giving thanks: unanswered prayer

"Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."
Garth Brooks lyrics

Today's gratefulness photo challenge is an unanswered prayer.  While I'm certain there are a few creative ways I could contrive an allegorical photograph, this doodle - combined with the lyrics from Garth - pretty much sum it all up.
I experienced one of the most painful, difficult rejections of my life during those awkward, formative years where I was struggling to bridge the gap between my teenage years and adulthood.  Granted, that struggle lasted a decade longer than it should have, but that's  another blog altogether...
I remember lying face down on my bed that night, sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow.  My mom sitting beside me, futilely trying to offer comfort through words.  It was truth in love, but it wasn't comfort.  And it wasn't what I wanted to hear.  That this was somehow God's plan, that He had someone and something special planned just for me and this wasn't it.
Oh, how I'd desperately wanted it to be, relentlessly prayed that it would be.  For years. 
Looking back, I'd had such a limited view of God  - and with it, such a limited knowledge and trust in His word. 
Sometimes, I am still that nineteen year old heartbroken girl afraid of trusting her God, shaking her fist over unanswered prayers.  Demanding answers in the face of His silence.
And then I'll have a dream that reminds me of that heartbreak, and of His sovereign grace that was with me even in the darkest moments of my life, and of His word that was true for me at nineteen - and at thirty-six...
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
Yes, one of God's greatest gifts is unanswered prayers, but even greater still are the gifts of His grace that come afterwards... the gifts that make us look back and say, "Thank you, Lord, for that one, unanswered prayer"...
"In our hearts, we can plan our ways,
but the Lord determines our steps."
(Proverbs 16:9)


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