God listens and hears us when we pray. Have you ever felt that you got more than you bargained for when he gave you exactly what you asked for? What do you avoid asking?
As Ricardo and I started growing in our faith, I started praying he would take the lead more in our marriage. I was hoping he would start suggesting nightly studies we could do together or a small devotional or keep up with the one we had started without me asking about it. We read the bible together but it was not always regularly.
He was busy. He was working full time and still going to school. He was gone at least half the week with night classes. I understood it but it still did not sit right. While he was studying away at business, I was praying God would give him a break through. While he was getting together with other classmates for group projects, I was praying he would go deeper in his own personal time with God.
As I transitioned from working to staying home with Penny, I had more time to listen to sermons at home or while doing errands. God was speaking and I was praying Ricardo would be able to lead our family well.
One night as I asked yet again if we could do our devotions before bed, some frustration from initiating it yet again slipped in to my tone, which Ricardo picked up on quickly and asked for the reason. I expressed the leadership status I was hoping for as I sat next to him on our bed. He was thankful for the hint but put off by the way it came across and I apologized for the way I let it all unfold. It was one of those slight pivots in our relationship that changed our trajectory.
Coming for a line of strong willed women, God reminded me that I had to step back in order to allow him to lead, not stepping on his toes or giving him subtle hints, and loving him as he learned to take more initiative, even when it was not how I would have liked it to transpire. I had to learn submission and learn it well. Something I continue to learn and trust God with as we go over decisions and I support him with whatever he thinks is best and God's leading in the end, which is something I had a harder time doing in the past.
It has been one of those prayers that seems two fold and I know God is one who calls and sets people apart but he also listens and answers prayers.
Through all the prayers and growth in faith and leading well, God called him to be a pastor. To lead not only our family but God's people, which was hard for me to accept at first, as one of my I would never... came to fruition. This is the part where I like to joke and say I prayed too hard for him to lead our family because now he is leading others, too. A friend said she was having similar issues with her husband and I jokingly told her not to pray too hard because you never know who God will allow him to lead eventually.
But through it all, it has been amazing seeing how God has blessed Ricardo with the skill sets and ability to gather people together and the way people listen and ask for his guidance and the wisdom God has given him. And how his relationship with God has developed as he has studied and learned from other pastors and teachers and continues to do so. He has been a great leader as our family has grown and continues to surprise me.
I am forever grateful for answered prayers, even when it seems more than what I asked for.
Here's to God listening and answered prayers.
This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.