“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1John 5:14)
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
I believe that through prayer we have a ticket to a personalized conversation with the Creator of the universe; yet it is something I take advantage of every day. One thing I am notorious for is taking things to the Lord in prayer, but then failing to praise Him when those prayers are answered. Now, it may seem easy to do prayers of thanksgiving–and in some instances it is. Especially for those prayers that are answered the way we expect them. Like, prayers to do well on that test tomorrow, or to help a loved one survive an operation; or prayers for safe travels on that road trip. Many times, though, God doesn’t answer prayer in the ways we want, the ways we expect, or in our timing. Or other times I’ll even attribute those answered prayers to my own doing–like, “Oh well, I worked really hard for that,” or, “I deserve this.”
God has been challenging me over the past year to understand that His timing is so much more fruitful than my own. And if things happened the way I wanted, or on my timeline, they would be nowhere nearly as glorious as God’s plan. As I’m preparing to celebrate my twins’ 1st Birthday, and my 30th birthday, I took some time to reflect on the past year and wanted to share my revelations with you all–of the things in particular I had prayed for, and how God has answered each and every one of them– not always on my terms, but in the best way.
1.My prayer: To start our family
- God’s answer: Wait.
- End result: During the months we were waiting to get pregnant, I ended up paying off my student loans to prepare for our growing family. God’s humor: 2 weeks after my loans were paid off, we found out we were pregnant. A month after that, we found out we were having twins!
- My prayer: To have a safe pregnancy & delivery, and healthy babies
- God’s answer: Trust me.
- End result: After an agonizingly terrible pregnancy, a high-risk premature delivery, 28-day NICU stay, we brought 2 healthy, typically-developing babies home with us. Praise God!
- My prayer: To heal Asher from his bacterial gut infection
- God’s answer: It’s up to Me, not the doctors.
- End result: One of our sons got a bad infection while in the hospital and it was touch and go for a while. After 9 days of a 10-day antibiotic, replogle (a tube to drain his gut), PICC line, NPO (no food for 10 days), x-rays 4 times a day, Asher finally started to respond to the antibiotics. We are so thankful the doctors caught it and were able to treat it–but all glory to God.
- My prayer: God, how will we afford the endless diapers, formula, clothes for our babies?
- God’s answer: Your community loves you and will take care of you.
- End result: Our friends and family gifted us with enough diapers to last for more than 10 months; we got our first cartons of formula donated as part of a “multiples” group, and we found amazing deals at consignment stores for used toys and clothes.
My prayer: How will we fit this all in our small car? (lol – our double stroller wouldn’t fit in the trunk!)
- God’s answer: I will provide
- End result: We bought a mini-SUV while our kids were still in the hospital, not sure how we were going to pay it off– or how we would add a monthly car payment to our budget. But after looking through our savings, and with the blessing of my husband’s new job, we paid the car off in full after fewer than 6 months.
- My prayer: How will I do this on my own?
- God’s answer: You’re not alone.
- End result: my Mom and mother-in-law were each granted a short leave of absence soon after the boys were born to help us get adjusted to our new lives. God also timed our delivery perfectly so Colin was at a slow point in his job, allowing him to take an extended paternity leave and not travel for work for the first 3 months of the boys’ lives. My husband was (and still is) the greatest teammate in this adventure, helping out at every overnight feed.
- My prayer: What will it look like to go back to work? Who will take care of my babies?
- God’s answer: I created you for this–to be a mom; AND to be a physical therapist.
- End result: I am blessed to work part-time in my career, and have an amazing nanny who loves on our boys while I am at work. The break from my children helps me to not burn out, but I’m so grateful to be home with them several days each week.
- My prayer: What’s next?
- God’s answer: Just be.
- End result: After being frustrated about my next career move, God challenged me to enjoy this phase of chaos, to embrace the unknown and embrace the mess of motherhood, embrace the exhaustion–that this is a phase of life I’ll never get back.
God has proven himself faithful to my family and me over the past year. How has he been faithful to you?
My challenge to you is to write down your prayers, and then check back in once a month to see how God has answered them, or how He is challenging you in the wait.
Here are some resources that I’ve found helpful for giving guidance on daily prayers and helping to get you started if you don’t know where to start.
- Power of a Praying Woman/Wife/Mom – by Stormie Omartian
- Unveiled Wife- Marriage Prayers Daily (31 Prayers for my Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter)