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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unanswered Prayer


There's an old country song that says, "I thank God for unanswered prayer".
This week, I've been thinking about the prayers I've prayed that never "came true".
 The things I begged the Lord for, never to be seen.
The things that never made sense.
Perhaps, rather than unanswered prayers,
they were prayers to which the answer was,
"not yet"
and sometimes even...
"no".

In these moments, the wrestling with His will and ways,
yes we know and believe He is sovereign...

"'...I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

But I know that in the midst of the struggle, in not getting what we desire...
when God's timing is not our timing...
we can become discouraged and lose faith and trust in our God.
We don't understand.
This past year, I've been there. Honestly, I didn't understand His ways.
But I said, "Lord, I give this all to you. My brokenness. These broken pieces.
My little Plan A that did not work out.
The mistakes, even, that I've made.
The things you gave me and then took away.
And I trust You."

And you know what?
It hit me the other day -
I AM SO THANKFUL I GAVE IT TO HIM.
I'm so thankful for the prayers I prayed to which He answered,
 "no."
He has ever so slowly changed my heart, taken certain things out of my heart.
Changed my desires.

When I was a little girl, my favorite Scripture was:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
(Psalm 37:4)

I was sure that He would give me the whole laundry list of what I desired, if I lived for Him.
I am learning to see this, though, in a more mature light. Rather than HIM making my desires come true. I believe now, that I am to give my heart to Him as I delight in Him...
and He will give me the desires that HE has for me.
My sweet Mom explained this truth to me time and time again..
and in my stubbornness it took hard lessons to learn.

I am learning that His ways are higher than mine.
And you know what?
I am thankful.
At the end of a difficult year.
Thankful for the "No's".
Thankful for ended relationships, not ending up marrying certain guys I thought were perfect for me throughout the years.
Thankful for seasons even of a broken heart, for humbled I was in those times.

And thankful that

 I do not know what my future holds,

but I know who holds my future.

{photo credit: cris mendoza}

It's exciting, loves. Isn't it?
And, at times. a little scary.
But we have HIM. And He is enough.

May we learn to be women who emulate the Proverbs 31 woman in Scripture:

"She is clothed in strength and dignity,
and
she can laugh at the days to come."
-Proverbs 31:25

Let's keep praying. For His will. For the desires of our hearts to match HIS.
And see what exciting things He does.

And even when it seems like unanswered prayer...
we may be thankful for it later.

Tell me, in what ways have you seen God's plan is best?
Are you thankful for "unanswered" prayers and "No's?"
Happy Christmas week! :)

XO
Erin

11 comments:

  1. this is so beautiful, dear!!
    i can completely agree with you.
    i wanted to get married at SEVENTEEN.
    i thought i was ready & got so sad when ppl would tell me that i was not.
    God's timing is so perfect though.
    it's unfathomable.
    when He says "no," it's hard to accept at times...
    but like you said, His ways are higher.
    He knows.
    and we can have faith in Him when times are tough.
    and when things look desolate.
    my favorite thing you said was..
    "...I am to give my heart to Him as I delight in Him...and He will give me the desires that HE has for me."
    He knows us & knows what is best for us.
    even better than what WE had in mind.
    thank you for writing this.
    definitely needed it today!!

    xo. chelsea

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  2. Garth Brooks song. One of my favorite all time country singers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
    -wHiT
    www.blacklittlebutton.blogspot.com

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  3. Great post and absolutley true!

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  4. Such a beautiful, encouraging post! Thank you for being so honest!

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  5. this is great :) I'm so glad you found my blog and left a comment! I am encouraged to read other bloggers who love Jesus first :) I can't wait to tag along!

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  6. girl i'm totally with ya! i'm so glad god said "no" to certain plans of mine. if i would have gotten preg when I wanted to we would not be adopting & probably wouldn't be involved in missions either! and love that about "he will give you the desires..." you are right, he changes our hearts to want what HE wants for us! beautiful truth! merry christmas

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  7. I am living and breathing this right now! I am so unsure of what is going on,..but just clinging to that assurance that God has my back and He has this all figured out for me! Trusting Him!

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  8. Beautiful post! So true... I am thankful for unanswered prayers because I know there's a reason behind it all.

    Xo Chelle
    discoveringelegance.com

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  9. This is so true! Especially with the things we are going through right now. It's God's timing and not our own. I am definitely learning this a lot more now and understanding it too. God's "no's" has put us exactly where he wants us. Thanks for sharing :)

    Love your blog and your inspiring works

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  10. I love this post. Very true and inspiring!

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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