Monday, April 22, 2013

Unanswered Prayers

Do you know the country song “Unanswered Prayers”? Over the last couple of days I’ve seen the true blessing and benefit of what seem like unanswered prayers.

Before I continue, I need to make clear that I do not believe in unanswered prayers. I believe that a loving Heavenly Father hears and answers EVERY sincere prayer. Granted, the answer we seek may not come in the time we want, or we may not receive the answer we want, or perhaps we only receive a piece at a time and feel a little empty handed. Regardless of what we see or feel in relation to our prayers, every prayer is heard.

With that being said, I do want to get back to these blessings I have recently been seeing that, for my purposes today I will call unanswered prayers.

When I have decisions to make, I take them to the Lord. I had a friend tell me once not to take my choices to the Lord, but rather to take my decisions. Basically, I use my best judgment to make a decision between two or more choices and then go to the Lord. I know He will always stop me if I’m going down a path that I shouldn’t be on. I have seen it in my life personally to not believe that. In one particular situation I took a decision to the Lord and told Him what I had planned to do. I felt good about my decision and didn’t feel anything telling me not to go down this path. As I went along down this path, I started feeling promptings to look again at this decision, which I did, but only half-heartedly because I was on the path I wanted and I had felt good about it and I was hesitant to reconsider in case I was becoming a bit…fearful (for lack of a better word - perhaps having second thoughts or doubts??). I continued making choices on this path, some good, some not so good. Finally, I knew I needed to choose another path and I again, in full sincerity this time, went to the Lord and asked for some direction in connection with the decision that I had reached. When I did that, the path was opened to me. A new path emerged that I hadn’t previously seen and, had it come into sight sooner I don’t know that I would have selected it…at least not with some major help from the other side.

Since that time I have looked over that journey. I look back to the first time I prayed about that decision and note how “right” it felt (or at least that it lacked any sort of negative feeling that would have guided me away from that decision). I see where my life has taken me since that time and I see things that I feel I have missed out on. In my mind’s eye I can see what I think things would have been like if I had stayed on that path. There are times where I long for the days of my past to be my present, to have things the way they were.

How blessed I am that the more time that passes, the more I see that things wouldn’t be the way I hoped. There were realities that I wasn’t aware of or refused to see. I was young and unprepared, and besides, things rarely are what they seem. More and more frequently I am having experiences, and I even had one of these experiences this weekend, where I can see VERY clearly that my life, though it has changed direction many times, is as it should be. My prayers for one thing weren’t answered the way I hoped. Instead, I was given something far greater, and the blessings continue to come (I seriously don’t deserve any of it)! I am grateful for my UNFULFILLED prayers (yay!! I came up with an alternate name!!) and the way they help me grow and count my blessings and allow me to learn to trust in the Lord with greater capacity.

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