The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.Psalm 145:18
I’m sure this title stopped most of you and made you wonder. It’s not a positive title, but it’s truthful. This message has weighed heavy on my heart lately. Prayer. Now let me say this first though, God has answered so many of my prayers. But recently, He said no to one of my biggest prayers. Here’s what I’ve learned from it.
When I think of unanswered prayers, Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers” comes to mind. The words ring true:
“Sometimes I thank God
For unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’
To the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
‘Cause some of God’s greatest gifts
Are unanswered prayers”
Some of our greatest gifts are unanswered prayers, but that can be hard to understand or see in the midst of it all. Don’t we find ourselves focussing more on God’s “no’s” than His “Yeses”? It’s easier to remember those big, awful moments. The ones that we prayed for maybe for so long, just to get a “no” or no answer at all. It’s easier to look back and see the bad times, rather than when God’s given us more “Yeses” than we can count. God doesn’t answer all our prayers with a “yes”, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. God’s given Brian and I one of our greatest blessings, Walt, in the middle of the biggest no we’ve ever been given.
On Saturday, December 28, God did not answer my prayer. It was a big one, a prayer that I’d been saying for almost 9 months. And He told us no. It slapped us in the face so hard. From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I would lay hands on my belly and pray over each of my boys. I prayed for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and then for him to one day accept Jesus into his heart and spend eternity in Heaven. Then the toughest words to say came next, if Whit or Walt were not to accept Jesus then I asked God to take them from my womb before they ever took their first breath. I would rather spend eternity in Heaven with my babies than to spend even a minute with them on earth. As Walt was born with the issues he had, no heart beat, not breathing; I wondered if I had prayed this on him. Did I pray for this? But the reassurance of knowing that He would have gone to Heaven to be with Jesus, was enough for me. (Doesn’t mean that it would have made it an easier situation). It’s part of a parents job, to teach our children about Jesus and how they can grow up to know Him and accept Him into their lives. So no, I didn’t pray for him to be born this way, I didn’t pray for him to be born lifeless, I prayed for Jesus to have him in His hands…no matter what. Whether he was born and is alive with us, or if Jesus decided to take Walt home early. God decided that Walt needed to stay and that He has big plans for him.
Walt was not born healthy, as I had prayed. They took him and began bringing life back into his little body. Then, as we prayed while we watched, God gave me the most beautiful and clearest peace about it all.
“I’ve got Walt in the palm of my hands, he’s going to be just fine”
Those words rang so loudly in my heart. I couldn’t deny that God was with us. God was, and still is, with Walt. At that moment, and for the next 13 days, all we could do was pray. It’s all we had. There wasn’t anything physically I could do to help Walt. We clung to prayer and to the prayers everyone was sending up on Walt’s behalf. There’s more we can do to help Walt now, physical therapy, hearing aids, stretches, medicine, tummy time, etc. There’s still prayer too. God is using Walt to help make my prayer life better, our little man has helped my faith so much in the 3 months he’s been here.
The song “Touch the Sky” by Hillsong UNITED came on the radio and it really spoke to me. I attached it at the bottom of this post. I love the chorus,
My heart beating
My soul breathing
I found my life
When I laid it down
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground
When my brother was little, he used to always say, “Prayer Really Works!” He had to sweetest little voice too. His words are still so true, prayer really works. Gods allowed us to be able to come to Him in prayer. I feel so close to God in prayer, in worship, when I sing and talk to Him. I know that He loves to hear from us, although He already knows our needs and wants, He wants us to ask Him. He want’s us to ask specifically for what we want.
Psalm 37:3-4 3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Here’s one of the latest issues we were facing with Walt:
-At his 2 month check up, we were told that his state metabolic screen came back and his thyroid numbers were low. This is the blood test they take while in the hospital and tests 29 different diseases. He would need to have the labs run again to retest them. If they came back low or high then we would be sent to see an endocrinologist. This could be another issue that we would have to tackle. It felt like another hill to climb, another issue that Walt will have to deal with forever. It was defeating to hear, again.
-They ran the labs and a few days later Walt’s pediatrician called with the results. His thyroid was normal! I was in the middle of Publix staring at an empty toilet paper roll aisle and threw both hands in the air and celebrated. I was crying and praising Jesus for some good news! This was good news in the midst of all this sad Corona news lately. I was celebrating like Rocky at the top of the stairs and people were staring at me, like “Lady, all the toilet paper is gone, why are you celebrating?!”
It was a win that we needed. This was an answered prayer!
We got a call that his eye appointment was cancelled thanks to the coronavirus and the office closing down. (I understand it’s a serious virus and the reasoning behind it, but it’s still frustrating.) We have been waiting on this appointment for quite some time now and we want some clarity on his eyesight. I believe that Walt can see, we just want to check it out and see how well he can or can’t see. He is tracking things ok, but one OT specialist said that he’s not tracking things as smoothly as she’d like to see. And now, the office is closed and his appointment has been canceled and moved to June! Their earliest availability. It’s frustrating. But not our biggest concern at the time. Then Columbus Speech and Hearing called immediately after and my fear was that they are telling me that his appointment is canceled too. He is supposed to get his hearing aids tomorrow, March 23, and this is a big milestone for him. I don’t want to wait any longer. But they were calling to confirm his appointment! Thank you Jesus!
I went back into the room with Walt and just laid my hands around his little head. I thanked God for keeping his hearing aid appointment and this statement came over me, Walt is proof of God. I spoke those words out loud to him. “Walt, you are proof of God” and then he locked eyes with me and smiled and cooed! At that very moment and my heart swelled. It was as if God gave me clarity, he can see you.
Walt, You are proof of God!
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Today was a big day for Walt. Big man did big things today. He rolled over on his side all on his own! One of my big prayers for him, hitting milestones at his own pace, was answered today. I want him to be able to roll over, hold his head up, push up on his arms, crawl, walk, run and jump…all the things that other kids eventually learn to do. God is hearing our prayers and answering them. Then after he rolled onto his side, he had a great big poop. Of course! I got him all cleaned up and then as I was reaching for another wipe, he pooped some more, all onto his PJs! At this very moment, I saw it as another time to see the good, Walt rolling over, or the yucky, him pooping all over his clothes forcing me to clean more and change his clothes. I see the good.
At this time, the world is being thrown and shaken upside down. We all have these big fears and anxieties about it all, about the coronavirus. But at this time, God’s telling us to stop and focus on Him. Draw close and near to Him. We are told in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” He’s giving us the time to focus on Him and our families, from a safe distance of course. Don’t stop praying people, He is listening.
Another blog that I started and decided to mesh with this one was on Prayer and not becoming content. We were hit with hard news in December. Then things seemed to get better and smooth out. Then something tough would come again. I didn’t want to become content in those good times. I didn’t want to feel like “Ok, we are doing good so I can slack off on prayers now.” Because shortly after some good days, something else would pop up and I would add a new prayer to my list. I want to keep a constant conversation going with God. Not one where I only go to Him when I need His help or something new arises. The world is praying hard right now, things are ugly. But we need to continue to pray once things get back to normal. We need to be careful that we don’t become content that things are back to normal, we need to stay close to God.
I cannot become content. We went through the scariest moment of our lives. We prayed harder than we’ve ever prayed before. But now that things are good for the moment, we cannot become content. We cannot slack off on our prayers.
Stay in prayer. Even if God tells you no or you don’t hear an answer, don’t stop praying. He will bless you in more ways than you could ever imagine. God’s been answering our prayers. May not always be the answer we want, but His plans are always greater than ours.
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.Psalm 4:1