Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mysterious Prayer

Prayer confounds me. I can't really remember if it did so before, but at this point, it's a complete mystery to me. So to put it into a narrative to maybe make some sense of it, here it is.

I've mentioned before how we saw the powerful working of Almighty God while in COL. But let me back up even more.

In August of 2008, we requested a homestudy update for 4 children. Our social worker was generally very concerned about families adopting more than 2 siblings. She asked us to do a lot of things, and then we waited. I remember a time talking with my mom where she asked what I wanted them to pray for. I remember thinking one thing: for the committee to approve us for 4 children. And so with a choked voice at the realization of how much I wanted those four children, I replied, "Pray that the social workers will approve it. My heart couldn't handle if they said no."

Even now when I look back and think about it, I don't get a sense that I prayed "wrong." But I don't understand what happened after that. The previous 2 years we'd been waiting, we kept on believing that if the Lord wanted this to be, it would be.

So when we heard back that the committee had approved us, it was exhilarating. And then the blow of our homestudy agency closing and our homestudy update being delayed...and delayed...and delayed. But really, after 2 years, what's a couple of months? But it worked out.

Ok, so fast forward to spring of 2009 and we're trying to figure out what day we can request to meet the kids. S has an exam that he can't miss, or else he'd repeat a whole year of his program. It all works out, amid the bumps. Another tangible example of God working in our midst.

And then we get to COL. What I once thought, believed, experienced is completely shattered. I had no words to pray with. If ever my soul cried out to God, it was then that it began. I could only trust that the Holy Spirit was interceding. But this did not work out...the way we wanted it to.

And then we came back home.

Prayer was one thing: a constant plea for rescue. Slowly, after a few months, praying the Lord's prayer was something I could muster. It was as if I couldn't even comprehend anything for a while, and then the Scripture that has been part of me since childhood slowly was accessible.

But the line, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," sticks with me. I still can't pray anything but that.

Recently, someone asked if they could pray for something specific. I replied that i don't feel that's what the Lord wants us (me and S) to pray. I believe He wants our continued prayer to be to walk with Him, not matter what He brings. The person asked if it was because I was afraid to hope. Not an easy answer there. "Hope" in the "belief that good things will come" is quite tempered for me now. Not in a cynical way (well, sometimes it's cynical) but tempered by experiences that have forever changed me and the way I view life. So I replied I don't feel that's in line with what the Lord wants me to pray.

So, among the other confusing spiritual facets, prayer is thrown in the jumble too. And as I reflect on the statement I made to my mom, I can only respond in frustration to God, "What ARE you doing?"

Because the truth is my heart couldn't handle it. My human heart has been broken to bits. Only a loving God can restore it. And there may be parts that are never quite the way they were before.


Sherri said...

I went to a ladies day last weekend and the verses for the day were Luke 22:31-32. It's when Jesus told Peter Satan wanted to sift him as wheat. Someone pointed out that Jesus didn't pray for his circumstances, He prayed that Peter's faith wouldn't fail. I think that's just what you were saying, and I hope those scriptures encourages you. I'll pray that your faith won't fail as you go through this trial.

PS - I found your blog through Wendi. We're a CHI family too.

Wendi and Benjamin Wood said...

Oh, Sweet A... how I love you, Sister!

(Hard word for all of us) As much as prayer confounds you (us), it will be the very thing that SAVES you (us)!!

God can use people, things, the Holy Spirit, Scripture, relationship with Him, etc. to restore your IS possible... He IS in the business of healing hearts and whether you can "feel" Him, "hear" Him, or know He is there, He is... and He loves you more than you know... He even risks being misunderstood...

This season you walk thru is allowing you to go places and feel things that God will use for His glory. Those things taken from you will one day be restored... and I don't know what all that means, but I am confident that if you follow Him even in the midst of your pain, He will show YOU, His love for you and your desires will be his desires and he will bless you. Funny that Sherri posted above, she is a testimony to that very thing. Not sure if you're familiar with her story... but it's a good one.

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, and don't want to. I don't think people probably recognize that when you share. And that is unfortunate, because this was so much more than you just going to Colombia. You lost your children, and my heart hurts for you. I cry as I write this, and I pray God send you sisters to uphold you and walk with you thru this...

I love you, girl, don't even know you, but you're awesome! You have a big heart... may you be able to find "Something Beautiful" each day to brighten your day!

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Prayers that your heart can be restored....