On a blue, blue summer day I drove to see a friend, one of the women who’d colored my life.
I knew all would be okay, would be good actually, when I turned off the highway from the usual road. I’d traveled before, this road towards home, countless times.
The vicinity of my destination for today was close by, just a different direction.
Others might not understand the nervous place in the hollow spot adjacent to my heart or the need to go back to a place of then to acknowledge now.
So, I’d been praying as I drew closer to now.
I’m taking this journey in increments, circling back to be reacquainted. It’s a challenge of my faith in me and an act of gratitude for them.
The road just a few minutes from my friend was a thin grey thread towards a needle, narrow because of wide sky and corn field borders.
Its curves were easy, not sharp, its little hills and softly, forwardly coaxing me, like God’s hand resting on the small of my back, saying
“Getting closer, keep on.”
There were big houses along the way set back behind fences and oaks and there were small little white ones, tiny porches and trailers up on cinder blocks, cool under shade of fully grown and lush July green.
A small brick home, a couple of old cars and a bed of roses at its entry made me wonder.
Off to the side, a simple sign like garage sale or politician’s was positioned just so, leaning only slightly despite storm I’d been warned of.
Bold, simple, intentionally brief; but with exclamation at the end.
“I will pray!”
Yesterday I prayed, most days I pray at set times and randomly.
My heart sought assurance and in return I noticed the sweetness of answer.
I welcomed answer and prayed in reply with a slight smile no one might notice, “Thank you for that, God. Thank you, Lord.”
Some would say, if I shared my prayer and the evidence of its hearing…that’s silly, you just worry or that’s no big miraculous reply.
It is and it was and it’s why I believe.
In God who is just as majestically sovereign as He is miraculously small, attentively swift.
Yesterday morning and again last night, I prayed. “God, help our country.”
And I wondered about the past, my parents, my grandparents and those recalled in history, when times looked as bleak and scary and incomprehensible as they do now.
I wondered why or if there are people like me who pray about children, friends, husbands, or a heart’s desire…but are now, just now we are praying… God, help our country and maybe, like me, are torn between
“Come, Lord Jesus” and “Trust and Obey”
And our prayerful mama hearts want much for our children and theirs…want time and hope and good things. We long for happy futures, faith-filled lives filled with smiling babies and beauty.
I wonder if there were times like these before.
Times when all felt lost and uncertain. Times of Job, of Isaiah and of Moses, of David, of Martha, Mary and Paul.
I listen for their cries for help in the words of my Bible and I search for God’s replies, finding them in thousands of places, replies of good and everlasting joy and of protection and favor in midst of struggle.
I hear God saying to them, to me.
“Choose me. Choose joy.”
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O’ Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:11-12
I embraced my friend, told her I expected I’d cry and we cried and talked and shared onion rings and fries.
I prayed and she told me she’d been praying and we reminded each other of ourselves and our unanswered prayers for our good and we prayed, we pray. We will pray, we agreed.
It was easy and good and love. I left her sweet house with emotions that beg for holding onto, the description of our time and our talk resting safely for awhile in a place so closely real and beautifully raw.
So, I drove back towards Carolina, indescribably, thankfully good, especially glad.
The pretty road just as pretty and the view different only because of direction and another house…white, small but with big trees, tiny porch and front yard sign proclaiming,
I will pray!
Let us pray.
I will pray.
Linking up to Tell God’s story with Jennifer Dukes Lee