Last April I stood by my kitchen sink and a prayer rose out of my heart to God. My youngest daughter had just turned 31 and I told God I was tired of asking Him to bring the right guy into her life. I told Him I was losing hope about it all. We had walked with our daughter through a broken engagement and through other relationships that she thought might be the one but left her hurt and disappointed. The older she got people began to pressure her to try online matchmaking services, but it never felt right to her. She wanted to wait, to pray, to trust God. She even had people tell her that God would understand if she lowered her moral standards since she had already waited so long! At times not having someone wore on her. Holidays, Valentine's day, another birthday ticking by, were reminders that she was still alone. The heartache I felt for her was familiar, because I'd prayed and cried for my oldest daughter as she endured infertility for 10 years. There's no hurt like the hurt a mother feels when her child is hurting and there's not a thing you can do about it. My youngest daughter once voiced to her sister, "there's one difference between what I'm going through and what you went through. If God hadn't given you a miracle and you hadn't had the girls, you would have still had a husband. But for me, if I don't have a husband, I won't get to have children either." My heart broke hearing this. As I stood by the kitchen sink, I let God know I needed His help to keep on believing, to keep on asking Him to send my girl the desire of her heart.
I was still standing there by the kitchen sink when the phone rang. It was my youngest daughter. "Mom, I want to tell you something. I'm dating someone I met at church." You can imagine the significance to me this conversation had in light of the mental conversation I'd just had with God. Well, last week that "guy from church" asked my husband if he had my husband's blessing to ask our daughter to marry him and last night he proposed to her and she said yes. They will be getting married in May.
Keep praying, keep asking, keep hoping...and when you lose hope, when your faith falters, be honest about it. "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief" is not an oxymoron. It's actually quit a common spiritual condition. God included this in the Proverbs for a reason, "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life". He knows that waiting is hard. But He's also the God who promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires and secret petitions of our heart. And He does. He really does.
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
-a sweet note from my husband
-a pre-Christmas getaway to the beach
-a beautiful December morning to walk on the beach
-being able to laugh about a really disappointing restaurant lunch
-relaxing and reading
-our second born's 14th anniversary!
-a safe drive home
-making pom-poms while watching Scrooge
-the anticipation-Christmas is only a week away!
-making plans with my girl
-the hubs taking care of me when I started getting sick
-lying sick in bed and hearing my husband rummaging around in the kitchen,
asking him what he was doing and finding out he removed the microwave vent to clean it,
(so random! but it makes me laugh and love him)
-the hubs bringing me hot pho soup from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant
-catching up on my Advent reading
-these words, "my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"
-feeling well enough to get up and do a bit of laundry
-my girl is engaged!
-feeling well enough to go to church
-Christmas carols and communion
-the love of our church family
-lunch afterwards with friends and family
-the two youngest granddaughters in their Christmas dresses
-a great turnout at Hope City's Christmas dinner/outreach
(our son-in-law's church, our church plant)
-all the people from Truelife that volunteered to help