When All Else Fails….

This has been a trend lately, but God has been teaching me something big recently.  I am thankful that He loves me SO MUCH that he has surrounded me with faithful and loving followers who teach His Word, love me, and help me to remove the boulders from my eyes and heart.

I have been a Christian for over 25 years, and I have matured in many ways.  Yet prayer has always been a “thing” for me.  What do I mean?  Well, first I have always had NO problem praying for others – I pray with a full heart and full knowledge that Jesus hears me and blesses the person I am praying for.  Yet, when it comes to praying for ME, it is more of an insurance policy I guess.   Or something to do “when all else fails”.  And I’ve come to realize that, when I WOULD pray for myself or my circumstances, I would not really believe that it “would stick” and that I still needed to fret about the issue, or try to fix the issue.  Or I would pray because, well that’s what Christians are supposed to do.  It’s our tradition.  I’m not proud about this, but it’s true.

Recently, my church installed a Prayer Box, a beautifully constructed and ornate container where all of our prayers can be placed.  We have little, anonymous sheets of paper to write our request on.  I thought it was a great thing to do for our congregation, although given my admissions above, I wasn’t sure it would impact me significantly.  And that’s when God took over (and, I have to admit, He has been working on my life in other areas that have been significant as well).

You see, as life would have it, there was a pretty darn significant problem Deana and I were facing.  One that followed me around, that caused me to lose sleep, that made me think I could not succeed.  It was like a black cloud that was always present, always threatening to pour out the most devastating strorm upon me and my family.  I had mentioned this issue to a few close friends at church, I had prayed to the Lord about it, and yet the cloud remained and the cycle continued without anything changing – including progress on the issue itself.

Then a week ago Sunday, my church held a special Bible Study on prayer and we were also called to write down our prayers.  As the congregation placed those prayers in the Prayer Box – myself included – the congregation came together and collectively prayed for those requests.  In my heart nothing changed – I went through the motions and even convinced myself for the thousandth time that “this time it (my actions and the subsequent outcome) was going to be different”.

And that’s the crux of this post…….something WAS different!  I didn’t notice it right away, but little things started throwing me off.   I got a sense of dropping soething at church, losing something of importance.  I would pat my pocket – nope, got my phone.  Did I leave the keys at church?  No, they’re in my purse.  This went on that day……little panic moments of  “oh my gosh, do I have this?” or “do I have that?”.  Hard to explain, but the rest of Sunday was like that.

I went on with my day and soon came down with the flu, which really knocked me out.  This would usually throw me in a horrible cycle, because I am a workaholic and missing work is stressful to me.  But I told work I needed to heal because a big project was beginning later in the week.  Deana looked at me like I was this crazy person that had had my body snatched by aliens.  I remember laying in bed thanking God for the peace that surrounded me, something that I truly loved but often I didn’t allow to envelope me as I filled the mote around me with stress and anguish.  I basked in that for two days, refusing to try to recover from the flu AND work and thanked God that I was not fired on the spot.  🙂

I know this doesn’t SOUND like a miracle, but it was…….

Anyway, that’s when the proverbial “dun dun dun” music jumps in.  I get a call from Deana and she says that “the issue” that had plagued us beyond measure and that could have had such devastating results on our life had been resolved…..and more perfectly than even I (the so-called perfectionist) could have orchestrated.  The words she spoke did not register at first……they were almost spoken in a different language as the facts sunk into my thick skull……..

And then it hit me, the thing that I “had lost” and was subconsciously looking for since having left church the Sunday before.  You see, during the prayer session at church, the request I had placed in the Prayer Box was that this issue would no longer rule my life and that it would be resolved.  Simple, clear, and at the time I wrote it, seemingly impossible.  So YES, Jesus answered that prayer PERFECTLY.  IT WAS RESOLVED!  But the BIGGER blessing for me is still like a resounding bell surrounding me…….

For, I can honestly say I didn’t worry about “the issue” after church, the next day……it had left me like a cell phone that had been left on a table in the rush to get to work.  It had left my heart and mind in such a way that I felt like a piece of me had been pulled out, but in such a way that I just couldn’t place my finger on it.  And the Peace that filled its place was so POWERFUL it was like a blanket on a freezing night or a seatbelt on a roller coaster.

My Lord loves me enough that He taught me that there is perfection in GIVING things to Him.  He taught me I can pray to him and not hold onto the thing(s).  He taught me He loves me enough that he REALLY DOES hear me, and I don’t have to act like He is one of my friends who have their own lives and concerns and worries, and He  REMEMBERS me.  Ah, this list goes on and on.

Am I “totally fixed” today?  I am not sure.  I fear that I will regress to the “doubting Gina” that goes through the motions again.  Yet, God is teaching me that fear really has no place in my life.  Can I grow in this area?  Absolutely!  But I can tell you this with full confidence – I am learning, and I am not alone!  Jesus is my wingman and I am on a glorious journey!

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