Monday, July 18, 2016

on prayer and feeling forgotten...

Ten minutes.
I sat there for ten minutes, waiting for God to speak. 
It took me ten whole minutes to ask myself what the heck am I doing?

For years, I have been praying the same prayers.  I pray the same prayers because I have not been given an answer, but mostly because I feel the need to remind Him of me. Most of my prayer time is spent trying to remind a God who never forgets. I pray the same things and have the same conversations with Him because I feel like He hasn't heard me. 
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Most of my prayer time is spent trying to remind a God who never forgets...
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So I sat there. I prayed. I cried a little bit. I punched my pillows. I opened my Bible. I shut it. I journaled. I poured myself out. And then I sat there some more. I told Him that I was listening, that I was ready for the answer. I sat in the quiet warmth of my blankets, watching the sun through my window panels, and waited. And after ten minutes, I heard nothing. I heard nothing, I felt nothing. Nothing. And then, I realized, maybe I don't know how to do this. Maybe I don't know how to listen for God. 

But, what does it look like to listen to God? Does it look like sitting in your bed for ten minutes? Or spending a three day retreat up in the mountains? Or having a sudden realization in the middle of your work day? In that moment, I was listening, really listening, and He gave me nothing. No response. Which then makes me feel like He never even heard my heart in the first place. And friends, I expect the "no" always. My heart is familiar with His "no". My heart is familiar with His "yes", of course, but the "no" is much more obvious to my soul. I haven't received that yet. I haven't received the "no". And this whole thing, these ten minutes, led me to the bigger question… When exactly does He speak? When exactly will He answer? Has He forgotten me?

This week I began a small discipleship group with a handful of women at my church. We are all different, so we approach God differently. Monday night, I told them this, that I was feeling unheard, unseen, forgotten, that I have been praying the same general prayer for ten years, and same specific prayer for two years. It was scary to admit, even to some of my close, kindred people, that I felt these things. But, like true sisters, they reminded me that God is a God who sees, who hears, who knows, who remembersI was reminded that He sings over His children, that He is constantly aware, that He is working all things for His good, that He knows and sees and remembers His children.
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God is always tending to our lives...
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Wherever you are, and wherever I am, today and every day, we can rest assured that despite our ramblings and our mess, God hasn't forgotten us. And this is faith, trusting that God hears and sees and is present and active. His vantage point is greater, and I have to trust that. God is always tending to our lives, always listening, always aware. He hasn't forgotten your 2AM prayers, the ones about wanting a baby or a husband or a job or a healing to take place; He is there when we are on our knees, when we are at end of ourselves, when we are hurting and weary and completely at a loss when it comes to all the things. He hasn't forgotten, that is just not who He is. He is a God of presence and of the present, amen?

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