When God says no
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:02 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
In the summer of 1969, I stood on our front porch in Caneyville, Ky., and asked God to let me fly over our small farm. I knew He could do it. The wind in my hair. The incredible view. I promised to tell absolutely no one. I closed my eyes and held out my arms, ready to take flight. But, alas, my feet never left the concrete.
In 1970, I prayed that Peter Tork from the “The Monkees” would come and eat dinner at our house. Realizing the rest of the world was busy pining for Davy Jones and David Cassidy, Peter seemed a more reasonable request. I informed my mom that Peter Tork might drive in the driveway at any moment, and she should probably set an extra plate at the table. My mom’s wise reply, “Well Honey, while it’s true that God can do anything, there are some things He chooses not to do.” Yeah. That was becoming clear.
When I was in third grade, I gave Sam Smith “the letter.” You know the letter. “I like you. Do you like me? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no.’” In order to seal the deal, I wore my red, white and blue bell bottoms with my red, white and blue sandals that day. I even carried the red, white and blue matching purse. A third grade fashion diva praying for my one true love. Evidently, Sam didn’t understand the unique appeal of a tall girl wearing patriotic colors. This “no” was worse than Peter Tork not coming to dinner.
When I was in seventh grade, Mom and Dad explained that our family was moving to Texas. I prayed God would change their minds. He didn’t. They didn’t. We moved 800 miles away from our Kentucky home when I was at the “awkward stage.” And that’s a nice way of putting it. I was a non-flying, unlovely, 13-year-old girl with wire-rim glasses and a resolve to never again wear red, white and blue. I even stopped praying that Peter Tork would come to our house for dinner.
My sophomore year of college, I thought I had found true love. No doubts. But it wasn’t to be. Broken-hearted was an understatement.
In 1989, my sweet husband and I prayed for a precious baby. But God said “no” in 1990, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94 and ’95. I was a childless, 30-something, non-flying woman who never wore red, white and blue and had never dated a Monkee. It felt like the eighth grade dance all over again. Left out. Hopelessly flawed. Different.
But Garth Brooks was right. I thank God for unanswered prayer. I’m glad I didn’t marry Peter from “The Monkees.” I doubt he would have been happy living in the woods outside Dresden. Had my family not moved to Texas, I wouldn’t have learned what it’s like to be new and “awkward.” A valuable life lesson. Had my college “love” reciprocated, I wouldn’t have met and married the kindest man in the world four years later. Had I given birth in 1989, we would have never adopted our beautiful boys. And the flying? Well, I still close my eyes and stand on our front porch now and then with my arms outstretched. Does it work? I’ll never tell.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her Web site lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.21.10
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View