I remember being jealous of my classmates often. I would look at the girls at my school who seemed to be living such a carefree life. They would do well in school effortlessly and go home to their moms, dads, and siblings, to a house they’d grown up in. I wanted that so much for myself!
I wanted my mom and dad to be together, and if it wasn’t too much to ask, a sibling or two. I wanted us to live in a house where I could have my own room, but I wouldn’t mind sharing if I had a sister to share it with.
“God,” I would pray, “Please give me a family and a house that is ours.”
I didn’t think it was too much to ask, because I saw many kids that had this all around me. For good measure, I made lots of promises though—“God, if you answer my prayers, I will be good! I will listen to my mom, I will do all my chores, I will get really good grades, I will pray to you every day!” and so I did. Yet, day after day, year after year, it seemed God wasn’t going to answer my prayers.
My mom and I continued to move around, shuffling between rented houses or living with family. I continued to visit my dad every other weekend, with him promising me every time that he was working so hard to make us a family again, but my mom wouldn’t allow it. I spent much of my childhood crying myself to sleep, angry at my mom, yet knowing my dad’s violent temper was truly at fault. It all seemed so cruel. Why wasn’t God listening to me? Why did my heart keep breaking? I was doing everything right. I was a good kid! I got good grades, I worked hard, I prayed every day, and all I wanted was a family. I was just a kid—didn’t God love me?
“God, I just don’t want to feel incomplete.”
I didn’t want to keep feeling like I was missing out on the kind of childhood everyone else seemed to be experiencing. Mine felt so chaotic.
Eventually, I learned that my wish, my prayer, the one thing I desired most, was not something that was meant for me. I began to believe prayer didn’t work. Prayer was not something I could rely on. But I was wrong. I now clearly understand why my prayer wasn’t answered when I asked for it.
God did eventually answer my prayer. It was not when I asked for it, and not how I imagined it, but in a way much grander, and more wonderful, than I could have ever dreamed. So grand was the answer to my prayers that I have to pinch myself sometimes to remind me that it’s real. God had it, and me, in his hands always.
He knew his plan for me even if I couldn’t comprehend it.
I now have a loving marriage, kids with siblings to grow up with, a home, and a community. I count my blessings every day.
“God, I feel complete!”
I may not have had this experience for myself as a child, but to be able to provide this to my own children is worth every tear I shed, and every prayer that I thought had gone unanswered. God is beside us, and He is listening, even when we don’t feel it. Maybe even more so when we don’t feel it, because He’s preparing our hearts for what is to come.
He’s preparing us so that we may really see Him.