When Carter first got diagnosed, I really struggled with what to pray for – do I pray for healing or contentment? Do I ask God to make him typical, to take away his struggles, to take away my fears? Or do I ask God to help me be content with where he is and to help me learn to find joy in our season of life?  I thought it had to be one or the other. I thought I couldn’t pray for healing and find contentment in the everyday or find contentment and still yearn for healing. I was wrong.

I feel like when something tragic happens, we pray. And how that pray gets answered or not answered, makes or breaks our relationship with God. I don’t know why God heals some and not others. I don’t know why people who do bad things are fine and the good people suffer. I don’t know what unanswered prayers mean, but I do know what they don’t mean. They don’t mean that God loves you any less than anyone else. They don’t mean you have no faith or little faith. They don’t mean you deserved what you are getting. They don’t mean that you or your mother or your mother’s mother did something wrong. They don’t mean you didn’t pray hard enough.

Praying isn’t about getting our prayers answered. At least not the way we think about it. Praying is about giving our burdens to God. Asking Him to sit with us in the dark and give us peace and patience to wait for the light. Not the light we seek, but the light He seeks for us. His will, not ours. I pray that God will help my son find his voice. That He will help him to lead an independent life. That He will help him find joy in building relationships with others. That He will help him find his purpose in this life.

But I also pray for contentment. I pray that I will be patient and kind and show grace during the difficult moments. That I will always look for joy in the successes no matter how small. That I will always show him how much I love him, despite my broken heart. That I will have the wisdom to make the right choices for him. That I will be the light in this world for him, until he finds it in You. That I show him what it means to be a good and Godly man. That I show him the joy in giving and serving others. That I can be the mom he deserves.

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