Praying without Pessimism

Wow. What a whirlwind of a week. My brother is currently in a treatment facility for an intensive week-long study and rehabilitation for his concussion. This is the home of last resorts. Most people who end up there have sustained a long term brain injury or have battled atypical effects and have pretty much exhausted every other resource out there.

I can’t even put a number out here for you, but I’m guessing the medical costs these last two years have exceeded my income earned the last two years. All because he was rear-ended by a careless teen who had no idea he was wrecking someone’s life. This has changed his life, his quality of life, his everything.

At first, doctors said give it a month. That became two. That became six. That became a year. Now, we stand at nearly two years with minimal progress. Life has been hard. Damn hard. Mostly for my brother and his little family, but trickled down to my parents and I, and all those around him too.

I bought a CD from Target about a year ago and played it as I was driving. The song below drove me to absolute bawling. I parked and let it cycle three or four times, as the lyrics and the beautiful violin cathartically gave me release.

“We’re sailing
We’re sailing aren’t we?
Its hard to tell the water from my tears
Don’t worry
Have faith they told me
It was easier than in my younger years
Now than I’m older, now that it’s colder
Life keeps on crashing
Day after day, like a wave after wave
We did everything right and now I’m asking
Where do we go? oh
When our prayers are answered
Where do we go? oh
When our prayers are answered but the answer is no

For once, a song finally addressed something my heart had tried to untangle for so long.

What if my brother isn’t meant to get total and complete healing? What if the answer to prayer is no? 

I can be so pessimistic in my prayer life. I can pray God’s will but still not deliver a heart cry. And I don’t know if that is the best most faithful way to pray. I am working on coming before the throne of grace boldly. I want to pray with the faith for God to work something incredible, but understand the limits and not make expectations for God.

I haven’t wrestled with prayer this badly in a long time. I can only hope that the Holy Spirit is uttering what I can’t fathom but feel, and that God is gracious on my messy pleas.

Do I have the faith to pray big? Do I have the faith to do so?

I’m working on it.  I’m also working on accepting that God’s plans are not mine, and trying to find balance in that. But I don’t want to just decide God is done with him either.

I reached out and asked specifically for 20 people to commit to praying for him with me, for 8 days of continuous prayer for him. Thankfully, I am not in this alone. There are people more firmly rooted, more seasoned in prayer and petitioning, that have come alongside me, to lift him up in prayer. The outpouring of love and support during this time has helped me so much.

God, help me to trust you in the yes, no, or not yet.

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