When a Mother’s Dreams Go Unfulfilled and Prayers Appear to be Unanswered

I think I’ve hit a wall. Or maybe I’m boxed in. Whatever the case, I’m feeling a bit stuck.

Which was surprising because we just finished an amazing 4-week series of Faith-Filled Moms, where courageous women shared personal details and struggles about their families for the first time ever in public. And I feel so blessed and privileged to share their stories. And while I’ve been so encouraged by their stories and courage, I’ve also been in retrospect about my own Motherhood journey.

As you may know, my daughter Kennedi finally kicked off her high school track career this spring. She’s not running competitively yet, mainly focused on the field events – high jump, shot put, and trying javelin for the first time this year.

I recently prayed for God to speak to me as I was just feeling uncertain about some choices I needed to make. And my uncertainty was rooted in the girls being back on the track after a two-year hiatus, still attending school remotely, and the best way to protect them as the world around us was slowly opening back up.

The weekend after I prayed, we virtually visited The Family Church in Voorhees, NJ as part of my Sorority’s May Week activities, and the pastor’s message really challenged me. He spoke about faith – I was confronted on whether my faith was fixated on what I was believing to happen, or was my faith truly in God’s will being done, and being ok with whatever He allowed to happen?

I started questioning myself – did I really trust God, or was my trust in Him confined to what I wanted Him to do for me and my family?

I had to get back to basics. I turned to Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

The questioning continued…exactly what has my faith been based on? What I wanted? Or what God wanted for me? And how could I be sure of what God wanted for our lives?

And what if God’s will was different from what I wanted? What if I didn’t like it?

This week’s scripture helps me answer those questions. It’s what I come back to time and time again when I find myself getting discouraged during the wait:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV

This doesn’t change what I’m believing God for, but if faced with the choice, could I release my hopes and dreams, and believe that everything in my daughters’ lives would work out according to God’s will and plan for them? Even when it doesn’t line up with my faith?

I may not understand or like the situations they are destined to experience, but if I believe in this promise, that should not stop me from trusting Him.

As I contemplated this, I thought about our current situation with Kennedi. The track season I have been waiting and anticipating since 2018 has come to a pause. She had been progressing in the shot put and javelin, and finding her way back in high jump, usually taking 1st or 2nd place in her meets. Her high school team won their conference, and it was time to prepare for Sectionals.

And then… a weird positioning while she was trying to set a personal record for a new height in high jump, caused her to come down awkwardly on the mat, where she said she felt and heard her back crack. An immediate visit to the chiropractor revealed a severe sprain, with an unknown recovery time.

And here I am. Stuck.

What did I have faith in again? Her healing, of course.

But what healing was that? The old injury or this new one?

Or both?

After thinking about it, my faith is unchanged that every day she lives as a healed child of God, no matter what may come.

My trust is in God, and everything He does for her every day. Every lap she runs around the track. Every implement she throws. Every jump she makes. No matter what the mark is, whether it’s a low mark or record-breaking.

My prayer is that every day He is ordering her steps and orchestrating what happens in her life. And that everything He allows her to experience has a purpose for her future.

And if this is nowhere near my expectations or what I was believing for, all that means is that He knows her much better than me.

But back to my human emotions – what if she never gets to stand on the top of the podium again? I do hope she gets to experience that again, and I’m fully expecting it. But above all, I want God’s will to always be the most important desire of my heart. Can I say that it is right now? Not always. But I’m a work in progress.

Whatever He allows to happen, I’ll have to be good with it. Because however her life turns about, she has a faith-filled mama who’s been praying fervently and endlessly for her. And I know He’s responding to my faith and my prayers. And that is ultimately the best answer I could ever receive.

As this track season closes out, no matter what happens, my next steps are to make sure that I’m trusting in God and not my own dreams of what the next few weeks, months, and years will bring for Kennedi. Yes, I’ll still dream and hope, I’ll never stop doing that. But above all, I’ll trust in His unknown plan for her as it’s unraveled before my eyes.

Because it’s ALL for her good.


Do you have a long-standing prayer that you have been standing in faith on, but God doesn’t seem to be responding?

How can this week’s Play Prediction scripture help you in moments of discouragement and disappointment?



I’ve had this prayer request before you for a while now. And sometimes I feel weary – I know you are listening, but sometimes I feel like you aren’t moving.

Even though I don’t understand Your plan, today I make a decision to trust you, because I know you are working out everything for my good, and for my family’s good.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know You hold my future. And that’s enough for me.

In Jesus Name,


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Published by Tonya May Avent

Child of God. Wife of 20 years to basketball fanatic and coach. Mom to teenage daughters and amazing athletes. Tonya is an award-winning author whose writing has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts magazine. Her first book, Using God’s Playbook for the Game of Life: 52 Scriptures Your Young Athlete Should Know Before Sending Them Off Into the World was released in October 2022.

5 thoughts on “When a Mother’s Dreams Go Unfulfilled and Prayers Appear to be Unanswered

  1. I really needed this right now. Nothing more nothing less, just really needed this right now. Thank you as always for sharing!

    1. Hi Jennifer. No, we keep praying to God, just like Jesus asked God to take the cup away from Him in the garden before He died. We ask our request before God, but resolve ourselves to say Thy Will be Done. Thank you for reading and good to hear from you!

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