The Gift of Unanswered Prayers
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We’ve lived here at Clucky Dickens Farm just about six years now. Can you even believe that?
It was around this time six years ago when we spent our first night on this farm that we didn’t quite yet own. We were waiting for one person to sign one simple paper—one. simple. paper.— and in that waiting time, the owner of the house let us move in early so that we could be settled for Christmas.
(Can I just point out here that farm folk are awesome?)
And so it was around this time six years ago that I first fell asleep exhausted (but ecstatic) among the creaks and hums and bumps of a home we didn’t quite yet own but already loved anyway.
And waking up the next morning to look out the front window and see Big Red, our almost 100 year old barn?
It was simply amazing. It was an answer to many prayers.
It also explained a lot of unanswered ones.
Prayers are sometimes answered with no. Sometimes they are answered with wait.
2011 was the year of our trying to buy houses and failing miserably. The first property we tried to buy—which was “perfect”—fell through two days before closing. We literally had our house packed up and ready to move.
The second property—which we considered a “farm-to-be”—fell through towards the end of summer.
The third place—again “perfect”—was unexpectedly pulled off the market while we were dealing on it.
So many seemingly unanswered prayers.
I was angry.
I was frustrated.
Our hopes would skyrocket, and then nose dive into the ground. It was aggravating and ridiculous. I wanted to give up on the whole mess.
I mean, didn’t we know what house was best for us? Why wasn’t it working out?
We don’t always know best.
And then, all of sudden there was a new listing. We found a real live farm (!!) on a dirt road (!!) in the middle of nowhere (!!). There was a big red barn and a cute white house.
It would be attempt number four.
Four is (and always has been) my lucky number.
Lo and behold, we ended up in lucky number four—Clucky Dickens Farm—where I have been living and learning about farm life for the past six years and for hopefully a trillion more years to come.
Waiting on answers is hard.
It’s hard to wait for things that you think should be yours and then watch them be given to someone else. It’s difficult to pray for something to be fixed and then watch it get worse. It’s a challenge to ask for change in something that is out of your hands, and watch it continue on.
Healing of an illness.
Repair of a marriage.
Release from a situation.
For someone to see the destruction of the path they’re headed down.
And we don’t get why things aren’t healed or repaired or released or why people still walk around blinded by their craptastic decisions.
I mean, answer the damn prayer already.
Sometimes it’s not for us to know. Sometimes we have to accept that we can’t see the other side of what’s coming. Things that look like chaos on this end somehow get woven into a brilliant tapestry that ends up being pretty darn awesome.
On the other side of the unanswered prayer, things suddenly click.
I remember my husband standing near the front door a couple weeks later, after we’d signed the papers and things were official. He looked out over our farm, so proud and satisfied.
He said, “You know, this is why every other house fell through. Because we were supposed to be here.”
Which worked out pretty well, because now I can’t imagine us having lived and farmed and learned and loved in any of those other three houses. Not in the amazing ways that we’ve been able to do here.
Thank God for all those unanswered prayers. They are perhaps one of the most mysterious—and best—gifts of all.
THIS POST IS PART OF A 14 DAY SERIES, WRITTEN ACROSS BOTH SITES THAT I RUN.
Gift #1 — The Gift of an Open Door
Gift #2 — The Gift of One of Those Days
Gift #3 —The Gift of a Dog’s Friendship
Gift #4 — The Gift of Mess
Gift #5 — The Gift of Our Silence
Gift #6 — The Gift of Routine
Gift #7 — The Gift of Community
Gift #8 — The Gift of Three Things Unsaid
Gift #9 — The Gift of Perspective
Gift #10 — The Gift of Being Real
Gift #11 — The Gift of a Bowl of Corn
Gift #12 — The Gift of Encouragement
Gift #13 — The Gift of Unanswered Prayers
Gift #14 — The Gift of Actually Listening