There are few moments in my current stage of life where I get some absolute silence and time to myself with no one around (well, almost...the only one around is the 4-legged and 2-legged loves that can't talk yet). Those calm, quiet times are when I feel the Lord's presence the most. I was actually driving in my car tonight and heard a song on the radio that I've only heard a couple of times before. It's called, "Blessings" by Laura Story. You can check out the lyrics here. The basic message of the song is what if all of the disappointments in life are actually God's answers to our prayers that end up allowing us to intimately know Him. Read the lyrics or try and listen to it somewhere online. I was inspired to think about my own list of the lessons God has taught me by not answering my prayer the way I wanted Him to.
But What If...
*The heartache of a breakup of a dating relationship was meant to show me that God's plans for me are far beyond my plans. ("Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...~Ephesians 3:20)
*The loneliness of leaving friends behind and moving to a place where I knew no one was meant to show me that He had good plans for me. ("For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11)
*The years of singleness was meant to show me that my beauty and worth came not from the man standing next to me, but my Creator who lives within me. (Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. ~1 Peter 3:6-5)
*The painful mistakes & imperfections (not going into specifics here) of my husband were meant to show me the beauty of the Lord's forgiveness towards me. (Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. ~Isaiah 54:4-5)
*The pain of waiting for months to get pregnant was meant to teach me that He is trustworthy, faithful, and will not fail me. (I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him...~Lamentations 3:19-25)
*The fear of wondering how I would ever be able to move beyond the uncertainty of infertility and then losing my long-awaited baby. (When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;...since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you...~Isaiah 43:2-4)
*The agony of miscarrying a child was meant to show me that He is loving and compassionate. (Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. ~Lamentations 3:32)
*The feelings of helplessness as I watched my two precious preemies fight for their lives was meant to show me that He is an Almighty God. ("My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." ~2 Corinthians 12:9)
What are your but what ifs?