I love Sunday mornings. I love waking up and realizing I don’t have to immediately get out of bed and rush out to work. I love wandering down to the kitchen and making a real breakfast and drinking my entire cup of tea.
Sitting at the kitchen table I read the words from 1000 Gifts. Words prompting me to give thanks in all circumstances, to devote myself to prayer, to sacrifice myself for others.
I remember the previous night, sitting in my bedroom in tears over a multitude of issues. Angry and frustrated, I tell God that I won’t pray. I’m tired of praying. I’m tired of asking for grace. I’m tired of “unanswered” prayers. I won’t ask for strength or grace to confront these issues.
Sunday morning sitting in church, I am broken. I approach him with a simple plea for help, Lord, I need someone to invest in me – I need it now – I’m so alone.
Not even half an hour later, someone I had met a few months ago approaches me, “Caitlin (they remembered my name?), did you ever get my email? (No?) We’d love to have you over for dinner sometime. Can I get your number?”
The night before, I had refused to bring that request to God. I chose to wallow in self-pity and misery instead of seeking the face of the one who cares more about me than anyone else in the world. The one who is already investing in me and loves me. Even in that moment, when I couldn’t bring myself to pray, the Holy Spirit interceded for me and that prayer was answered.
Seeing that prayer answered opened my eyes to all the other ways it was being answered – and how many of them I was choosing to ignore. Others had been investing in relationships with me, but because it wasn’t what I had pictured or expected – I was blind to it. What was that song: I was blind, but now I see? Isn’t that so often the situation I find myself in? I become self-involved or hung up on expectations that I miss all the ways that God is answering prayers in unexpected ways.
Today I’m giving thanks not just for the answered prayers, but for his mercy which opened my eyes.