Sometimes God Says “No”

“God always answers prayer, Amy. Sometimes He says ‘Yes’, sometimes ‘No’, and sometimes ‘Wait.'”

These were the words of wisdom Amy Carmichael’s mother shared with her when she found Amy in her room heart-broken. Amy had prayed that God would change her brown eyes to blue. When she awoke next morning and looked in the mirror, she was devastated to find He hadn’t.

Though Amy didn’t know why God said “No” then, many years later she found out: blue eyes would have made her missionary work in India as an adult nearly impossible.

God always answers prayers, but sometimes He says "No!" to our heart's desire. But when God says "No!" it's because He has a better "Yes!"...

Thanks Crystal for the lovely photos! 

This story came to mind as I stood listening outside the girls’ bedroom. They were happily playing house with little Meg as Rose’s “Mom”. An hour or so before, they had waltzed downstairs decked out as queen and princess.

Something I didn’t believe possible for years to come has already happened. Despite the four-year age gap, Meg and Rose are really good friends.

My thoughts drifted back to my pregnancy with Meg. Rose was already four and I foolishly thought it was just too much of an age gap for sisters to be close until they got older, so I wanted a brother for Will before another girl.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but when the ultrasound revealed a girl, I had a hard time blinking back the tears. Why hadn’t God listened to my prayers? I had such a perfect gender sequence planned out and this was not the right order.

Of course, those silly thoughts melted long ago. I cannot imagine having waited two more years for Meg’s sweet spunky spirit to fill our home, but I still thought it would be at least a decade before she and Rose were close friends.

As their happy giggles broke into my reverie, I realized just how much better God’s plan was than mine. Not only are Rose and Will fast friends, but already the friendship between the two girls is deepening and growing.

God is wiser than I am. (duh!) Sometimes it is hard to choose joy when God doesn’t answer our prayers. But when God says “No”, He really does have a better way.

[The story of Amy Carmichael is from one of our favorite children’s booksCan Brown Eyes be Made Blue?]

[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]

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  1. says

    This is a great testimony! I have a story to share: I prayed for a child for many years, always through a ton of tears. When my son was conceived, I knew that God had planned all along for the perfect time in our lives to bring him to us. But then, he was stillborn. My heart was crushed and I was so angry at God. Just under two years later (Feb of this year), God brought a precious 5-week old baby girl into our lives through a miracle of an adoption. I knew at that moment that God wanted me to experience pregnancy and childbirth but He knew that if Caleb had survived, we wouldn’t have been in the position or mindframe to adopt Gabby. He never said, “no.” He always said, “wait, wait for the perfect moment and you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.” And we sure have been. He will always provide.

  2. says

    Your girls are lovely, Anna! We have four girls and one boy, and would just love a brother for our son. However, the Lord has blessed us with a daughter whose personality really compliments her brother’s, leaving them good buddies and playmates. He always takes care of us!

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