Friday, August 6, 2010

Listening Prayer

This past weekend, my church hosted its annual leadership conference, called Oasis. The big theme this year was Listening Prayer--slowing down in the busyness of our fast-paced lives enough to give God the chance to communicate with us...and actually be prepared to listen. I, of course, was preoccupied with a new baby, so I only made it to one session, but it got me to thinking...

I'll admit, I don't think I'm a good listener to God. Jim has frequent experiences where he feels God directing him to something or even actually hears God tell him something. I on the other hand feel like my communication with God is shaped far too much by my own thoughts and opinions. And as a result, I'm usually hesitant to put my ideas in God's mouth.

However, hindsight is 20-20, and quite often I can look back after the fact and realize that God was indeed speaking to me or through me in a moment...And that's always pretty cool. So as I was thinking about all that, I suddenly remembered back to an incident a year ago, when I wasn't sure if God was speaking or I was putting my words in his mouth.

Every summer, Jim's family spends a week up at Donner Lake. We join his parents and his sister and her husband for a fun time of swimming, hiking, running, card-playing, and general great times.

As usual, last year was wonderful, except for one nagging detail. After a year of trying, we still weren't pregnant, but Jim's sister was. And as excited as I was for them, I really struggled with sadness and even a little jealousy. On the outside, I was able to maintain a bright, cheery attitude and ask all about the pregnancy and be excited about their plans, etc...But on the inside, as I lay in bed each night, it was really tough. To top it all off, toward the end of the week, my cycle ended (a few days early), and I was faced head-on with the reality yet again that this was another month of failure. Whew! Talk about bad timing!

That morning, I sat in bed reading my Bible, not really into it and my thoughts totally elsewhere. But I continued on with my journey through the Old Testament, reading about Elisha, who was a total stud. In 2 Kings 4, there is a woman who feeds him and provides a place for him to stay repeatedly, and he wants to repay her, but she says she needs nothing. But Elisha's servant tells him that she has no children, so Elisha calls her and tells her, "At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son" (verse 16). And a year later, she gave birth...

So, I read that and it immediately got my attention. God, I thought, Is this your promise to me? I didn't know. I mean, maybe it was just a coincidence. I even asked Jim what he thought, and he just shrugged nonchalantly. So I figured I was just getting my hopes up and tried to move on. (Secretly, however, I did the math, and figured out that to have a baby by the next July, I'd have to get pregnant by October...)

Well, October came and went, and we definitely didn't get pregnant. We did however start the adoption process with our first class. I put that passage out of mind.

Fast forward to this summer. We made plans to join the family--with our 8-month-old niece--and again I felt a little sad.

And then we got that fateful phone call...

And then we brought Jadon home...

And then, Jim's parents and sister/husband/baby went off to Donner Lake, and we stayed home with...OUR SON!!! This time next year, we actually had a son!!!

I didn't think about all this until this conference. But wow! Jadon means "God has heard"...and He really has!!! And this time, so had I!


  1. What an amazing story!It appears that verse 16 was God's promise to you and Jim. Your story really refreshed my mind about listening and remembering that I can't put a time table on having prayers answered. Thanks for sharing. Holli Wood

  2. So awesome =) I love to look back and see how He has provided in the areas we were uncertain about.

  3. God is faithful! I am blessed to have a beautiful sister who has a heart to listen to God and share lessons learned... love you!!!

  4. Oh my friend. Your story and God's greatness brings me hope. I need to do more listening too. Love you.

  5. Your honesty in this makes God's goodness to you shine all the brighter - what an awesome story of God caring so deeply for you, hearing all your heart's cries and complaints, and holding onto good things for you until just the right time. The end of the story (where you guys got Jadon) made me want to cry - I'm so happy for you! I relate a little, in that we'd been off birth control for almost 3 years before we got pregnant with Naomi, and near the end of that I began to wonder if we'd ever be able to have a baby and be parents. When we first conceived, 3 days after we found out I was pregnant I had some spotting and we had multiple ultrasounds that didn't look good. For about 10 days I thought I was going to lose her. Seeing pregnant women made me so angry and sad. Ultimately we found out I was not as far along as they'd thought (by several weeks - I had an irregular period), so she hadn't shown up in the u.s.'s. What a joyful day that was! By the way, won't it be cool if you someday get to meet the woman from 2 Kings 4 in heaven?? What a conversation that would be! :)