When January comes around each year, like so much of the world, I like to reflect on the past year and come up with some goals for the new one. Some years I come up with a whole list of resolutions and some years I decide on a word that I want to focus on for the year (for example, this year my word is discipline). However, one year, when I was a young first time mom, I only had one New Year’s wish – only one cry of my heart – I really wanted a friend.
I had lots of friends, don’t get me wrong, but as a new mom I felt what, I believe, is common for so many new moms – I felt lonely. My life was suddenly so different and I had very few friends who were in the same place that I was – a mom who mostly stayed at home (I did work a couple days a week), nursing an infant, in need of a friend. Becoming a mom changes things in so many ways that you do not expect – I felt lonely and isolated. It kind of snuck up on me. That New Year’s I realized what I needed – what I wanted more than any lofty goal – was a mom friend. So I asked God to bring me a friend that wasn’t miles away or too busy with work or school or kids activities.
It was one of those prayer requests that you think really doesn’t matter, right? It wasn’t a request for healing from cancer; it wasn’t something catastrophic; it almost seemed trivial, mundane, ordinary. Would God really care that this young mom was lonely and just wanted a friend?
But, friend, I know my Jesus. I know how much He loves me – how much He loves you. And just like my husband would never want me to be lonely, my Jesus wants it even less. Sometimes, God is just waiting for us to ask…
I have asked God for many things in my life and although I have received many “yes” answers, the more frequent response seems to be “no” or “not yet, my child”. But I was reminded of the words of my Jesus – words that mean so much more to me now that I am a parent.
“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
All I had to do was ask. So that New Years night, sitting exhausted on my bedroom floor after feeding the baby (again), I prayed for a friend. Then, I fell asleep, exhausted, and forgot all about it…
Sometimes prayers take a long time to be answered and sometimes I think God is standing there, holding a gift out, just waiting for us to take it.
I don’t remember how many days later it was, but less than a week, I somewhat begrudgingly attended a baby shower for a neighbor. Usually I like showers, but I was not looking forward to this one at all. In fact, I told my husband I was going to make a polite appearance and duck out as soon as possible. So, I took the baby – always a good excuse to leave early – and reluctantly walked down the block to the shower, gift in hand.
I am a strange combination of personalities – an extroverted introvert. I can certainly be confident and bubbly and make acquaintances easily, but I secretly hate small talk and long for deep conversation with someone I really connect with. Going to the baby shower, without really knowing anyone was uncomfortable and required a lot more energy that this sleep deprived young mom wanted to give. But I went and God met me there with the gift that I had asked Him for.
You know when you meet someone and within minutes you know there is a connection? That was the case with my friend Jen. I had met her before – we were also neighbors, but we had only introduced ourselves at the mailbox and pointed out our houses. At the party, both not really knowing anyone, and both not being comfortable in that situation, we connected. We talked the entire party, and as we walked home together after the party (I didn’t leave early after all), we made arrangements to meet for coffee and shopping a few days later. And, without even realizing it until several months later, God answered my prayer – my silly, trivial, won’t stop the world’s problems prayer – because He loved me.
So, my friend, what is your heart longing for today? What seemingly trivial request do you have for our Father? Because, you know, He loves you more than anyone in the world – He thinks about you all the time – He delights in giving you good gifts. All you have to do is ask…