It’s very hard sometimes to believe what you’re praying for might actually happen – and that’s where faith takes over.
The thing about praying for something or asking for something or wishing for something is that you have to believe it will really happen – but that’s easier said than done.
A friend said it well when she said, “We say, ‘I’m sure God CAN probably do it, but I don’t know if He will.'”
And then He does. And then the cycle repeats itself. Instead of remembering how He came through the last time, we worry or lack faith or just totally doubt Him yet again.
I do this ALL the time, and I know God is looking at me thinking, “When will she learn to just trust me?”
I tend to try to take things into my own hands when I don’t think God can handle it, which is a whole other topic on control and letting go of it. When I do that, I usually end up taking the longest, messiest route to where He was going to take me anyway… and He had a MUCH easier route planned.
I did that with love for a really long time. I tried to make the next guy “the one” by controlling the entire situation and relationship and trying to convince him to love all the quirky, crazy things about me. But that never worked because none of those guys were ever “the one,” and instead of making them love me, I just let myself feel more and more unloved until I didn’t even love myself.
All I wanted was for someone to WANT to hang out with me (bizarre idea, right?) and to make me feel beautiful and love me for the absolute worst and weirdest things about me. That’s what I prayed for yet I seriously thought it was impossible and that it would never happen.
Looking back, that doesn’t make a lot of sense that I believed that something I had desired and prayed for for so long would never happen, even though Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
The problem was that I wasn’t delighting myself in God, I was worrying and controlling and trying when He just wanted me to delight in Him and enjoy the season I was in while He orchestrated my beautiful love story.
Again, I never imagined actually falling in love or anyone falling in love with me, so I gave up… and I started my journey of truly delighting myself in The Lord and giving up control. I wasn’t perfect and tried to pick the control back up sometimes, but I was actively giving God control of this “fairytale” I had in mind.
I also never imagined that if I DID fall in love, it would teach me and reveal to me so much about how God loves me.
But both of the things I could never imagine happened. Someone fell in love with me while I was not even looking. And then I fell in love with him. But most importantly, we were falling more in love with God the entire time.
It took me a very long time to really comprehend that someone really did love me. Because I was so used to controlling the situation and screwing it up, I didn’t think it could actually happen – I didn’t realize God had given me EXACTLY what I had prayed for in the most unexpected way.
The guy He sent me came out of nowhere, but He was the guy of my prayers. It has recently clicked more and more (my fiancé says it took me until last week to understand it… and he says that every week) that my prayers are now my reality.
The saying has been all over social media recently about your life being exactly what you always prayed for. Mine is what I prayed for but not how I thought that prayer would look – it’s better. That’s the point. What I was praying for and trying to cultivate myself was never going to work, but God knew how to cultivate my prayers into a beautiful reality.
He sent me someone who would ultimately paint a picture of His love – someone who loves me at my very worst, loves me unconditionally, loves me when I mess up, loves me when I cry and when I laugh, loves me for my weird quirks, wants to spend time with me, knows me better than anyone, and sees the best in me when I can’t see it in myself. And that’s how I learned how God loves me. P.S. That’s exactly how God loves you, too.
I am a total sap, so I cry a lot. Lately, in the midst of wedding planning, I have teared up a lot thinking about how much God must love me, despite my moments of weakness and sin, to give me exactly who I have always prayed for. He gave me that love my heart desired. Little moments remind me that I always dreamt of someone loving me exactly the way my guy loves me, and that brings me to tears for so many reasons. And all of that has shown me more than just love and a really great time with a really great guy – it has shown me just how powerful God is.
I think of how He protected me from getting hurt so many times in order to save me for this part of my story and how He lined things up just to lead me here to my husband.
I wish I could’ve known then everything I know now about the man I get to marry because I would’ve done things a lot differently. But at the same time, I’m so thankful things happened the way they did. God let them happen and let me make my own choices because He knew I wasn’t powerful enough to ruin then what I have now and He knew that all the heartbreak I encountered would make me appreciate the incredible love I have now all the more.
God answers our prayers, but not always in the ways or at the times we expect. And usually you get exactly what you prayed for in a way you never imagined – and it ends up being even better than what you hoped for you when you prayed.
And when God gives you what you prayed for, remember that the next time you pray for something – believe He will do what you are asking Him to do in the very best way possible, at the very best time.