My husband routinely prays before each meal. I am usually knee deep in spaghetti by the time I take notice and join in. Our daughter will clasp her hands and watch him as he prays. When he says “Amen”, she shouts it and joins me in the sauce-y depths. I have long journeyed in my faith, but it has always been tough for me to wrap my head, much less my heart around the notion of a god or The God.
A few days ago, I stumbled into a conversation with a friend about Christianity. She is the type of Christian you won’t see on the news. I watch, as she quietly loves people around her through crises and conflicts. I’ve seen her do it for me. There are times I know I’ve entered her prayers and even times I asked to be included in them.
I want the faith that she has. I want to give things over to a god that I trust and I believe in. I want that relationship, but I’m not there yet. My mind doesn’t quiet in prayer, as much as it burns with questions. I can’t separate myself from the news or from the loss of lives. From bombs going off next to swing sets on holidays. I sat crying in front of my computer on Easter and wondered why, if there are two gods, do they hate each other so much.
When I get too deep, I often call my dad. He assures me that questions are good and answers aren’t always better. He doesn’t pray much and his journey has been going on longer than mine, but he knows the Serenity Prayer. He asked me if I remembered the words. In my family, alcohol is a false god and I always associate the prayer with AA. I smiled at the fact that my father had just essentially prayed over me and that he may have been the second one that day.
As I got my daughter ready for her nap, I changed her diaper. She wriggled and squirmed and I counted down the minutes until she would be safely tucked away.
“Be still,” I said as I unfolded her diaper and she stopped. She smiled and clasped her hands.
“Momma, let’s pray.”
I clasped my hands. “Thank you, Jesus, for this day.”
I listened while she repeated my words and held back my tears because I didn’t know what they meant.
“Amen,” I said.
I finished her diaper and watched as she ran off to play on her slide.
I want to believe that’s Him. I want to believe that He knew I was hurting. I want to believe that He’s taken the man I love and is turning him into a leader. That He sent me a conversation from a friend and prayer from my father. I want to believe that He took the girl that I love most, and showed me His hand in her.
I want to believe, that in His perfect way, my words, “Be still…” turned into His. I want to tell Him to wait for me. That I’m coming, but that I’m not there, yet.
My husband prays because he’s grateful. So, for my friends who are loving me through this, those waiting patiently and with Grace until I find my way. Thank you. I’m so grateful.
And I guess that means I’m praying for you, too.
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
*A version of this post also appeared on The Huffington Post.Liza Dora is an author, illustrator, and Texan living in Tennessee with her husband and two children. Liza graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in chemistry and is the proudest member of the class of 2007.
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