My mind has been running in somewhat different tracks than Lori and Ruth’s this week.  From “how do we know if we are hearing God,” discussions with friends have veered into “how do we know God listens to us.”

When someone asks if I think God truly hears and answers our prayers, I smile and nod. After all, I have first hand experience.

I didn’t date in high school.   I wasn’t home every Friday night, but my group of friends generally ran about in a large herd.  Some of us broke off and dated periodically, but I wasn’t one of them.  There were guys I would have dated, but they weren’t the one who were interested.  So I waited.

While I waited, I prayed.  “Somewhere there has to be someone who would love me as more than a friend.  And, while we’re discussing it, please don’t plunk him down in the middle of Pategonia or Prague.  Somewhere close at hand would be best.”

I made it all the way through highschool without encountering Mr. Datable Someone.  Again, it wasn’t like I was just sitting around waiting.  I went out with my herd of friends.  I studied.  I picked out a college and a major.

At college, I even dated some but I quickly realized that I hadn’t met the right guy just yet. I made more friends – a new herd.  We met in the cafeteria every day for lunch.  We played cards.  On weekends, we went to movies.  We hung out at each other’s houses.  Then I spotted a tall, quiet, oh-so-handsome guy within the group.  We knew some of the same people, but I hadn’t gotten to know him yet.  So I made a point of sitting near him and chatting him up.  Then one afternoon he asked if I was busy on Friday.  If I’d had plans, I would have cancelled them.

This August we’ll celebrate our 23rd anniversary.

Why do I credit God with our meeting?  Because we hadn’t met earlier although in every likelihood we should have.  The kids from his high school went to my church.  And the kids from my high school?  They went to his church.  His grandmother lived less than two blocks from my best friend.  Do we even need to discuss how much time I spent in that particular neighborhood?

We  grew up less than four miles apart, frequented the same places, but had never met.  It wasn’t like he’d been hanging out in Pategonia.  Or Prague.  But we didn’t meet until I was nineteen in spite of three or more years of constant prayers.

But God was listening.  He just wasn’t acting in my time.  I had to wait for His.

I know  God hears my prayers.  And that’s why when storms strike and people’s homes and families are threatened, I pray.