When the Answer is NO

There was a time in my life when I longed to give birth to a baby girl. I wanted a mini me, just like all my friends had. It seemed so simple for them, but it never worked out for me. I was practicing the same techniques they were, but with different results.
I trusted God through it all, right up until and especially after the teenager I had moved to town and set up in her own apartment in preparation for an open adoption disappeared without notice, on the day of our baby shower, never to be heard from again.
Painful as it was, I knew in my heart it was part of God’s plan. Though I had prayed for years that I would get pregnant and give birth to a healthy child, my prayers eventually evolved to a repetitious request for clarity and discernment. Unbeknownst to me, this is exactly what I needed and it has served me well ever since. Thanks heavens He is so much wiser than we are.
As an in-home family counselor early in my career, I worked with families of troubled teens at risk of out of home placement due to inappropriate, undisciplined, often illegal behavior.
Fresh out of college with my Master’s degree, I was eager to HELP people.
Never mind I had limited life experience and no children of my own, it all seemed so simple to me, and so many of these parents seemed clueless.
It used to get my goat when parents would throw up their hands and say “I have done all I can for this kid, I am putting it in the hands of the Lord”. Good luck with that, I thought. The Lord helps those who help themselves; we can’t just drop our problems in His lap and expect him to fix them. Or can we?
I realize now they were not necessarily giving up, but expressing a strong faith I was unfamiliar with as their foundation in what otherwise felt like a hopeless situation.
When the answer to our prayer is no, it is important to realize that we have gotten an answer, even if it is not the one we were seeking. We have to trust that God knows better than we do, and know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him.

His answers are rarely bold and blinding, and often come disguised as disappointment.
They come in the small daily experiences, the mundane minutia, chance conversations and relationships that reveal themselves to us.
Our lives are like a tapestry. God has a perfect plan for us and as we listen and honor his requests of us, it will be revealed to us. But we see the back of the cloth, riddled with twisted threads and knots and have difficulty making sense of it all.
We wonder why He doesn’t answer our prayers.
Rest assured He does.

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