This is a post about prayer.
I was having my quiet time today, and the book I'm currently using is Jennifer Kennedy Dean's Live a Praying Life, which I highly recommend. I started it in August, a few weeks before Ryan finished Academy and I've been doing it on and off ever since (it's supposed to be a 13 week study, obviously I've stretched it out a little longer than that).
It isn't anything new, really, but it really leads you through Scripture and reminds you what prayer really is, and how to listen to God through prayer instead of simply giving a grocery list of needs and never seeing Him answer, which was, I'll admit, my previous modus operandi in prayer. Instead it reminds you to pray according to God's will, pray persistently, and trust his timing while intentionally set big issues in God's hands, and watch him answer in ways we wouldn't even imagine.
I had so many prayers at first, what with Ryan gone and our future so uncertain as to where we'd live and what I would do. As we got our post assignment and moved here with no housing, no church, no friends, and a new, complicated job Ryan had to start, I again had much to give to the Lord.
It is interesting. I would have loved if we had known where we'd be posted when they told us we would--in July, so we would have almost two full months to explore our future home, line up housing, and perhaps even take a few loads of stuff down to get ready. Even if we hadn't got an early notice like that, I would have liked to have got here in September and seen rows upon rows of houses with "for rent" signs in the yards, but instead there were none--not a one!
In fact, as we house-hunted and explored, we came to realize that while the houses for sale were abundant, houses for rent were somewhat rarer, and though there were a few options we finally stumbled upon, none of them were anywhere near ideal, and a few of them were barely tolerable. And I prayed.
Beyond this, I needed internet for my job, and the only places with free wireless were a McDonald's and a coffeeshop/cafe. So I spent many hours at each.
And about a week before our month in the motel was up, we started going to a church where a man who owned several rental properties also attended. He told us to go look at a few addresses and see which ones we liked. One of them, the one we particularly liked, was only just about to become available. If we'd connected with the landlord any earlier, this house wouldn't have been an option.
That church has turned out to be full of opportunities for us to minister, and the people have truly ministered to us. That house is perfect, and now that we've moved in and settled down, it really feels like home. The people I met while spending hours in that coffee shop have become my friends and Bible-study buddies, and I even discovered a family originally from New Mexico, who has already promised a green-chile feast night soon!
And so it seemed that the waiting period was necessary for God's full blessing in answering my prayers. It was better than I could've hoped, and much better than we deserve. And we thanked God and prayed for His continued blessing.
And He continued to bless us--in fact, this morning, I've realize we're quite on a plateau of blessing. We had to climb up that steep edge, but now that we're here, all I can see ahead is miles and miles of wonderful things the Lord has done, and a bright blue sky smiling down on us. After we were in this house, it turned out Ryan's time off worked out so we could see his family, including his Aunt and cousins who he hadn't seen for four years, for Thanksgiving; we got to go visit another cousin in Nashville and see the Trans Siberian Orchestra; my grandmother's health began to significantly improve so that my parents are able to come out for Christmas, my sister's holiday schedule was accidentally changed so she is able to come with her husband and baby, Ryan's brother is here for a visit...and my Christmas is just bursting at the seams with blessing!
And it makes me look forward to praying every day, and the questions that loom (because in life, there are always questions looming) are nothing more than an opportunity to trust God and watch Him make everything work together better than I could ever imagine.
Hopefully your praying-life is encouraged by this. :) Keep entrusting your troubles to God, because He works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose!