Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Thank God For Unanswered Prayers

Photo courtesy of  Marsmett Tallahassee  via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Marsmett Tallahassee
via Flickr

I wanted to marry my boyfriend because, after all, I had invested several years into this relationship. Marriage would be the next natural step, wouldn’t it?

I prayed to God for the fulfillment of my heart’s desire to marry this man.

Then my prayer was not answered.

The relationship ended because my boyfriend was not nearly as committed to this relationship. There was no next level in our relationship. As I watched my hopes disintegrate, I was mad at God. I prayed for marriage, and now I didn’t even have a relationship!

Over time, I exercised out my frustrations and mended my broken heart through long walks raging at God. Most of my ranting started with the word “WHY?” I felt defeated that I had invested several years into a situation that went nowhere, and WHY didn’t God answer my prayers?

One day as I walked through the mall, I saw my boyfriend with his new girlfriend. That was the salt that was directly applied to my emotional wound. Not only did God not answer my prayer, not only did He end my relationship, but now I had to witness my boyfriend in the arms of someone else. I said “Hi” to my ex-boyfriend, who sheepishly took me to the side and whispered: “I can’t really talk to you or it will make my girlfriend get mad.”

I realized in that instant that this man I wanted to marry was really a little boy. He never had thoughts of his own, and in our relationship I was much like his bossy, insecure current girlfriend who told him what he could and could not do in life. God was showing me that this boy was not the man for me in His great plans for my life.

Also at that point in time, I was a girl who was not the woman my future husband would need for his life. I had work to do on myself in preparation for my great future husband because on an emotional level I was a little girl not ready for the maturity that came with marriage.

In that instant, I was able to thank God for unanswered prayers.

Many years later, God brought me the person who would be my future husband, and now that I am married I see the level of maturity needed. As a mother and a wife I live my life in consideration of the needs of others.

There is much sacrifice and a lot of responsibility that comes with being married. My decisions impact others, and I am part of a collective unit. I can’t just pout when I don’t get my way.

Now my prayers are in consideration of my children and my husband. I see that the ending of that relationship was really God’s mercy in action. The Lord was protecting me from an emotional train-wreck of an existence. God had BIG plans for me, and my boyfriend at the time was not in the mixture of those plans.

As a result, as I look at my husband each day I thank God for unanswered prayers.

About Cathy Patterson-Sterling

Cathy Patterson-Sterling is a Christian counselor with a counseling ministry called Real Life Tool Box. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. Through her counseling ministry, she offers more than 50 e-learning audio play courses to help people grow in faith and have their healthiest relationships. She is passionate about helping people find freedom from fear or other emotional strongholds that are holding them back from living out their greatest potential in God's plans for their lives.
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