So I have been reading this book called "God On Mute" by Pete Greig. It has been so far about the suffering and pain that we go through when we feel like God is not answering our prayers. I saw this book when I was at a friend's house and saw that she had started reading it. At the time, I just wasn't ready to say that God is not answering my prayers, but deep down inside I couldn't really hear God when I talked to him. It was such a lonely and confusing time for me.
Right around the holidays I saw that book again, and as you may know, the holidays are not easy for me since losing Caden. They just don't have the same delight for me as they once did. I decided to ask for a book for Christmas. Since starting to read it, I have found some very challenging and very comforting thoughts about God and how I see him and how he sees me. The very beginning of the book starts out like this:
"If you are hurting and secretly wondering "Where is God?" and "Why has this happened to me?" and "How come my prayers aren't working?" then this book is dedicated to you"
I started reading this book, and I thought, this guy just stepped into my brain and put my thoughts into words. Most of what he was saying was what I was feeling and thinking. I wondered why the prayers that I had been praying for all of my friends who had real struggles and concerns were getting answered and the prayers I had for myself were going unresolved. I recently had up to six people tell me within about two weeks that the prayers I had been praying for them were answered. I thanked God so much for listening to me and I was truly happy for them, but it also made me wonder what I was doing wrong in the prayers I had for myself. Was I being too selfish, or too focused on my own agenda to see that God may have had something else in mind for me? God just seemed not to speak to me as often and I couldn't hear what he was saying.
One thing that I realized and was able to see is that my hope in the face of suffering is not to reject God (which I never really did, but we did have a lot of battles and questions that He will show me the answers to someday), but to rely on God even more choosing to call him "Father" in the midst of desperation, hope and believing that although my prayers remain unanswered it is not b/c God is uncaring. For he is love. That is hard to do when life just doesn't make sense at all.
Lately, I have decided to trust God even though I don't understand my life right now. Not many things have made sense to me lately, but everyday I pray that God will give me the strength and I choose to trust his plan for me. Many times I felt like just giving up hoping for anything better to happen to us, but instead of giving up, I gave up my will to God and asked him to help me everyday to not take it back. I also asked him to restore my joy, not back to how I was, but to a joy that God can only create. Trusting God is not easy AT ALL. I say to myself, God if I trust you with this, I don't know what you will do, but I realize that it is OK. God won't leave me even when I don't hear him for a while. He is there, and he is crying with me and wishing that I could see the bigger picture. So I continue to read my Bible and pray a couple of prayers that I have written down on notecards. I keep those by my bed and say them every morning or night. God is doing some remarkable things in me that I never expected. I don't remember being so at peace as I am right now, and knowing that He is going to take care of me, even if it is not the way I wanted him to. I trust that he sees beyond what I see and he looks past just the here and now. I will handle today, and I will let God deal with my tomorrows.
Tom and I are still looking for a new church, but last week we went to a church Eastside Community Church, the pastor talked all about prayer. I know it was not just a coincidence that we happened to be there that day. Everything that he was saying was exactly how I had been feeling and just gave me so much comfort and hope. He talked about going to God boldly and with audacity in prayer. He also talked about praying for really BIG things, because nothing is impossible with God. I have to keep remembering that and just keep praying even if it seems like forever sometimes.
Tom & Mira