Monday, February 15, 2010

Beauty, Grace and Answered Prayers


Friday was fabulous! The snow continued falling throughout Thursday night, so when I drove to work Friday I was surrounded by a winter wonderland. It was truly beautiful, though a bit scary on the road. I made it safely to the club just to be told by my boss to get back on the road and "go on home." I got a snow day!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!

Now, I'm not much of a cold weather gal. In fact, I hate being cold. So I have no idea what possessed me to layer on clothes, socks and rain gear and "go outside and play," but that's exactly what I did. My child wimped out on us, saying her feet were so cold she couldn't feel her toes. So back into the house she went, leaving the adults to finish the snow person. It was so much fun!

Emi went to her dad's later that afternoon, and I cooked a big pan of chicken parmesan for dinner. By the time the evening hours approached, the snow had mostly melted, and my snow person's head had fallen off. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. And it was such a beautiful sight to see several inches of the white stuff lining trees, houses and fences. Beauty... the kind only God can produce.

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The snow is only one of the beautiful things God has brought into my life lately. The past few months have been full of answered prayers. I joined a new church last night, and will go Wednesday to my first choir practice since 1987. I was a member of the LSU Swing Choir my freshman year in college, but that's the last time I've sung with a choir. I'm so happy to have finally found a place where I feel like I fit in and can contribute - something I've been asking God to help me find.

The pastor of my new church home and his wife have become good friends of mine, which answers another prayer for Christ-following friends who have time to spend with Emily and me. They are wonderfully fun people, and I'm so grateful to have them in my life. But I would never have met them had I not learned the importance of forgiveness. I would never have met them if a force much bigger than myself had not shown me that God does indeed answer prayers, but not always the way we want Him to, or at the exact time we ask. God's timing is perfect. And sometimes He has to work on our hearts and in our lives before He can turn us loose with the answers.

I've had conversations lately with friends and coworkers about how younger generations are so reliant on immediate gratification that they actually believe once they graduate from college someone is going to offer them a job as a bank president, or that some 100 year old company will immediately offer them a $75K a year job. The idea of "working your way up" just doesn't fly with them. They think it should happen NOW. They think they deserve it. Computers, smart phones, even pay-per-view movies have trained an entire generation of young people that they can have whatever they want... RIGHT NOW.

But isn't that exactly what we all expect when we ask God for something? If I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit that when I pray for something I expect it to happen soon or not at all. I don't pray about something and then think, "Okay, the way God is going to answer this prayer is by allowing me to suffer a lot of pain and feel my world crashing in around me. Then through my pain and the pain of others, we will all learn lessons of love and forgiveness, all the while giving the glory to God, who has once again proven that through Him all things are possible."

No, that's not what I think. I think it should happen NOW! In my way! On my timetable! The way I want it to happen!

That's just plain spoiled. And dumb. Because let's face it... God knows much better than I do what I need. And He is so good and full of love that nothing I could dream of having or doing could even come close to His plans for me.

I'm learning. I'm learning to be patient. I'm learning to forgive. I'm learning to love with a selfless kind of love that only God can give me.

And that is definitely worth waiting for.

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