Day 2 – learning to pray deeper prayers…the hard way <3

If you weren’t here yesterday, you may need to back track for this to make sense.

I am sharing some thoughts on how my prayer life had to grow up with our children so you can check out the first post here. https://www.laurareimer.net/did-you-have-a-good-day/

Part of the reason I wanted Rachel and everyone else around me to have “good” days was that I tend to absorb the emotions of those around me. I am not afraid of my sad feelings but when I am taking on everyone else’s mood along with my own…well…it can be painful and overwhelming beyond what I can bear. 

So another growth step for me was realizing that my prayer for happiness in others was, at its deepest roots, a rather selfish prayer. I didn’t want to hurt for them either. Their pain and suffering caused me pain and suffering and I seem to manage a rather large chunk of melancholy all by myself. 

If everyone around me can be doing well, then I can just have space to deal with any dark clouds that might be coming my way over the course of an otherwise sunny life. 

Sigh.

Growing up as an adult is rather arduous, in case you haven’t noticed. 

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Since I DO know that most pain and disappointment in life is what shapes and refines us, I get that it is important but it has to have purpose. The fuel of our pains and sorrows are usually disappointment, rejection, unmet expectations, betrayal by someone and general failure in health, relationships and/or what we consider to be a prosperous existence. 

So my prayers began to focus on God and how He might be working in those situations that are just going to come. I, of course, also had to pray for my own heart and spirit to not succumb to overwhelm every time someone in our family hit a major pot hole along the road. 

It has been a process. 

Trust me. 

Our children and my dear patient husband can attest to the fact that me leaving people alone to work things out was not something I learned over night. And, in truth, I still struggle…but I am better than I was. 

And prayer has been my lifeline. 

Wrestling with God while a loved one wrestles with a life struggle is also prayer. It is in His strength that I can refrain from stepping in (most of the time) and not try to “FIX” everything and everyone. 

Recently I was reminded of how God has grown me in this. 

With soccer season running long and late this year, there have been a couple of tournaments that would have proved miserable for of the Fab Four to attend.

One weekend when Zach had to work, we kept just Joel and Emmett and another weekend when the games were early and the forecast was cold and rainy, we kept Joel and Caroline. 

During the first one with the two boys, we took them to our neighbor’s restaurant for a yummy breakfast. The boys were treated like royalty and so when Joel was coming with Caroline and we suggested we go there after church, Joel began filling her with great expectations for all kinds of delightful surprises. 

It was the talk of the weekend until early Sunday morning when Joel woke with an upset tummy. 

We were hoping it was the multiple hot dogs and s’mores before bedtime, and he went back to sleep and woke feeling a little better. We decided to do church online, but still planned to go to Buki’s as he assured us he was up for it. 

Everyone got dressed and we piled in the car. Caroline was chattering away for the short drive, but when I went to get Joel out he melted into my knees while huge tears oozed down those sweet little cheeks. 

I asked him if he was not feeling like going in and he burst into more tears and shook his head no. I motioned to Russ that we needed to retreat and he brought Caroline back and buckled her in. 

He was miserable. 

She was furious. 

She turned her back to him and looked out the window, while he tried to reach over and rub her arm. 

It was so painful I thought I would shatter into a thousand pieces. 

Of course, we told him it was okay and that we would go another time and that he had made the right choice to not go when he just didn’t feel like eating. 

But there was no consolation. 

He had let her down and he was hurting and she was hurting and all I could do was pray. 

There was no sense in filling the sorrow in the car with trying to make everyone feel better about the disappointment and explaining to Caroline how her cold shoulder was adding to his sorrow.

They needed to be sad and disappointed and they needed to struggle with that so they could decide that really nothing like missing a pancake with whipped cream could come between the bond they share. 

We got home and it was not very long before they were snuggled up with a blanket and a story, and later laughing and playing a game. When Joel felt up to it we took them to the park and he let her lead on the trail and pick the next activity on the playground. 

God at work…it was hard to watch and yet beautiful. 

Prayer. 

It is us just turning to God with our hands spread out and saying…I don’t know what to do, but You do…please help us get through this well.

Hope you will come back tomorrow…<3

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