Last week, a dear fellow-mommy friend of mine dropped off her youngest with me and headed off to a hair appointment alone.
(So it was already a pretty big day, really.)
I took our gaggle on walk.
And she got a phone call.
The caller identified herself as someone my friend and I had just been discussing.
We had never met this woman, but she was a big, important, practically famous person, and we were just talking about her the way you talk about big, important, practically famous people.
(Yes, I know I’m being vague here, folks, but this is my friend’s news to tell and not mine. You’ll just have to be okay with a little mystery in your life. Sorry.)
So in all our talking and dreaming and plotting, we never actually expected this woman to play a role.
But then, out of the blue, she called…
Could my friend come to a meeting in about an hour?
Why, yes, she could.
Could she meet at that restaurant that happens to be right next door to where she was already going?
Could she be prepared to discuss some potentially humongous, life-changing possibilities for the future?
When my friend later relived the details of phone call and subsequent meeting to me, it was one of those moments when all I could say was, “I cannot believe it. God is amazing.”
My friend has been hurting for months. She’s been praying for months. She’s been begging God to be real and be faithful and be awesome like she’s always believed He is for months.
She had started to wonder if He had heard a word she said.
But, after last Thursday, there is no doubt.
He had heard.
So after she took her crew home and the excitement had settled and life was quiet again, doubt came calling at my house.
I was gloriously happy for my friend. This was true. But I was also deeply discouraged for myself.
That day had promised big things for me as well, but my prayers were not answered as I had asked.
They were certainly not answered like hers.
I could feel it rising up in me.
Why not me too? Haven’t I prayed enough? What am I doing wrong?
God, you have disappointed me.
I am begging God right now for several couples I know that are trying to have babies.
I have not experienced the pain of infertility myself but have felt a sting of guilt at each of my three pregnancies.
Why do I have babies easily, God?
Why not them too?
Haven’t you heard their prayers?
Some close friends are struggling through unemployment.
Josh and I stand by helplessly. We have both cried out for them and looked for jobs for them on the sly. We have wondered.
Haven’t you heard?
People we love are sick.
Cancer is sick.
Its blatant disregard for the lives of our friends is horrifying, and so we pray for miracles.
But many of them still have cancer.
Do you even hear us, God?
Sweet Hattie is going back in for another surgery tomorrow.
Having been through this recently (bless her heart), I’m not as afraid this time. I know a little more of what to expect, and that’s helping to calm my fears over her safety.
But you know what I’m most concerned about?
It’s silly, really.
But when she wakes up tomorrow morning and is hungry or thirsty, we can’t give her anything.
Doctor’s orders say no food or drink past midnight, and her surgery is scheduled for well past normal breakfast time.
She won’t understand why she has to wait.
She might cry.
She might fight against us.
It’s going to appear that we’re holding out on her.
She might be disappointed in us.
But it’s worth it, we’ve decided.
Hattie needs the surgery.
I will endure her disappointment in me because I love her. Because I see the long term when she’s only looking at the right now. Because I know what’s best.
And I do not know my God if I think He does any differently.
He allows my disappointment in Him, my doubts of His love, my questioning His judgments because He knows what is best.
As hard as that is to believe sometimes.
It was a few hours later on Miraculous Phone Call Day.
I was pouting in kitchen, chopping vegetables and dodging kids.
It came out of nowhere. (Like it always does.)
Quiet, but very certain.
“Hannah, I have not forgotten you.”
He has heard my prayers.
An answer will come.
He is faithful to His promises.
And He has heard you too.
My heart cries Holy! Holy is the Lord and great is his name among the earth! In the midst of pain and struggle, happiness and dancing he is there and life with all its curve balls isn’t a surprise. Why do I think it is unseen, my longing. Why do I think He doesn’t hear? God in his Godness is a mystery but I know from life experience that no matter what time frame I’m looking at he answers. The verse I read just yesterday that I pondered while we walked… ” Wait on the Lord. ” So we wait focusing on choosing to have those happy hearts we are always encouraging our quivers to have :). I love you friend and all your words/ prayers do to challenge me in my daily choice to believe God for who he is.
Praying for Hattie today.
Once again, as I read this yesterday, my eyes FILLED with tears! I have been praying for years for a trial in my life that seems to have no end. I struggle all the time with believing God hears me.I see so many of my friends go into and out of a trial, but yet mine remains with me. I don’t understand, but I need to rest with the fact that HIS hand is in control. He is my Hightower and my greatest Defense Lawyer! Thank you to God for using you to uplift my heart! And thank you Hannah for keeping your heart open to writing what the Lord so beautifully puts on your heart!
Hannah, Thank you for the reminder that God does hear my prayers!! I hope that Hattie is recovering well from her surgery.
Profound toughts, Hannah. Your Dad called me today and told me about your blog and your writing career. May the Lord continue to bless these endeavors and the ministry that you and your husband perform.
Thank you, Don!