“Pray and you shall receive.”
That may sound overrated, especially if you spent years praying for the same thing without seeing any change. However, when you are a kid, dreaming and wishing is never a problem. My biggest dream growing up was having a father. Year after year, I would always wonder what it would be like holding my father’s hand or how he would spoil me by taking me to eat ice cream after school. In my mind we would laugh a lot and be “partners in crime.” I did not only dream, but I prayed a lot about it. That was my secret with God. I remember having long conversations with God telling Him about my dreams and my plans…When I was eight years old, my mom and I were having a prayer time together and I could not hold it in anymore. Between tears and hugs my prayer was, “Jesus, if You ever bring my dad back, I am going to share with the world how powerful and real You are.” Out of all my prayers and time spent with God, I can honestly say that I poured my heart out to Him that day.
Sure enough, my biggest dream did come true. Two years after praying that prayer, God did bring my father back.
Having our first encounter was an explosion of emotions: I was scared, confused, excited, anxious, and full of expectations. When he hugged me for the very first time, I knew that God heard me. Not only did He bring my father back, but He also reunited my family. A couple of years later, my parents got married.
In a ten-year-old girl’s mind, that was my “happily ever after” moment. However, I think one of the biggest things that I failed to realize is that after this reunion, a new life started in which we had to learn how to love and treat each other. God answering our most precious prayer is one thing, and a different thing is expecting the “happily ever after” that movies or fairytales sell us.
At 12, I went from living with my mom in Peru to moving to the US to live with my dad. Very soon I realized that I was not living a fairytale. Of course, my dad was nothing like my mom. He would not do things like my mom did and I was no longer living the expectations I had in my mind.
Maybe the fairytale you envisioned didn’t exactly turn out the way you planned either. Sadly, sometimes we spend too long complaining over the things we don’t have, or the way things don’t go according to our plan, that we forget to be grateful and content with God’s plans, process, and blessings. I may have taken too much time paying attention to what my mind told me a father should be. I may have overseen how hard he was trying to learn how to be a good father.
The more I think about it, I cannot forget my promise to God to give Him the glory for how faithful He has been to us. His plans were better than my little mind could ever comprehend. His process has been shaping us not as the perfect family, but a family who depends only on Him. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Thought one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (NIV) God reunited us and He is the one who keeps us together!