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Finding the Space Between Hope and Contentment


By Morgan Jones

The exercise seems easy. Breathe in something you want to invite into your life and breathe out the thing that you’re afraid of. I breathe in. I visualize the life I long to have. Children coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. Watching football games with my husband on the couch. Having kids that beg to go to my parents house because they love their grandparents even more than they love me. I breathe out and I’m surprised by what I see. I don’t see anything scary, quite the opposite actually. The images that flood my mind are snapshots of my life now—coming home from work, conducting interviews, writing stories, coming home to a home that is just as I left it—a life that I am actually quite comfortable with and arguably pretty good at. 

I always say that it’s the things we don’t expect that make life tough. We can mentally prepare ourselves for many types of life situations or circumstances but still there will be things we don’t see coming and those things always seem to be the most difficult. In my case, I never planned to be single at the age of 30. In fact, I remember seeing women in their mid-20s when I was younger and feeling so sorry for them. The thing that I’ve realized is I didn’t even know what I was feeling sorry for. I didn’t know that being single sometimes feels like you’re watching the world from the outside looking in, that years come and go and everyone around you gets married and has children and you seem to be stuck in some form of Groundhog Day. I didn’t know that there is actually no such thing as a free dinner and I didn’t know that even on the very best days there is a longing to share your life with someone. 

 If my life had gone the way I imagined, I would’ve been married ten years ago and would have at least a few kids by now. But God recently reminded me that this life I’m living was also at one time just a dream I never expected to actually experience. 

 As weird as it sounds, it’s true…while my sisters were playing baby dollhouse every day of their lives, I rarely played with dolls or even toys in general as a child. Instead, I frequently shut myself in the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror pretending to interview someone. I was both the interviewer and the interviewee and nailed the interview every time. Later, in high school, I read a book by Jane Clayson Johnson, news anchor on The Early Show, and imagined how amazing it would be to have a career like hers. I never dreamed that one day I would have the opportunity to interview her myself. 

And so it is that I’ve discovered that while the unexpected is hard, there are also moments I never planned on—moments that are so beautiful I want to pinch myself, moments where I sit wondering how a little girl like me ended up sitting in rooms she doesn’t even belong in. 

 Still, I find myself seeking the space between hope and contentment. Single or not, I imagine you, reader, know that space. I have struggled to reconcile these two principles, to discover what the bridge between the two might be. How can I be happy and content with the life that God has given me, grateful for my blessings, but also hoping and believing that God can give me the other desires of my heart, desires that I have always considered to be more significant than any career accomplishments? And what I’ve discovered is that the answer is peace—peace that only God can bring into our lives, peace that comes from knowing you’re doing the best you can to be close to Him, to do what He would have me do. Ugo Betti said, “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.” 

I breathe in and see the faces of the people God has allowed me to interview. I breathe out and allow myself to hope for a day when I will live a very different life than I live now, trusting that in that coming day of sleepless nights and dirty diapers, I will have fleeting thoughts of days gone past. 

 So here’s to wonderful surprises, big and small. Surprises in the form of dreams you never expected to live, surprises in the form of tears that at some point—so gradually that you can’t even pinpoint the exact moment and didn’t even realize it was happening—turned to tears of gratitude for the privilege of coming to know God in a completely unexpected way.


  1. Love this. Love Morgan!!

    • Morgan-all I can say is WOW!!! Sooo powerfully writes! You nailed it!! Love you tons!! Xoxo erlynn

  2. Wonderful! Great counsel for anyone in any circumstance.

    • Thank you for reading. That was my hope, that it would be applicable regardless of circumstance!

  3. Loved this! I look forward to Wednesday’s when I can listen to Morgan Jones on her All In Podcast. I’m always wishing I could introduce her to her future husband and try to think of someone who would be perfect for her even though I don’t even know her. Great story!!

    • Sally, bless you for your matchmaking efforts. I sincerely hope you find my husband! 😉 Thank you for listening!

  4. I totally get this— but from the opposite perspective. I have the kids and the house and that whole life— and I love it dearly! But sometimes I wonder if I could have done more with the talents God gave me— if there could have been a way to have both? And now I am facing my kids all being out of the house in a couple of years and I wonder if it’s too late to even try?

    • It’s never too late. I truly believe that. It may look different than we imagined but God can always use our talents and gifts in ways we didn’t anticipate when we express to Him that we want to be used.

  5. Love this so much! She is amazing!

  6. This is so beautiful, Morgan. You know that, in a very different way, I find myself in the same place. In a world between contentment and hope for something better. Thank you for sharing your heart. ♥️

    • Jenn, you know I’m rooting for you! And I would argue that that space, though hard to find, is not a bad place to be! Love to you and your family!

  7. Beautiful ❤️!!! Love this , amazing writer and wonderful lady!!! Life has away of turning out exactly where you are suppose to be! Everyone has a story and eachone a beautiful journey! Thanks for sharing them.

    • Thank you for reading! So so nice of you!

  8. Morgan this is beautiful

  9. Enjoy the moment! Beautiful narrative Morgan!

  10. The message is profound, shared in a constructive, while captivating, way…will inspire so many. But, more than that, it speaks so highly of it’s author. To allow your heart to spill out on the page, in this way, on this topic…makes you a very special, even favored, daughter of a Divine Father in Heaven. Thanks!

    • Thank you for such a nice, thoughtful message. It means more than you know. Thank you for your support.

  11. Beautiful, and beautifully written. Chin up! You have brought much joy, inspiration, and desires to serve others to my live as I have listened to your podcasts. You are doing a marvelous work and connecting in ways, and with a reach, that I could only hope to do. Keep up the good work, God has you in his hands.

    • Thank you for listening to the podcast! I believe our shared faith is a strong foundation on which many good things can come and am grateful to connect with good people like you.

  12. So beautiful! Thank you for being you, for sharing your talents with the world, and uplifting so many around you! You are an inspiration!

  13. This take is so validating! I love the story about Morgan pretending to interview others in her childhood. She’s a pro and a delight. ❤️❤️

    • It’s 100 percent true. The other day a friend texted and said she also used to pretend she was interviewing people and that she was always an olympic ice skater and I said “I was an Olympic Gymnast!” Hahah.

  14. You never disappoint!!

    • Thank you Jim. You are too kind my friend. I often feel undeserving of such a kind friend!

  15. Thanks so much for this, I really needed this today!!! I can relate on the other side of life I married at 17, had my 4 kids. Then my husband passed away unexpectedly when I was 45. I’ve been a widow for 21 yrs!. Never expected this either! God Bless You Morgan, you’re wonderful, beautiful, and inspiring! ❤️🙏🏼

    • This is so touching to me and exactly what I prayed for when I wrote this piece…that someone in a completely different situation would also be able to relate. Bless you for your faithfulness and kindness!

  16. Beautifully written! So very inspiring, I struggle to remember to trust in God, he will give all of us what we need whether we know it or not.

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