See that mug in the middle of my organized mess? It was given to me by one of my preschool students' parents 3+ years ago. Only 3?!
Before that time, I remember stopping every day on the way to my cubical job at a small O&G company to drop my happy one-year-old girl off with the wonderful woman who would take care of her while I worked overtime to provide for our little family.
I coveted the time I was missing with her. I cried in my car most days, asking God to change my circumstances as a single mama. I wasn't even necessarily asking for a husband. Jesus and I had some reconciling to do before a man came into the mix. I just wanted the opportunity to raise and enjoy the little girl He entrusted to me. He let me do it! I got to be her teacher in preschool, study and know her personality, and care for some sweet little friends for almost two years.
When God closed that door, I grieved. I asked Him to reopen it later when the time was right, and then left the request there. I didn't have the bandwidth in life to get stuck wishing.
I needed to heal from things that were hard to face on a normal day for someone with a really cushy life. The Lord knew when He gently closed the door to my preschool that it would be hard to take the steps I needed to take while carrying the weight and demands of a woman parenting alone, a business owner, a full-time college student and very active church member. I needed counseling and mentorship. "His rod and His staff, they comfort me." They nudge me and lead me away from places that would cause me to further wander, back into the corral of his shelter.
We never know what God is going to let us do unless we pay attention. I almost missed the opportunity this time around when it presented itself. It doesn't look like what I thought it would, and I'm glad His ideas are bigger and better than mine!
Many times I have felt like my Father puts His hand under my chin, lifts my head and impresses on my heart, "I see you. Look to Me for what I've given to you. Look to Me for what you want. I Am. I will always be. Opportunities and the capabilities to champion them come from Me. Pay your attention to Me."
His faithfulness is greater and better than our desires and our weaknesses. His "no" or "not yet" or "not anymore" is good, even if it feels bad. And a lot of times means a better "yes" when He says so.
Is there something you're asking God for that needs to be hung on the alter so you can focus on what's in front of you right now, in this season? The desire for a husband? For that job? For that big dream? The request matters, and He doesn't ever mind our asking- nor does He need us to beg. He's a good Father like that. He wants us to want to trust Him, but then try to keep count of all the reasons why He alone should be our trust. He sees you and knows all things. There is such comfort in his sovereignty.