We prayed for all the things people pray for when facing a situation like ours. We prayed for wisdom for the doctors, for God to guide their hands, for protection. We prayed my husband would make it through this complicated, long, and risky surgery. We prayed for a miracle.
And we received it. Doctors found my husband had a giant brain aneurysm . . . before it burst. After many weeks of testing, including putting balloons in to block his carotid artery, they devised a plan for two neurosurgeons to safely clip the aneurysm on top and block off his carotid artery below the aneurysm. This was to all be done during a nearly thirteen-hour brain surgery.
Prayers were answered that day, but it just took some time to see they were not answered in the way we had expected or had fully hoped. That day wasn’t the end of the journey. That day didn’t just come and go, and we weren’t able to move on with our normal existence. It all changed. That day was the beginning of a new normal.
More often than not, life and prayer are not that simple. God is not like some genie in a bottle. We don’t pray for something, get it, and move ahead, forgetting about Him until the next time we need something. Prayer is our way of strengthening our relationship with God. It is ongoing. It is always changing. And it can be hard.
Sometimes we may feel like He isn’t even listening to our prayers. We beg, and we feel He doesn’t care. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our needs are important to Him. Our prayers are important to Him. He is listening when we pray. We must trust He has reasons for the way He is answering our prayers, even though we may not understand those reasons on this side of heaven.
God has a plan even when it doesn’t seem fair to us.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
That day in the big, pink military hospital on top of a hill in Hawaii left us in circumstances that would have us needing His strength every day. At the time, I wasn’t even thinking much past the surgery. Naively, I thought as long as the surgery was a success, as long as he came through the surgery okay and recovered in the hospital, we would be able to continue on with our plans.
The reality was that my husband would have side effects of his brain aneurysm and brain surgery forever. He was left with a lifetime of doctor appointments, scans, tests, and medications. This path would be brutally hard at times, and complete healing has not happened — at least not yet. And it may never come.
But we have received a life journey with God, depending on Him in ways we would have never known any other way.
We have come to learn that life is not all about the healing that we want. It is about living through the trials we are given, learning to be completely dependent on Him. It is not about what we want; it is about what God wants for us. It is not about having an easy life; it is about living a life meant to make us holy.
The cross He has given us to carry is meant to move us toward who He wants us to be.
We don’t need to understand what God is doing. We just need to understand that He is standing with us and He is loving us through.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Pray. Believe prayer is powerful. Invite God in. Hold on tight. Remember that He may answer your prayers more subtly and in ways you don’t expect, but He is keeping you close and definitely answering your prayers.
How can we pray for you?
Here at (in)courage one of our greatest privileges is turning to God together in prayer. Please leave a prayer request in the comments and then pray for the person who commented before you.
Pray. Believe prayer is powerful. Invite God in. Hold on tight. - Jennifer Ueckert: Click To Tweet