I Had Given Up on Prayer

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My scull can be thick. But thank God, He’s a master carver. And He has pared past my unbelief, doubt, and fear.

And He has shown me this…prayer isn’t futile. It isn’t merely dead words as I thought. Perhaps you think I must have been quite calloused and distant to ever think prayer ineffective, and to which I say, you’re right. I was. I was angry. I was jaded. I was hardened by the misfortunes dealt by the cards of life.

I entered church ministry as a newly twenty-year-old with rose-colored glasses and left fives years later with blackened shades. I felt abandoned by God doing the very thing I thought he’d called me to.

In the wake of this, baby number one was born a success, but my body was not. It took seven months of physical therapy to correct my pelvic floor and keep my hips in place. But finally I was strong enough to continue my dream of more children.The lenses of my glasses became darker when the ultrasound for baby number two didn’t show a heartbeat. I couldn’t understand how a child I’d dedicated and prayed for the moment the pregnancy test read positive was now gone. I felt abandoned again.

The abandonment accumulated as my sister lost her first child and then I miscarried again, losing baby three. I couldn’t believe I had lost another child. Especially since I had specifically asked God this time to please, let this child make it. To please let this child be healthy. My prayer wasn’t answered (so I thought). My glasses weren’t just black anymore; they were impenetrable. I was blind to hope. I felt worse then abandoned; I didn’t care if He was there for me anymore. I didn’t want to talk to God. Of course, as a good ‘Christian’ mother to my daughter, I continued the evening prayer, for her benefit. How trite.

When the test read positive for baby four, I was scared. As a high-risk pregnant woman, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I wasn’t sure if my body was even capable of holding life. And mostly, I wasn’t sure if I dared ask God for his help. But there came a day, eight weeks into the pregnancy, where I began to bleed. At two AM, I woke my husband, crying. The contractions had started. My body was trying to miscarry, again. My husband turned on all the lights. I lay down, scared. Miserable. He knelt beside me and put his hands on my abdomen and prayed. A fervent prayer. He claimed life and rebuked miscarriage. He prayed on and on. Until the contractions stopped. The bleeding stopped. And today, I have a son. His name is Gabriel, which means, “Strong man of God.”

In those early, terrible morning hours, I learned something.

Prayer does work.

It works! It isn’t futile. God does hear. And even more so, He showed me that he heard each prayer and answered all of them. They simply weren’t answered like I had expected. I asked for healthy, full-term babies. And they are. Shiloh and Selah are healthy and were born full-term in heaven. Their natural bodies couldn’t sustain life in our world, but they are thriving in heaven. They’ve gone ahead of me, but we’ll have eternity to spend together someday.

My glasses have been washed clean, as forgiveness has entered my heart. I blamed God. I was angry with Him. I thought he had abandoned me. But I now know the truth.

He never left and when I was at my worst, he was still present. Rooting for me and waiting for the blindness to clear.

Thank you, God. I now see.

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14 thoughts on “I Had Given Up on Prayer

  1. I am thankful for your post. I have been down such a similar path. Because I am so social, God moved me to another job, where I was away from the women whom I would have leaned on. When I feel into crisis with Jacob, I had God and God was there strong as ever. We tried again, but Angelica didn’t make it either. Oh the reunion to come!

    God bless!

  2. Excellent! I have a quick prayer story. A young man that I have know all of his life was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor last week on Tuesday. Approximately 25% the mass of his brain. They operated on Thursday. He woke up after surgery and said, “Hey, I’m alive!” The amazing thing is that he went home yesterday, standing on his own two feet and walking. Literally thousands of prayers lifted up for this young man. A beautiful thing. God definitely answers prayers. Like you said, they aren’t always the way we expect and his ways aren’t something I can always understand, but he is good. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Catie,
    There are so many times in the years that have passed that I question to the core of who I am. Thank you for your humility to share what so many keep secret. Thinking of you!!!

  4. This was so beautiful, Catie. Thank you for your honesty. I’m sitting here on my break at work tearing up! I am so thankful that God opened your heart once again to his power. Also, your writing is beautiful. Thank you for this wonderful post!

  5. Love you Jon & Catie. Thanks for your transparency.

    Thanks, God for peace like fresh rain and extreme favor over the Cordero household. You guys are such blessings to so many.

    Joe

  6. Thank you for posting this! I have been feeling a starting of the anger and discouraged and losing hope! I needed this post to remind me God is there. That there is hope. Thank you Katie!!

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