Each and every counseling session I leave feeling better about myself. Feeling better about my circumstances and the decisions I’ve made. Feeling better about the world around me and how I’m choosing to engage with it. My counseling sessions allow me the time and space to just say everything out loud that is already spinning around in my head.
So it’s no surprise that I came to this realization in today’s counseling session.
I opened up to my counselor about the prayer and fasting I’m doing with my church. I told her what I decided to give up, what mindset I went into this season with, and what I’ve been trying to pray for. And as I’m summarizing this for her and thinking out loud, I came to realize how incredible this season has been.
What I decided to give up, God returned to me tenfold.
I gave up something that was meaningless and time consuming, and in return God gave me meaningful relationships through quality time. In just the past few weeks alone I’ve established intentional time to spend with the ones I love. Whether it be board games or movie nights or FaceTimes or House Party calls, I have spent so much time in the presence of the people who matter most to me.
And as I’m breaking this all down for my counselor, I realized there’s just one more thing. It’s the one last thing that I want to see God do incredible things with.
But the hard part is that I don’t think I can ask God for this one last thing. That no matter how much I want it or how much I miss it, I can’t hope for it. Because once I hope for it, then it’s no longer God’s plan; it’s my plan. Because I can get on my knees, kneel down at my bedside, and fill my eyes with tears crying out to God. I know I can because I’ve done it time and time again. But I don’t want to beg God for it. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t even want to keep praying for it. Because I know that when I do, I’m expecting God to grant my wishes. I’m expecting God to do what I see fit. And I know that’s not going to solve anything.
Because what God has for me and what God is planning for me is far greater than anything I could ask for or imagine. So if I keep asking and if I keep imaging, then I’ll be settling for something mediocre in comparison to what God wants to give me.
And that’s the tension that I’m sitting in right now.
That’s what hurts me.
Because I know that if God can just restore this one last thing then everything will be momentarily ok. I’ll smile and feel joy and be happy. All because what I wanted, God gave me. But maybe there is something that I need that I don’t yet know about that God is holding out for me for just the right moment. And I believe that’s true! I believe that God knows far better than I do and what He wants to give me will be far greater than what I want for myself. I just have a hard time waiting for something I can’t expect.
And so I’m already crying. My eyes are puffy and red. Snot has completely congested my nose. It’s going to take at least five tissues to clear this one up.
But in a couple minutes I’m going to turn all my lights off. I’m going to kneel on the fluffy little rug I put at my bedside. I’m going to interlock my fingers and lay my head in my arms. And I’m going to pray.
Not for God to grant my wishes, because He’s more than just a genie. Not for things to turn out the way I want them to, because honestly my plan often sucks in comparison to God’s. But I’m going to pray for God to do incredible things in these last few days of fasting and prayer. I’m going to pray in expectancy knowing that something completely unexpected is going to happen in the next couple days. And not because of my own will or my own plans or my own doing. But because God is great, and He’s standing by ready to blow my mind with something spectacular.