Friday, February 17, 2012

Prayer is Powerful, Faith is a Gift and God Is The Best Listener

I am blessed today, as always to have a choice. I can choose to see the beauty in this day-the treasures that it holds; or I can choose to get stuck in the sadness and pain of my grief. If I choose to see the beauty, it doesn't mean I am forgetting, it simply means that at this moment I am choosing to experience God's blessing.How do I go from grieving to experiencing the beauty the day holds? For me, the answer is Prayer.. Prayer is a word that for many is taboo. It reeks of religious context, formality, conformity, some even associate it with a cult.

Prayer for me is simply a conversation with God.

I know prayers that I love to recite--the Our Father, because someone very special to me taught me a very valuable lesson about that prayer..sometimes we get so caught up in reciting it, we don't really feel the words. How sincere could it be for me if I wasn't really aware of what I was saying? I learned that prayer is about so much more than remembered words from my childhood, it is about love and forgiveness, and truly getting to know and love our Lord on a personal level, so much so that I trusted Him enough to know His will should be done-not mine, because He is the ultimate in Love and Understanding..He Is. Once, I grasped that, I felt a stirring very deep in my core and I knew all would be as it should once I let go..

Years of trying to take control back and wrestle with my faith left me wandering from church to church and faith to faith..My Friend, Jesus-He never left my side, I chose to run away from what I knew was
right because along with it comes responsibility. Doing what is right is never easy, no matter how old or young you are, what stage of your faith walk you are in..I am drifting off subject here, but I get so excited about sharing about the Power of Prayer and how Great He Is..even in the deepest, darkest days of my grief, when I miss my daughter so much I can't breathe, He comforts me.

Prayer I believe is universal..we may not all pray the same words, to the one I call God, you may call Him-Higher Power, or He may be a She, or you may not be a believer at this time. But I will tell you one thing I know for sure..My God listens. He hears the prayers of all people, in every language, in every church, in every country..everywhere..He listens to our hearts, He knows them, each one of us, individually, by name..He created us..to love and be loved. When I lost my daughter, I cannot tell you the pain or the depth of that pain, I went into shock. My family went into prayer and requested prayers from co-workers, friends, church members..we are not all of the same faith in my family, but God doesn't have a preferred list, He has open arms and ears..

Weeks went by and I was wrapped in a protective cocoon of sorts. I didn't feel much of anything and was existing more than living-by the grace of God. I only knew short, simple messages were all I could offer God then. Please God, help me. I don't know if I have the strength to come back from this, Lord..there is so much I should have done and wanted to do and Lord, I can't ever kiss her again..I can't describe the pain, I can only say, my comfort came moment by moment, and then hour by hour and sometimes a few hours at a time would go by and I would be think of something she had said or I said..and the waves of grief and pain would wash over me again and again until I was ex-hausted from the knowledge that it wasn't going to change..my baby was now back in the hands of her Heavenly Father. I must say, I left most of the praying to other folks, I just didn't have the energy,
the overwhelming sadness and loss was threatening to rob me of my relationship with My Father. Not because I was angry, not yet anyway. I was tired, too tired to pray. Too tired to reach out. Too tired to turn to Him for strength and comfort and too tired to turn away. But others were praying, all over the place, people I didn't know, people who felt a kinship because they too had children, people who knew how close I was to my girls, people who only imagine the devastation, but also knew the power of prayer.

Then, one day in the routine of my waking, being somewhat disoriented, realizing why I was just waking up...feeling truth slowly creep into my brain and my heart, I began to weep, let's me tell it like it really was..I was bawling my eyes out, sobbing, hiccoughing, begging God to let me wake up from the nightmare and finally exhausting myself and hoping sleep would come again. Instead what I felt was a slow steady tingle from my toes to the very top of my head. I remember thinking I was having a heart attack and I started to ask God for forgiveness for all my many sins and failures. I was asking if this was really my time...please let my daughter be there to greet me. I remember feeling scared a little, but more excited than frightened. And then, when I really became aware of my surroundings again, I was still on the bed, laying on my back, and wondering what had happened. There was no pain, no headache, no dizziness..just an overwhelming sense of peace and serenity.
I felt as if I was beginning to understand this journey. It isn't God's choosing, to make it painful for us when we lose a loved one. God created a perfect world. We, us-all of us are imperfect and make mistakes, bad choices, errors in judgment. But in that instant I knew the question would never be-
Why did God let this happen? I knew if I felt anger, it would be okay, God, my loving Father, gets me. He is saddened by what goes on in this world, and He grieves with me because He does understand. You see-He lost His Son and so He knows the grief I struggle with daily.

Even on my loneliest day-I am not alone. On the day the most devastating news was delivered to me, I was not alone. And I am not on this journey alone. So, even in my simplest prayer-I know God hears me..He knows my heart and He listens with His..

And so my prayer.
.Dear God, thank you for this day, for my family, my friends and the friends I have yet to meet. Let the gift of Your love be seen through me and shared through Your words. Help us all love one another, as You love us, forgive one another, as You forgive us, and believe in what we cannot see, or feel, or hear..help us know that we should treasure each day You give us in this life, believing eternity is real. Help us reach beyond ourselves knowing You are there to hear this, and every prayer
we speak with our lips or with our hearts.

Prayer..a simple, beautiful language that really is universal..