I had just turned 15. I was a Freshman in high school and it was Christmas morning. My youngest sister was 8 years old and woke us up bright and early to see the surprises Santa had left us. We gathered around and presents began to get passed out. As my sisters and I sat on the tan carpet in the living room, the boxes began to stack up in front of us. I noticed my mom looking around as if she was searching for something, specifically in my direction. Without warning she hurried out of the room but was back after only a couple of minutes. She suggested we let the youngest start opening gifts first so that’s what we did.
I know I was pretty terrible to my parents this year, but this is Christmas! Wow, they are really trying to teach me a lesson here. I can’t believe this! Only 3 boxes? She has ten! And so does she!! Have I been completely forgotten?
As my youngest sister was tearing into her gifts, as any 8 year old would, there was a knock at the door.
“Tiff can you go answer that?” my mom said.
“Sure” Who in the world would be coming over this early in the morning?
I opened the door but there was no one there. Instead, there was a stack of gifts on the front porch with my name on them and as I looked up I saw my Grandma’s car driving away.
These are for me! They didn’t forget. They aren’t punishing me. They love me despite what I’ve said and done. Lesson learned! Good one, Mom!
My sister thought it was the funniest thing that Santa forgot my gifts and had to make a special delivery that morning. Ha! We all got a good laugh out of it, and I definitely learned my lesson. My mom felt terrible. It wasn’t meant to be a lesson at all. They just happened to have been hidden in a separate closet at my Grandma’s house. But all these years later we still laugh about it.
You see, I deserved a big lump of coal. I deserved to be forgotten. From about the age of 13 to 15 I was absolutely terrible to my parents and my sisters and didn’t deserve anything from them. Sitting on the floor that Christmas morning, I thought I had finally gotten what I deserved. My mom is meticulous when it comes to planning for Christmas. Each person has the same number of gifts to open and she spends the same amount on each person. That takes a lot of planning. She doesn’t want anyone to feel left out or that they are less than the other. I knew that. I should have known she wouldn’t have forgotten about me. I should have trusted how much my parents loved me.
This might seem like a funny story about a spoiled kid pouting over getting less presents than her sisters did. But it’s so much more than that. Its been 20 years since that happened but I have never forgotten they way my parents loved me, even when I didn’t deserve it.
Yet today I find myself asking some of the same questions.
Have I been completely forgotten? Could the One that loves me the absolute most have looked over me? Has the One that meticulously created me and has a master plan for my life stopped listening? Am I being punished?
Maybe you are having these same thoughts. Maybe you have been praying for the same thing for weeks, months, or like me, even years and…..nothing. You aren’t hearing any answers. There is no booming voice saying yes. Or no. Or even a maybe. Silence. You’re thinking, “Is God even hearing me?” I know exactly how you feel. I have been there. And if I’m being honest, these questions are in my thoughts more than they are not.
I have been following the She Reads Truth-Bible in a Year reading plan. I got a couple of days behind so I was reading a scripture that I should have read four days prior. Okay, I know four is more than a couple but I’m caught up now. Anyway, the scripture that I was reading that morning was from Psalm 13 (NASB).
v1-2 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?
v5-6 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Later that evening I was doing my 100 Days to Brave devotional. I was caught up on this one so I was doing the day I was supposed to. Across the middle of the page read these words:
“God has not forgotten you. Your life and your dreams are important to God.”
The morning of January 21st my devotional led me in such a way that I prayed this prayer: Lord, I am listening. I want to hear from you. I want to know and trust that it’s you. Help me to hear you and recognize when you are speaking to me and calling me by name. Help my unbelief. I am listening, Lord.
Two days later, the morning of January 23rd I read the words that I “should have” read days prior, but didn’t. Words that resonated so deeply, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” And on the evening of January 23rd I got my answer on the pages of that devotional book. “God has not forgotten you.”
This is not a coincidence. He is speaking to us. His plan IS perfect. His timing IS perfect. He has not overlooked you and He has not overlooked me.
You are not forgotten. Keep praying. Keep talking to Him and pray that he will peak to you in a way you will recognize just as He did with me. He’s listening to you. Let yourself hear from Him today.
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