“And there are moments when you really just want Someone to share life’s little joys and pains with. Like moments when you need someone to just hold your hand, look you in the eye (like no one else would), and reassure you that things would be okay. Or when you’re experiencing something utterly wonderful, and you want to share it with Someone special (who’s not any of your girlfriends) who totally gets you and understands why you’d feel that way. Or when you just need to snuggle up to someone and hide in the crook of his arm and not have to do or say anything, when you’d rather just hide from the world. Or Sunday mornings, when you just want to lounge together and talk about the books you’re reading (yes, we’ll both have to be a little bit nerdy that way) or any random thoughts over breakfast, and not have to think about going anywhere. Or just plain let’s-go-through-life-together-and-enjoy-loving-and-learning-from-each-other-as-we-go-along.”
That was an excerpt from my last blog post before this, when I was ruminating on solitude, loneliness, and relationships. It was, in many ways, an open and honest conversation with God—about what my mother’s illness was making me fearful of and reflective on, about the little things I was missing and wanted to have back in my life, about “that Big Question” and the seemingly elusive search for committed love that had been on my mind then.
I had already come to accept that the answers were out of my hands, that God’s timing wasn’t my own. I knew that if I just surrendered, let go, and trusted fully in God’s plan for me, that everything would be revealed, clearly, and at the right time. All in His time.
I even asked God, “When that time is about to come, would you please show me very clear signs so I’ll know what to do? You know how stubborn and headstrong–and, sometimes, dense–I can get, so please tell me what to do, and I’ll listen! I promise!”
I had no idea that THAT time was just around the corner.
You see, just shortly after that blog post was published, the greatest love story of my life unfolded in ways that I would never have seen, expected, nor imagined—not in a million years, and certainly not in the form of the person that is now in my life in the fullest and in the most loving of ways.
And I realized a few more things about God and how He answers our prayers:
Sometimes, God will answer through soft whispers, tiny nudges, and fleeting signals—like when someone mentions an old friend’s name in conversation, and you find yourself thinking about them and just reaching out to say, “Hello.”
He will answer through technology, too. (Okay, sometimes, it’s AI and those algorithms, but sometimes you’ll have to believe that it’s God sending you signals through cyberspace, too. I mean, I’d like to believe that my God is a geek God ;))
Sometimes, too, God will put you in highly stressful situations that throw you waaay out of your comfort zone—and out of the ballpark, really—just when you don’t need any more of that, so you would have no other choice but to lean on Him for pretty much everything.
Then He will also answer by ticking off those little checkboxes in your head and showing you, “Remember that thing you’d been asking for? I’m actually giving it to you, and you’d better pay attention!”
And all those checked little boxes will be God’s way of challenging some of your tightly-held biases and the loudest “Nos” and “Nevers” you’ve told yourself again and again. He will use your dearest friends to call out your fear (and your B.S.) and ask you, “Why not? What’s wrong with that?”
Sometimes, too, He will answer through a rapid succession of events that will leave you breathless and quite unable to process what’s going on, because suddenly, all the questions you’d been asking for years would be answered in days and weeks. It was as if He were giving you very little time for overthinking (which He knows you do a lot) and self-doubt, and saying, “Here! Here! Here! Okay, are you happy now? You still don’t believe me? Here’s some more!”
He will also answer through big statements and questions that come not only from the beloved, but perhaps, too, from God himself:
“Are you ready to jump?”
He will drive you to the very edge—but always with strong, steady, consistent, faithful assurances—until you realize that the ONLY way to get the answer is to jump.
“You mean, as in skydiving? If you were jumping with the right partner, it would feel more like flying than falling.”
And fly, you will, indeed.
And as you’re soaring and feeling safe while being suspended in air, you will ask God and yourself, “It all seemed so easy. What took so long?”
And God will answer yet again, sometimes in the simplest of ways and through the most illuminating of reflections and revelations: “You weren’t ready then. You’re ready now ;)” (Yes, with a wink, too!)
Then you will realize that, all this time, He was preparing you for the best, by throwing all the not-so-good and the so-so and the almost-there ones into your path, so you could see for yourself that they weren’t the best ones for you (and you probably weren’t the best one for them, either). You will see how He was cracking you open and (painfully) chipping away at your rough edges, making sure you were the right vessel to receive what He was about to give you, because if God were giving you the best, then you need to be your best for them, too.
(And you could be sooo stubborn and unbending and—to be quite honest—sometimes really arrogantly, foolishly full of yourself. How can someone full of themselves be able to receive someone else into their lives, seriously?)
You will also see how God will break some parts of you that you no longer need, cause you to discard unhealthy and destructive beliefs, and mold you and mold you and mold you, until you’re no longer your own creation, but truly God’s own. He will throw you into situations that will open your mind and expand your heart so greatly that you now have so much space to give—and receive—so much openness and love.
And right at that intersection of pain and stress and confusion and disbelief and complete surrender, He will shine a light on a little marker that says, “You are here.”
You are here.
That Big Question has now been answered. You know that new ones will take its place, but you also know that, no matter what happens, God will always answer—and almost never in the ways you expect Him to.
But that’s what makes Life and God amazing, right?