Monday, January 26, 2015

Pointed Praying

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you.  - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  - Matthew 7:7

Living in the world of special needs families has, over time, made me a bit more cautious when speaking about what God has done for Lucy.  I know that there are victories that Lucy has had that come as a direct result of our prayers.  How do I share those, though, when there are so many families who have prayed just as fervently, or moreso, and their answer hasn't been the one they desperately wanted?  It seems so unfair.  And so I've become quieter about Lucy's blessings, thanking God privately, in the hopes that I would avoid hurting other faith-led families whose prayers weren't resulting in their hoped for outcome.

It seems that may have inadvertently led to the dwindling of my requests put before God.  Days are so full, and nights have been sleepless, and when I think to pray, it's lately been just to thank Him, and to pray in generalities - keep us safe and healthy, be with those less fortunate, etc.  In not taking the extra time to praise Him for the specific requests He fulfills, I've forgotten to make those pointed requests.  We live our lives doing what we can on our end to make sure life is running smoothly, but part of living in faith is remembering that we can't do it all, and God *wants* us to rely on him.  We won't know all the outcomes, and ultimately, it's out of our hands - that's what faith means.

Lucy still hasn't been tolerating much time off her bipap, and over the past few days, it's been down to quick breathing treatments, then back on.  Bath attempts have been disastrous, so we've been doing bed baths.  Yesterday, I was so hoping to get her in her tub for a good scrub and soak.  I took the time to pray, hard and specifically.  I prayed for her, and I prayed over the tub and drying area, which is where she always really starts to panic.

We did everything we could on our end, everything we always do - cranked up the heat in the house to the almost-passing-out temperature, chose loose-fitting clothes for fast dressing and brought them in the bathroom so we could dry and dress quickly.  Laid out towels and washcloths and soaps, ready to use.  We talked it up to Lucy, prayed with her, and brought her in to get her in the tub...

...and she did fantastic.  She was calm, and not just calm - happy.  We were able to get her whole bath done with no panic.  Then the tough part; getting her dried and dressed.  If Lucy feels even a hint of cold, she starts to hyperventilate.  If we take too long, she starts to fuss, and then hyperventilate.  We sang to her and toweled and lotioned and dressed, and though she was a bit testy at the end, by the time we got her into her room she was in good spirits, and we managed to get her bipap back on without incident.

It was miraculous.  There wasn't anything that we did that we don't do every single time, in an attempt to keep her calm... except the pointed prayers.  It was an obvious reminder that we can't do it all, and we shouldn't pretend that we can.  We are responsible for doing every logical thing we can to keep Lucy healthy and happy - utilize her machines, treatments, proper diet.  We are responsible for learning Lucy, reading her changes and moods and nuances in her behavior, and caring for her accordingly.  I can't just leave Lucy on her own all day every day, say a prayer for God to take care of her, and expect it to happen... but I can pray for Him to aid me, to guide me, and to lend His strength and power to the areas where I have none.

And the answers may not always be what I want to hear, what I want to see.  Part of having the whole "ask and you shall receive" thing work is asking for things that are in line with God's will for us.  God's will for us is for good, whether it's what we want for ourselves or not.  There are a million variables in life, and we can never predict how getting that thing we really wanted will affect us down the road.  God sees the whole picture.

"Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?"  - Matthew 7:9-11

We need to be willing to ask Him.  And I need to remember that.  And I need to remember that even if the response doesn't come the way I want it to, that doesn't mean He doesn't have our best interests in His heart.  For today, though, I'm praising Him for the answered prayer of a peaceful bath :)

After bath ritual is watching Frozen - Lucy chose Anna for the 
front, Elsa on the back :)


Anonymous said...

You are amazing and I know that because I have a daughter like you. Please keep doing exactly what your doing and keep trusting God.. You are responsible for the quality and He for the quantity as He sees fit.