One-Stop-Shop Prayer

Last night I found out that two of my favorite people in the world are moving far away from me. I won't go into how deeply this information cut into my heart. I will say that as I type this post, I am still watery eyed with emotion and trying to recover from the two and a half hour bawling session I had in bed after they broke the news and left. I know I'm going about this like an infant. I don't care. When it comes to love, I fall hard, and I smacked myself good with this couple from the moment they entered my life. I fell in love instantly. You know how once every three decades or so there is that person, or that couple, that just gets you? Those people who share your same dorky obsessions and humor and tastes for life and God. Those people who both you and your spouse get along with (which almost never happens)? Well that is the couple I will soon be loving from a distance that feels bigger than the universe.

But the thing is, I asked for it. God even prepared me, but I still feel like I got the wind kicked out of me. I still cried when they told me, and I still ache for them even though they haven't even left yet. No matter how much preparation we are given, we sometimes get caught in a wave of desperation and cry out in sadness or anger or confusion. And that's okay. It's what makes us human. It's one of the ways we know we need God, because it's gonna take the kind of comfort only He can give to get us through the night. And it's gonna take God to remind us that sometimes, we asked for our own heartbreak. Now I'm not saying God wants to cause us heartbreak or pain, so don't send me hate comments just yet. I promise God is still the superhero in this tale. What I'm saying is, His intention wasn't to break my heart, but in order to answer my prayers, separation has to come. And that is where my heart gets broken; being separated by several states from someone I love.

In a pathetically desperate cry to my savior to rescue my saddened heart, I asked God why he bothered introducing these people into my life if he was just going to take them away. It seems like a pretty stupid plan to me. I mean, I'm not God, so I'm just throwin' this out there, but isn't that kind of like giving a little kid a puppy, then once they've got it trained to bring them cookies and milk and do their homework and give them advice about those mean kids at school, you send another little kid to his house to take the puppy away and say it's best for the dog? Cause that's exactly what happened. Just when we perfected the art of friendship, God told me it was best for my friends to move closer to their family. He knew they could help bring all those prayers I'd sent His way into fulfillment. So like I said, sometimes, we ask for our own heartbreak.

Since the first day I met the woman of this fantastic duo, I've asked God to heal her body. To give her satisfaction and fulfillment. To break through her bitterness and help her see how very much she is loved and appreciated. I asked for Him to strengthen our bond and help our friendship be a source of strength. I also asked that I would be the kind of friend she needs, not the kind of friend I need. I wanted all this from one prayer. From one relationship. It was a 'One-Stop-Shop Prayer'. I wanted God to do all those things within the walls of my abilities and understanding. I expected that what was best for her was me. That what was best for her health was to stay in Tulsa with my friendship at arms reach. That all she needed to get through her issues was the relationship we share. But that's not how we're supposed to pray. We aren't supposed to put limitations on God. Why would we even want to? Can you fathom how much better His solutions are than ours?

As I was crying, my heavenly Daddy revealed to me that, gasp!, He cares for my friends and family just as much as I do. And more. Let me say that again in case you started daydreaming during that last sentence: God cares just as much as you do, and infinitely more, about your loved ones. When you pray for your family and friends, God isn't just thinking, 'Oh, that's so sweet of you to think of them.' He is listening. Making provisions. Bringing the plans He already has for them into action. He is answering your prayers. And He is doing it with their best interest in mind, not the interest you had in mind when you thought the plan out in your head as you were saying those controlling words padded with scripture. He is healing them with His authority, not ours. His.

After I stopped crying from sadness, bless my husband's heart, I started crying from overwhelming joy. I was so happy because Daddy showed me that my friend will not only be getting healthy like she needs, she'll be surrounded by so much more love and support than I could ever give while she does. Also, her and her husband have an amazing business opportunity that's exactly what they've dreamt about since their marriage began. Hmmm...sounds like some satisfaction and fulfillment coming their way to me. She even went home for a visit recently and definitely felt the love, support and appreciation from her family that she needs, and in letting God work His miracles, answering every aspect of my prayers and giving me strength, I have become the kind of friend she needs too...the kind that lets her go. Had my prayer request been fulfilled my way, my friends would still be living near me, letting me rub my friendship potion all over their lives. We would get to remain close, and the healing would have come, but that's all. Because God knows what's in their best interest, and it's not JUST to get healthy or see a breakthrough. It's to receive miracles!

So as I sit, anxious to see all the great things God has in store for my friends, I wonder where I ever got the idea that I could pray one giant prayer, with a million requests, and have God answer it with only one miracle. He could do it. But He desires to do so much more. He isn't in the convenience store business, offering up answered prayers through simple, one step miracles. He is in love with us, offering up His grace, for an intricate plan with many, many miracles. I am teary eyed again, aching with joy, as I thank Daddy for showing me He still answers prayers. Even mine. Even yours. Even when they aren't answered the way we think is best. And even when it hurts to accept. The point is, He answers.