One of the things we’re always told is that God answers prayers in His time, not ours.
When I was fourteen years old, my parents divorced. I took it very hard. Though I wasn’t particularly religious (I had stopped going to church a few years before), I remember praying every night for months, “Please God, let my parents get back together.”
Not only did my parents not get back together, but they both remarried. The marriage of my mother and step-father lasted only about seven years. Truth be told, I did not care for the man in the least.
When my father first married my step-mother I would visit them occasionally on weekends. I remember my new step-mom, Linda, and the efforts she made to be kind to me. I didn’t rebuke her, but I didn’t have the appreciation for her kindness that I should have. I was only sixteen and still very wounded.
Time heals all wounds, no matter the scar tissue left behind and I did come to love Linda very much. I loved her as much as any child could love a step-mom. My mom and Linda had even become friends and used to talk at length over dinner on holidays.
Thirty three years passed. Then one day, Linda passed away, suddenly, unexpectedly. It was the first time in my adult life that someone very close to me had passed away. And it hurt. Badly.
About a year after Linda’s passing, of all the unexpected things in the world, my parents got back together. I confess at first, it felt very weird. It felt to me as if Linda was being slighted in some way. Eventually that feeling passed, passing more easily as I reflected that my parents were married for nearly fifteen years before my dad and Linda married. It was right that they were together.
Now it is four years later. Tomorrow, my wife and two daughters and my sister, her daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren will leave on vacation together, with our parents, our Mom and Dad. I’ve not been a vacation with my parents since my early teens. I am ecstatic. It would be easy to mourn the lost years, but I’ll not waste my time. I’m overjoyed. My prayers have been answered…in God’s time.