It was going to be a very full weekend at Sofia Evelina’s house. Sofia had a lot of different emotions about it all, some of them she didn’t really understand. On the one hand, it was her little sister Tenley’s birthday, which she was excited for. She was also happy that the weather was supposed to be nice so she could play outside with her friends. Although, on the other hand, she didn’t know if there would be much time for that, because her mom was getting married in just three days.
And Sofia didn’t know how she felt about it. She wanted her mom to be happy. And her soon to be, new step dad, Kris, seemed like he was a nice guy. But now she was going to have to share her mom with other people, and she didn’t love the idea. But most of all, it really meant that her mom and dad would never get back together, which was something she had been praying for since they split up, three years earlier.
Sofia was confused. Doesn’t God answer prayers? Did he even hear me? Doesn’t the Bible say that he always hears us and answers us? If that’s true, why didn’t he answer my prayer? Is there even a point to praying if he’s not going to answer me? She knew her older sister had been praying for her parents to get back together too, so did God not hear her either? Her mom even prayed for the same thing, for a while, too. God didn’t hear her either? Does he hear anyone? Does he answer anyone’s prayers? If he doesn’t, what’s the point of loving him?
Even in the hustle and bustle of everything happening around the house, Sofia’s mom noticed there was something off with her. She didn’t seem like her usual happy self. The night after Tenley’s birthday party, just 2 days before the wedding, mom was putting the girls to bed. Sofia started to cry. “What’s the matter, honey?” Sofia’s mom asked.
“I’m happy that you’re happy and getting married again, mom. But I’m really sad that God didn’t answer my prayers about you and dad getting back together. I prayed it lots and I don’t think he even heard me!”
Just then, Olivia walked in the room and joined the conversation, “yeah, I prayed that lots too! He never answered my prayer either!”
Mom sat on the bed and snuggled them all close. “I know girls. I prayed it for a long time too. The truth is, I have no idea why some people get back together and some don’t. I don’t know why God heals some people of sicknesses and others he doesn’t. A lot of people have the same questions. But he always hears us and answers our prayers. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes he says no, and sometimes he says to wait. In this case, his answer was a no. And that’s okay because that means he has something better planned. We only see a little tiny part of what is happening, and he sees the entire picture.
“I also know, more than anything in this world, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, God is still good and loves us so much. So we must trust him in everything. Even when things are hard, or don’t make sense. Or when it feels like he’s so far away. Or when it seems like he doesn’t hear us. He’s always there and he always, always cares. And he always answers our prayers, just sometimes, not in the way we want him to.”
Mom reached toward Sofia and grabbed her hand. Squeezing it, she continued, “okay, so what’s the first thing we do when we’re feeling down?”
“Say what we’re thankful for,” both Olivia and Sofia said together.
“That’s right!” mom smiled. “But this time, I’m just going to do it because it may be a harder one that you may not know what to say yet.”
Both girls let out a sigh of relief. Mom laughed. “Ok, I’m thankful that no matter what happens, God still loves us and always answers our prayers, lots of times in ways we’re not expecting. I’m thankful that God always hears us. I’m thankful that God comforts us when we have a broken heart. I’m thankful that I can always trust him and let him figure out everything for my life. I’m thankful that when I don’t understand, I can just throw my hands in the air and say, ‘God, you deal with it!’ and he does! I’m thankful that he is always good, no matter what. I’m thankful that he always has our best interest in his mind. I’m thankful that even when I don’t see it, or it doesn’t seem like it, he’s always working for me and my good. I’m thankful that God answered my prayer and gave me Kris, who is a wonderful gift to all of us!
“And while we’re at it, I’m going to declare. I declare that God loves each and every person in my family. I declare that God has amazing plans for all of us. I declare that we will trust him with our questions and prayers, and know that no matter what, he hears us. Father, You are a good, good God. You are faithful, kind, gracious, compassionate, merciful, true, patient, loving, and beautiful.”
Sofia smirked. She didn’t know if Kris marrying mom would be better than having mom and dad back together, but she realized it wasn’t for her to understand. She had to decide to trust that God had a bigger plan for them all.