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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Heart


It’s a simple word for a seemingly simple subject.

I believe in God, I believe He listens, I believe in a relationship with Him, therefore I pray.

I wish I could leave it at that and be satisfied. I wish I could drop everything at the feet of Jesus and and let Him answer and guide. I wish I could believe, always, that He is capable of big things. I wish I could give Him the control.

I wish prayer was simple.

For years, I have struggled with the concept of God answering prayer. What do “God’s answers” look like? If I’ve prayed for someone to be healed, and yet they die 3 days later, is that an unanswered prayer? If my best friend lands a great job, while her next door neighbor still struggles to find work, has God answered only one of those prayers?

Over the weekend, I spent a couple of hours at church, listening to a missionary family recount their experiences in China. They told a story of how they prayed with a neighbor, that she would become pregnant after years of infertility struggles. Voila! The next month, their neighbor found herself pregnant. As I listened to this story, I became increasingly agitated and defensive. How is it that God would answer HER prayer and not mine? What about all the other women in this world who struggle so desperately with infertility? Has God forsaken them?

I don’t want to feel abandoned by God. I don’t want to have to explain how He seems to answer some prayers and ignore others.

So, I pray safe.

If it’s Your will for Mrs. Smith to become pregnant, then please bless her with a healthy baby. BUT, if it’s not in Your plan, then give Mrs. Smith the peace she needs to journey this difficult road.

It’s the sort of prayer that gives both God and me an out.

If Mrs. Smith is knocked up next month, then God answered. If Mrs. Smith ISN’T pregnant, then God still answered, and a Big Fat Positive on the pee-stick must not have been in His plan. God answers either way. Everyone wins.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I lose out because of my disbelief. Maybe God actually WANTS me to pray big…and believe He’ll answer.

I have never prayed for Ellie’s healing. Not once. At least seriously. I’ve tried a time or two, but I’ve stopped mid-sentence because it seemed ridiculous. God knows my heart, my inner-most thoughts. He knows I don’t believe it’ll happen. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. I’ve never heard of ANYONE with CP being healed. Just as I wouldn’t pray for someone’s amputated leg to grow back, I wouldn’t ask God to heal a permanent brain injury.

So, rather than make a farce of God’s omnipotence and highlight my lack of faith, I pray safe. I pray for His will to be done. I pray for peace.

Peace is a good thing. Walking in God’s will is a good thing. And when I pray for these things to happen, both in my life and in the lives of others, I really mean it. I really want it. I really believe God can deliver.

But, today, my heart is being tugged. Yanked so hard that it hurts. I feel it. I hear it.

I hear HIM.

Pray BIG, Chrystie. And believe that I can do it.

Perhaps I have to start “small”. I still can’t pray for complete healing. I can’t yet beseech God to perform a miracle I don’t believe in. But, there are “smaller” miracles that I’m ready to pray for, to believe He can perform them.

Yesterday, in the quiet of my dark room, I succumbed to the tug.

Please, God, guide the scheduling of Ellie’s surgery. I know you can fit her into Dr. Steinbok’s schedule before Jan. 19th. I know You can. I know You can.

And then, with tears streaming down my face, I went one step further. Literally.

God, I pray for FOUR INDEPENDENT STEPS. No walker. No canes. They don’t have to be pretty or balanced. Four steps. All on her own.

Pray big. Believe.



Marjan said...

Amen,Chrystie. I can relate to your struggles with prayer. I pray the same way, usually. I have "prayed big" but those prayers were not answered (at least in a way that I could see.) I'm guilty of trying to persuade God to see things my way. "But God, what an awesome way to prove you are really there and care if you completely heal so and so. What a testimony!"
I guess it comes down to trust. Trust that He has a plan, that He loves me, and wants only the best for me, and you, and Ellie, and so and so.....
I wil pray with you. Four steps. No walker, no canes. All on her own. And that those four steps will turn into 5, then 10......

Mary Ellen said...

I am praying BIG for those 4 independant steps. Praying safe is a place I know all too well so I will join you and pray BIG

Erin said...

I totally related to this post. Brought me some tears. Trust is such a personal thing. So is really trusting, deep down. I am praying the same prayer you are for Ms. Ellie.

The Mitchells said...

I love you my friend. I finished reading this outloud to my husband and broke down into sobbing tears. I can't explain how this effected me fully, but I will be linking this to my blog and then, hopefully, soon writing my feelings out...just need to figure them out first.

~Laura~ said...

This has always been such a difficult thing for me as well. I KNOW he CAN heal Ellie completely. Why? Because He's God. Trust is such a hard thing sometimes. Regardless of what God chooses to do I choose to trust Him. That's not always easy. You know that full well. I love you. I love your open heart to share your feelings. Praying and trusting with you my friend.