I was reading back on my journal entries one Sunday evening. I was coming off of an incredibly amazing weekend. Lots of pivotal revelations and moments from that weekend. Smiling as wide as one possibly could when experiencing joy and happiness. I truly felt in that moment that a lot of my earnest prayers that had been spoken silently into the air were answered recently.
So, I decided to glance back to see.
I am so glad I did.
While certainly a lot of my entries were just random thoughts that needed to come out of my head, and a lot of them make me cringe (I am highly critical of anything I write), I would tear up and smile every single time I came across a prayer.
You remember your earnest prayers. The ones where you are on your knees. They feel like you are pleading with your whole self because you are so desperate to be heard by Him. On the outside, from the others, you may appear weird or outside the norm. But God knows your heart.
I think of Hannah, Samuel’s mother in 1 Samuel 1-3. How she grieved and mourned and pleaded with God for a child. Even her husband, who no doubt loved her, expressed his anguish at how she could be so sad and distraught and asked what he could provide her to help her heartache.
But, it wasn’t anything he could give her, except for a child.
So she prayed. Even made an oath to God that if he gave her a son, she would return him to the Lord.
God already knew Samuel was meant to be born and what he would be called to do. He also knew Hannah would honor that oath.
And so her prayers were answered.
It is one of my favorite Bible stories. The answer of a desperate prayer, a heartfelt oath, and Hannah’s heart of obedience and submission.
While I have made no certain oaths to God, I have pleaded with him. My knees and my eyes have been worn and swollen from crying out and asking God to provide and rescue and repair….and feeling as though I wasn’t heard.
I asked God to save my marriage. That he would come home.
I asked God to help my son, who was living an emotional hell and couldn’t tell us, so there was anger and volatility. I did not want to lose him too.
I pleaded with God to help my daughter, who was hurt once again by broken promises and now experiencing a different home life than she imagined.
Finances. A place to live. Relationships with family and friends. Community.
Three years worth of tear soaked pages and lots of coffee stains. Pouring out your heart became a work of art displayed on a canvas of lined paper.
Now, sitting in my car as I type this out and remembering all of those requests, and smiling wide at how God answered them….words truly fail as to how that feels.
When I say God is good, it is an understatement to be sure. He is beyond good.
Dirt and ash had been thrown across the fields of my life. While I can’t say that I have had a hard upbringing or a hard life, it has come with incredible challenges that have taught me a few things.
And when the soil is right, flowers bloom.
I look at my answered prayers as flowers blossoming from rich soil that has been tended to by God…..and that it was allowed.
Allowing Life to happen in such a way and trusting that God saw all of it and that He cares greatly and that it would be for your good and ultimately for his glory, the by product that emerges is beyond what we could have ever imagined.
Let me tell you…..I have a great imagination.
So what I am seeing God do as of lately has bigger than even my most vivid of visions. They are more colorful, vibrant, clear.
Beautiful and I am awestruck.
It is not because I am getting my way in life. I just finished a divorce. I didn’t want that. I pleaded for things to be different.
Yet, God is in faithfulness and goodness led me and my children through a journey that we never expected and here we are experiencing the joy and blessing from trusting Him through it all. It wasn’t easy. A lot of the last few years wasn’t fair.
I cried. A lot.
But I prayed for this. I prayed for what I am experiencing now.
God is so good.
Life is going to continue to happen and I am going to walk through it with all the joy and perseverance I can.
While life is happening, I am also going to continue to dream and hope.
You too. Keep dreaming and hoping and walking in joy.
God is good.