I bought a journal in my early 20s and called it my “Dream Journal.” In it, I wrote down prayers, dreams, and visions of my future husband and children. The over-achiever in me was super excited to see how God would answer those prayers. I assumed I’d get married by the age of 21 and have a bunch of kids by the time I was 30.
Boy was I wrong.
I believe anguish leads to a powerful prayer life. Now that I’m a newlywed and 31 years old, I am thankful I never stopped praying for my future husband. God heard my prayers even though He made me wait. Everyone who knows me personally, knows how truly, madly, deeply I prayed for a future husband. Nothing (and I mean nothing) went unnoticed. Every prayer, every deleted online dating profile, and every blind date was just another step in the process, another prayer conversation between God and me about the future.
I’m grateful for my years of singleness. It was during the fervent and yearning years that God became my first love. Through my love language of words of affirmation—I might have never discovered my love for the Word. Even when I felt desperate, alone, and completely heartbroken—God met me in prayer. Over and over, He whispered new promises, wiped my tears, and taught me to keep holding on.
Labor in Prayer
If I’m honest, considering how much I prayed for my husband, I’m rather surprised how little I now pray for my future children. Maybe it’s because my husband and I aren’t ready yet. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid. Not to mention my issue with anxiety medication (read the rest of that story on Why I’m Not Ready For Kids here).
I also find it difficult to pray for my future children because my desire isn’t as great as it was praying for my future husband. Just admitting I don’t have baby fever makes me feel guilty and a little ashamed. Growing up in the church, I felt my worth as a woman was placed more on my relationship status than anything else. Instead of resenting the peer pressure, I choose to acknowledge God’s timing rather than give way to man’s expectations.
This past June, I made dinner reservations for all my girlfriends and I to celebrate my birthday. I looked around the table and quickly noticed I was the last one of my friends to have kids. Honestly, it was kind of an eerie feeling because I am so not at the point in my life (or my health) where I’m ready to pop out a kid!
However, just because my biological clock isn’t ticking yet doesn’t mean I can’t pray about a future girl or boy.
That convicting little thought was just one of the many prayers I wrote in my journal lately. Maybe I’m not ready to see a pink or blue plus sign yet, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t labor in prayer.
The process of prayer, more than anything, is the best part.
Prayer helps strengthen my faith and my resolve. It keeps my eagerness alive even though the dream hasn’t yet been born. It also reminds me that it’s not all about me. It opens my eyes to the dangers of this world and the importance of covering my future children in prayer.
Whether you’re single, engaged, or married like me, we have this incredible privilege to pray for our future children and who he or she will become. The Word says,
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV).
Today, I challenge you (and me) to start praying and keep dreaming for the future.
You never know what God will teach you while you’re waiting.
For instance, I wrote this in my “Dream Journal” on July 5, of last year,
“Zealousness indicates an eager or fervent desire for something. Even if we are eager to restore a broken relationship, however, it is doubtful any of us would be willing to sacrifice one of our children. God, in all His omniscience, knew exactly what it would cost to redeem His people. Still, He was zealous—eager, fervent—to make it happen, not because He wished pain on His Son, but because it was the only way to restore us to Him. That is how much He loves us (Ava Pennington, One Year Alone With God).
Reading how eager—how zealous God was is so encouraging. Not only was it His Son, whom He loved and was well-pleased, but the cost of crucifying Jesus to save all the [future] children. I can be a parent because God was—and through Him I can do all things. Without Him—I can do nothing.”
Leaving a Legacy
There may be dreams that you and I have that God wants to fulfill through your children. What is in your heart may not come true in your lifetime (and that’s okay), but maybe it will come through your future son or daughter.
Look at David and Solomon.
David’s desire to build a Temple was a noble thought. All those years, decades even, of leading the Israelites out of Egypt into their promised land wasn’t enough for King David. He wanted to see God in a permanent dwelling place. At first, the prophet Nathan said that it was a great idea. But once he slept on it, the spirit of God came back and told him no. It was David’s son that would build a temple for God because there was too much blood on David’s hands (2 Chronicles 6:9).
Maybe you feel like your life is just getting started.
Or maybe you feel like you’ve already suffered too much.
No matter how you feel—God still can and will redeem your life. Even though we can’t see that far ahead, we have to look at the bigger picture of leaving a legacy. I’ll leave us with a prayer challenge. If you feel there is any fear, lie, or hesitation about praying for your future children—ask God, and He will give you wisdom and peace. Until then, ask God to give you a heart like David’s and wait!
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1a, NIV).
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com and www.forgivingme.com.