Do you know what I’m grateful for today? I’m grateful that sometimes God doesn’t answer “yes” to some of our prayers. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? I mean, who is happy when God says “no” to them?

I can tell you who. People who pray for things they really think they want but later realize they never did, are happy when God says “no” to a request. Of course, we aren’t happy in the midst of our disappointment but down the road, we are struck by relief.

“My word, imagine if God had answered that prayer my letting me have what I wanted,” we might think. “Imagine the stress I would have been under then. I think it’s bad now but if I had been given the desires of my heart back then – ouch. Nightmare for sure!”

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For me I know one prayer I’m actually glad God didn’t answer yes to was for a full-time photography business that I could rely on to partially support my family. Once upon a time, I wanted to be busy every weekend, taking and then editing photos of other people and their children. I imagined that if I could do that then I’d be a real photographer and I would be popular and yes, yes, Sally Fields, people would like me too.

When that dream never came I was crushed. I was rejected and I’ll let you in on a secret – there are many days I still am. But, my goodness, am I so happy I’m not dealing with the stress of worrying about doing the right things for a different group of people every weekend – juggling personalities and soothing egos and simply trying to please them all, no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very lucky that almost every client I’ve had for photography has been easy to get along with and a blast to photograph. Still, let’s face it, no client is perfect and even if they don’t mean to, stress can come with having clients, even if it is stress I place on myself.

I still accept requests for photo sessions or freelance assignments but I don’t ever see myself being a well-known or well-sought after photographer and I’m finally perfectly happy with that. I’m actually happy with my small, boring and run-of-the-mill life with my two children, my husband, the cat and Zooma the Wonder Dog.

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I have found joy in being a mom, in homeschooling, in rambling on blogs and sometimes being offered freelance assignments in writing or photography and even in the daily chore of cooking meals. (Pray for me to also find the joy in cleaning.) I can honestly say that that previous unanswered prayer is one I’m glad God has said “no” to. And any of the rejection I felt from it is something I can continue to ask God to heal me from, even as I rejoice in how His ‘no’ became a yes in other ways.

How about you? Is there a prayer or two you’ve uttered and now, looking back, your glad God didn’t answer “yes” to?

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