Today I was reflecting on a song by Garth Brooks called “Unanswered Prayers” and how much I love the lyrics! One of my favorite lines is “some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
I thought back to college when my boyfriend and I became engaged. My roommates and I all seemed to be dating guys that year that weren't…let's just say…the best for us. When I got a strong feeling that I needed to call off my engagement it was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do. I was heartbroken and I constantly wondered if I was just being too “picky.” It took me another year to really get into dating again and I remember many, many prayers that things would change and we could make it work out. Prayers that he would want to “change” for me. Prayers that after some time had passed we would end up dating again. Prayers that the “feeling” that he wasn't right for me would go away. I had no idea what God could see at the time that I was praying so hard. I had no idea that he saw someone far greater for me. I had no idea that my husband-to-be was actually a much better match. I didn't even know I could marry someone so humble, so kind, and so inspiring until I actually met him. I love to watch my husband be a dad and the dedication and patience he gives our daughter. My mom said to me once, “he is seriously one of the best dads I have ever witnessed,” and I'm so grateful for his willingness to help out in all aspects of her care. I consider my husband one of God's greatest gifts in my life and I will forever be thankful for unanswered prayers back in college years ago.
I also thought back to when I was ten years old and how desperately I prayed that my parents would get back together. For years it was my number one goal, and I put all my energy and efforts into praying for that outcome, and in trying to convince my parents that it would make our family the happiest. At that time that I prayed so hard for what I thought was the best thing for me, I didn't have the vision for my life that God did. For in his vision he saw a step-dad that would love and adore my mother and all of her children. He saw two broken families that would one day unite and heal together. And now years later, I have 7 step siblings that I feel have been part of my life since the beginning, and a step-dad that has been a father for me in more ways that I initially thought possible. I love my real father and I pray for him often, but I also thank God for another gift that came from unanswered prayer.
I thank him for having the wisdom years ago when I lost my first pregnancy to know that the experience would strengthen me. I thank him for allowing me to endure my heartache even though I asked again and again that somehow there was still another baby inside of me. I thank him for his perfect knowledge, for knowing the perfect timing that my children should come into my life, and for insisting that I be patient and rely upon him.
Many times I have received great and wonderful answers to my prayers, but some of the greatest things in my life are the prayers that were unanswered; and I thank God for helping to mold and shape me into who I am.
Here is a beautiful song for any mother that has ever lost a pregnancy:
Here is the Garth Brooks song in case you haven't heard it: