Not in the Sunday School way. On my knees. Hands clasped. Head bowed. You know like Jesus when he was in the garden asking God if there was another way to our redemption that didn't involve His death. For me, it typically happens during the peaceful silence of my drive home after taking Evie to school (I drive 25 minutes one way).
I also find my prayers to be an in the moment thought. A conversation. A quick word spoken in my mind. Sometimes my words are filled joy and praise. Sometimes they are spoken in times of great fear, angst, and sorrow. On a few occasions I spoke out in anger and even yelled. Yes, I have yelled at God. I'm pretty sure He expected it. He listened anyway.
A few weeks ago, when I managed to pull myself together, I attended church. I just sat there with my hands in my lap. Trapped in my own thoughts. Not focused on the sermon. I can't even tell you where my mind drifted off to during that half hour or the subject of the sermon. I was just not there.
The message came to a close. Our pastor opened the invitational (a time for those so moved to come forward and accept Christ, seek support/prayer from the congregation, or join the church) and a man came forward. He was an older gentleman. He was seeking prayer. He was diagnosed with cancer…again.
Members of the church rose from their seats and moved towards the alter. Each one laying their hand on the person before them. This man was cloaked in praying hands and the Holy Spirit was moving. Our pastor spoke words of healing. Claiming it. Owning it. Asking for God's will to be done.
Then the Holy Spirit touched me (more like slapped me upside the back of my head). Tears started running down my cheeks.
We pray for healing. We pray for illness to leave our bodies and make us whole. We fervently pray for a cure to our ailments and our pain.
What if the answer to our prayer can only be given through death?
I don't know why that never struck me before, but that morning it hit me hard. I pray for my daughter and all her Rett sisters. I pray for a cure. I pray for healing. I pray for a restoration of their bodies. It is a broken record that plays in my mind all day long. But...
What if her restoration will only come when she passes?
Can I accept her death as the answer to my most earnest prayers?
For a few years now I have known that we may lose Evie at a young age. My newsfeed on Facebook reminds me of this possibility on a regular basis. In fact, our Rett community lost two more girls this past week. We read those words and our hearts ache. We pray even harder. As if that were possible.
The only option I have is to keep moving forward. Keep hoping. Keeping working towards finding a cure. Keep praying.
God will give me an answer to my prayers in His time. It may not be the one I want to hear, but it will come. He will also give me the strength and support system to survive the loss if/when it happens. I don't know how, but I'm just going to claim it now (and pray some more).
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NIV)