Why I'm grateful God didn't answer my prayer

All that time I had been praying the wrong prayer. The embryo that had begun to grow inside of me never could have grown into a baby. It had a beating heart, it was alive in some way, but it was never going to be my child. Allowing it to continue to grow would have been disastrous.

God knew that. He had the whole picture, while I only had a tiny part. So he didn’t answer my prayer. Instead, he led me to the path that would give me the strength to try again. And he gave me himself, so I could lean on him when my strength wavered. He answered the prayer I didn’t know I was praying.

A few weeks later, I found myself standing in a church, blinking in the half light. I walked to the shelf of flickering candles, and knelt on the red velvet cushion. Carefully, I selected a candle and lit it, dropping it into the metal holder. I closed my eyes.

I conjured an image of my baby, the picture they’d given us of a grainy grey form, a little flickering heart. I let all the hopes and dreams I’d had for my baby fill my mind. The life I’d imagined for him or her that had sprung, almost unbidden, into being that first moment I learned I was pregnant.