Have you ever avoided a topic because it scares you? You scroll quickly, quickly, past that article, lest it catches your heart and you’re forced to read. You nod politely when someone brings it up, but don’t let yourself delve deeper.
That was me on the subject of unanswered prayers.
For so long I thought the lesson was surrender. Peace, peace, deep inner peace for all the unanswered prayers.
But really my heart was bleeding. God, do you hear me? Where is my healing? Where is this persistent widow’s answer?
These thoughts would swirl, faster, faster, in my mind until I caught them. Forced them into that place where I don’t look. Take captive every thought…
But the place grew deeper, and my sadness lengthened.
Where is my healing, Lord?
One morning, on a prayer walk with my husband, I was so filled with tears. I’m alone, I pray. I feel unseen, unheard. By you, by everyone.
I share my pain with friends, family, but it feels like no one cares. Does anyone see me? Can anyone else sense me drowning?
In desperation, I pray: God, send me someone who will see me. Who will understand my hurt, my pain. Who can help me carry this burden.
If I had been in my right mind, I wouldn’t have prayed this prayer. It didn’t serve others, only me. It was frivolous, unnecessary even. But I was in pain, hurting. My mind wasn’t right. It was desperate. So I prayed this prayer.
That very afternoon after my desperate prayer, I get a message from a friend. Someone I hadn’t spoken to in months: How are you?
And I knew. I knew this was an answer to my pray. I immediately knew, this person sees me. They’ve seen my pain in the past. We’ve cried together. We’ve mourned our losses together, hers greater than mine even.
And so I tell her. In a way I hadn’t been able to express to anyone else how I’m really doing. The heartache and the despair behind every step, every breath.
And she sees me.
And it’s only later that I remember to thank God. He answered my prayer.
And I think of all the unanswered prayers and how they suddenly pale in comparison to this one, clear, answered prayer.
And I feel the ice around my heart melting away, the bitterness that had dug a void in my mind, finally clearing.
He answered my prayer, He hears me. I am not alone.