“Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much for giving my kid this moment of joy.” Tears of thanks rolled down my cheeks as I thanked God for a fish. Yes. A fish. Actually, three fish. One caught by each of my sons while out on a charter with their dad. (Charters are a dad/son tradition on vacation. I take myself on a mini adventure while they’re trolling away on Lake Michigan.:)
Finally, a “yes” answer to prayer!
I had been praying for the last fisherman to be blessed just as the “Mike got one!” text came through. (Gotta love technology. Communication from nowhere to nowhere! The guys were somewhere on west bay and I was somewhere between Traverse City and sleeping bear dunes. Amazing.)
Suddenly, the joy switch flipped to anger. ( I didn’t even know they could do that. Maybe I’m just special.) “a yes for a fish??? What about all the prayers to heal Kyle’s cancer? What about a yes to my husband growing old with me? I get an instant yes to a fish and silence for their dad being with them without constant pain? Someday being a grandpa? Are you serious?”
I’m not gonna lie. My conversation with God went downhill from there. The happy tears turned to hot, anger, fear and grief filled tears. I sounded a bit like Lot’s wife minus the curse God and die part. Dying is what we’d like to avoid. Duh. I pulled over to get myself together. I’d like to say that as I did, a voice from heaven spoke encouraging words of hope and promise. Not so much. Just more quiet.
In the quiet, I noticed something. I noticed that I needed that good ugly messy cry. I felt some knot of pent up emotion unfurl as I did. I got back on the road feeling like when the sun comes out after a good rain. Kind of drippy but warming up from the heart out.
Back on the road, the same questions were still rolling around in my head: “why? Why not? Why can’t you? Why wouldn’t you? Why aren’t you? Why don’t you?” Hitting my blinker to merge back on the road (I’m careful like that.) I realized something: I got a yes. In a moment of prayer, I had an answer. A yes. Apparently, God is listening.
I don’t have answers to my questions, or yes’s to my most heart wrenching prayers, but more than a good cry or a fish, I needed to be reminded that He hears. Even here. When the cancer is sucktastic. When I’m pitching a fit. When I’m crazy and joyous and angry all at once.
That’s a much bigger answer to prayer than “just” a fish. God can be like that. Sometimes he gives what you need, hidden in, or instead of what you want. But what you need? What I need anyway- Is usually more important.
Now that I know he’s listening again, (I’m pretty sure I was feeling like he hadn’t been listening, so I kinda stopped bothering to ask. Which, was all subconscious. Just sayin. I didn’t even know.) I’m praying and asking more. I won’t stop asking. I may or may not get the yes I want most. But, I know this: I need to tell God how I’m feeling. All of it. I also need his help to handle the “nos” and “not nows” and the silence. Cause honestly? I suck at that.
Dear lord thank you for the gift I found in those fish. Thank you for answered prayer when I like the answer and when I dont. More than that thank you for listening even when I think you’re not. In Jesus name amen
Ps: please lord heal my husband. I won’t stop asking… Amen.