Adoption, God, Infertility, Mothering

Miracles: When You’re Not Looking

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I was sitting in my “creativity nook”, the junk room I repurposed this summer. Autumn breezes blew through the open window. I listened as it whispered through the tree, and rattled the boys’ art hanging on my “family” wall in this new, peaceful room.

My heart was heavy with all that is going on around us. And then, I read a post on those miracles you don’t pray for.

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I thought about friends who are fighting for their lives. About the boy who committed suicide recently. I thought about the angst our own boys are going through as they step closer to manhood. And about family members who are sick.

Prayers have been lifted for all of these, and yet, it seems like God isn’t answering. He’s not working those miracles we read about in the Bible and hear about from friends’ lips.

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I listened to those papers respond to the wind sneaking in through that open window . . .

And I knew.

For years, I prayed for children. I walked about in numbed disbelief after we lost our first and only pregnancy. I pleaded with God. Begged really. Told Him how we would raise any children He gave us to know Him.

I raged at times, at the unfairness of it all. How come He gave children to women who used drugs and didn’t want their babies, but not to one woman who desperately wanted a child?

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I grappled with what faith really was (“If you believe hard enough, you can get pregnant.” Yeah, right). I wrestled with God about if He loved me less than others (He’s shown me, again and again, He loves me completely, perfectly, and passionately). I idolized the dream of holding a baby in my arms.

And I came to the place of surrender. If He didn’t have motherhood in His plans for my husband and me, I would accept that.

And then the miracle.

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A call to my husband from a coworker. A few days later, the asking if we would adopt a baby.

And a sleepless, joy-filled, tear-filled night.

Children truly are a miracle. Ours came to us through adoption. Children of our hearts. Others are given to a husband and wife in the more traditional manner.

The miracle was that—in spite of my doubt, my questions—God knew the deep desire of my heart. The desire He placed there . . . and He gifted it to me. When hubs and I were ready.

He gave the gift of motherhood in His way, and in His time.

Miracles . . .

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God’s open doors sometimes become those miracles we don’t think to pray for. Or we pray for but expected Him to answer differently. 

A relocation from a large city to a place we had always said we would move to . . . one day. We didn’t know how it would happen. We weren’t actively praying for it.

But God.

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He opened doors to move us to a beautiful place to raise our boys.

These miracles aren’t the write-it-up-in-the-medical-journals kind.

These miracles are the kind that shows God knows us so well.

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He knows how to minister, to heal, to restore, to strengthen in the most unexpected of ways. He meets us where we are. Pours His love over our lives, reminding us He is always with us. Always loving and caring for us.

It’s amazing what some flapping papers push-pinned to a wall can remind you of . . .

What about you? What miracles have you seen or experienced in your life? How would you describe miracles?

Click to Tweet: God’s open doors sometimes become those miracles we don’t think to pray for.

Today, I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkUp

By the way, Susan Shipe has coordinated The FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY BOOK with a number of Five Minute Friday posts in it. It released on Monday, September 26th! If you choose to purchase one, all the funds go to support two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar TribePlease consider helping these ministries and being blessed by the words of many wonderful writers!

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22 thoughts on “Miracles: When You’re Not Looking”

  1. Great post, Jeanne!

    I see ‘overt’ miracles not as a direct and necessary response to our pleas, but as events the Almighty uses to move his agenda for Creation forward; the recipient happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    This doesn’t make me unappreciative of those miraculous events that have happened to me; rather, it leaves a sense of awe at the complexity of it all.

    Does that make petitionary prayer a vain exercise? I don’t think so, because it formulates – with the help of the Almighty – what we truly need. petitionary prayer sharpens us and opens our souls.

    I guess it’s like football; you can’t catch a pass unless you can run fast and make it past the blockers, and the physical training to be able to do that is awesome. Thus, petitionary prayer is training. It allows us to catch the pigskin that Peyton Manning…uh, sorry, I meant God…is throwing.

    nd weren’t those Broncos a miracle, last SUper Bowl? 😀

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    1. I never thought about miracles in this way before, Andrew. (You did it again–made me see things from a different perspective). I see your point, but I also believe miracles are very personal. When Jesus healed the man lame since birth, He showed more of the personality and love of God for His creation. But, that miracle was also very individual and personal for the man healed. It’s beyond my abilities to completely understand. And yes, the working of miracles is complex. I loved your thoughts on prayer. Yes and Amen!

      And about the Broncos, they were a miracle. 😉

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  2. God’s open doors sometimes become those miracles we don’t think to pray for. I love those words. If you had not said anything else in your post this would have been enough. What a blessing to know that God is always looking out for us even when to us it looks like He is being silent.

    Thank you for sharing your story of motherhood. I love getting to know you a bit more.

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    1. Mary, the fact that God is always looking out for us gives me such comfort. I don’t always (often?) understand His ways, but I know He loves me, regardless of what crosses my path. I always appreciate your visits!

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  3. First, I love your creativity nook!! (I have a spot that, in the 18 months we’ve lived here, has moved 3 times!)

    Miracles are wrapped up in the daily, aren’t they? And I need to remember that. The tiredness, the mundane. Those are miraculous!

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    1. Thanks, Annie! I’m going to be blogging more about my creativity nook . .. not sure when yet. I learned a lot working through the process of making it. 🙂 I think you’re right. Miracles are wrapped up in the daily. Sometimes I think we need to ask God to give us eyes to see them. When life makes us weary, we don’t often pay attention. At least I don’t. 🙂

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  4. I needed a good cry this morning, Jeanne, so thanks for facilitating that for me! 🙂 I can’t really answer the questions at the end or even pick out one thing that really spoke to me … it all did. And on a day when I am praying very specifically about something that has me at a loss for what to do, your post reminds me again of God’s faithfulness and mysterious ways. I’m so thankful for you and your story.

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    1. Awww, Lois. I’m sorry you’re going through it right now. I’m praying for you today. I guess I’m happy I made you cry. 😉 May we both remember God’s faithfulness as we walk through life’s challenges, my friend. I’m thankful for you!

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  5. The things we didn’t think to pray for- Yes!! Walking through a time of knowing the Lord is placing desires in mine and my husband’s heart that we don’t know how to pray for because we don’t know how they are possible. But we know the God of the impossible. So encouraged by your testimony to His surprises today : )

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    1. Ahhh, Bethany. It’s interesting how God places those desires in our hearts, but chooses not to show us how He’ll bring them about. It makes us trust Him/choose trust as we work through all of it. I’m saying a prayer for you and your hubby today as you walk through this season. Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart!

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  6. I know I can let me joy cease when I don’t feel like I’m getting my way, when I don’t see the ‘miracles’ I prayed for! And then they come in a totally unexpected way, and I realize I wasted time being angry or frustrated. It really is holding onto those promises, and know God is good, isn’t it?

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    1. Oh, Lynn. I’ve been there. That place where I’m upset that God isn’t giving me my way, and I pout (yes, I do). I think sometimes God brings us through those seasons because we need to learn a bit more about Him, and He wants to do some work in us, yes? When we hold onto the promises, and even more, the Giver of those promises, it’s easier to let go of what we want how we want it, and trust Him. Yes, I’m SO thankful God is good.

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  7. My morning miracle: I went to God to settle me down. Why this crampy tummy? Why this troubled sleep? Quiet I commanded my mind that I might hear Him. “Mary, you need to quiet your physical being as well. You have allowed anxiety to creep in. What do you need to do? “Oh yes, Lord. I have. Ok I turn this over to You. You are in charge of it; I give it fully go You. I will be a leaf floating downstream with the current listening for Your directions”. Tension began seeping away. He cares for everything about us.

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    1. Mom, I am so thankful God speaks to our hearts. That He knows what we need to hear, and how we need to hear it. And, I’m thankful He showed you what you needed to see so you could deal with it and move forward with Him. It is a miracle that a pure, perfect God would invite relationship with His flawed creation. I can’t imagine life without Him.

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  8. “These miracles are the kind that shows God knows us so well.” I LOVE that we have a Father than knows us intimately and in His wisdom, gives us what we need, rather than what we want. I’ve seen Him do that in my life lately and been so grateful that He chose for me. He’s blessed your boys with you and your heart to point them always toward Him. xoxo

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    1. Yes, yes, Tiffany. When we allow God to choose for us, we are always making the better choice. Maybe not the easier one, but definitely the better one. I marvel at the fact that He knows each of us so intimately. I’m thankful He knows how to use what He knows about me in good ways, rather than against me. 🙂

      So thankful for you, friend!

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  10. There are many things I didn’t pray for that God has given and that is a miracle! Even for those He is yet to do or may not do, I am grateful all the same because in it all He is faithful and can be trusted.😘
    God bless Jeanne

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    1. Ifeoma, you bring up a good point. There are times God doesn’t “give the miracle,” because He knows that it’s not what’s best for us. I guess that’s the time when our trusting in His character and His care for us has to suffice, doesn’t it? Yes, He can always be trusted. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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