I have come to realize that my life has truly been blessed…made up of a series of “unanswered” prayers. Truly my life has been richer thanks to a loving and all knowing Heavenly Father who has granted blessings for my family and I that we are entitled to…those that will make us stronger, wiser, and ultimately, who we are to become.
Sunday, as part of the lesson on prayer, I was asked to share a time when I was prompted to ask for something in prayer. And…what would I say to someone who feels like his or her prayers have gone unanswered?
President George Albert Smith explained that we should live so near to our Heavenly Father that when we bow before him we may know that the thing we are asking will be pleasing unto him, and if it isn’t granted in the way that we ask it we may know that the blessing will come to us that we are entitled to and that will really be a blessing.
Our first 3 children came so rapidly that the designer and I seemed to be simply trying to catch our breath! My health was very poor by he time the explorer was born…three long and difficult pregnancies. I was physically and emotionally spent. We decided that we must wait until my health improved before we became pregnant again.
Nine months later (about the time I would usually be pregnant), after much inner struggle and frustration, I prayed. Apologizing to my Heavenly Father…that although we were very willing and desirous, that in truth, I was not physically or mentally ready to welcome another sweet soul into our family. I just couldn’t do it. It was a difficult confession and realization.
Warmth came over me as I felt His love and response. He was not upset at me. He loved me and he was simply waiting for me to realize that it was not time…that it was too much for me to handle at that time. He knew my heart and he would help me heal if I would be patient.
2.5 years later, we felt that our family had been greatly blessed, my health had miraculously improved, and we were ready in every way to prepare for another child.
I have been pregnant 3 times since last summer. Unfortunately, no baby to hold.
Much prayer and thought: we are so blessed with these three…maybe this is it…should we keep on trying…or be content with what we have?
The answer has come over and over again: there will be more.
We have no idea how many, when, or how they will come…but they will come.
What a blessing and absolute treasure it is to be a mother and parent. I am now happy and willing to welcome them whenever they arrive.
Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part. Here are 5 things that are helping me heal and endure while I am waiting for the right blessing for our family, and that might, in turn, help others who feel their prayers have gone unanswered:
- Wait upon the Lord (Due Diligence)- One of my favorite scriptures that has helped me through so many waiting periods is Isaiah 40:31 But they that await upon the Lord shall brenew their cstrength; they shall mount up with wings as deagles; they shall erun, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Within the margins I’ve written: self examination, meakness, serve, keep the commandments, and hope. We must do our part. There is much we can do to make the situation ripe for the entitled blessings to be ours. Much like the gardener, we too must prepare the soil, prepare the site for the appropriate amount of sunlight, consider if the seedling and plant will need protection from wind and harsh conditions, and commit to water it regularly, before the blessed seed can grow. This process can be different depending on the blessing we await. Do all that your heart tells you and then pray to know what else needs to be done.
- Pray for those with the blessing you are seeking - One of my best friends became pregnant just before my first miscarriage and she was terrified of a similar fate. In my heart I felt her baby would arrive safely, but I really didn’t know. The only thing I could do was pray. It has been a amazing blessing and healing experience to pray for she and other family and friends that are pregnant or with small children. I found myself desiring to pray for those I barely knew or didn’t know at all. Being able to celebrate the births around me has truly been soothing.
- Pray for those who are also seeking/suffering - You may know others who are courageously enduring a similar trial. Again, praying for others has helped me immensely. If you don’t know of someone with your same challenge or trial, pray to know…or simply ask our Heavenly Father to strengthen others who are suffering as you are. Undoubtedly, He knows who they are.
- Be the answer to other’s prayers - When a best friend (hundreds of miles away) told me of her most recent trial…which she’d actually been enduring for over a decade, my heart broke. How I wished to be there with her…to help she and her children. As I pondered what I could do from so far away…the quiet answer came: serve those around you. And very soon, all around me, I found opportunities to help and lift other’s in their struggles. It is my prayer that others near my dear friend are doing the same for her.
- Become. Allow the experience to refine & strengthen you - One of the most invaluable things I’ve learned is to allow ourselves to be changed, and bettered at the Lord’s hand. Truly, I don’t want to miss out on all the Lord is teaching my family and I. I pray that our family will be closer, kinder, find more joy, and love each other more in the process of becoming all that Heavenly Father has in store for us.