What Answered Prayer Looks Like

 

Hello, Thursday! It’s good to be back.

Well, not really. That was kind of a lie. It doesn’t help that I had 6 loads of laundry & some massive cleaning upon our return, not to mention that I have two giant camping totes in the middle of our *tiny* entryway to go through yet. Ugh. The fact that we had an absolute blast isn’t helping either!

 

St Croix river
The girls and their friends on the St. Croix river

 

I won’t bore you with too many details of our vacation. Who am I kidding, I might, but more importantly I wanted to share with you the real reason it was so great. Answered prayers. I sometimes have a love/hate relation with the idea of answered prayer and people’s responses to it (“God works in mysterious ways”- barf!) and their willingness to take the smallest thing and offer it up as answered prayer (you passed your test after studying for a week solid- congrats, but answered prayer? I’m not so sure).

I’m a doubting Thomas, I suppose, but I do believe in answered prayers. At least, I want to. I know there are so many people in the world that have real needs that go unanswered & I’m not sure what that means. I’m not sure why, but I also know that some people experience true, unexplainable miracles and I’m not sure what that means. I struggle with all of that. What I do know is that God has a sense of humor; not recognizing this may hinder us from seeing some of our prayers come to fruition. As a kid, like most, I prayed and prayed to be a better singer. I envisioned being Joan Jett, belting out ballads, kicking ass and taking names. Well, here I am today to tell you that I don’t sing any more on key than I ever did, but I have two little girls that think I am the best singer in the world. Answered prayer. Pretty funny, don’t you think? Then there are all the times I pray for patience & get plenty of opportunities to practice it. Pretty sly, God, but I’m on to you…

 

Anyway, as our vacation got closer, Hubs’s foot pain escalated to the point he was needing to wear a boot to immobilize it. Not the kind of boot that works well for hiking either. With it having been about 3 weeks of steady, mind numbing pain, he had become a bit sour about the whole idea of our vacation, foreseeing all the things he wouldn’t be able to do and feeling a bit guilty for being a “let down”. To be honest, his attitude wasn’t helping me to look forward to the trip much; like I’ve said, I’m a bit of an emotional sponge. So, I did the only thing I really know how to do. I sat in my living room while home alone one night and spoke with my Abba.

I prayed deeply for Hubs’s healing, appealing to Him- I felt that Hubs had really stepped up to the plate this last year and a half and gotten us to where we are, financially. I appealed that Hubs had earned this time, the chance to really relax and enjoy some time away, and that he had earned the feeling that providing this for his family would bring to him not to mention the memories it would create. I asked for strength to get me through this period of time and asked for forgiveness as I had not been honoring in my heart at all times to my husband, but instead had grown cranky & a bit resentful of his pain & his attitude (more than a few curse words had been flung at him inside my head and maybe a middle finger or two when he wasn’t looking- sorry Dear!). Don’t get me wrong, as always I had my doubts, but I really had no other place to turn. I believed that if God would look at my husband’s heart he would see that he was deserving of this having taken on his responsibilities because of his spiritual beliefs & that we were striving to live a life as we believed God would want us to, not to mention what a blessing it would be to our entire family to have him present and at his best. I knew that we are deserving of nothing, really, but that God is loving and gracious.

 

praying hands

 

I believe he heard me. Now, after it happens and I have the chance to reflect on it, I could find many ways to say it was pure coincidence. That it was the Prednisone my husband finally started taking that helped him to feel better & bring down inflammation or the kinesio taping method he found online. Yeah, it probably was. I’m not sure that God usually works by waving his hand and making it all go away, but rather guides us and those around us to help. Instead, I believe that He led my husband to the kinesio site he hadn’t yet found in his 3 weeks of looking online to find a way to better his foot. I believe that He helped to soften my husband’s heart & open his ears to my words about trying the medication he had so adamantly refused before. I can say all this because I feel it in my heart, but also because of what I saw while I was on vacation. I saw God.

 

I’m not talking about visions or dreams, clouds around mountains or burning bushes. I’m talking about God’s face in all of nature. The path to our yurt was amazing and the picture of it as it emerged through the flowers was breathtaking. I couldn’t have imagined anything more splendid. God did. He gave us just what we needed. He gave us moments of silence and cool breezes on hot days. Perfection. It might not have been a grand miracle, but it was answered prayer, nonetheless. I remember sitting in the hammock with a bit of quiet surrounding me giving thanks and my eyes welling up. My heart so full. Knowing we mattered and that we were loved. I will carry that all of my days. 

 

Yurt in Black-Eyed Susans

 

I saw numerous varieties of vegetation and mushrooms, gathering 2 dozen chanterelles that grew along the path for everyone to see. I saw cardinals greeting us every morning and deer grazing in the field by our site. I watched the children having fun, playing in the river and the beach sand covered in beautiful stones washed smooth by the waves & time. Maybe that is why I love nature so. I see God there. I cannot imagine a world so complex & varied growing on it’s own from some one-celled organisms over time.

 

So, needless to say, we had an amazing time and loved the company that our friends provided for us and our children. If you ever have the chance to visit Afton State Park, I would jump on it.