A GRACE FILLED JOURNEY • Grateful For ‘Unanswered Prayers’

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The latest guilty pleasure at the Herschelman household has been watching “Madam Secretary” on Netflix after the girls go to sleep. It’s just kind of a fun show to relax and unwind before we head to bed.

In celebration of their 100th episode, the show had special guest star Peter Frampton play “Baby, I Love Your Way,” at a special anniversary party for the secretary and her husband.

And that episode prompted discussion in our household when Kyle asked if I could have anyone just show up and play a song at our house, who would I pick.

I quickly–and mostly jokingly–answered “The Right Stuff” by New Kids on the Block, mostly because I knew it would irritate him. 

He rather quickly responded “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks, and then asked if I wanted to backpeddle on my answer. I laughed and told him I was sticking with my boys, and that maybe we could see them in concert together sometime. I’m gonna guess I’ll be left “Hangin’ Tough” on that.

But it did get me thinking about his choice and how true it is for our lives.

When I think back about the prayers I have offered over my lifetime, it reminds me how blessed my life truly is. Not that the answer has always been yes, and definitely not always what I wanted, but certainly what I needed.

Sometimes, I wish I had kept a prayer journal of my prayers and how they were answered. Even if I had started one in my youth, it probably would have been tossed with a variety of diaries that I found and later tossed, mostly embarrassed by their content.

It’s hard to imagine what I prayed for as a young girl, although when I ask Charley who she wants to pray for each night, it’s usually whatever Disney characters we have watched that day, Elsa, Anna, Mickey and Minnie are among the favorites.  She also has her own “speed” version of the God Is Great prayer before meal-times, which makes me hope that it brings God great joy when he hears it.

As I got older, I can remember praying for good grades in school, safety for my family and sometimes whatever teenage drama and angst was going on at the time (which would be why some of my old diaries got tossed). At the time, those things seemed so important, yet matter little in my life now.

As a young adult, I prayed to find the perfect job, a husband and to have a family. Although my prayers weren’t always answered in “my time,” I’d say I’m pretty blessed at how they were answered.

And when Grace was diagnosed with INAD, we prayed for a miracle cure every single night, and we still do. I’ll never in this lifetime understand how so much has been taken from my beautiful Grace and why God chooses not to answer my desperate plea in the way I see fit. 

That’s not to say that I believe “everything happens for a reason,” but I do work hard each and every day (and some days it’s almost impossible) to have faith in God and the way He chooses to answer my prayers, even when I don’t agree.

Sometimes, it’s the “unanswered prayers,” that are the biggest blessings of all.

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