Hello, prayer friends! I just arrived home from an amazing weekend at Women of Faith in Billings, Montana! I met new and old friends from around Montana, and heard some of the most inspirational messages, given by ladies God has gifted to encourage us in our faith walk. You can visit the link above to find an event in your area. I highly encourage you to attend! Natalie Grant mentioned this verse below, during her concert. I had chosen this same verse last month to write about my experiences. And so I jump ahead a bit today to the “U” section of My Tea Cupp Prayers, as I use God’s Word to help me Understand my story.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Prayers. I believe in prayers. I believe in Jesus. I believe Jesus meant it when He said, “Ask and you will receive.” When things don’t go my way, I wrestle with God. I’m a grumpy kid who is not getting what she wants from her Father. I can’t see the big picture. But God is teaching me.
Two summers ago, my friend Anna mentioned to me that she was expecting again. This would be her fourth child. Anna asked me to pray it wouldn’t be twins. I had already been praying for eight years for more children, and seven years before that I had prayed for our son Kevin. I had even written to three friends who love babies and asked them to pray for me. So, I couldn’t pray for Anna not to have twins; that just seemed like a double blessing to me. So, I prayed, “God, please give Anna a healthy baby, and if you need to give someone twins, please give them to me.”
At the same time, I thought I’d try out specific prayer. I’d heard God likes us to be specific. So, I prayed for specific twins, one blonde, one red head, one boy, one girl, blue eyes, healthy, hearts for Jesus, to be born in Livingston, Montana on May 17, 2009 at 3:07 p.m. Yes, I was that specific. In order for this to happen, I needed to be expecting by fall 2008. As September of that year came and then October, I thought, well maybe they will be premies. Then winter came with still no babies-on-the-way, and a job lay off instead. I just about gave up on praying, but my husband kept on praying. Then late in the spring of 2009, just before the time I had specifically prayed our babies to be born, we miraculously became pregnant. After nine years of waiting, I was so joyous that God had heard our prayers.
In July 2009 we went to our first doctor appointment. The doctor had trouble hearing the baby’s heartbeat, so he wanted to do an ultrasound. I thought, “O good, now he will see there are two babies in there!” Instead, there was just one cute little baby shape, with no heart beating. After praying nine years for more children, to be told in the doctor office that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat, my first thoughts were, “Doctor, you are so wrong, I prayed for this baby.” But as reality set in, my soul cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It crossed my mind to abandon my prayer time with God the next day. But the next morning I was up with the sun as usual, sitting on my corner of the sofa, mug of hot water in hand, reading my Bible with God. Even I was amazed that God didn’t let go of me, as we waited over a week for the miscarriage that nearly took my life. We named our baby Gloria Anne, in hopes that God’s name would be glorified.
Just a month later we became pregnant again. I hardly dared to hope that this baby was twins. In mid October 2009 we found out that this baby also didn’t have a heartbeat. This time we had to wait three weeks for the miscarriage which took six weeks to complete, well into December. We named this baby Angelica May, because she is now with the angels and was due in May 2010. The whole time I was wondering, “Why do I have to go through this again, Lord? Is there something I didn’t learn the first time around?”
In September 2009 we planted a cherry tree in our front yard in memory of Gloria Anne. Now the tree is in memory of both our babies. It wasn’t until we ordered the plaque to put on a rock by the tree that it hit me. The plaque says
“In Memory, Our Babies, Gloria Anne, Angelica May, 2009”
With their names together on the plaque I realized, we had our twins. They did not come when I asked. They were not healthy. I never saw the color of the hair or their eyes. Even their names were ones I had never thought of before. Even though I know that someday in heaven I will hold them in my arms, I ache, while learning that God’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts.
Judges 6:13 (NIV) says “O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles?” I often pray this petition as I wrestle with God in prayer. Because I didn’t get my way, I think His miracles aren’t there, but they are. His miracles are in a hug from a sister in Christ, the box of chocolates sent by an old friend from high school, the prayer shawl knitted by our church, the DQ Buster bars delivered by our neighbors, the money for doctor bills slipped to us by friends, the card box decorated in pink for our baby, my husband washing the dishes for me, the prayers of so many, and the hope I still have in my heart. Yes, God sent His miracles. His ways are just much higher than my ways…and I’m still praying.