When I was young, a man I loved introduced me to Clint Black, Garth Brooks and country music. By doing so he also introduced me to this song Unanswered Prayers. He just didn’t mean to. He also didn’t love me back.
We dated off and on for 10 years. I remember the nights next to my bed, on my knees, praying for God to help me either stop loving this boy or for this boy to realize he meant it when he said he loved me. Those times the words stumbled out of his mouth when he wasn’t sober or shortly after the boy found a way to get back into my bed.
I prayed, and I prayed. On my knees next to my bed I pleaded, in the dark, to God. Please. Help me.
It wasn’t until the boy embarrassed me on a business trip when I had to bring a date on a cruise with clients that I woke up. Him pretending to love me; making all my colleagues love us together; talking about our future with them, about the things we’d all do together back in Miami; me buying into all of it even though I knew better. When the work trip was over and the colleagues wanted to invite us to their house for a simple barbeque, real life set in. Reality rules applied. There was a rush to the Atlanta Olympics; too busy to say bye. I realized I was done with all of it. No tears. No words exchanged. Not even a goodbye after ten years.
I still loved him. He didn’t remember he loved me. It was just done. He barely even noticed.
I knew all about unanswered prayers.
I decided a 12 month moratorium on dating was in order. Self-imposed. I was done with waiting to be loved. I was the ripe old age of 28 and it was over. I would remain single; I would be dateless; I would never cry for another man like I cried for this boy.
Almost to the day the 12 month moratorium was up, unknowingly my now husband called me and asked me if we could get together for dinner. I knew him from my home town. We were just friends. Didn’t even count it as a real date. Had not talked to him in 10 years. He had called out of the blue. I said yes, just to get out of the house on a real date to Lincoln Road. With a guy that was going to pay for dinner. After 10 months of going to Coconut Grove and South Beach with my friends I thought it was a good way to get back into the world of dating.
That was the last first date I ever had.
God had other plans than the plans I was praying.
My college paramour and I are still friends. He didn’t get married until his early forties. No kids. In retrospect, not the life I wanted. My kids are almost my entire world and being a Mom the best thing I do; the best thing I did; the reason God put me on this earth. I am God’s child, first, I am a wife and Mom next; I am a daughter, friend, sister, colleague. All important. But, I am a Mom. It brings me the greatest joy ever to be known.
God had other, better, perfect plans.
Thank you, God, that you know better.
Thank you, God, for unanswered prayers.
My life is vastly more complicated now. The prayers different, and the stakes so much greater.
Health. Finances. Marriage. Death.
Yet, as I cry, as I plead, as I kneel I also remember. Someday, I just may, look back on these prayers, and say, “Thank you, God, again for answering me in Your best way instead of my way. Amen.”