“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139:1-2
A few years after giving birth to a son, my friend and her husband started thinking about having another baby. Recently laid off from her job due to the economy, she thought it might be a good idea to postpone trying to get pregnant. Sadden to delay the hope of another child especially now, quickly approaching thirty-seven years old, she wondered if another child was an option for them. Months passed but the longing for another child did not. She had been praying for a confirmation from God that she would have another baby.
One Sunday morning sitting alone in a pew at the back of her church where generations have worshiped for over 300 years, she realized that she was not alone. Upon discovering that her ancestor was one of the original members of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA, her jaw dropped in awe at how God guides the choices that we make and weaves our past and present together. Though small in statute, St. David’s has welcomed and served as a spiritual home for thousands and thousands-more than the pews could fill.
Opening a prayer book, she gasped out loud as her eyes fell upon the dedication plaque. The plaque in the prayer book read: “this prayer book is dedicated to Anne Elliott.” Not sure if anyone heard her, but that did not matter. What was so significant about those words? If she had a daughter, she wanted to name her Annelliott. She first heard the name through a good friend in college and immediately fell in love with it. Also, the name carried significance for her family. Her middle sister’s middle name is “Anne,” and her younger sister’s middle name is “Elliott.” She knew without a shadow of a doubt this was not a coincidence but was God saying to her: “I hear you.”
Then while leaving the church, she heard a child yell, “Hi, Tucker.” Not uttering a sound in that moment, her heart erupted in joy. Tucker was the name that she had picked out for another son. Hearing the first name was like a hug from God, and the last was like a sweet kiss of the Father on the forehead of his daughter. On a normal Sunday in a small church, her church home for years now, she felt heard and seen by the One who has the power to create life. Sometimes we think that we need to go somewhere out of the ordinary to hear from God, but this story illustrates how God meets us in our daily lives and at places a part of our weekly rhythms. God just might speak to you where you have been a hundred times.
The answer to her prayer did not come immediately. It seemed so clear that God was giving her a confirmation, so over about six months of trying to have a baby, she held onto faith, believing that God would be faithful. God’s delay in answering a prayer does not mean it will not happen. In other cases, people have had experiences where they felt encouraged from God that they would have a baby too, and it never happened. Not sure, why some are able to have a baby, and others are not. What I do know is: God hears and sees our longings and is working out His will in our lives for our good and the good of humanity.
So, how does the story end? Does she have a daughter or son? It was God’s plan for her to have a daughter, and she named her: “Annelliott.”
How have you grown discouraged, not expecting God to show up in your daily life, let alone even speak to you?
What do you need to not give up praying for?
God sees you.
– Mary Carmen