What Happens When You Don’t Get What You Want?


Are You Qualified? / Tiffanyaolson.com

What do you do when you find yourself in a place of joy because a prayer has been answered and at the same time in a place of devastation because only part of your prayer ended in the result you desired?  Gratefulness and sadness at the same time. You don’t want to ignore the miracle that took place but your heart is in tatters because not everything worked out the way you thought it would.

Our town witnessed a true miracle a few weeks ago when after four nights in the wilderness Trevor Higgins was found alive and in good condition. Even those of us that are mere acquaintances of the family wept openly that momma and son were reunited. Hope swelled that dad (Shawn) would soon follow. I have never in my life heard so many people openly talk about prayer as I have recently. People that I didn’t think knew what prayer was were opening up their hearts and minds to the idea that maybe, just maybe, there might be someone or something out there that is ultimately in control of all that is seen and unseen. When I realized this I added them in to my prayers as well, hoping that whatever the outcome of this situation that people with even the tiniest shred of hope/faith/trust would not turn the other way when the intensity of the moment died down.

I have been given lots of opportunities to pray in my lifetime, as we all have. After all the praying that I have done I was struck in this last week with how my prayers in this situation felt a lot more like begging than actual prayers. Like I somehow felt that if I  just asked really really intensely, God would do what I wanted him to do. Nevermind that He created the whole universe and has had a plan for each of our lives since the very beginning. Nevermind that this life we are living is a part of His story not the other way around. We can come, we can ask and he will always answer. It’s just not always the answer we want to hear.

I’m not sure Jesus liked the answer he got in the Garden of Gesthsemane when he prayed so intensely that it was like he was sweating blood. He was praying that God would not make him walk through the crucifixion and that final moment when he would experience separation from God as he would be shouldering the burden of our sin. He asked if there was another way …

“Father if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Luke 22:42-44

The difference between Jesus and us is that one little sentence…”Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” I say I want the Lord’s will and I do but I think more often then not I truly want what I want and get frustrated when God’s will and mine don’t match up.

I certainly don’t have all the answers or any answers really. But I can go to the One who knows it all and find rest in the midst of all that I don’t understand. There are still a lot of prayers to be prayed, a lot of lives have been shattered and the pain runs deep. My brother in law died suddenly 11 years ago, he was 44. Aimee died 5 years ago, two days before her 31st birthday.  I know a bit about loss and suffering, not as much as some but more than others. I know enough to know that there is beauty in the midst of the pain, miracles happen and one day smiles will reappear. You never stop missing those that are gone and you always wonder what life would be like if they were still here. I also know that no matter what happens God is in control and he wants us to trust Him and his ultimate plan for all of our lives.

Lord I lift up the Higgins family to you today. You see their hearts and the deep anguish that they are experiencing in the fact that Shawn has not yet been found. You see Shawn, you know exactly where he is and what has happened to him. I ask for peace, grace and mercy for all the friends and family that are trying to cope with what has happened and for all the questions that have gone yet unanswered. Thank you that you love them all. All the family, all the friends. Please be with them as they struggle to even take the next breath. You see all, you know all, please fill in all the gaps where we as humans fail. Wrap this family in your loving arms and let them know you are close and how much you care for and love them. Amen.

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  1. Candy Adams says

    Your conclusion was spot on. Hugs to you girlfriend

  2. Sandy Mitts says

    Thanks Tiffany for putting it down for us. He knows it all. Love you.

  3. Judy Gederos says

    Such a gift you have been given. Thank you for sharing this Tiffany♥

  4. Bill Moldt says

    Great words Tiffany, about our God, this life and how to go about living in this world. Thank you!

  5. Amen!

  6. Thank you for your transparency. I often struggle with prayer, knowing what to ask, afraid of asking “too much.” God is gracious with me. He shows me that it’s never too much!

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