*Heads-up: This post is a bit long – just a story in the life of a regular-everyday mama like me. I promise it has a point. And I’d love for you to join me . . . learning the art of prayer….*
I’ve called her my grace because she has taught me so much about the One who is grace Himself. When my second daughter came into this world, I had a multitude of requests surrounding her birth. Little Mama-prayers – nothing monumental.
Of course, I prayed for a healthy baby. I prayed for other things though too – things important only to me.
Like, please, let my doctor be on call when I go into labor.
Please, let me have good nurses.
Please, please, keep my body whole.
Please, let me get the one larger mommy-baby room on the floor (my husband and I both come from gargantuan families and would have lots of visitors).
And there were more. Little, simple prayers that weren’t really huge requests in the grand scheme of things. They would just be, oh, so nice.
I woke up in the middle of the night that night and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was having a few contractions. “Hmmm . . . better keep tabs on those,” I thought. But more importantly, I was hungry. I rolled my nine-month-pregnant belly out of bed and padded my way to the kitchen.
Granola. I needed granola.
So, I ate granola at 3:00 in the morning and watched (what else would a pregnant woman watch in the middle of the night?) The Food Network. Giada De Laurentiis and I traveled all over New England from the comfort of my couch and we ate granola and timed contractions. I have to admit, between the two of us, she wins hands-down for looking amazing at 3 a.m. 😉 Giada didn’t know it, but as she talked of lobster and fish and oysters, I was slowly realizing that this was going to be the big day.
The contractions slowly progressed until all of a sudden, they came in a flurry and I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t walk. Perfect! My doctor had told me at my appointment earlier in the week that he was going to be on call just the Saturday of this particular weekend! One prayer answered.
We rushed down Georgia and Tennessee mountain roads to get to the hospital.
But by the time we reached the bottom of the mountain, all of those frenzied contractions had all but ceased. I was determined that I was not going into that hospital just to be kept in a bed. I wanted to be more than convinced that this was the real thing before being admitted to the hospital.
So what did we do?
We went to Sonic, of course.
(For those of you not from the Southern U.S., Sonic is a drive-in, fast-food chain where the waitresses still come out to your car on roller skates! They serve a mean Cherry-Limeade over mouth-watering pellet ice. If you’re ever down this way, you gotta try one.)
And as we sat waiting for our order, I realized. I could not possibly be in labor. If any other woman was sitting in a Sonic Drive-Thru ordering a morning shake instead of waddling through those hospital doors?
I’d pat her sweet, little shoulder and sympathetically say,
“Honey, you need to go on home. This isn’t it.”
And I hated to admit it, but it was true.
So after an hour or so of walking at the mall, trying to get something going, we went home and I crawled in the bed. Exhausted.
My husband went to get his hair cut (Yes, I gave him permission – if this was the day, I didn’t want him scaring our new, little one with scraggly hair. <sheepish grin> Oh, okay, you caught me – it was really all about the pictures.). Our oldest was with family. I tried to nap.
But I was disappointed. I had thought this was the day.
“Lord? I thought this was it. What’s happening? I’ve done this once before, why is it so different this time? My doctor’s on call. My husband’s off of work already. This would be the perfect day.”
The contractions were only every 20 minutes apart and far from noteworthy. The doctor called and told me I could come into the hospital and he could check my progression if I wanted him to. I was tempted. But also terrified. I wanted as natural a birth as possible and didn’t want to get stuck at the hospital, or be pressured to be induced, etc.
I told the doctor that I needed to pray and I’d let him know what I decided.
So my husband and I, we cuddled in our bed and prayed . . .
“Lord, you know that we think this would be a perfect day for our daughter’s birth. We pray that you would show us what is going on here. If this is real labor, we just pray that you get things going because the doctor isn’t on call tomorrow. If this isn’t the day, please stop all contractions for now and give us peace in your timing.”
We closed our eyes for about five minutes.
And then my eyes flew open to the bedside clock. Hard contraction.
And another and another.
Within an hour of that prayer, I was in that hospital bed, very close to holding our baby in our arms.
And she would have come, regardless.
But, I had my doctor. I had good nurses. I got that big room. My body did more wonderfully than it did the first time around. And I had a healthy baby girl. And there were other prayers too.
Every single prayer? Even the small, it-would-be-so-nice-but-it’s-so-small-I-probably-shouldn’t-even-bother-asking-You requests? He answered, “Yes.” He has said yes to me before. He’s said no to me plenty of times. But surrounding her birth, He showed me more of His loving-kindness. He showed me that He *truly* listens. He showed me that He cares – even about someone like me – that His eye is truly on the sparrow. He showed me that nothing is too small to ask.
Let us not be afraid to ask of Him.
Am I saying that He will answer every request with a “yes”? No, I’m not saying that. He sometimes has to say no to our requests, but I have no doubt that in those instances, He says yes to something better. I’m also not saying that prayer is only about asking of Him, but that is a subject larger than the scope of this post, or my understanding for that matter.
What are your requests? Big or small? If there is something on your heart, would you please give me the honor of taking you before the Father? Because seeing His faithfulness in my life and in the lives of others strengthens and encourages me. If you feel comfortable, feel free to share your request(s) in the comments, so that whatever readers come this way may pray for you as well. If that is too public for you, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Either way, I promise that you will be taken before the Father. Let us take advantage of this blog community….
~Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16~