the time to “be still”

  13. Oh how I needed this today! Spoke right to my heart! I have been feeling so “out of place” recently, taking care of my 88 year old mother with dementia (thank the Lord for good caregivers and my sisters!) The “busyness” of the world is overwhelming!!! I am SOOOOOO looking forward to that day when I see Jesus face to face! I oftentimes say “Come, Lord Jesus!” when it gets so bad, I can’t say anything else!
    Appreciate your heart for Jesus, and thank you so much for sharing this devotion!!! God Bless!

  14. This spoke so much truth to me. I struggle often with discontentment, questioning, etc. regarding my place in this world. Thank you for reminding me that this world isn’t my home. I’m just passing through. Praise God for that.

  15. Thank you for this. I feel overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety today. And guilt at not having more peace. I know this is not my home. I long for home everyday, but I know there is a purpose for me to still be here. God’s will, not mine in all things. I only want to finish my race seeking only what matters for eternity.

  16. Thanks Sharon… I can’t wait to just be with the Lord face to face. He surprised hubby and me when we found out I was pregnant- on Christmas! Now at 39 weeks and struggling with the fact that baby Sonja hasn’t come yet, because she is measuring a little bigger (so they say—but late ultrasounds are known to be quite inaccurate) and I am petite so the medical team is pressuring a little for induction. I’m asking the Lord for spontaneous labor and a vaginal delivery so that these meddlesome interventions that I believe often undermine Gods design and plan and are man’s way of sometimes playing God (not always- but sometimes) are not part of her story. Please, if anyone could join me in prayer for natural labor and birth especially in the next day or so, I would be so grateful. And also the faith to trust His timing and not be disappointed if it’s not so.

    1. Maria,
      I pray that you will be enveloped in the presence and peace of Jesus. I pray for provision and protection from all harm. I pray you will be vigorous and quickly delivered. I thank God that his plan for Sonja’s life is established and will not be thwarted by any circumstance! I pray for your husband as well to step more fully into his role as spiritual head of your home. I pray this blessing time will draw you both closer to Jesus and each other. Amen

    2. Maria, praying for you and your baby for a safe and natural labor and delivery. Wisdom for you and for your doctor. Have you talked to the doctor about your wishes? Dear Lord, we are asking for your will to be done, for safe delivery and a healthy baby. I pray for peace and faith in you for Maria.
      God Bless you and your family..

  17. My husband of 46 years passed away July 8, 2023. He had just turned 70 in March and we celebrated 46 wonderful years of marriage and friendship on June 3! My heart is broken, but I have the hope that I will see him again. He did live 3-1/2 years longer than they said he would and I consider that “extra” time a gift! Hard stuff, but God is sustaining me through all of it! Thank you for this devotion and the reminder that this world is fallen and it truly is not our home!

  18. I will always long for my heavenly home but I feel the Lord is with me through this life and the plan he has for me helps me to get through this time on this earth, even when it gets hard. Through Jesus I can do all things by his strength.

  19. I feel this post deep in my soul. I became a Christian at the age of 33. I am now 54. I have always felt almost inadequate as a Christian. I know God loves me and will take care of my needs, but, there has always been that nagging feeling that I am missing something, or not doing something right. Thank you for this. I feel a little better about life. Hopefully after meditating on this a while, it will sink in.

  20. Sharon thank you for this lesson and capturing so often is my heart’s cry with ‘what do?’
    I was particularly encouraged for all for of the women who shared a portion of their stories. Praying for each of you. As someone said, “come, quickly Lord Jesus”
    Thank you for this timeless and timely reminder.

  21. It means the burdens I am carrying bear no actual weight. As long as I continue to defeat every lie of the enemy one by one day by day then the weight of those burdens here on earth can have NO lasting effect on my MIND.

    Heaven Bound and Rapture Ready

  22. Oh how these words were so close to what I feel at times but encouraged me to know I’m not alone and my God is always with me even at times when I cant feel His presence reminded He never leaves me and is so faithful.Praise God this just our Temporary Home

  23. There habe been some hard known in my 70+ years but knowing what’s in store gets me through.
    I did this k life would get easier and I would fluids into my final destination, boy was I wrong.
    God help this world.💕🙏

  24. I loved the simple message of “What do?” Sometimes we get caught up in praying a certain way, using scripture, and the proper words thinking that will get our prayers answered when we just need to be open to whatever God has planned for us.

  25. I have been going out with this guy for almost 5 years. My Pastor and his wife have been counseling me and they say to stop all communication with my boyfriend. There’s 2 reasons 1). He’s not a Christian 2). He’s married. My boyfriend just broke up with his girlfriend. They were never married but have a child together. I totally got in a deep intimate relationship with him and it’s hard for me to let go or break up with him. Because of those 2 facts I had to make a decision because God does not approve. Plus if I love God I must obey Him. My Pastor told me to end the relationship with John (that’s not his name). On the other hand I’ve been praying to God about him and it seems like God does not approve of the relationship. There are signs but I am too stubborn to acknowledge them. I asked myself “what do?”; 1)Listen to my Pastor and his wife who are Godly people 2)Prove to God that I love Him and will obey Him or 3) follow my heart and don’t listen to them and God but to live in sin. So, I decided to be obedient and wrote a Dear John letter to John (that’s not his name). My Pastor and his wife told me to block him on all my social media accounts. I said to myself “what do?” because a part of me wants to see “John” fight for me and give him a chance to talk about my decision to leave him. So far he hasn’t said anything. A part of me is hoping that “John” loves me. BUT I must obey God. I must put God first at all times and focus on Him. I must end all ties with “John” .

    1. Madelene, It must be so hard to obey in spite of your heart but it does seem clear that you know this is the right decision. It will not be easy but I trust that the Lord has your back and will get you through this. You deserve to have someone 100% committed to you from the beginning not 5 years in or when faced with making a choice. Stand by your decision. Draw courage from God’s Word, your pastor and his wife, and your godly friends. I pray for your strength to endure and the blessings that will follow your obedience.

    2. Madeline, praying you will rest and rely upon Gods strength to follow through on what you know is right, no matter how difficult it may be at first. In time, God will honor your decision to walk away from a relationship you know is not pleasing to Him. I promise you it won’t be easy but walking away is something later on you will not regret. Focus on your relationship with the Lord even more so during the next few months.

  26. I’ve lived for the last 2.5 years with massive anxiety and depression after coming off of an anti depressant too quickly.
    I have felt suicidal throughout this time despite having a good life and an amazing family. I have felt for so long now that I just dont want to be here and I feel horribly guilty about it. But thru this post I just realized that this feeling is part of the sanctification I’m going thru…of course… because as you grow older in your faith and are being sanctified slowly….. you come to the place where you know more and more that you don’t belong here……that this is not your rightful home. I just feel so miserable here. I want to go home now……. but I know I have to wait…. and it helps to know that these awful feelings are not just because of my mental state being off but because I am transitioning out of a world I don’t belong in.
    Thank you.
    Yes. please come Lord Jesus. My head and heart ache for you!

  27. To be transparent, I used to feel a little fear about dying and leaving this world. It got worse when I had my child. I wasn’t looking at the right way. The world itself makes you comfortable. It makes you think that this where you want to be. As if you’ll miss something. However I got closer to God and Thank God I realized that I will not be missing anything. As a human and mother I think about possibly leaving my child and loved ones. However I know I’ll see them again.

  28. J BROWN
    August 19, 2023, AT 9:pm

    It gives me Such Joy To know that this world is not my final home Heaven will be my home.

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