I believe in prayer. I grew up in a Christian home, saying my prayers. I am teaching my 4 children to pray.
I have prayed in gratitude, in confusion, in grief, in praise and in petition for others.
But recently I had an experience that took my prayer life from black and white to technicolor and I'm overwhelmed with the difference.
In 16 years of marriage my husband and I have moved 9 times. This has never bothered me other than the hassle of moving itself. I have liked every place we have lived. I'm grateful for the experiences we have had and the people we have met in all these places. Each time I have said in prayer "OK God I'll go where you want me. I trust you. Help us do the right thing."
We have known for a year that we did not want to stay in our current location. We had a picture of the life we wanted for our family and began to consider our options. This time we wanted to put down roots.
We began to formulate a plan but were not very excited by it. Then we decided that what we really wanted to do was return to Colorado, a place we loved. This was not the most reasonable or practical plan and we were not sure if it was even possible with my husband's job. We decided to be cautiously optimistic and explore the idea.
Then I took a walk with my dog one Saturday afternoon.
I could feel a growing excitement about the possibility of moving to Colorado but I didn't want to be disappointed. It was beginning to feel like the only option that would satisfy me and that worried me. While walking I began to pray that God would help us figure this out. I began with my typical "God, whatever you think is best ..." prayer.
Then I stopped.
I looked up at the sky, and at the woods around me and the lake to my left and at the dog at my feet. And I thought to myself "What am I doing?! God made all this. My God can DO ANYTHING and he loves me.
Why can't I BOLDLY ask for what I want?"
So I did.
I brazenly prayed and said "I want this God, and I know you can make it happen. I get that we can't always have what we want but I am boldly asking you to get us where we want to be".
Then I walked home. I felt peace and confidence. Not that I could see the future and know that we would get our heart's desire but that I could boldly approach the Lord. It was like I had been wearing blinders my whole life and all of a sudden I saw so much more.
There is more to tell. But today I leave you with a cliffhanger.
Because the asking and not the answer is what changed me.
Come back next week. It's going to be good!
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be oped to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, when his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are man know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:7-11