I believe in prayer.
I think we get answers to our prayers in three ways:
3. Not yet
This is a true confession so no judging mmmkay?!
(edit: these are kind of silly and light-hearted examples, but I have also had many deep and meaningful prayers answered in deep and meaningful ways as well:)
When my fourth child was born I remember worrying about keeping up with the laundry. I always have endless amounts of laundry. I remember wanting to keep up with the bedding specifically. You know, changing the sheets on the bed. Mainly the crib. I am horrible about bedding. It should be washed way more than it is! I was also worried about my school age children bringing home germs. I remember praying,
"Father in Heaven, please help me remember to change the bedding often. I don't want it to get gross or be a breading ground for germs. Help me to keep my knew baby healthy."
Seems like a simple enough request.
Help me remember to change the bedding.
Well, guess what? My Heavenly Father answered this prayer with a yes. He was like, "I will totally help you get good at changing the bedding." And he gave me a baby that constantly wet through her diapers and had major blow outs. Often. I probably changed the bedding twice a week. It was by far a new record for me.
My personal best.
I got the gold medal in washing bedding.
This lasted for at least a year.
Every time I changed the bedding I knew, God answers prayers.
And maybe he has a sense of humor.
Stay with me as I set the stage for my next answer to prayer:
I am pregnant with my 5th child. Yep, grand old number five! I don' think we are crazy, but crazy people rarely do I suppose. We do love children however, and are thrilled at this new addition.
Keeping my body in shape has been a battle for me since I stopped playing sports in college. Perhaps it is the continuous pregnancies that yo-yo my body between thin and....not. But I give it the old college try. I had finally lost most of my baby weight with number four when I blew out my knee playing...drum roll please.... ULTIMATE FRISBEE! Yeah, I know, you didn't know that sport could get so intense!
Anyhow, I tore my ACL clean in half, broke my knee in several place and also sprained the heck out it. I wish I could say I had scored the winning goal or something awesome, but that is not the case. This injury took my a good long year to recover from and consequently, I gained weight.
I did lose it, but it took another good year and A LOT of hard work and good eating as well as exercise. I was thrilled to become pregnant, but I was also nervous about being able to lose the baby weight again. I know that sounds vain, but I do want to be able to run around with my kiddos. Plus when I feel self conscious about my weight, I become a home body. I don't want to be like that.
So again I prayed:
"Dear, Father, please help me find the motivation to stay active and control my eating habits so I can take care of my body."
I guess this time I was praying for self control.
Would you like to know the answer? God was like, "I can totally help you watch what you eat. I will give you a glucose intolerance (not quite gestational diabetes) and you will have to monitor every little bite you put in your mouth."
I am 36.5 days pregnant and I have started to actually lose weight. Why? Because I had to cut out all sugar. It has taken major amounts of self control, but the health of my unborn child depends on my healthy eating habits and that gives me the strength I need to say no to the super delicious brownies that my husband makes at least once a week.
I won't let the nurses tell me what I weigh, but my doctor commented today, "You have lost a lot of weight." He was worried at first until I reminded him that I was instructed to cut sugar out of my diet. Now I am tempted to look at my little blue card that all my info is kept on to see what I weigh... but really, I don't want to know.
And by the way, I worked out quite intensely until I was 33 weeks pregnant. Something that I never did with any of my previous pregnancies. It made a huge difference in how I felt and how I carried the weight I gained. So really my prayer was answered again.Self control granted motivated by my unborn child's health. I will still have a lot of work to do to get my body back, but hopefully not as much as usual.
One can hope.
What have I learned?
I learned that Heavenly Father answers prayers in his way; not in the way we think He should answer. We might have a grand idea in our mind about how and when and where the Lord should grant us the gifts that we so fervently pray for. But the truth is, we are on God's time table. Sometimes, the answers are yes. Sometimes they are no and sometimes they are not yet.
There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer.
Don’t worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your Father. He hears every prayer and answers it in His way. -Richard G. Scott
I attended a Women's Conference in ST. George a few years back. One of the speakers was famous Christian music singer named Hilary Weeks. She was telling us about a comical adventure of a time she went jet skiing with her family. They wiped out at one point and she watched a pretty pink "something: float to the bottom of the lake. Moments later she realized that "something" was the key to their jet ski. they were stranded. She said she prayed for help know that God would provide. While she waited she had visions of a beautiful big boat coming to their rescue, what interruppted her vision was an old man in a small fishing boat paddling their way. He saved them.
Her point was sometimes we are looking for answers that come in fabulously wrapped packages, when sometimes they come to us in a very humble and simple form.
Makes me think about the birth of baby Jesus. Some people were looking for our Savior to be born to a royal family or in royal conditions at the very least. He was a King after all. He was to liberate his people after all. But instead he was born in the most humble of circumstances.
We may not get grand and glorious answers to prayers. They don't all come wrapped in a bow.
But I promise. All prayers are answered.