As I thought about what to post next, I was reminded of a song I heard many years ago. It was at a time when I felt that perhaps my own prayers weren’t being answered, and I wondered if God was even listening. I felt hurt and alone. My patience was wearing thin (which wasn’t uncommon for me) and although I didn’t become bitter, I did find myself looking for purpose. I think there is one thing that is common to the human condition: pain. We all suffer, in varying degrees, and at times it feels that we can be overcome by it.
It was at this point in my life that I sat in a concert and heard this song. I had never heard Cherie Call before, but the song struck at my heartstrings and it was as if my own inner voice had somehow been heard.
President Monson, in his recent address from general conference stated: “The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish?” At that moment, in a high school auditorium, I had to wonder if I was faltering. I had asked myself time and again if perhaps what I had hoped for my life and my family was not to be. This song reached out to me as a reminder that it was not my will to be done. There was a greater plan in place, and I could kick against those pricks and fight against the heavens, or I could accept God’s hand in my life and slowly move forward. I could choose to falter or I could choose faith.
Well, my heart certainly didn’t change in a night, and my faith certainly didn’t grow like the Grinch’s heart, but, I did find my heart opening and softening. I did find that I was more ready to listen to what God had to say instead of railing on Him for what I wanted. I had to look deep into myself and seek out my Father in Heaven for the humility to ask, “What now, Lord?”
I have had many, many yes answers from my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for all of them. But today, especially, I am also grateful for the answers of no. Although I know I couldn’t say it at the time, and I am certainly not asking for more, those answers have led me to develop greater patience, greater empathy and greater reliance on the One who answered me. So, when you question whether God is listening, remember that He remembers us. He knows us. And perhaps He is leading us to something bigger than ourselves.