I have been thinking about the power of prayer lately... why we pray, how we should pray...
The power of prayer can't be that it changes His heart; don't we believe He already loves us infinitely? He already wants only goodness and mercy to follow us, all the days of our lives.
I believe the power of prayer is that it changes our hearts. It changes us. It removes scales from our eyes; it focuses us on the things that truly matter.
We have a lot of desires bombarding us. Desires that we think we want, that we are told we should want. At the core of the first temptation in the history of the human race, when the snake whispered to Eve, was a desire she was told she should have... "Don't you want to be like God?"
These desires are distractions that confuse us from knowing ourselves and what lies burning at the bottom of our hearts. What was planted there by Him, to lead us to the peace that passes understanding.
Prayer sifts through the noise and confusion.
I have been praying so hard for my husband for so long now. As you know, he went to seminary his junior year of college, and got his undergrad degree at a "pontifical college" in History and Philosophy. When he left seminary, he didn't wait a second in making me fall in love with him. He bought me a ring a year later and we were married as soon as possible. ON TOP of all of that, my husband cried tears of joy when I told him we had an accidental honeymoon pregnancy. I never heard a word of complaint or regret from him. He was so generous with himself.
Jason and Baby Will in our old apartment
The following 5 years were good, and hard. My husband has tried so hard to catch up to his peers. He was already set back by seminary, when his peers were majoring in accounting and engineering and other career-oriented majors; and when you add on top of that getting married at 25 and having his first child the next year... it seemed at times he could never catch up.
He has cheerfully walked out that door every morning to conquer the world for me and for our family.
He has come home exhausted and frustrated and worried that he won't be able to do it. I have held his hand and prayed with him; I have texted him scripture verses of hope in God. I have reminded him over and over and over again: "God is never outdone in generosity." I believed that God would never let Jason suffer for the rest of his life because he gave his first fruits to God.
But there were a lot of moments I worried too, and my prayer of trust would become
"Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."
I believe you love us, I believe you want to bless us beyond measure, help my unbelief.
A couple weeks ago, God literally dropped a job for Jason in his lap. A job that uses all the things he has been loving at his current job and couldn't get enough of; a job at a very prestigious consulting firm that can provide him with a concrete career track - with the ability to look to the future and work toward real promotions and professional goals.
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to God as I watch my husband go through this. He is still kind of in shock that this is actually happening. But the papers have been signed, the hands shaken, the notice given. It is happening.
It truly is about adventuring and experiencing new challenges as a family, not making a lot of money. We won't be making more at all for a while, in fact, since we will be paying the student loans from the MBA ourselves (one of the reasons we were begging God and working hard to get Jason a new job, before his boss paid a dime of those loans).
But it definitely opens so many doors for Jason and for our family.
"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4
"Look to God that you may be radiant with joy" - Psalm 34
"I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." John 10:10
These are all scripture verses I was claiming for my husband. But I was open that God's will sometimes looks different than we think it should.
I started the year asking God - as I am reminded by just reading my last post on here! - for more. For greater challenges, for bigger opportunities to love and grow. Asking Him to Make Things Happen in our lives.
Since then, God opened the door in January for Will to go to the cutest little Catholic preschool with one of his best friends.
They just called and said a little boy had moved away, and if we still wanted to, we could come in ahead of the wait list! It has been such a joy to watch him there, and it immediately took away the feeling that each week was dragging by. Will's happiness and contentment on a regular basis skyrocketed when he started this little school program.
His teachers love him. He loves his classmates. It is a perfect fit!
I met two awesome young moms in my neighborhood - who both run! - and each have two kids around the same age as mine. [This is a big deal cause our neighborhood is chock full of old folks haha]. Hannah and Bekah are both lovely Christians and super athletic, so that is fun :). We went for a run together before the arctic blast that hit NC lol... and we are planning on meeting up once a week.
I just feel like ever since I started praying that prayer - for a year of more - it has blown my mind how God has not stopped giving me opportunities for rising to the challenge. All I have had to do, literally, is say "Yes!"... Yes Will (and I) are ready; yes I want to come to your house; yes lets go for a run together; yes, I want to get to know you too... yes, thank you for sharing some of your heart and time with me.
Is it really only about opening up? Giving God that open door, that open heart, those open hands?
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11What father among you would hand his son a snake
12Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
13If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11)
I know I sound giddy with excitement right now; I do know that the going will get tough. Jason's new job will involve a good amount of travel and some long hours. And for he who is given much, much will be required (Luke 12:48). So there is that pressure. :)
But... wow, God is good. He truly, truly is. I just need a moment - like you see in the Psalms! - of gushing with praise for Him... for His goodness to us, for His undeserved love to my family, for His mercy, and His plans for our future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thank you for your prayers for us. So many of you have told me you were praying, have encouraged me when I needed it. I am so grateful. I hope that whatever you are praying for right now, God will show you the desires of your hearts. Quickly!