I used to pray a lot to arm myself when facing "battles." I would pray all the time during volleyball, basketball, racquetball, and softball games, concert performances, plays, presentations, the science fair; whatever the battle, I prayed for help and victory. As I've dealt with chronic pain, there have been days where all I could muster was a whimpered help to God every few seconds. I think back then, God was always very aware of what I wanted.
Now I am afraid to pray like that, like a selfish, demanding brat. I want, I want, I want, please, please, please, me, me, me. And so I don't pray as much. There're still a lot of whimpering helps as I add new pains to my total, but I don't know that I consider this quality time in communication with God.
I am so afraid of praying for the wrong things that I just don't pray much at all unless specially called upon.
There is too much pain in me. I have asked for it to be removed (this cup, this thorn in the flesh), and the answer so far has been no (or, charitably, not yet), and I am tired of praying the "wrong" thing, tired of hearing no, wait, not yet, no. Tired of not knowing what to pray to get a "yes."
And so I am silent.
And so is He.
I am afraid to want the wrong things. I was so glad when my arm wasn't fractured, when nothing big was torn, when the nerves weren't ripped. But now that I float in a sea of uncertainty that will remain unresolved because I am at the mercy of OWCP, sometimes I think maybe I shouldn't have prayed, "Let it not be broken, let it not be torn, let it not be ripped." As if praying these things led to this result. As if my pain is somehow my fault because I asked for the wrong things and God did what I asked just to spite me. The pain interrupts sleep, which makes it hard to think, and I am so unreasonable sometimes I can hardly stand it.
Continued next post . . .