Have you ever prayed really hard for something? As in, praying every single second, minute and hour of every day, begging for something, only to not have it happen? How did you react? Were you angry, disappointed, or question why your prayers weren’t answered? When my husband first asked for this divorce, I would beg God through my tears to save my marriage. Every thing I did, I spent it in prayer. I would explain that if He saved this marriage, I would do everything differently. I would do whatever He asked, and I would be the “best Christian ever,” if only He would answer just this one prayer. I thought, “God loves marriage, and He wants this to work.” Here we are, nearly four months later, and my prayer hasn’t been answered. At least, it hasn’t been answered in the way that I see fit. One thing that we all seem to forget in all of this is the fact that God doesn’t answer prayers on our time, but HIS time. Another thing- this could be a request that just doesn’t fit into His plan. It could very well be that He has other things planned for me, and this marriage might not fit into that category.
Nearly four months later, and I still find myself mere seconds away from crying at the drop of a hat. I was almost in tears yet again last night. I asked yet again, “God, please- you see my pain. You see how much I am hurting, and this is terrible. Please, if it’s in your plan, save this marriage. I can’t promise to be perfect, but I can promise to do better. Please save this marriage! You are amazing, and everything that I have, and all the changes in my life and my personality are because of YOU. You made me who I am, and I am constantly working at being a better person, because I believe in your word. I have heard people say that you don’t exist, because a “real God” wouldn’t allow suffering. They seem to forget, Heavenly Father, that everyone has free will. Satan is always in there, trying to get things to go his evil little way. So Heavenly Father, thank you for protecting me from Satan, and thank you for reminding me that I cannot change my husband’s mind. I can only depend on what you want, and how you lead me. In Jesus’ Heavenly name, I pray. Amen.”
After that prayer, I decided to open my Bible, and see what I could find on unanswered prayers. One verse did stand out to me- it’s James 4:3 “You ask, and do not receive, because you had wrong motives.” That sent my mind into a tailspin. Was I asking for this marriage to be saved because I truly believe that it could work, or am I asking because I am afraid to be alone? After thinking on it for a while, I decided that the “alone issue” was truly not in my heart. I am a fairly independent person, and sure, it would be hard, but I don’t think that’s it. I started thinking a little harder. Then it happened. I realized that I was still wrestling with forgiveness, and bitterness, and as long as those things were in my heart, God might not answer my prayer. Besides that fact, as I have stated before, those two things- being unforgiving and being bitter- aren’t going to help me, even if my prayers were answered or not. After realizing this, I found another verse that seems to hit the whole lesson home- Romans 12:12- “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Okay, now that I have been reminded of these things, here is my new battle plan: I am going to release ALL bitterness and ALL anger. They are NOT in my life anymore. Then, I am going to pray ceaselessly that my marriage be saved. If it isn’t saved, then I know that God wants something different for me, and I am going to have to listen harder than ever (See my previous post about me “shutting my face”) to figure out what God would like from me. Or…Satan has won that battle. But keep in mind, if Satan did win the battle, he hasn’t won the war, because I will still be standing, and I will still love God with every single part of my being, because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I spent way too many years running from God’s love because I was afraid of it. I will not be that person again. I will be a kind, considerate person who loves God, and tries to do the right thing. After all, being “fearfully and wonderfully made” has some seriously awesome perks. Like being able to enjoy a cup of coffee, which I am going to do right now.