The Answer to Prayer That I Still Don’t Understand–Prayer Series, Part 4
This is the fifth and last part of the series on Prayer. This is a repost of an article that appeared earlier.
It was a sultry August day in the San Fernando Valley. Perfect pool weather. We puffed air into the inflatable kiddy pool and let the hose run til the water was splashing deep. A couple of wind-up fishies and frogs, and we were set. A precious 3 year-old little girl had come into our lives, and we could hardly wait to have fun with her.
We had waited nearly a year to meet her. We had seen her picture and prayed that the Lord would place her in our family. We were on the threshold of our second adoption. And we were trusting that the Lord had opened the door.
Splashing in the pool, reading books, cuddling while watching a Disney movie, ice skating, and church. Before we knew it, the initial weekend visit had blown by. Sadly, we drove her back to her foster home because parental rights had to be terminated by the courts before she could move in permanently. With arms wound tightly around my neck and fingers locked tightly in place, this joyful girl refused to let go of me as we sat on the floor of her foster home. We promised to return the following weekend and do it all again.
At least that was the original plan. It was a month of filled to the brim active weekends–dolls and books, games and puzzles, prayers and sweet bedtime kisses, and always ice skating. Then the next court date came and everything changed. It was more like a divorce proceeding. We could see the precious one every other weekend and on Wednesdays. The foster mother was given the joy of having her on alternate weekends.
We continued to pray and pursue what we believed was the Lord’s direction for us. Taking hope to heart, we treasured our times together. Psalty song tapes ringing music through the car’s tight space, trips to the Museum playing the role in a fireman’s uniform, feet reaching for the tree tops at the park as she swung through the air, wide-eyed wonder wandering through the County Fair, blowing out candles on her birthday cake with newly made friends, and skating.
Tension grew between the foster mom and us. Hot words flew across the room. She did not want to lose the precious one she had taken care of since birth. But she had never considered adoption–until now Court battles ensued. Psychological evaluations (four of them) and emotional bonding issues pitted the foster mother against us.
After five months of praying, pleading with the Lord and the county department of children’s service, the doubt began to rise in my mind. And nausea took up residence in my stomach.
Weakly, I questioned my husband, “Should we really continue to pursue this adoption? I feel as if the child is being tortured!”
“We must for her sake,” my husband said. “She needs to know that someone will stay there in her life.”
The excitement dimmed and the worry grew brighter. Four months later, the courts declared that the emotional bonding with the foster mother was substantial enough to warrant leaving our precious little girl in that home.
As soon as we were in our car, the tears ran in rivulets down my face.How could this be happening, I wondered. We prayed, friends prayed, family members prayed, churches prayed.
“Why did the Lord answer all of those prayers with a ‘No”?” I questioned.
I never got an answer. Neither did my husband. But one year later, the Lord slipped a blond, blue-eyed 5 and 1/2 year-old little boy into our lives. And life was filled with excitement and moments to share love again. The courts–no problem there. He was living in our home in less than one week.
Why did God say, “No”.
The pastor of our church recently spoke on prayer. And he gave a couple of reasons why God might say, “No”:
- Unconfessed sin in our lives could initiate that response (Psalm 66:18)
- Asking with wrong motives (mainly selfish intent) (James 4:3)
- When a “No” answer to our prayer will honor God more than a “Yes” (2 Corinthians 12:7)
Continue to search the Scriptures for more on prayer and read recommended books on prayer such as Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore, How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer by John Wesley, or Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 53:8&9 NIV
This post is part of a series on Prayer that was published before. This is a repost.
It was hard to write about this objectively and keep it short. My emotions wanted to scream out the pain I felt then.
But it is true that God has blessed us with another wonderful son! That must have been His plan all along.
Wish I had put some more time into discerning what other authors have come up with for when God says, “No.”
This brings back a flood of memories and makes me cry. I didn’t have an answer then and I still do not have an answer. All I know is that God is Sovereign. I’m not so sure if any of your 3 reasons fit this situation, but I do know that God blessed you with another wonderful son!
Wow what a story you told. I have adopted 2 children and cannot imagine the pain you must have gone through. I just finished writing a post on prayer. Sometimes I hesitate to pray because I don’t want to commit to God’s answer. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you for your precious comment that encourages me to pursue this leading in my life now. The Lord has blessed me through your beautiful words.
You have always been the angel in my life who has inspired me and led me closer to God. Your wisdom, and eloquent sharing continue to make me grow. I thank the Lord for you, your talent, and your willingness to share.
Oh, Janis! How heartbreaking! I am so sorry you and your wonderful husband had to go through that. I am glad you were blessed with your son.
I must confess, I have more unanswered questions than answers, myself. *Hugs*
Thanks, Jennifer. You’ve become a real friend in this online world.
The Lord does bring good out some painful circumstances. And we are so grateful for our younger son as well as our older one.
From My Heart to Yours,