The other night, my dad and I went to a Father/Daughter dinner at the church we've recently started attending. My dad went to pull out my chair, but my back would've been facing the stage, and I didn't want to have to turn around if someone was speaking about anything, so we ended up moving a couple chairs down. When I went to sit down, I laughed as soon as I saw the place setting. Each seat had a different note in front of it. When I saw mine, I remembered Psalm 139:2 which talks about God knowing when we sit down, and I said, "Okay, God, I get it." My place setting read, "I am a princess, not because I have a prince, but because my Father is a King, and He is God."
The part that read, "...not because I have a prince..." is the part that got me.
Six and a half years ago, I was laying in bed, and God gave me the promise that He was sending my husband to me. That's the part of the promise I like, but the part I don't like is that He also told me it won't be in my timing. After years of waiting and still seeing nothing but lost hopes, there are many moments where I'm tempted to let go of that promise and dive into despair. No matter how hopeless circumstances look, however, that promise to me from God is something that is an anchor to hope. No matter how tempted I become to say that it's hopeless, deep down I know that God will never fail to keep His promise to me.
The place setting at the dinner was a simple reminder to me that I am not forgotten. God still sees me, and I believe He knew exactly where I was going to sit that night.
Thinking about it now, I'm also reminded of the church service I went to two weeks ago with my friend Hannah. We drove to LA because I was wanting to see Jentezen Franklin in person. He has a church plant down in Irvine/Orange County, and since we were already going to be that direction, Hannah wanted to go to a church service in Hollywood as well.
The Hollywood church service was in the morning and the Jentezen Franklin service was supposed to be at night, so off to Hollywood we went. To my surprise, the church was just starting a new series, and that week's topic was dealing with singleness. It was a comfort to me and a realization that God had directed our steps to that church service that day, and I didn't even know it. Turns out we didn't even see Jentezen Franklin because it was Superbowl Sunday, and they didn't even have night church that night at his church.
As I think about these two instances, I find comfort in knowing that something that I've been praying about for years and have seen little hope in is something that God is still working on. There are times where praying is hard. I've prayed the prayers countless times. I've asked God for a spouse more times than you could imagine. I've prayed God would make me into the person my future husband will need. One prayer after another I've lifted up to God, but as time continues to pass, sometimes I wonder what good one more prayer on the subject will do. Should I count my loss? Should I be content to give up hope on a dream that I've had since I was a little girl?
There's a lot that God's teaching me along this road. He's grown me a lot, and I believe He is answering my prayers every day even in ways I have yet to see. The greatest thing I'd like to stress to you today isn't a special formula to prayer to have God's timing be now. I don't have a formula for that. Rather, I just want you to know that you're not forgotten.
There may be something that you've been believing God for for years and you have yet to see any answer to your prayer. Keep praying anyway. I have to be careful not to look at God as a magic genie even if what I'm asking Him for is honorable and even godly. Sometimes I pray and think, "Why hasn't what I've prayed for happened yet?" Maybe the significance in prayer isn't that we get the answer that we want when we want it. Perhaps its significance comes in the fact that we get to talk to God Himself and have a personal relationship with Him. Yes, He is God, and He can do anything. However, sometimes I get too caught up in the fact that He can do anything that I make light of the fact that He is God.
I believe the one thing that's drawn me closer to God over the years is the very subject I'm sharing with you today. Countless times I've fallen on my knees with tears rolling down my face as I've prayed, "Lord, please, let me have the man in my life You have for me." Sometimes, I haven't even had the words to pray that. I've simply come before God with a heart that is aching, and He has proven to be there every time. In my moments of desperation, God's met me there and has reassured me of His love and of His plan for me that far exceeds what I can even think to ask of Him.
Wherever you find yourself today, look for ways that God is trying to show you that you are not forgotten. When it's hardest to pray, pray the hardest.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Over the last couple weeks, I've actually recognized situations where You were reminding me that I am not forgotten. At times I've wondered if I should just stop praying about my desire for a spouse. There have been moments where I've been ready to give up all hope. However, I know that I need to continue to run to You not so I can get what I want but so I can have that real, intimate relationship with You. Thank You for paying enough attention to me to know when I stand and when I sit. Mostly, thank You that I'm not forgotten. Let my intention for praying change from an intention of getting to an intention on building my relationship with You. In Jesus' Name.