Monday, April 7, 2014

For the Days When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayers.....the Way You Think He Should

The day we headed for the doctor's office wondering if I was in labor, it was hot and muggy.
By the time we left the hospital with baby in tow, it was fall.

Granted, it was Michigan and the seasons move rather quickly there.......but still.
It wasn't what I'd prayed for.
I'd prayed for a healthy baby, and I hadn't received it.
Instead, I'd delivered a beautiful baby girl with a heart problem.

The doctor said that it should start closing on its own.
He said he'd check her at the six-week mark and was quite hopeful it would be closed by then.
It wasn't.
He said he'd check her at the three-month mark and was quite sure it would be completely healed by then.
It wasn't.
He wanted to see her at six-months, quite positive that it would be normal by then.
It wasn't.
He checked her at the eleven-month mark and it was still open allowing oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to mix freely.
The pressure on her heart constant, hard.
Every time I'd prayed, I'd prayed for healing to come...
And it hadn't.

The doctor said her heart needed to be checked before she reached three years old.
If it was not healed by then, she would need surgery.
In March we went to the pediatrician.
We'd hoped and prayed for this day.
We'd prayed that when he put the stethoscope to her little chest that he would hear the strong pounding of blood flowing properly....
but he didn't.
Instead he heard the constant swishing of the "blue" and red blood swirling inside that tiny heart.
The murmur that told him everything was wrong.
I put on a happy face, but inside I was torn apart.
God had not answered my prayer.....
not the way I thought he should.
God is praised and glorified in miracles!
Why hadn't He done a miracle for me?

As we went quietly home, we wondered what He wanted the next step to be.
In the weeks that followed, we were dealt test after test, trial after trial.
They culminated in one of the hardest nights we've had in a long time.
We prayed for God to remove the problem....
but He didn't.
So we surrendered to Him.
And that night?
We saw Him walk us through the driving, pounding darkness, and come out on the other side at peace.

And that night, I learned a lesson that has been my hope these last few weeks.
He didn't answer my prayers that night the way I wanted Him to, because He knew what was best for me.
He walked through the valley with me.
His presence was felt.

And so we prepare again to enter a shadowy place.
On Thursday we will go to the hospital in the capital city.
We are praying that we will be able to see the heart doctor and get the test done that is needed.
With all my being, I hope he will say that she is healed.
He may.....
but he may not.
I don't want her to have to be cut open....
but he may say she needs it.

I want Him to answer my prayers my way,
but He doesn't have to.
And if He asks me to go through a hard place, a rocky place, a place where I'm completely at His mercy?
Then He'll go with me.
Of that, I am certain.

If you think of it, we would appreciate your prayers as our family heads to Accra this week.
Please pray that the heart doctor will be able to see Lili, that the machine for the test will be working, and that God will give us continued guidance and wisdom as to what should be done for her.
Thank you, friends.


  1. Praying. May the Lord wrap you in His love.

  2. Yes, we will add little Lili to our prayers.

  3. Praying for little Lili! So amazing to see how you are giving God the glory in this trial! Mindy

  4. We love you and will definitely be praying! May God grant you His peace and matter what! *hugs to you*

  5. We are praying for you.
    Love, The Hilliard family

  6. So inspiring, I really enjoy reading this. God Bless! TheFamily

  7. Praying for you and for the Lords direction. Love you! - joanna

  8. Praying for your family, Patty!

  9. Praying for you, Patty! Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, and - most of all - a beautiful spirit and reliance on God.

  10. Praying today for your family. May God continue to show Himself strong in your lives and give you the grace to meet every trial.


    "I'll pray again" that has helped
    On those days.

  12. Praying for you all, Patty. Loving you from across the continent.

  13. Thank you for this beautiful post. God be praised for allowing your eyes to be opened to trust that He has a good plan in answering your prayers differently than you prayed He would. Something happened to me this past summer that reminds me of this; I had begged God to prevent a certain medical calamity from happening. We had no insurance; that was the main thing, and there were many other reasons I had for desperately praying and trusting that God would answer my prayer my way. But He answered it His way. And it happened: I had to trust God for many more miracles than just that "this thing wouldn't happen." And guess what? He performed each miracle necessary that I didn't want to have to trust Him for! And through it all He heard my afflicted cry, poured his love over me, and blessed me in very tangible ways so much more than I could have dreamed or dared to ask for!

    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.