Have you ever had a need, and it seemed like the harder you prayed, the longer God made you wait?
I have been in your shoes. I want to share my story with you.
In July of 2012, we found out that blessing #7 was on the way. We were thrilled, and we knew that we would need to start looking for a passenger van. After all, our Expedition only seated 8 people, and with 7 children, that meant we would either be driving 2 vehicles, or someone would have to be strapped to the roof of the Expedition. (Not really, but you know what I mean.)
So, we started praying and searching for a van. We prayed, and we searched. Prayed harder, and we searched longer.
Still, nothing worked out. Either the vans were too old, too expensive, or only a 9 passenger.
By Christmas, I was weary in the waiting. I felt like my prayers weren’t getting any farther than the ceiling, because there was just no answer from God. I was discouraged, depressed, and growing more anxious by the day.
It was then that I decided to stop praying for the van. I stopped asking God for what we needed, and I started focusing on my relationship with Christ. I still stumbled and fell, but I drew myself closer to Him.
At the beginning of February, my faith had been rekindled, and I just knew God was going to answer my prayer for a van.
I sat down with my husband, and I asked him to give me 30 days. No looking online for vans, no making phone calls. I just wanted to pray faithfully and continually for 30 days that God would supply our need for a van. I just knew He was going to answer, and I knew it was going to take Him less than 30 days to bring the perfect van to us.
For the next 30 days, I prayed. And I prayed. I cried and begged God for a van. Every.single.day. I spent my quiet time with Him on my knees in prayer, weeping, and praying that He would supply the van.
Thirty days passed, and still no van. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Maybe someone to drive to our house, leave a van in the driveway, and hand me the keys and the title free and clear? I don’t doubt God could do that, but He decided not to. Probably to teach me a different lesson than the one I wanted to learn.
In March, we started our search for a van again. We looked online, did drive-bys, made phone calls. So many phone calls.
All the while, I kept waiting, praying, and seeking His face. I knew He wasn’t going to bless me with anything if I wasn’t doing everything in my power to be as close to Him as I possibly could.
Quiet time was spent in my closet – searching His Word and praying for His guidance.
And still I waited.
By the end of the summer, I had pretty much given up hope of ever finding a van. I was convinced that this was the lesson in patience God wanted me to learn, and I was just going to have to rest on His perfect reason for not wanting us to have a van.
Hubby and I stopped talking about “the” van. I never stopped praying for it, but we didn’t talk about it at all.
On August 30th, I happened upon a quote in my Bible and updated my Facebook status to say this:
This status update ended up becoming a talk about the safety of passenger vans, other options for large families, and more frustration than I ever could have imagined.
That evening, Gene and I researched the safety of vans and other options, and my next status looked more like this:
At that point, I was more confused than ever. Luckily, several friends put me in touch with several different large families. I was able to speak with others who had once been in the exact situation we were, and they were able to calm my nerves and help me let go of my frustration. One sweet lady even prayed with me over the phone. The kindness and compassion in her voice as she called out to God on my behalf is something I never want to forget.
On Wednesday, Sept. 4th, hubby had a meeting for work and it took him in Gainesville. As he drove there, he passed a car dealership. (This car dealership is less than 5 minutes past where he works every day.) There, on the lot was a 15 passenger van. He had to work the next two days, so we didn’t get the chance to call about the van. I was certain it wouldn’t work out anyway, but I prayed that if it was supposed to be our van, it would still be there that weekend.
On Friday evening, hubby called the car dealership, and asked about the van. It was still there! We made an appointment to come down and see it the next morning… which also happened to be our 11th wedding anniversary.
We sat at the car dealership for hours while they tried to work everything out with our trade in, financing, and everything else. We sat on the couch and I prayed and prayed and prayed.
Yet I still tried not to get my hopes up. I just knew it was all going to fall through, and once again, we would have to leave the dealership empty handed and brokenhearted.
Around 1:00 that afternoon (after being there from 10am), they called us into the office to sign the paperwork on the van. It was really happening. We were going to have a vehicle that our whole family could fit in. I was still skeptical, though. I was sick to my stomach and so afraid something was going to happen and we still weren’t going to get the van.
However, a few minutes before 2:30pm, they handed us the keys, and we drove off the lot. It was official. We had a new (to us) van.
I still can’t believe it. After a year of praying, we have a van sitting in our driveway. We can all load up in the van and drive to church as a family. No more taking 2 cars everywhere we need to go, there’s plenty of room here for all of us. And more.
And what truly blows me away is that He not only answered and supplied our need, He also supplied my want. I didn’t want a white van. I have a “stalker van” complex, and the thought of loading up my family into a white van made me nervous. But now I don’t even have to worry about that. This van is definitely not white.
I am blown away by what God has done for us, and I want you to know that He knows YOUR needs too. He hears your prayers, and He will answer when the time is perfect. It might not be as soon as you want, but it will happen. Just hold on and keep trusting Him.
I want to close with a verse: Psalms 84:11 KJV – “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Keep trusting Him, and He will bring it to pass. It might not happen in an instant, but your need will be met.
Have you grown weary in waiting? What verses are you leaning on to keep you going while you wait for an answer from Him?