Before Avery was born, I prayed for a miracle. I asked that she would be healed in utero. God said "no".
I prayed that she would be able to nurse and believed for that miracle for 14 months. He said "no".
I prayed that Avery's nasal passages would be miraculously opened so that she could breathe freely. He said "no".
I prayed for answers genetically and again, He said "no".
I prayed that she would never need a ventilator; that her heart and kidneys would be healed; that her first cranial reconstruction would be successful; that she would not need a shunt; that when she did need a shunt, it would be her only one; that it would never fail. He said "no".
I prayed that Macson's heart murmur would be benign.
I prayed that his condition would need a simple PDA repair.
Through it all, I've begun to see God's great mercies in most of the times that He has told me "no". l have learned that His plans are still perfect even when I've decided there's a better and seemingly easier way. I've never been so sure that He makes all things work together for good, but somewhere along the way, I stopped asking for miracles. I started to assume that He would always tell me "no" because He had something better in mind (normally the really hard route where I would be changed by walking through fire). I became so focused on being okay with the "no's" and walking through the fire with joy that I stopped asking to ever hear "yes".
Avery's oral aversions have been a constant source of disappointment and struggle. I've over-analyzed every move I made when she was a newborn to pinpoint the moment that I "screwed up". I've begged and cried and regretted so much. I kicked myself over and over for any time I percieved that I could have done better and I've attempted to feed her solids (or help her nurse or give her a bottle or a pacifier) through a sea of tears, hers and my own.
Last night, I tried to feed her at dinner like I do most evenings. She resisted, as always, but we kept trying. "Oceans" by Hillsong United began playing on my phone and I chuckled at all the times before Avery that I had sung those lyrics. God had certainly brought me to the place where "feet may fail and fear surrounds me", ushered into the ocean I sang about by the birth of this stubborn little human that sat before me. I decided to ask for a miracle under my breath. I touched my finger to my bottom lip, then hers and said "open". Unlike all the other times, without skipping a beat, Avery opened her mouth and ate a bite of food.
I was stunned to finally hear "yes" as she continued to cooperate for the rest of her feeding. Tomorrow, God may tell me "no", but the success we had last night convinced me to ask for miracles once again.
Sometimes we are so used to disappointments that we don't even consider hoping for our miracles anymore. Sometimes it hurts so much to hope that we would rather assume that God will never say "yes". Sometimes we've seen so much goodness and progress when we trust His ways, we don't even think to ask. Sometimes our circumstances are so sure that we forget that we have access to the most powerful sentence in the world. "In Jesus' name" gives us access to the blood that He shed on the cross. "In Jesus' name" gives us power over sin and death. "In Jesus' name" gives us life and life abundantly.
Don't stop asking for miracles in His name, however silly or trivial they may seem and certainly never cease asking for the miracles that seem impossible. Nothing is impossible. God may still say "no" and may we always trust that His ways are forever kind and good, but may we never cease asking, knocking, seeking, believing and hoping. In Jesus' name.
If you've been asking for a miracle or maybe you've stopped but you will begin to ask again, I'd love to hear about it. Where two or more are gathered... Let's all ask together.