It Works (Pt 2)

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Once I realized that God has answered so many prayers I was humbled. When I look back over the past year I can see where things that happened would not have been possible. It was God. I did nothing but followed what I knew to be the right thing or what I believed to be the best thing at the time.

Now I can hear you already. See it was you you made the decisions. Well, sure. I believe that God presented the opportunities and I had the choice to accept it or not.

The thing is that faith is trusting even when you feel you can’t. Trusting that God is in control.  Then being thankful.

The other side to this is sometimes we pray for things to happen or not happen that God does not intend for us. We have to accept that on faith too. Remember God knows our future. He knows where we are going. That thing, person, job or whatever that we really want may not be what God has in his plans for us. Sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unanswered prayers. Despite the felling of being let down we have to trust God. Look at the blessings and be thankful.

 

It Works (Pt 1)

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I know it is hard for some people to believe that God really listens to prayer. I mean if you think about it how does it happen that God can hear each and every prayer said, thought, breathed by every praying person every second of every day? Reminds me of that scene from Bruce Almighty when the main character hears all the prayers instantly, all at once. Is that what God hears? 

That part will remain a mystery for us.

All of the logistics aside, prayer works. I am living proof. I have people, love, and other things in my life that are all answers to prayer. I can sit here for hours and tell you all the things, it would take a long time. Each one just as miraculous as the other. Each one an answer to a precise prayer I uttered from my mouth to God and some unspoken ones in times of sadness when I did not have the words. You will say, sure sure. Maybe you believe me. Maybe you do not.

Until you experience a true answered prayer for yourself you will either believe me or think I am crazy. Either one is ok with me. I will still pray for you.

Power of Prayer

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Prayer is like an extension cord to God. I am not sure how it works but I know that praying with faith changes everything. I know that I feel closer to God when I pray. When I go through a time where I don’t pray regularly I feel disconnected from God.

Not that He went anywhere, I moved spiritually.  When I find it hard to focus on life or on what is important, I stop and pray. Right there, right where I stand. Stop, drop and Pray…OK I may not drop to my knees every time depending where I am standing but I pray.

I will trust Him and put those I love in His hands.Do I always get the answer I want? No. Often I do not get an answer at all. Sometimes all I get is the peace in knowing God has heard me and He is working on it, whatever it is.  For now, that will be enough.

1 Peter 4:7-8 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another. (NIV)

Example of Answered Prayer

Anyone who knows me knows I am a pray-er. I pray for everything. Big things like the health of my friends and  little things like God please let me make it home safe. I pray all the time. When I am asked how do I know God hears? or How do I know he answers? Most of the time I say, I just do. I try to remember a specific example and sometimes it is hard to find one that I think is significant enough to make a point. Now I have an example that is clear and obvious. I know some will say it is just coincidence but I know that it is not. It is a direct answer to my prayer.

Two months ago I prayed for God to show me what path I should take in my life. There was a position at my library that would be better money but not what I really wanted to do. Like a lot of people, I have student loan debt that I really need help paying. I am not destitute but could use the extra money. I prayed about it and not receiving a clear answer from God, I applied anyway.

One day shortly after I applied a co-worker and friend asks me if I saw a posting for a job at a different library. I said no but I would look at it later. I didn’t think about it the rest of the day as I was busy working. It had just posted that day, so I thought I had plenty of time. When I got home my step dad had the newspaper with the same posting in it. He made my mom call me to tell me about it. OK, God, I am listening. I looked at the posting, prayed  and decided to apply. Still unsure.

A few days after the posting closed, the other library called me for an interview. I felt that I did alright but not my best interview. I found out that someone with significantly more experience applied and possibly interviewed too. That’s it, I stand no chance for the job, I thought. I told God I can’t worry about this… here, you take it and I went about my day as always. The position at my library came up for interview and I still didn’t feel right about it. I agreed to interview for it anyway.

That very day I was called by the other library director and offered the job. I felt sudden and immediate peace. I knew without a doubt that call was an answer to my prayer. It was sudden and unlikely, but it happened. I was offered the job and I took it on the spot.

That is how God works. He lets you exercise your free will while saying, I have this, listen to me, trust me. He is clear with answers. When the answers come your soul knows it is from God. Sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is not what you expected. Either way, you know.

I started my new job this week. I am happier than I have been in my career in a long time and the frosting on the cupcake, the salary is more than my old job and that other one that I applied for. My new coworkers are like a big family and in that family I have discovered other prayer warriors too.  Yes I miss my coworkers from my old job, but I am still in contact with my friends. I still pray for them. My life is in God’s hands. I trusted Him and I have been fully blessed. I see His plan for me at my new library. There is potential for touching lives in big ways as a serve my new community.

Prayer works. Try it. I dare you.

Blessed Beyond Measure

We all have things that come up in our life that put us in a state of temporary anxiety. Any life changing event can send us in to turmoil. We have bills and no money to pay them. We argue with our spouse or significant other. Our teenager gets arrested or our daughter comes home pregnant. Our elderly parent falls breaks a hip. The triggers are not always negative. We get married. Buy a new dream house. Have kids or become grandparents. All if these things can disrupt our lives. These life things can always send us in to a tailspin of what ifs and whys.

We need to remember when life slams us with significant stress that we are blessed. The simple act of listing our blessings out in back and white can ground us and stop the anxiety from taking over. Sometimes it helps just to say, “I can’t handle this alone any more.” and tell some one. Acknowledge that there is this thing happening but here are the blessings despite the thing.

In the vain of practice what you preach. I will share with you that I am in a similar crazy phase in my life right now. I know that God is in control and I know that whatever the outcome it is His will and His chosen path for my life that I will take. The voices in my head, negativity, doubt, anxiety, want me to worry and look to the what could go wrong. To combat that here is my list of blessings.

I have a husband who loves me, a daughter who is successfully raising grandchildren who are little pillars in their community and parents who are proud of me.

This daughter is a strong independent, smart beautiful and compassionate girl.

I have grand parents, aunts, uncles,cousins, nieces and nephews who love me.

I have friends who are there to listen to me whine when life gets tough and celebrate with me when success comes.

I have a roof over my head, food in the kitchen, heat for the cold nights and a reliable car to get me around.

I have a job and a possibility for a better job. Both filled with wonderful people whom I respect and love.

I have an almost complete novel that I could not have written without the grace of God guiding me through it.

I have sweet fur children who love me unconditionally.

I have a church full of family who pray with me and are there when I need them.

I am in good health and improving everyday.

If you have any of the things in the list above you are blessed. If your list looks like mine you are blessed beyond measure. How inconsiderate of us to let the bumps in the road of life to distract us from the truth.

We are loved, blessed and important to God and other humans. Why do we worry?

 

 

 

 

Missing Pieces

I asked God why does he allow people we love to die? Why does he take them when to us it looks like they still had much life to live and much to do?  It’s hard grieving for someone that you know is not calling or coming back no matter how much you pray, beg, plead with God. We go through the motions of life missing their smile, their touch and their presence. We say that it gets easier with time. Well I do not know what idiot said that fist, but I can tell you it does not get any easier.

I did not get an answer to the why other than I know that God does not take someone until it is their time. When they have completed all they were meant to do. It may seem to us that they were not finished, but maybe God let’s their death be the catalyst for some other great work he wants completed.

Then I asked God to fill this hole in my being. This place where the missing pieces go that that person took when they went to heaven. I wailed and screamed at God that I can not spend the next fifty years missing what should be there. Am I mad at God? You bet I am, but what good does that do?

Finally in the silence my answer came. In the still small voice of God speaking directly to my soul, “I will fill you, I will fill all the deep dark holes in your heart with my love if you would just stop fighting.”

So, I gave up and gave it all to God.

Struggling

I am really struggling with God right now. I find myself questioning why things are not going the way I think they should or the way that seems like the best way. I need God to move in my life in a way that is specific, so I pray. I have been here before with God and I know that He always comes through. He keeps His promises and I am always blessed.

This time I am full of doubt that what I need to happen will happen. I keep hearing myself say to God, “Ok, I can do this or that, just let me help move things along, and see what happens.” I instantly know it is the wrong answer. I know that I am to wait, trust and pray. I hate that answer. I want to act…I want  to do something, to react..anything!

Hence the struggle. Sit, wait….listen. remain faithful. Trust that God is in control. When all I want to do is move and fidget with my own ideas that are no where near as good as what God has for me. God’s will for my life is perfect for me. All I have to do is be patient and hold on to faith.

Yeah, easier said than done.

James 1:2-4 (NRSV)
2 My brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.