I was paging through my prayer journal this week, which always proves an interesting perusal. I do it every once in awhile, and it’s always fascinating and painful and bittersweet and wonderful and just…good. It’s good to see where I was, to see how my needs have been met, to be reminded that I am being cared for, that my prayers are important, and that they are heard.
But they are reminders, too, of my pain. Those prayers are some of my most raw and honest writing, words I hope no one will ever see. They are so personal and so ugly and so desperate, and they are so often born of sheer hopelessness. They are, I admit, often a last resort, because I hate feeling weak enough to need to pray.
In one of my weaker moments, when the decision to quit teaching seemed less, Yes, this is clearly the path I must take and more,What the hell have I just done?!, when I was frantic about losing my adulthood identity and feeling all sorts of pressure to do what everyone else wanted me to do, I opened up my prayer journal and poured my heart out to God.
I felt like quitting teaching was right. Even though I loved doing it and I think I was pretty good at it (read: bossy), I felt like it was time to move on. But move on to…what? We didn’t have a family that I could focus on like our other 30-something-year-old friends did. (We cannot have children of our own—I’ve written many an angry prayer to God about that one.) I couldn’t (and still can’t) drive myself anywhere. So my prospects seemed rather dim. And yet…quitting just felt right. Confusing, but right.
Like going through a door.
So, in my desperation, I just…wrote. I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote—I wrote four pages that night, all of them full of confused, desperate, jumbled words. I didn’t even really know what I was praying for, to be honest. It was as if my very soul were praying. (My mind had nothing to do with it, save the task of controlling my pen.) The words just fell out of me. I asked for an outlet for my bossy love. I asked for true connection. And I asked for love reciprocated.
And I reread those this week, and I was shocked and amazed, because that confused, desperate, jumbled prayer had been answered, because I became a foster mom mere days after I prayed those words.
True connection. Love reciprocated. An outlet for my bossy love.
And I got all three.
God is good.