We all have unanswered prayers, although we may each know them by different names.
They are the desires of our heart, things we wish for so deeply and are so sure that we want.
Sometimes, the door slams so hard in our face on these hopes that it feels we will never even get close.
We talk a lot about gratitude here, and how easy it is to be gushingly grateful when the road is smooth and the sun shines warmly.
Today, let’s talk about being grateful for those unanswered prayers.
Many years ago, I was overweight and despaired of ever finding a boyfriend who would see me for who I really was.
I kissed an endless succession of frogs, and shed countless tears each time they hopped away.
Where was that guy, the one?
Turns out he was a work in process, just like me.
I needed to be grateful for my unanswered prayers as I grew and learned about what makes a great relationship work.
Perhaps you have suffered from dissatisfaction with your career.
Maybe you don’t like where you are, or that you’ve never found the right niche.
I struggled with this whole issue, as I never really had a clear picture of my skills and talents, or how to put them to use.
Of course, I don’t ever recall expressing gratitude for all the things I was learning that I didn’t like.
No, instead I whined and felt sorry for myself, especially when my hubby and I realized as well we were on the verge of financial difficulties.
One day, at last, events fell into place and our past experience became a foundation to help others.
That led in turn to an amazing opportunity to discover and do what I love and am very good at, too.
I didn’t know to be grateful for all the skill-building in the bumps, twists, and turns we were navigating.
You may have read about us recently moving to Tennessee and finally, finally, buying a house.
Even now, as much as I know and understand about gratitude, I was often, well, quite ungrateful during the process.
What you may not know is that we were innkeepers in New Hampshire for years and so lived on the same property as my parents.
We loved being so close, as did they.
All of us have prayed for years for them to sell the large property so they can spend more time enjoying family and traveling.
I can’t tell you how many times we have had our hopes lifted high, only to have them dashed again when nothing worked out.
Real estate is picking up, though, and there are some promising things happening.
Here is the most exciting thing, though, about this whole story:
The house across the street from our new home in Tennessee went up for sale, and my folks are the proud new owners.
With all the complaining and tears of frustration I shed over losing out on house after house, I am absolutely set back on my heels at how this arrangement came to be, to say nothing of my embarrassment over my regular grumbling.
While I was busy being ungrateful for houses lost, I lost sight that the answer to my prayer wasn’t no, but not yet.
We don’t have crystal balls that tell us when our road will smooth out, or that something really exciting is on its way.
But when we trust and pray, hope, keep the faith, and practice gratitude, and especially be grateful for unanswered prayers, the trip becomes easier.
Our eyes and hearts focus on the possibilities ahead rather than looking backwards.
Question: What unanswered prayer are you being grateful for today or have been in the past?