By the time you read this you will have no doubt heard the phrase ‘Thank God for unanswered prayers!’ People are known to say this all the time and while it makes for a great country song, I don’t think it is accurate at all. It is my belief and certainly my experience that God always answers the prayers of his children with one of three answers.
Sometimes God says ‘not now’…
I met your father in August of 2005, but it was in July that God impressed upon my heart that our meeting was very near. I know, that sounds absurd, but for real, God does actually communicate with his children. Anyway… I had an impromptu lunch with your daddy and a co-worker and I knew he was ‘The One’. Well as you know, a short 8 months later we were engaged! A mere 6 months into the engagement (and 2 months before the wedding), the panic attacks started which led to us postponing the wedding.
Of course anytime you postpone an already planned wedding – everyone thinks the wedding will never happen. This includes the persons who used the word ‘postponed’ in the first place (ME). I was heart-broken and confused to say the least. I was standing in my backyard late one night and it was quiet and the moon was full; I remember it like it was yesterday. My heart was in so much pain and I just looked up and cried “I don’t understand”. That’s what my mouth said, but my heart was pouring out the assurances God had given time and again that your daddy was, indeed, ‘the one’. “I thought he was the one… I don’t understand”. Just like that, God said “He is… just not right now”. What???
Well, you know the rest of the story. The wedding went from being postponed, to being called off to “here’s the ring back” and then… then God said “It’s time”. There have been ups & downs, but we were wise to listen and to wait. The things he taught us in that time of waiting better prepared us for marriage and all the things that come with sharing your life with someone else. It also gave us a sense of commitment going into the marriage that otherwise may not have been there.
Sometimes God says ‘no’…
Soon after the wedding – much too soon – we were greeted with the wonderful news that in 6 months we would be having a baby. I recall feeling many things at that moment, but joy was not one of them. I was scared, angry and terribly disappointed. This could not be. I am not the poster child for shotgun weddings. I cried and cried and when I could cry no more, I just made groaning, woe-is-me sounds.
I’ve written this before and it is as hard now as it was then, but I had hoped to lose the pregnancy. I felt sure God would spare me the humiliation of telling everyone I was pregnant when I got married. Please God, please take it away. God said No…
Andrew Nathan… you are here because God said no! My eyes are filled with tears because I am still in awe of how great my God is. How gracious He is and how thankful I am for the no’s he has given me. I cannot look at you nor think of you without uttering a prayer of thankfulness.
Sometimes God says ‘yes’...
And then, two years later your daddy & I knew we wanted another baby to love. We prayed and asked the Lord in his time, would he bless us with another gift just as special as Andrew. We didn’t have to wait long to get his answer. It seems as quickly as we asked God said yes! And before I knew it, my belly was great with child once again.
Those 9 months went by so quickly and we went from a family of three to a family of four. Landon, you are my little love bug. You are the sweetest ‘yes’ in my life. Had I not walked the hard road of ‘not now’ & ‘no’, I doubt I could have known what a blessing the ‘yes’ was. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t love you both. Even long before you were ever given to me, I loved you. The journey here has been long and treacherous at times. There have been days when I wanted to pull my hair out, but every day has been a blessing. He has held me through it all and he is holding you too.
You will ask God for many things as you walk through life. Some things will be frivolous and self-serving while other things will be the earnest pleas of your heart. Know that regardless of the answer, God will not only answer, but he is sovereign in that answer. I know it is hard to trust the Lord sometimes, but had I not trusted him life would be much different for me… and you as well. The yes’s are sweet, but the “not-now’s” and “no’s” contain blessings that cannot be met or replaced by any other answer. “Lean not on your own understanding…”, but lean fully into the goodness of the Lord.
All my love,