November 25, 2017

Are you there?

So even after all these years of blending our families, Shawn and I still don’t have this marriage thing all figured out. There are times when we struggle with trust issues. Trust is one of—if not—THE MOST important foundation of a healthy marriage, yet one so hard to build after it has eroded.

We still struggle monthly, weekly, daily—even by the hour at times— trusting one another, trying to heal from the trust that has been broken—and often times its not even by the person in front of us.

So we found ourselves on that path again last night, and what could have—and should have—been a relatively easy conversation . . . turned into a fear driven insecurity fest. One of us defending . . . one accusing . . . neither one healing. We were getting nowhere, and fast.

Soon, I gave up and shut down—all the while sitting in my silence, wishing he would just see the truth. I took a break from my frustrations and said a little prayer—at first asking God to change Shawn’s heart, help him to see things MY way.

After my prayer I secretly waited and hoped for the apology I felt I deserved, but soon I found myself telling him all the reasons I loved him—all the things I—had and—was always going to do to protect our marriage, and then asked him if he ever prayed for clarity when trust issues were clouding his view.

He said, “It doesn’t really matter anyway . . . God doesn’t ever hear me. He doesn’t answer MY prayers.” There it was. His fear was that God not only didn’t answer his prayers, but He didn’t even hear them.

A statement I knew in my heart was a lie.

I looked into his big blue eyes and said, “So I want you to think about something . . .
For the past few months Bostyn has been begging for a hamster. And for months we have been saying no. Once Christmas lists started being made—talk of the hamster only increased. It was the only thing she wanted for Christmas. She even spent hours researching facts about hamster breeds and their care—and presented her case in an informal debate against you. Even after all of that . . . we still said no. But then she just kept asking and asking and asking. Each moment of begging, breaking you down a little more until yesterday you went out and bought her an early Christmas present and had it all set up to surprise her when we got home. Not because you wanted a hamster, but because you listened to a little girl who you finally saw as ready for the responsibility— and the blessing— of owning her own pet.

I don’t think prayer is much different. Not that we have to break Heavenly Father down . . . but we do have to show him our willingness to work hard, research, look at all the options, and consistently show him that we are humble enough to keep asking for what we want—and that we have righteous desires we know He can help us achieve. But we can’t do any of it without His help.

And just like us—He is a parent who wants to help His children find happiness. And though I don’t know that buying Bostyn a hamster makes us good parents, . . . I do know that today we listened to one of her desires. But how many times did she have to tell us how important it was to her—before we really took her seriously? 100? If you want answers . . . or blessings, or to overcome struggles, you have to keep asking. He might not send the answer the first 10 or 100 times you ask . . . but I know when you are ready, He will bring you the answers you need to feel peace.”

Prayer is real. It is a direct communication we can have with our Creator. It is a gift we were given way before we came here. And it is—without a doubt—a two-way conversation. So if you have tried it—and didn’t hear back, don’t give up just yet. You might have a few more times to try before your true humility shows through.

Prayer is not something we can do with the expectation of a certain outcome—it is an act of faith that we perform to show God we trust His timing, and we need His help. It is an act of humility—letting go of any pride that we think we can do this life on our own.

Fear is the opposite of faith. Trust issues are fears—of the past and future—brewed together creating chaos. The antidote to fears of the past and future—is faith in the present—faith in the plan that got you here.

So make today count—and never stop asking God for His hand in your life. It might just surprise you what path He has in store . . . to lead you back to Him.

Happy Thanksgiving from our crew (that are all growing way too fast)...


Lucy said...

Oh yes: trust is a big deal here too.
Once again: you're so inspiring, so talented to touch our souls.
Never stop! The world needs you.
Many thanks from Belgium!

JPease said...

You have it right, we need to do our part to get answers and blessings!

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