There was something that I thought was of God. Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly. It was as if it was divinely appointed. Because I know it is important, I did seek counsel from friends and mentors. When they offered advice that contradicted my idea, I dismissed it, saying they were too far from the situation to understand. Arrogant? Oh, yeah.The path before us was clear, free of major obstacles. I sent an email to several intercessors. “Would you please join me in praying that God’s plan is made clear to us?” Doesn’t that sound so nice and pious? A wonderful, “Thy will be done” prayer, don’t you think?
Imagine my shock when God’s will seemed to be the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be. When He seemed to be clearly saying that my plan was not, in fact, His plan for us.For nearly a week, I struggled, trying to reconcile what had happened with my preconceived notion of what God was going to do. I couldn’t accept that God’s will wasn’t my will, and so I fought. As the week went on, my lack of peace increased. “Why, Father? I don’t understand. What are You doing?”
My prayers continued to be demanding and arrogant. I started doubting what the Holy Spirit was obviously putting in front of me. Scripture I was reading, conversations I was having… I didn’t want to see.Oh, but our God is so patient and merciful! As awful as the sleepless nights and unsettled feelings were, they were exactly what I needed to finally wear myself out to listen. And what I heard the Holy Spirit saying hurt.
You didn’t want people to pray for clarity. You wanted them to pray that God would confirm your plans. You didn’t pray Thy will be done, but MY will be done. You aren’t upset and unsettled about the answer, but that God didn’t do what you told Him to.
Ouch. It had sounded all pious to ask others to join me in praying that the Holy Spirit would guide us, but that wasn’t really what I wanted. What I really was praying was that the Holy Spirit would ‘sign off’ on what I’d already decided. Not, I will follow where You lead, but Hey, I’m going over there, wanna come?Yesterday Carlos and I had a long talk about all of this. And then, together we prayed, confessing our sin and arrogance in saying My will be done, instead of Thy will be done. We praised God for answering our prayer in His way, not in ours. And, with renewed hope, we asked Him to help us trust in Him completely.
We feel so blessed that God allowed us to go through this struggle together. To be able to share tears and disappointment and have truth spoken. We praise God for teaching us how to better share our hearts with each other – and Him. Once again I am humbled by the gift of this marriage I never imagined I wanted or needed!And now? Well, we’re still not sure about what will happen, but we have been reminded that God is in control. And, His invitation is to trust Him in the midst of the confusion. There is a peace knowing that God’s will is being done. That while, at times, He allows my missteps and folly, He will not permit His plans to be thwarted.
We have learned (again!) that prayer is powerful. It works. Not in our way, but in God’s way. The next time I ask for intercession, I hope I will do so with true openness. Openness to learning more of the heart of our loving Father. Openness to pray with all my heart Thy will be done!