By Paula B
My daughter was born very prematurely and experienced subsequent health problems. During this time, I learned to rely on God more and received answers to my prayers in different ways.
Sometimes God guided the words I said in my prayers. About a week after her birth, when my daughter’s condition was extremely critical after an emergency surgery, I found myself praying for patience. Patience was not the original solution I sought, but that is what I needed. Another time I found myself unable to pray for a certain treatment to work. When I tried to say those words, they felt wrong. It turned out later that the treatment was not the right one for our daughter.
Other times, God sent answers I didn’t expect. A few months after her birth, while she was still in the hospital, I was feeling quite weary of our situation. I wanted my life to be easier! That day I saw someone whose situation was clearly much more challenging than my own and I felt somewhat embarrassed at my feelings of self-pity. God opened my eyes to see that my life was not so difficult. Shortly after that, I had the opportunity to visit with a nurse who had offended me early in our hospital experience. As I visited with her, I was able to see her in a much more sympathetic light and let go of my hard feelings towards her. It became obvious to me that sometimes God helps me even when I’m not praying specifically for help.
At times I prayed about problems, and into my mind have come thoughts of what I needed to do. At one time, my sweet premature daughter was sick with a miserable cough and I didn’t know how to help her. As I prayed, a new idea about how to help her came to me. I acted on it and it helped ease her suffering. Sometime later, it became clear that my daughter needed a kidney transplant. I could not donate directly to her but I could donate in her behalf. Before beginning the process, I had some fears about donating my kidney but a prayer brought peace to my heart.
Later, when it came time to donate, I was unhappy about the timing. The date that had been picked was the exact day my oldest son was coming home from being overseas for a couple of years. Our contact with him during this time had been very limited. I had looked forward to this event for a long time and I definitely did not want to be in the hospital. I decided to pray about it thinking that I would say, “No” to that date and would donate later; however, as I prayed, it became very clear that God was telling me that I should say, “Yes.” My very definite “no” became a “yes” after a few minutes of sincere prayer.
These problems and experiences have been a great blessing to me because I have learned to turn to God more often for help. In my helplessness, I was humbled, but I have received guidance from Him in different ways. While I would not want to relive all the challenges we experienced after my daughter’s birth, I am very grateful for the spiritual growth it brought to my life. I have become convinced that God is aware of each person and will talk to us if we will pray in faith, listen, and act on the answers we receive.
The picture is of Paula’s Daughter