Earlier today I opened my Facebook app and the first post that hit me was a picture of a woman I admired all through my adolescence and teenage-hood. I never got as close enough as I would’ve liked to share my admiration, but from afar I actually loved her and all she represented in her family, career and life in general. I’d tell myself then that if I got married, I wanted it to be as special as what she and her husband had. Their love was that palpable when you were around them.
Only thing now was that the post I saw today was from her husband, wishing her a posthumous happy birthday because two years ago we lost her to cancer.
Herself and her husband use to teach me in children’s church when I was an adolescent, her husband was also really close to my mum so they’d come to our house every now and again. A few years post their wedding, I never saw a little one with them and soon I started to hear my mum pray for them when we gathered for corporate prayer at home.
It was through this couple that I learnt and believed that when you love someone, you’ll pray for them. It’s almost reactive. Love will push you to pray.
It was only a matter of days before I adopted them into my personal prayer points, daily. As young as I was, and up until the moment I heard she died, I would mention her and her husband and I’ll pray God open her womb and bless them with a child. What they had was honestly so special, I imagined how blessed the child would be to be surrounded with that height of love.
For over 10 years, they stayed in my prayer journal and on my mind, even when I moved away and stopped talking to them completely, they were constants in my heart and on my lips to God, so imagine the numbness I felt the day I saw an obituary post, carrying her face and name.
I don’t think I ever sat to think through my feelings or mourn her, but today I did and I found myself asking Abba; “what happens to the prayer requests that never get answered ?”, because Lord knows, I prayeddddd for her.
God simply said “a father always responds to His child’s request”. Emphasis on always.
So I thought “then what was your response?“, cause she died, and she died without a child.
God then reminded me of the little girl they adopted a few years before she died, God reminded me of the admiration and love I had for her and her home, then He also reminded me of my persistence and resilience to pray, year in, year out for them, up until her death.
None of these is a child, but all of these are responses to my prayer request.
The little orphan who had no one to call family suddenly entered a home of love, even though short lived. My heart as a young girl was pruned to see and desire healthy and godly love as I saw in them, in spite of their predicament, and finally, I noted it as the prayer request that had stayed the longest in my journal and on my heart, teaching me persistence and endurance.
Suddenly I started to get excited. Excited that the response didn’t come in the package that I wanted, but it came nonetheless. With my lens adjusted, I could see the blessing of her life, in life and also in death.
I’m convinced further that a father always responds to his child’s request. I’ll probably always mourn her never having a child, but in same breathe I’ll remember all these other blessings that came with her life.
It could sting when answers to our prayers don’t come in the package that we want, but if we stay open, we’ll see the response of God through it all, and even though it is not the answer we want, it is comfort to the hurting heart and produces absolute trust in the faithful father who knows and gives the best gifts.