Looking at my house and thinking about how it is a tangible answer to 7 years of prayer. No…longer. All those years ago when we moved and moved and moved and I wanted a home to paint and decorate, a garden and refuge, a place to write and grow. I ran around this house 7 times in the rain, when it was just a listing on the mls, because my pastor, Mark Balmer, was doing a sermon series on Jericho and I was inspired. I asked God for this house while i jogged around it. Unconventional for sure. You can think I’m crazy, but maybe sometimes we HAVE to be a little nuts to walk into all that He wants to do in our lives. To believe Him.
After we lost it to foreclosure, due to mistakes and also, just a really hard season of circumstances out of our control, after we lost everything, I couldn’t let go. I felt it was mine. Years went by. And He gave it back. A few weeks after we moved BACK in, Sept 2014, seven years after we lost it, I was cleaning off the top shelf of my closet and something fell off. A photo. I picked it up. A family photo of us! From 7 years earlier, when the kids were babies. I felt Him speak to me then, in my heart. As I looked at that photo, that had been sitting on that shelf for SEVEN years, awash in goosebumps and tears He said “See. It was always still your house, all this time.”
Remembering other answers to prayer:
I prayed for Carson, when I was pregnant, that she would have good vision and straight teeth. And she does!
The move to Tulsa in 2009. I asked for it, as a 30th birthday present. He said yes. A powerful five years.
The tree snail sighting in the Everglades last January. They’re hard to find, rare, but I asked and saw THREE that day.
That time when we were looking for a house to rent and we really wanted a Christian landlord so we stopped and prayed, and then turned down a random street and there it was. And the landlord told us that he and his wife prayed in every tenant…our prayers crossed each other that day.
Or the time that my dear friend’s mom had cancer, and everyone started praying constantly, all the friends and family, and she went to the doctor and it was GONE.
I have hundreds of these stories.
They fly joyfully in the face of doubt, of an increasingly arrogant culture that refuses to believe what is increasingly evident, and of the circumstances that we feel overwhelmed by.
They propel me in faith. Prayers for Syria and some of my crazy neighbors and for trafficking and maybe that I’ll write an inspiring book one day. Prayers for Mazatlan and distance running and good ideas and that my kids will be teenagers and adults who know Jesus, really know Him as their friend.
There are prayers that still haven’t been answered. Full years spent praying for the same thing. Decades. I’ve been praying for some folks since high school. I’ll never stop. And there have been people with cancer, and deathly ill, or tragedies, where He didn’t fix it the way I deemed appropriate. I don’t know why. That part is sometimes hard. I’ve learned that my experiences of God do not define Him. He is always bigger, better, deeper, wilder.
(He made the Rocky Mountains. And sequoia trees. Sea anemones and photosynthesis and star clusters. What does THAT say about Him…?)
I roll through my stories, noting the power of testimony.
Remembering that He is a good Father.
And that He answers us when we call on Him. He likes us. And He likes to be asked.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things which you do not know.” Jer 33:3