The Chance to Say YES
On my way to the post office this afternoon, I passed our local high school’s cross country team out for their afternoon practice run around our community. All of a sudden, memories flooded my mind of my high school cheerleading practices.
One year we had a set of amazing coaches who made us “work to wear our skirts.” And by work, I mean work OUT. I can’t tell you the number of times I thought I was going to pass out–which was pretty much every single time we ran around our school’s campus or the local park’s running trail. I was by no means a runner. None. But it was a small price to pay considering all the fun we got to have in practice, at camp, and of course, during those fall basketball games cheering on our classmates.
As I watched the bright-faced cross country girls pass my car, I couldn’t remember if I had ever thanked my mom for asking me if I wanted to try out for cheerleader. This was before the days of social media, email addresses, or even school websites with a posted calendar of events. Parents received information through the mail, or sent home with their students, or they attended a PTA meeting. Because I was a new student at my high school and tryouts were held in the summer, I didn’t know about this opportunity.
I’m thankful for my mom’s boldness in asking me if I wanted to do it. Because she asked, I had all of those amazing experiences and built friendships I still cherish to this day. If she hadn’t brought it up, I never would have had the opportunity to even say, “YES.”
An Opportunity for God to Say YES
And then I felt like the lady in those Prego commercials.
*Cue chimes and a wavy scene transition.*
“What else have I been missing out on?”
The biggest question is how many times have I missed out on an opportunity for God to say “YES” to something I didn’t ask Him?
Praying in Boldness
Several weeks ago I asked God for something pretty big. To be honest, it had been years since I’d prayed a prayer this bold. The last bold prayer I’d prayed was for a very special family friend to be healed of cancer. Prior to that prayer, I had prayed many bold prayers with the authority of the Holy Spirit. Prayers that were answered “YES” before my eyes. BIG, BOLD, New Testament stuff. Praying for our friend’s healing, I had no doubt we’d receive word one day that she was healed. But we never did. Instead she went home to be with the Lord.
I was so mad at God. I was so disappointed. I was heartbroken.
Over the next few years I slowly began to realize, with a lot of wrestling, that line I’d heard forever: “God always answers prayers. Sometimes His answer is just ‘No.'”
An Unexpected Dilemma
And so here I was, several weeks ago, looking at a canister of infant formula on my kitchen table. My daughter was two weeks away from her first birthday. We’d been nursing for almost an entire year. I committed to nursing her for an entire year since that first latch. It had taken a lot of sacrifice. A lot. But it was the decision my husband and I felt was best for us and for her.
And then my milk dried up. Just 2.5 weeks before that first birthday.
A quick call to the pediatrician’s office resulted in the OK to go ahead and start her on cow’s milk. There was just one problem with that. Even the slightest bit of dairy made her break out in scary-looking welts around her mouth. The nurse encouraged me to give it one more shot. Well, my daughter loved the cow’s milk, but the welts popped up around her mouth and down her chest and abdomen afterwards.
So I made another call to the pediatrician’s office. This time their orders made my stomach drop. Put her on a specific formula until her one year checkup, and I could pick up samples at the office.
I drove down there with knots in my stomach, and by the time I got home with the canisters, those knots had only tightened.
I stared at those canisters in utter disappointment. So many feelings, all personal and they are too lengthy to write about here, but with every fiber in my being I did not want to give her formula.
An Answer to a Bold Prayer
So I prayed a bold prayer. It kind of felt like wheeling an old bike out of a garage after years of sitting there without being ridden. A little rusty, but it rolled.
“God, if You could open Sarah’s womb [Genesis 21:2], you can give me milk. Please give me milk.”
After three or four days of nothing, that night my daughter and I tried again.
Y’all, my milk came in like a geyser, and I had to hold back tears.
If I had never asked, I never would have had milk to give her those next few weeks. And, I would have missed the opportunity to physically be a part of a miracle.
It felt like I was getting a hug from God that first night. Gentle. Soft. Reminding me that He does still answer bold prayers with YESes, and not from just those who we think of as prayer warriors, those who seem to have a “direct line to God,” but from me, from you.
We’ll just never know unless we ask.
What bold prayers are you afraid to ask God? What bold prayers have you asked God that He answered “YES” to? I’d love to hear about them.
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