Saturday, June 11, 2011

My First Prayer

The first prayer I can remember ever saying was this: "Dear God, I want to be a saint". I wanted it in the worst possible way and for all the wrong reasons. Saints were remembered, saints were admired, saints were famous. What more could a young girl with aspirations of glory and fame ask for? I did not then understand what would be revealed to me later, that great saints are born in the fires of great suffering. Had I have known, I probably would not have asked.

Yet this prayer, though done for the wrong reasons and with no real understanding of what it was that I was asking to receive, honored the request in no small part because that was His desire for me, too. He wanted me to be a saint because if I were a saint then I would be with Him in heaven for eternity. So, He set about to make my prayer come true.

My life has been full of more tragedy and hardships than any soap opera could dare hope to produce. Some people hear my story and they wonder how I made it through all of that with even half my sanity intact. I tell them I only made it through because God got me through it. I have had people tell me I have wisdom beyond my years. I tell them that is the gift God gave me which helped me to make sense of it all. It is not my doing.

Less than two months ago, I was inspired to ask God for the cross. I asked it, tears pouring down my face, knowing that to ask for it would mean more hardship for our family and yet knowing as well that the cross is the only path by which I may reach heaven. It is the only bridge strong enough to take me there. It is my sole hope, and so I begged for it. It was weeks before I began to see God answer my prayer and I waited, wondering, how it would come but knowing that it would come.

So, my husband lost his job. We have been unable to find another for him or for me. The game has taken longer to begin to make any money at all than we'd hoped, and the money that it has made has not been quite enough to meet the needs that we have. Yet God does not give the cross without also giving us the means to bear it. He has surrounded me with friends. He has provided for the rent and the electric. Just today I received a notification of money that I am owed by the State of Texas in unclaimed property which, when I checked into it, will be enough to meet our rent and our electricity for next month. I know that He has not abandoned me.

In the past two months, since I asked God for the cross, I have grown much spiritually. I have remembered things I had forgotten and my faith has been renewed. I know that spiritually there is much more room for me to grow, and God will see to it that I grow every inch that I am willing. The cross will become heavier, but only so that my strength may grow. There are times when I may wish to be out from under that cross, as I am sure there were moments when Christ did as well. Yet if this is the path that leads me to Heaven, then all I have to do is remember that one breath beyond the cross lies paradise. The suffering of earth is only for a little while, and then comes the joy of heaven if I have allowed God to transform me into a worthy vessel.

My very first prayer was the best prayer of all, one that God will always honor. If you doubt His existence, test to see whether He does not answer such a prayer for you, too. Say it today, and then keep a journal to see what happens next. Rest assured, your life will never be the same.

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