It’s a lovely thing, I think, to acknowledge an answered prayer. The world cracks open and a little light comes in, right into your heart. Your burdens are lighter. Your disposition is sunnier. Your possibilities are broader, if only for one tiny, precious moment. And then Life resumes with its endless demands, of course, and you move on to the next set of worries and complications.
But here’s what I’ve come to believe. Prayers are answered with much greater frequency than we realize. A thousand times a day we lob little thoughts out there to the great blue yonder. Lo and behold, the universe hears and rearranges to accommodate the requests. We just fail to notice, fallible humans that we are, because the interruption the rearrangement causes in life–most often the changing of what we had planned–hits us as a big ol’ hassle.
(AARRGGGHH!! OUR FLIGHT IS DELAYED THREE HOURS! following a quiet Wish we had time for a beer in the airport. I really loved that Chicago IPA.)
I first offered this thesis here on The Daily Grace last summer, when we returned from Spain. I vowed then to take the time to look at the unexpected twists and turns in my life, to look all the way through those situations to see not just what they didn’t allow–but what they did. This “looking through,” I believed, would lead me back to something my heart had desired, to some little I wish I had tossed out along the way.
I expected it would be a fascinating and revealing study, yes.
And then I promptly forgot all about it.
Earlier this month, the wonderful blogger Hannah Brencher posted this on Instagram.
What a great idea, I thought in that moment. I should make a folder like this! I could fill it with all those “I got yo back, baby cakes” moments, all the showered blessings, ALL THOSE ANSWERED PRAYERS.
(But I really want the folder to be cool, like Hannah’s, I thought. I’ll have to set aside some time to figure out how to make one.) Yeah, right.
A few weeks later, I was criss-crossing the county in search of the perfect notebook for my upcoming writing workshop in Key West. I had a thousand things on my mind, and none of them involved a study of answered prayers (unless you include this very serious endeavor of finding The Notebook, a quest I took very seriously, a search that took me store to store to store).
Guess what I came upon, misplaced among the journals and notebooks at Target?
My very first entry:
Wanted a really cool folder like Hannah’s in which I could keep details & promises & big acts of faithfulness from God, 2015.
Found it, misplaced in Target.
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