Have you ever found that answered prayers can be so awkward sometimes? I have. This week.
There’s the awkward sense of surprise that hey, this actually works. God’s up there listening! which is silly because isn’t that the whole point? If it doesn’t change anything, prayer is a pretty lame pastime.
There’s the awkward sense of humility that God took note of what I asked while around the world bombs fell and sirens blared and families cracked and addicts relapsed. I’m sure mine was not the only prayer God answered, but still. I have been heard and I am humbled.
There’s the awkward sense of bewilderment that this is the prayer you chose to just do? Believe me, if I had to prioritize all the requests I make to God, this would not have been number 1. It is in the top 10 for sure, but I am carrying heavier grief and bigger dreams than the hope tied to this prayer my God has answered.
In the surprise and humility and bewilderment, I am so encouraged to keep praying. Because I know God hears all the prayers, and this simple answer gives me confidence that he is working out complex answers too, weaving deep solutions and healing and hope into all the circumstances that I bring before him.
So let me tell you my prayer and its answer.
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Perfect love casts out all fear
How can I tell you this story, when I thought I was already living it, thought I knew it through and through?
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And then I discovered as if for the first time that God loves me (and you, there on the other side of the screen) So. Much. This is the most constant thing in my life, and yet I have found it fresher and deeper than ever before, like a fish discovering water. It is the most amazing thing, the most precious thing, the most liberating thing.
And I have, mercifully, been granted a new metaphor.
Photo Credit: Michal Zacharzewski, SXC
You see, I had this picture in my mind of my soul as a house, and Jesus had bought the house, and the Holy Spirit had moved in to do some renovations, and the metaphor was that I may be a fixer-upper, but I belong to the King of Kings, and one day I will be a masterpiece, Hallelujah!
This is well and good, except I happen to know that angry cracks run through the foundation of my soul-house, and anxieties flit like cockroaches in my cupboards.
My baby is about to be two. I have to keep saying it because even though it’s there every day in front of my face, it also catches me off guard in particular moments and I am just stunned with the gift of his life. Did you know he’s started counting? Sometimes to three, sometimes seven, sometimes twelve. And he holds my hand just for the love of it now, not always because he needs help to balance.