Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Waiting, the Wedding, and the Wonder of His Mercy--Trusting Him When Prayer Goes Unanswered



"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
--Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh.
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
--George Croly

There are times when our prayers go unanswered.

We feel like God has put us on the back burner, on the "shelf."

All around is silence.

Like the aching stillness after a winter blizzard.

Like the quietness of summer's breeze through the stifling heat that will not break.

I was engaged for 5 years.

It was an act of the conscience and of the will -- it was an act of necessity -- my father left our family.

In a destitute and precarious position -- but only after a seeming-eternal period of wavering between coming and going. 


Unusual circumstances forced and compelled my now-husband and I to wait. 

We were engaged 5 years. 

At times I felt as though my youth was being eaten-up--

I was "losing" my years -- my years to have children, my years to keep a home, my happy, carefree years--

Instead they were etched with sorrow and poverty and continual trials.

But the Lord was, in reality, redeeming my years . . . 





I learned valuable skills during those years and in the years surrounding them--sewing, knitting, playing the piano . . . skills that have enriched and benefited me and my family, skills that I probably wouldn't have pursued as strongly if I didn't have those waiting years . . . 

I look back upon that time now -- look back --

When the desperation and the quiet silent stillness seemed unbearable --

When I felt like I just couldn't wait in uncertainty one more day. 

And five years seemed an eternity . . . 

But I look back now and see His love. 

The waiting was hard. 

But the answer was beautiful . . . in His perfect time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. 




After five long years, the storm broke, the dust cleared. 

We were poor as poor could be, but the Lord was with us.  

We didn't have the money to get married; we weren't sure what we were going to do.  My mom was struggling to keep her home; our family lived day to day on the edge of poverty. So we prayed. 

I always dreamed of getting married at a local rustic venue called The Francis Farm. 



I had visited there once, filled out a paper saying that I was interested and then left, feeling in my heart that it could never be -- it was far too expensive -- it just would not be possible. 

Another hope that I had buried in my heart was that we would be able to invite everyone in our smallish church, as well as our close friends and relatives -- that no one would feel excluded; this was a burden on my heart. 

This story sounds incredible, but it is true. 

One day, deep into the five years of our engagement, the home phone -- where I lived with my Mom and my younger sister, rang. 

The person on the other line asked for me. It was a representative from the Francis Farm.

And what she said was all a blur. Because of the "hard" financial times that the country was going through, they wanted to give a free wedding to one person they had picked randomly from a pile of papers of people like me who had expressed a desire to have their wedding there. 

My name was chosen.



The budget that they allotted me enabled me to invite everyone that we desired to.

The Lord had worked miraculously, and I still look back on that event with wonder. 

The Lord in His mercy had answered my deepest prayer. 

I had always wanted to be married in June as well and there was a date available -- June 19th. 

The Lord is merciful. 

And had worked wonders for me, for my husband. We had waited -- only by the grace of God -- and He blessed us --

We had waited, sometimes in quiet desperation, but in faith, knowing that our Lord was good. 

He gave us the desire of our heart. 

Sometimes prayer goes unanswered because the Lord is preparing to bring great glory to Himself -- and a greater blessing than if He had answered immediately or if we had taken matters into our own hands.

In this situation, I had been convinced through prayer that it was the Lord's will for my now-husband and I to be married.

The Lord was teaching me yieldness and surrender, teaching me the lesson of believing, persevering prayer -- teaching me to wait upon Him and to trust Him where I saw no human answer. 

We were waiting for His perfect timing; waiting for a door to open -- a door that only He could open in our unusual situation. 

We dig the trenches of prayer so that He can fill them with His abundance. . . 

He gave in abundance. 

He is a merciful God. 



When prayer, in agreement and submission to His will goes unanswered, He is preparing us for a blessing, perhaps not the blessing we were expecting, but when we truly wait upon Him, His answer will be beautiful in due season.

He is gracious. 

He loves to do the unexpected.

To teach us to trust Him through the agony of unanswered prayer, to teach us the fellowship of sharing in his suffering--

That we also may share in His joy. 

The principle is this--when we wait upon God in yielded, surrendered trust (the Lord helping us in our weakness) He visits us with His faithfulness. 


The miracle came at the end of surrender . . . 

Or perhaps, maybe the miracle is the grace to surrender itself . . . 

And so we drove away on that day in June under the brilliant blue sky -- knowing that He had waited so that He could be gracious to us . . . 

"I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."

Revelation 3:8 NKJV


You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysSo Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayEvery Day JesusCount My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridaySaturday Soiree Blog PartyTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific Tuesday

63 comments:

  1. What a lovely story about our loving and "exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask of think" God. My 25th anniversary is coming up next week, so I'm primed for stories of marriage and romance. Yours was certainly not disappointing! Glad to have found it at Inspire Me Monday!

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    1. Thank you, Michele; I'm glad that you stopped by here! Have a wonderful celebration of your marriage! The Lord bless you!

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  2. Strange, I only see pictures, no text.

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    1. I'm sorry about that! I think that the issue is resolved now!

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  3. What a beautiful story...thank you for sharing!

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  4. What a beautiful testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness! He always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him. I love the comment you made about digging the trenches of prayer so God can fill them with His abundance. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Cheryl; have a blessed week!

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  5. So glad that you allowed God to make all things perfect and beautiful! He is amazing!

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    1. He is! Whenever I think that I "know" how the Lord will work, He surprises me . . . a lesson that I am still learning is that it is always better to wait upon Him . . .

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  6. Bekki, It is such a blessing to hear testimonies of how our Heavenly Father delights His children in "unseen" and totally unexpected ways!

    This is such an amazing story of God's perfect timing, provision and blessing.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Karen! He is good! :-)

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  7. Wow! Our God is chief of redeeming the time and using hard things for our good and His glory. Those 5 years must have been long and difficult! What a testimony you now have of the goodness of God, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Yes, Adelaide! I am thankful for those years of waiting now and also for the testimony of His faithfulness; He is good and kind . . . I'm glad that you stopped by here--God bless you!

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  8. What a lovely story! 5 years is definitely a long time to wait but it paid off. So glad. And receiving the wedding at the venue of your dreams was an added bonus as proof of God's love for you.

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    1. Lisa, yes; it was so difficult at the time, but now I look back and see His love laced all throughout this (His) story. I am so grateful to Him.

      Thank you for stopping here and for your encouragement!

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  9. What a miraculous story! Five years is a long time! How wonderful to see that God wasn't leaving your prayers unanswered after all. He never does that. (Even when it's not the answer we're looking for, it's still an answer.) But we have a hard time hanging on to hope when the waiting gets long. visiting from #TestimonyTuesday today.

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    1. Yes; He truly is working all things together for our good, even (especially) the difficult things . . . I am so thankful.

      the Lord bless you, Betsy; thank you for stopping here. :-)

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  10. Wow, what a truly amazing and lovely testimony! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so amazing how God works - when we are at are lowest!

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    1. You're welcome, Raechel! Yes; truly, when we are at our lowest, He pours out His grace.

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  11. What a beautiful story! It reminds me of a Grace Livingston Hill book, for some reason. Maybe because her characters always have a sweet submissive, willing-to-wait-and-learn attitude. That's something we can all work on in our lives!

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    1. Yes; truly! I am continually learning submission to Him! He is so gracious to teach us through the waiting and the difficulties.

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  12. Yours is a beautiful story of waiting, which is not easy, and of God's faithfulness, which is more than enough. Your title caught my attention. I'm glad it did. Visiting, growing from your post, and enjoying the music today via #testimonytuesday

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    1. Thank you for that encouragement, Kristi, and for stopping by; the Lord bless you!

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  13. That is a beautiful testimony Rebekah of the goodness of God. I'm so sorry about your father. I can't imagine. God proved to be a true Father to you by providing for you. I just shared a post about Abraham and Sarah. They had to wait too. Imagine if you had gone into debt to pay for your wedding? You would have missed out on the blessing. Sarah kinda jumped the gun and got some misery because of it. Your post blessed me. Blessings, Diane

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    1. Diane, your words encouraged me . . . I'm so glad that you stopped here today. The story of Abraham and Sarah is a tremendous encouragement when the Lord put us in a place of waiting.

      The Lord bless you, Diane; have a wonderful week.

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  14. Rebekah, what a joy to read this true story of the Lord's faithfulness. I never tire of hearing how He works in ways we would never imagine! Thank you for sharing. It is an encouragement to me as I daily pray and wait for His working in an area of my family's life.

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    1. Heather, I'm so glad that it was encouraging . . . you are right--His ways are beyond what we can imagine. It is hard to wait on the Lord and to trust Him when the winds are "contrary." But He is a faithful and merciful God.

      Have a wonderful week, Heather!

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  15. What a lovely story and testimony of God's timing! Thank you for sharing your wedding story with us. This is wonderful.

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    1. You're welcome, Donna; I'm so glad that you stopped here today!

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  16. What a blessing of the Lord, Rebekah--to be chosen for that gift of a wedding! And I bet waiting those five years was a great lesson in restraint as well as proving the love your now hubby has for you. What a guy! Thanks for sharing the inspiring story!

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    1. You're welcome, Beth! It was definitely a time of great growing and stretching . . . and sometimes feeling like we would "break." But the Lord gave His grace; He is beautiful and makes everything beautiful in its time.

      God bless you, Beth; thank you for visiting here, today!

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  17. What a beautiful story, Rebekah. My daughter just married in December after dating for four years through college. It's amazing what God can do in the waiting. And oh, how wonderful that you were chosen for such a gift. Truly the hand of the Lord can be seen all through your story.

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    1. Pamela, yes, truly amazing what He can do! There are so many things that He taught me during that time . . . He is so merciful.

      The Lord bless you. Pamela, and I am very happy for your daughter and her husband, too!

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  18. This is so beautiful and encouraging as I often misplace my guidance in other than the Lord...in me, to be honest. In the still, I want to remember that He is always near and will bring about the good for our lives when we trust Him for everythings.
    "We dig the trenches of prayer so that He can fill them with His abundance. . . " This sentence is quite powerful for me. I want to dig deeper as I learn to pray deeper. That will happen once I learn the latter. I want to be close to my Lord and know that no matter what my life brings, when I trust in Him, it is the right thing.
    I am encouraged this day, Rebekah.
    Visiting from Sharita's.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Linda!--I love the way that you put it--"I want to dig deeper as I learn to pray deeper." So, so very true. I'm so glad that you visited here; the Lord bless you!

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  19. AH! Goose (God?) bumps and all the feels. What a beautiful and encouraging testimony. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. You're welcome, Sharita! I'm glad that it was a blessing! :-)

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  20. Thank you for sharing. I makes a think of verses that include, "in the fullness of time, God..." He is faithful to His promises!

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    1. You're welcome, Theda! Yes; truly, in the fullness of His time . . . His timing is beautiful and perfect and complete. I'm so glad that you stopped here today; the Lord bless you!

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  21. Perhaps the 3rd time is the charm...for some reason my google account seems to be acting squirrelly! So, what I wanted to say was that this is such an amazing story because it not only shows how God provides, but how He knows us so deeply and intimately and that He loves with such a gentle love.

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    1. Yes, Jen, so true! I was reading something today that Chambers wrote about how "God's silences are His answers." --that God gives us silence so that we develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him before He answers. He knows and He loves, and I think many times makes us wait so that He can display His glory and love (as in when He raised Lazarus after waiting until after he had died).

      I'm glad that you visited; God bless you, Jen!

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  22. A beautiful story, Rebekah! Our God continues to astound us when we honor Him first. May God bless you & your family in the years ahead! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne! Blessings to you, also! :-)

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  23. So beautiful! God is able and gracious!

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    1. Michele, truly, He is! Blessings to you; thank you for stopping by. :-)

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  24. What an absolutely fantastic testimony of the power of God. We also had a long engagement which was not within our plans so I understand how hard the waiting is. God was working in your waiting and when he opened the doors for you to get married He blessed you abundantly, not only with a fantastic venue but also your hearts desires. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Terri, thank you for your words of encouragement . . . it is so difficult to wait, but the blessing is so great in the end. Have a blessed weekend!

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  25. Awwww What a beautiful story of God's love and how He is always working in the background. What a beautiful testimony to those around you and us in the blog world of God's love. Blessings !!

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca; blessings to you, also! :-)

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  26. Wow! Your name was chosen... Chosen, indeed - by the Lord... What a beautiful story of His favor and love... Just beautiful! :)

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    1. Thank you, Lois; He is so faithful and kind! Have a wonderful week! :-)

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  27. Thanks for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you'll share tomorrow! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Jenny! God bless you!

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  28. What a beautiful, inspirational story--all the more inspirational because it's true! Thank you so much for sharing the special story of God's faithfulness to you. And thanks for joining Grace at Home. I'm featuring you this week!

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    1. Thank you, Richella; He is such a faithful God! I am blessed to be featured . . . . have a wonderful week!

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  29. This is so beautiful, Rebekah! This spoke to me in great depth today - "The waiting was hard. But the answer was beautiful" Today I am experiencing the beauty of a time of waiting and trusting He would work it all out. The waiting was excruciating. The hoping, the longing, the wondering, the uncertainty of it all... worth it all in the beautiful answers He is giving. Thank you for sharing! Blessings!

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    1. You're welcome, Kaylene! The waiting is so difficult, but you are right--it is worth the beautiful answers . . . Thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging words; God bless you!

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  30. I found your blog through Imparting Grace. I am a push over for a good love story but when that story exalts the sovereignty of God I rejoice. As I read your post on God's perfect timing and provisions I was praising Him on your behalf. Wait, one of the pictures looked familiar! I was just a wedding at Francis Farm last month! It is a beautiful venue.Congratulations to you both! May your marriage be a beautiful shadow of Christ and his Bride!

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    1. Thank you so much for your words and for your encouragement! It is so neat that you were just at a wedding there--it is a lovely place (at least, I think so!! :-)). Have a wonderful, blessed week--I'm so glad that you stopped here!

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  32. Oh friend, I have tears in my eyes right now....my, what a precious, precious story. I got goosebumps as I read about the call you received from the Francis Farm. Only the Lord could orchestrate something to beautiful and timely. Thank you for sharing your story as I know you will encourage many {you certainly encouraged me}. I was reminded of God's perfect timing in all things and in all areas of our life.

    Bless you, dear one. Love and hugs!

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    1. Oh, bless you also, Stephanie! Your words always brighten my day . . . this was truly such a precious time in my life--the Lord is so kind and merciful. Much, much love to you--the Lord bless you--have a beautiful week in Him. <3

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