I'm not going to lie, this summer, and especially the latter half has not been easy. Maybe it's me and I need to try harder, but also there are circumstances that mean that a lot of my social networks and supports have been drifting away. That's hard for anyone at any time. It seems like it's harder when you're single. There have been some really tough days. When you add that to this constant ache that we are not made to be alone in life and, yeah. Well, you've been reading this blog long enough to know how I feel about all of that.
What will probably not shock you, is that this leads me back to begging God to change things. At this time, praying very specifically as to what and when. I have done this many times over the years, but this feels different. My sister and I were talking about this, because she's experiencing something similar. We were trying to put it into words, but it's hard to describe.
My first thought about this feeling different is, "Maybe this is finally the time that God will change something!" Yet, while that could potentially be true, that doesn't feel quite right, either. So why is it that this time of praying and begging and specifically telling God what I think I want and need is different?
I think the difference is a little more subtle. I have always felt that it is important to tell God what we need, and to ask specifically, even though the answer may be "no". Whenever I have done this before, though I always added (and meant on some level) "Your will be done", I think that there was the flavor of a demand in the midst of my prayer. If You're a good God, go ahead and work this miracle already! And if You don't, please tell me what I'm doing wrong so that I can fix it, so that we can get on with life! It's that dynamic that I talked about here, where God's love equals the things He gives us. That what we offer God is our good deeds and then He does His part and brings forth blessings in our lives.
What I have been noticing lately about these prayers lately is that it is my smallness meeting His greatness. It is my pain and need and brokenness meeting His goodness and mercy and abounding love. The prayer is not about (or not mainly about) what His answer is, or when it will happen, but rather about the relationship that happens at the intersection of these things. I bring these very specific needs before Him, because it is who I am. And He takes care of them in His way and in His time because of who He is.
For many years, I have dreamed of being able to write a post about how God finally answered all my prayers. I even have had a number of different daydreams and scenarios of super cute stories of how we met. I certainly hope and pray that I have that story to tell someday, but I'm no longer sure that this blog is the place for it. In some ways, I think this blog is more about discovering the relationship in the prayer, even that prayer of petition, rather than whatever "answer" may come from the prayer. This is more about learning to rest in the intersection of who He is and who I am, come what may.