Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Preteen girls, Lost dogs, and Answered Prayers

Recently my oldest daughter, who is almost 10, has been going through a hard time. She is an anxious child by nature, but when you add 10-year-old girl problems on top of that, you get emotional outbursts of frustration, sadness, worry, and tears. I remember those days from my childhood as I'm sure most of you do as well, those tough preteen years when you tried to fit in, tried to find someone to play with on the playground....and having to deal with mean girls.

My daughter and I have had some long talks (arguments, too) about how to deal with these situations.  I also printed some verses and inspirational quotes for her to put in her room and binder for school. We have been praying,  praying for her to make good decisions,  to have the courage to make new friends, and to give her strength to be nice even if someone is not nice to her.

One day, she told me that she wasn't sure God was answering her prayers, so I explained to her that God doesn't answer every prayer, and if he does answer a prayer, it might not be how we expect it. God knows what is best for us. If He chooses not to answer our prayer that means he has something else planned for us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  
 -Proverbs 3:5-6

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
-Jeremiah 29:11

Answered Prayers

A couple weeks ago their dad's dogs got out of the fence. The girls love those dogs, so I knew they would be upset when they learned of this.  So, after picking them up after school, we headed over to their dad's neighborhood to look for the lost dogs.  As we circled the park looking for them, I heard a prayer from the backseat. "Dear God please, please, please let us find the dogs we love them so much!"  It was my oldest daughter that was praying for us to find the dogs. I had my doubts we would find them, since they had been missing half the day and their stepmom had already been looking for them in the neighborhood a couple times.

We drove from street to street throughout their neighborhood.  As we approached the very last street, I told the girls after this street we are going to head home and make some posters to hang up in the neighborhood..  As we were driving down that last street, my oldest yelled "I see Clyde!!" Sure enough, Clyde darted out between two houses just as we drove by.  Then, my youngest yelled  "I see the other two across the street!"  So we loaded all three dogs up in the car and took them back to their dad's house.

God shows up when we least expect it. 

On the way back home my oldest said to me "God answered my prayer! Thank you God! He was listening and he answered my prayer."  He knew she needed to see that he does hear you even though he doesn't always answer every prayer or even answer the way we think He should.

If we make the choice to ask for God's revelation and help,
 He will not leave us empty-handed or empty-hearted." 
- Lysa Terkeurst, Becoming More 

I had my doubts that we would find the dogs, and through this answered prayer of a 10-year-old girl, God reminded me to have childlike faith.  

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 
-Matthew 18:2-4

Sometimes, it takes going through a trial or dealing with a problem to see that God is at work in our lives - even when we do not recognize it or understand it. No matter where we pray or how we pray, God always hears. I am reminded to come to God with every worry and problem.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.
-Matthew 11:28

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