Tag Archives: questions

When Your Prayer is Not Answered Your Way

starbucks-ed01Growing up in today’s world we (And by “we” I mean me… but of course in that sentence that would be “I”. lol) are accustomed to having things our way.

We order specific drinks at Starbucks, right down to the temperature. Or maybe that’s just me đŸ˜‰

To find the perfect dress (or tool, or vehicle, or toy, or….) we’ll shop at countless stores until we get the exact one we want… or we go home empty-handed and frustrated. Restaurants cater to our need to control everything by allowing us to order anything, anyway we’d like. The commercials entice us in by telling us we can “Have it Your Way”. Honestly, who doesn’t want it their way? Sounds great, right?

So naturally, when we go to God and ask for something and He answers in a way that’s different than what we had hoped (or what we had made up in our minds), emotions surface. OK, so that’s putting it gently. Basically we whine. We pout. We pour out our questions as we try to make sense of what is happening. We act like a spoiled 2 year old fighting to be heard.

Maybe a few of these sound familiar:

  • Um God, did you not hear what I said?
  • Apparently you missed some of my details along the way.
  • I think I was pretty specific, God. Hello?
  • If I had known it was going to turn out like this, I would have asked differently.
  • I thought you wanted what was best for me?
  • Why me?

Sure, we may not actually say those things (or maybe we do) but we may think them or they are reflected in our attitudes.

It is extremely difficult to trust while you’re waiting or trust when the answer comes and it’s not AT ALL what you expected. Not.At.All. Trust that your plan was not God’s all along. Trust that he is absolutely capable and actually the ONLY one that can answer in a way that will benefit you in the LONG run. He’s not interested in the immediate. The shortcut. The easy way. Trust that no matter what happens, God is in control. Trust that he will always do a better job than you when it comes to answering a prayer. Always.

The best way to stand strong when you’re waiting or when your prayers are not answered the way you want, is to look back at what God has done for you. But not just you. Look at others who have had answered prayers. Talk to people and ask them their stories. Hear and see how God helped them along the way even when they didn’t realize it at the time. Read about the disciples and how God answered prayer after prayer.

And… as you’re looking back, share your story. Share it with your kids, your family, and your friends. Telling others what God has done will renew your own faith and help you stand strong in the waiting. Because you’ll need the strength.

Trust me, I know. Oh wait… I mean, trust God.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deut. 4:9)

It Can Be Hard

A friend recently asked me how I make it alone with three children. The answer to that question depends on the moment, the day, the week. Sometimes it surprises me that people think it’s so hard. I mean, I do the same things I did before. The same things that any Mom does…. everything….lol. OK, so maybe not everything, but almost đŸ˜‰

And sometimes the question brings tears, as I literally do not know. There are days I do not want to get out of bed. Days that I am not loveable, not patient, not kind, not a lot of stuff; simply going through the motions, so that I can crawl back into bed. The place that signals the end of another day.

I can say that I do not travel this road alone. Of course the ONE who created me knows what I can handle and I have learned to lean into Him more and more. Then there are those that literally walk WITH me. They let me vent, cry, laugh, be silly, and scream. Those that do not tire of hearing the same stuff and are always available. My family (blessed beyond measure that God allowed me to be the daughter of George and Jackie Burke) and friends who have become family.

Others step in and out and bless me even when they don’t realize they are doing it. Like the Mom who gave my daughter a shirt to tie-dye, because I did not have time to get one. Or the sweet teachers that have kept Brooke after school all year, so that I can work. Those are two examples but I have a large list of blessings that I keep in a journal by my bed. No blessing is taken for granted or forgotten. It’s my “gratitutude list” at the end of the day to remind me of how God is meeting my needs and even some of my wants.

You cannot appreciate how difficult a situation can be until you are the one in it. ANY difficulty. I recently read an article about autism and thought of one sweet friend who is raising two boys with autism. One article could not possibly give me an idea of how hard it is to raise two children with autism, just as one answer could not possibly explain the difficulties that come with being a single Mom.

But I can say that I am blessed. I have joy. I talk to God much more than I did. I do not take for granted the times I spend with my children. I like who I am.  And surprisingly, I like where God has me.