Thursday, November 17, 2005
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like, if you had received something you’d longed for terribly? I heard Garth Brook’s song, Unanswered Prayers on the radio and it really caught my attention. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered about some of my own ‘unanswered prayers’. (And let me be clear, I believe God answers ALL prayers, sometimes it’s just that the answer is ‘no’. Let me also say, that He has answered YES more times than I could ever count. So, please don’t think I’m complaining.)
As I thought back on the things I had pleaded for and didn’t get, I realized just how different my life could have been. The first thing I really remember wanting was a certain boy I knew to like me. In fact, for years I thought someday we would finally fall in love and get married right out of high school. That didn’t happen. Am I sad about that? NO. He’s a wonderful person and good friend, but my desires were childish and naïve and we would never have worked out. In fact I’m downright thankful now that it never came true. What blows my mind is how very different my life would have been if I had been married at 18 rather than still single at 28.
The second thing I’d hoped for was to go to college and become a doctor. From the time I was five I knew that’s what I wanted to be – then my senior year came along and suddenly I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All those years of praying to be able to afford medical school and now I was just confused about my future career goals. I ended up passing on a college degree all together. My friends went on to college and I stayed home and got a job. I took a few classes, but somehow I just knew college wasn’t right for me. Thank goodness I discovered that too, because instead I had the opportunity to take in and help raise three of the most beautiful babies in the world. I learned what it was (to a small degree) to be a single mom. I still had my parents to help, but I shouldered their care and financial support. Now their family life is more stable and they don’t need me in the same way, but I wouldn’t have missed those years for anything. If I had gotten my desire to go to college I would have missed that joy. Now that I know myself better, I realize I could never have been a doctor. Although I love to help people, I couldn’t have handled the stress and pressure. I don’t have the right personality.
What amazes me looking back however is although I missed out on what I thought were really necessary and important desires, I actually ended up gaining life experiences that were worth way more. Things I didn’t even know to hope and pray for in high school and yet now am so thankful for.
I still find myself hoping and praying for certain things to come true, but I’ve learned that life doesn’t end with the death of a dream. New dreams are born in their place. I suppose some dreams may never die in me. I still hope to someday meet Mr. Right, but for now I’m just grateful that “some of God’s greatest gifts were unanswered prayers”.