Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What I Prayed for, but Not

“It looks like I found a roommate, and I think we also found an apartment.”

My son’s news was an answer to prayer. Since my youngest son and I moved and my oldest decided to stay behind where his job is, he has needed a new living situation. I have been extremely concerned that he would suddenly need to leave his temporary home and find himself with no place to go. He has been living alone, which clearly wasn’t healthy for him. The more time that ticked away without any leads on a roommate, the more I thought God might be giving me the true desire of my heart—that he would decide he was tired of being so far away from his mom and little brother and join us where we are, near his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Instead, he found a roommate at the eleventh hour. And an apartment. And he was clearly excited about it. 

“That’s great.”

We chatted about the furniture that was available for him if he wanted it, moving dates, and financial details, and the whole time my heart cried out, “God, this isn’t what I wanted. I thought you would send him here.”

But somehow I knew this was His answer, at least for now. At my son’s age I was already married. Most of his friends now live away from home. Joining us would mean leaving a job he loves and all his friends. Maybe he will get lonely for his family later, but for now I need to support his decision and be happy for him, which I am. At least he won’t be living alone under a ticking clock anymore. I have been praying that God would work in his life in a big way and so have many others, so living with friends must be part of that. Who knows what plan God has in mind?

When I chose to move in November, I know my friends wanted me to stay, but they supported my need to be close to family, helped me pack, gave me a going away party, and smothered me with hugs until my youngest and I pulled out of town. Now it’s my turn to do the same, because that’s what we do when we truly want God’s best for those we care about. As painful as it is, sometimes we need to recognize that we are getting what we prayed for even if it doesn’t look that way.

When have you prayed hard for someone only to be forced to let go of them? When have you seen a supposed “wrong” answer to prayer become the right one?  


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