Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Answered Prayers

When I have moments of doubt (often), when I wonder if God truly listens to prayers, when I gauge the seemingly easy, simple life of unbelievers and just want to chuck this struggle, I think of the many, many answered prayers I've seen since I began a serious prayer life in '05/'06. Not that I think I have the power to change circumstances or coordinate God's moves, but there is something strange that happens when one turns to God with all things, when one submits to that greater force and leans into faith. It is something internal, subconscious, yet powerful in its subtlety. It is difficult to believe in the unseen. It is something you must choose each and every day. It is something that cannot be totally proven, and for that the world will often find your beliefs absurd (you're up against the prevailing arrogant notion that if we can't fully understand something that means it automatically doesn't exist). It is difficult, and there are things I've been reluctant to let go of and trust God with, but over and over I am proven wrong.  

Sometimes I'm amazed at the specificity of God's response. A few years ago I prayed that Dad would get a new appointment, one at which he would feel fulfilled and purposeful and would not be checking his retirement clock every single day (I bought the thing for him as a joke but then soon regretted it when he would miserably recalculate the exact year/month/day/ moment he could retire each day).  My parents moved to Pana last June, and Dad is the happiest I've seen him in a long, long while. Without prompting from me he told me that he wasn't even sure where the retirement clock ended up after the move, maybe in a closet somewhere. 

I had prayed for Mom when she was sick and depressed--we had no idea why and she refused to see a doctor. That one took a while. We discovered that she had diabetes, and since she's restricted her diet and begun taking care of it, she's healthy--she doesn't even need insulin shots!

I prayed to find my birth family, especially my brother Justin. What I found was not only a real, living blood brother, but a wonderfully sensitive, kind, giving, earnest person who immediately embraced me after a quick phone call and invited me to his small wedding a few months later. After 25 years, I was a sister just like that. 

I prayed for the opportunity to go back to school, but then when the opportunity came I was reluctant to leave my job and all I worked for, and I put that at God's feet too. Then, to the amazement of many, I was able to do both. MGH allowed me to take a company computer and work part-time remotely, a flexible work arrangement that had never been done before at the company. Even more, I've been blessed with a wonderful manager who is so supportive and interested in my writing, writing that has nothing to do with my MGH work. 

There are many more recent blessings of personal healing, born during times when I didn't even know what, really, I needed to pray for.  

And lately, with this sudden influx of dating, I'm finding that my cup, as they say, overflows. 

I choose God every day. And though I may not always recognize it, every day He hears me.  


Shannon said...

happy :)

I needed this kind of happy today. I'm so happy for you and I feel uplifted for me, too. Hugs!

wren said...

So excited to see you tonight. Gosh, when I think about all the conversations that we've had this past year and the ways in which God has slowly been answering our prayers... and blessed our writing... I'm astonished. So NOT in our time frames, God is faithful in answering our prayers to overflowing.