For a few years it has been in my prayers to be given a new friend. This may sound strange for a 43 year old, but it makes perfect sense to me. You see, I was given a best friend in sixth grade with whom I stayed extremely close until this very day. I believe our friendship was a strong force, protecting us from a myriad of situations through school. She's a world traveler though. She's lived in Sweden, Grand Caymen's, Boston, New Hampshire, Connecticut...been to Greece, Africa, Europe...and lives in South Carolina now. We talk and see each other when we can, but our lives are vastly different. So, being spoiled by friendship already, I wanted another. I started praying for a friend for "this" life, the one I have with kids and husband and house, etc. She didn't come and frankly, I was too busy to worry about it, but once in a while I'd send it up again.
This prayer was answered several months ago with my walking partner Coleen. I'm not saying we're inseparable buddies for life already or anything, but she's the first pal I've had in years that I regularly get out and do stuff with. It's that kid-raisin' thing, keeps you busy. And it's no coincidence, no - a blessing - that she appeared when she did. Just as things started to ramp up with my oldest's issues, just as this started demanding much of my thoughts and worries I have Coleen calling me early in the morning demanding that we walk and now, for Pete's sake, she's got us playing tennis. She'll be bringing me my dinners on a tray too when my second cartilage tears, seeing as the first happened over a simple game of bowling. Anyway, it's an answered prayer to have a friendly outlet, an exercise partner, and an ear. I know what I asked for and Who I'm asking. It's just a matter of when and how.
I remember seeing news footage after Katrina of an old man sitting on the floor of a gymnasium or shelter with his three items, saved from his house. The reporter was asking him what he was going to do...if he was worried. The man said with a smile, "The Lord don't come when you ask Him, but He's always right on time." What he meant, I'm sure, was we don't always see the answer, but He answers. Faith.
Another long (well, it seemed long to me) struggle was finding a safe place for Seth to get therapy. I called every place under the sun and every single one of them turned us down. Too full, too busy, no reply... I was beginning to wonder - if everyone is in counseling these days, as it seems around here, how are they getting it!? We asked his doctor who knew he needed it, but said "we don't recommend for psychologists anymore." So good luck with that. (Didn't need luck.) I wanted good quality therapy, but had no idea how to get it. I knew the Lord would lead us in a direction, but when? Then one day my best friend, the one teaching psychology in SC, told me about a certain kind of therapy that is getting really good results and it was a type that taught life skills, not just babble on couches. Sounded good, but where? We found it, loved it and there was our answer. Boom. Right in time for summer when our schedule isn't heavy.
Then I feared a diagnosis. I did not want to hear, really, what was going on if it entailed some lifelong stamp on his forehead. It really began to absolutely freak me out. My nightmare. That hasn't even happened yet, officially, but already God has answered my most recent pleas for direction and comfort with a significant change of mind about it. He showed me that whatever the diagnosis is, whatever some guy behind a desk calls it, whatever it is He already knows about it, it's already there, it's already been handed to Him, He's been working "behind the scenes" on it - I don't know - for Seth's whole life? For eternity? I'm not sure how these things work, but I know He's answering prayers. Seth has prayed for three years specifically about this and felt he's received no answer. He doesn't have a lot of experience with seeing the subtleties of prayers answered. These are his learning grounds, I've had many myself.
The day before we went to our meeting I prayed again. I was seeking direction and comfort. How can I help. Where do I start? The very next day my heart was soothed - not don't worry, it's fine...he's cured, all done - but start here, focus on the good "think on these things..." make sure he remembers that I have given him qualities for good uses. Later when we shared that with Seth his countenance changed instantly. He'd been believing the lie that all is doomed, he's the worst person, there's no hope, whatever he has is no good. When he was reminded that he had been able to do many positive things, loving things in the past and that this possibility remains now in the present and in his future, I think something inside him shifted. He has a place to start, to return to, a hope. There is hope. There are answers. The Lord doesn't necessarily come when you want, but He's always right on time.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8