Unanswered Prayer

There's an old country song that says, "I thank God for unanswered prayer".
This week, I've been thinking about the prayers I've prayed that never "came true".
 The things I begged the Lord for, never to be seen.
The things that never made sense.
Perhaps, rather than unanswered prayers,
they were prayers to which the answer was,
"not yet"
and sometimes even...

In these moments, the wrestling with His will and ways,
yes we know and believe He is sovereign...

"'...I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

But I know that in the midst of the struggle, in not getting what we desire...
when God's timing is not our timing...
we can become discouraged and lose faith and trust in our God.
We don't understand.
This past year, I've been there. Honestly, I didn't understand His ways.
But I said, "Lord, I give this all to you. My brokenness. These broken pieces.
My little Plan A that did not work out.
The mistakes, even, that I've made.
The things you gave me and then took away.
And I trust You."

And you know what?
It hit me the other day -
I'm so thankful for the prayers I prayed to which He answered,
He has ever so slowly changed my heart, taken certain things out of my heart.
Changed my desires.

When I was a little girl, my favorite Scripture was:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
(Psalm 37:4)

I was sure that He would give me the whole laundry list of what I desired, if I lived for Him.
I am learning to see this, though, in a more mature light. Rather than HIM making my desires come true. I believe now, that I am to give my heart to Him as I delight in Him...
and He will give me the desires that HE has for me.
My sweet Mom explained this truth to me time and time again..
and in my stubbornness it took hard lessons to learn.

I am learning that His ways are higher than mine.
And you know what?
I am thankful.
At the end of a difficult year.
Thankful for the "No's".
Thankful for ended relationships, not ending up marrying certain guys I thought were perfect for me throughout the years.
Thankful for seasons even of a broken heart, for humbled I was in those times.

And thankful that

 I do not know what my future holds,

but I know who holds my future.

{photo credit: cris mendoza}

It's exciting, loves. Isn't it?
And, at times. a little scary.
But we have HIM. And He is enough.

May we learn to be women who emulate the Proverbs 31 woman in Scripture:

"She is clothed in strength and dignity,
she can laugh at the days to come."
-Proverbs 31:25

Let's keep praying. For His will. For the desires of our hearts to match HIS.
And see what exciting things He does.

And even when it seems like unanswered prayer...
we may be thankful for it later.

Tell me, in what ways have you seen God's plan is best?
Are you thankful for "unanswered" prayers and "No's?"
Happy Christmas week! :)