Shortly after my youngest brother was born, I was observing my mom who was listening to another mom talk about her kids’ desires for siblings when suddenly, the other mom turned to me and said, “You should pray for a baby sister.”
It had never occurred to me that I could or should pray for things before. God doesn’t want to hear what girls have to say. God doesn’t care about what girls think. Why would I pray?
It wasn’t that I had something against praying. I had never thought of it before.
I went home that night, slightly excited at all the new possibilities.
I laid in bed and prayed a silent prayer something like what my favorite 3-year old prays. “Jesus, I want a baby in Mommy’s tummy. Bye.” (No, really. I’m quoting the little munchkin word-for-word.)
Ok, so it wasn’t quite that irreverent.
The possibilities that were opened by even the idea of prayer gave me great hope. I took the Bible verse about praying without ceasing quite literally. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I asked God for a baby sister. I asked God to please heal me from a dermatitis that I developed rather randomly a while previously that just didn’t go away. Those two things were the things I prayed about most. I prayed for years. About 8 years after the dermatitis showed up, it mysteriously disappeared and has never come back.
When I was older, I stopped praying for a sister. My life had gotten so chaotic and difficult that I didn’t want anyone else to have to live through what I was experiencing, so I stopped praying. Stopped hoping. Stopped dreaming.
Oh, I still prayed for other people — but I felt so hopeless about everything in my life that I just gave up on ever having anything I wanted. But that is another story for another time.