I missed God.
I was sleep deprived, trying to get the kids to practices and remember to sign the millions of papers they brought home each day. Fear of failure consumed me, and I felt disconnected.
In the big, life altering moments of the past few months, it was easy for me to see him. But in the middle of diaper changes, carpool lines, and soccer? Not so much.
With time and the Spirit’s help, I realized I wasn’t missing him because he wasn’t there. He didn’t abandon me or forget about my needs.
The answer was simple. But in its simplicity, I’d overlooked it.
As soon as we started down the sidewalk into Chocolate World, I felt it. My left ring finger was naked, and I always wore my wedding and engagement bands.
Panicked, I recalled the last time I had them on. It was a few minutes before. I had taken them off to apply lotion in the car, but I couldn’t remember where I put them. Chris was parking the vehicle, so I texted him and asked him to take a look around.
He checked all over the car, but they weren’t there.
We spent two hours in Chocolate World. I wanted to go back out to the car and look for the missing rings, but we had a reservation we’d already paid for.
Should I pray about it?
The question flitted in and out of my mind. I have to admit, sometimes I don’t bring these things to God because they seem trivial in light of the heavy issues our world faces each day. Poverty. Hunger. Sex trafficking. Friends who are facing cancer diagnoses or the loss of a family member.
Why would I want to bother God about a couple of rings? Yes, they were important. They marked a significant beginning in my life, a moment I want to remember forever. But at the end of the day, they were still material things. Those memories would be etched in my mind regardless of whether or not I had a diamond to prove it.
But here’s what else I knew. Even with all the burdens of the world, God cared. He wasn’t bothered by my requests, but concerned himself with each intricate detail of my day.
The moments we miss God are often the ones where we don’t invite him into our circumstances.
So I prayed.
As we made our way through the aisles of candy bars and waited in line, I asked God to save those rings from being lost. I asked for what I could not control, knowing he alone would determine the outcome.
When I look back and think of those prayers, I also remember how many times I’ve rushed through my day without inviting God into it. I think about dreams that lay dormant for years, begging for rebirth, but I was too afraid to bring them to the One who can breathe new life into them.
“A hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NIV
Sometimes God’s plans are different than our own. Other times, he has to redirect us. But if we never seek him and pray bold prayers, how can we expect him to move? Our Father loves us, but he will not force his way into a life whose door is shut.
Opening a Shut Door
For a long, bitter season of my life, I didn’t come to God about anything.
A feeling of abandonment consumed my heart, and I couldn’t move past a series unanswered questions. Questions like why had God allowed this person to hurt me? And why did his life seem to move forward without consequence, while mine endured loss, unshakable fear, and heartache?
I still don’t have the answers.
Over time, in his gentle, persistent way he showed me: His love for me is greater than what was done to me.
Even when I don’t understand his ways and I long for a different path, he is faithful, just and true. It is impossible for him to be anything else.
Our reasons for not inviting God into our situation are as varied as we are. It might be a fear that he’ll ask us to do something we don’t like. Or we may think we’re more than capable of handling our own lives without his guidance or help.
Can I tell you something? A life with his Spirit as our Helper is far more abundant than any type of life without him.
The Moment I Didn’t Miss God
After an afternoon at Chocolate World and what seemed like an eternity, we went back to our vehicle. My rings weren’t there. I ransacked every nook and cranny, and my husband walked to the place where he’d pulled over to drop us off near the entrance. He talked to the security guard and scoured the road.
Almost resolved that the rings were gone, I saw him approaching in my peripheral. When he got to my door, he knelt down on one knee, the same way he had when he proposed fourteen years ago.
I laughed. I breathed sighs of relief. The rings were scuffed up, but still in tact. The fact that they were still laying in the road after hours of traffic was nothing short of a miracle.
As he put the bands back on my finger, I committed the moment to memory. And I thanked God for hearing even the prayers we almost don’t say. I thanked him for being the One who’s in each and every detail of our messed up, crazy lives.
Congratulations, Lisa Appelo! You are the winner of one copy of More for Mom. Happy reading! I will be in touch.