Unanswered Prayers

Dear God, Angels and Universe,

Spring has sprung and with that comes spring activities and tryouts, end of the school year tests, finals and other stresses.  And as always, I tell my daughters to pray for what they want. Ask God, Ask their Angels, Ask the Universe.

But what I always struggle to answer for them is why after telling them to do this that some of their prayers don’t come true?  And why sometimes they experience terrible pain, frustration, embarrassment, disappointment and hurt even when they prayed so hard? 

I have asked myself this so many times as well.  There have been times in my life that I have been very angry at you.  Times when I wondered if you were listening.  Times when I have yelled at you and shrieked, “Why are you not answering my prayers?” 

I am writing now to tell you that for this anger I am truly sorry.  I am writing to tell you that for many of my unanswered prayers I am extremely grateful.  I have learned over the years that sometimes I am actually more grateful for the unanswered prayers than for the answered ones. 

So, I ask you now, as a mom, how do I explain this faith in you to my children? How do I tell them that although they’ve prayed for things in their life that have not happened, that you did not answer those prayers on purpose? 

How do I tell them that although unanswered prayers can result in terrible pain, frustration, embarrassment, disappointment and hurt that they are experiencing it for a reason? 

How do I tell them that despite their prayers; 

There is a reason, dear daughters, that you are not supposed to be in that friend group.

There is a reason you were not supposed to make that part/team.

There is a reason you did not get the grade you wanted in that impossible class.

There is a reason that boy isn’t your boyfriend. 

And how do I tell them while it is practically impossible to understand the reason in the moment of pain that sometimes, someday they will look back later and say;

Thank goodness I am not friends with those people, they are really mean!

Wow, I’m glad I didn’t make that team/part because look where I ended up! I like this one so much better. And oh my gosh, that other coach is horrible, I would’ve been miserable!

And; although I’m bummed I didn’t get that grade I wanted in the impossible class, I know now its ok.  My parents love me just the same and I should be proud of how hard I worked.  

Or, I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be dating this guy, thank goodness I wasn’t in that other relationship when he came along!

And looking past the everyday, how do I explain unanswered prayers regarding stories of tragedies, death and illness that my daughters see?  How to I ask my children to also believe that that you have a reason for those things too?   

Perhaps I tell them that in the sadness of someone’s passing, four lives were saved from their organ donations?  Perhaps I tell them in the cancer suffering of one dear child a non-profit was formed in her honor that has helped thousands of other children?   

I have been there.  I have been in the seat of not understanding things you throw at me. 

I have told my daughters how angry I was when I had to go through my aneurysm and brain surgery, but how now I am thankful for it every day of my life for the person it changed me into. 

I have told my daughters how angry I was at you when I feared I might lose my dad last summer, but the scare only brought our family closer together and reconfirmed our love and commitment to one another. 

I have told my daughters that the sudden death of one of my dear friends at the age of only forty-five reminded thousands of people to remember to live life to its fullest every day and brought many people back in touch who had grown apart.

But these are all just stories, words.  How do I make them believe?  How do I make them trust that they will pull out of a painful time?  How do I make them trust that sometimes pain comes before joy?

You see dear God, Angels and Universe, I am asking my daughters to take a leap of faith on a very adult concept.  I am asking them to believe that even in their saddest, darkest moments and in the midst of their greatest disappointments to know that there is a reason for unanswered prayers, small prayers or big.  

I am asking them to know that no moment is ever too dark for there to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and I am asking them to trust that whatever you are throwing at them you are doing it for their greater good and as a part of their life’s journey.  

And in addition to this huge concept, I am still telling them to keep praying even though not all their prayers are answered.  What keeps them from quitting their prayers?  How does this make sense to them?  How do I teach them this?

I am asking that you please guide me and show me the way.

And in the meantime, as their mom, I pray to you to please let as many of my daughters’ prayers come true as you can, although I thank you for the unanswered ones that will keep them on their soul’s journey.

With faith and love,


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