April Jeppson: Prayers are often answered through others
Published 9:06 pm Thursday, November 8, 2018
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
“God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can’t if you don’t pray.” — Jeffrey R Holland
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Less than 1 month before we were scheduled to move to Albert Lea, Brian was sideswiped by a semi, totaling his car. He was actually coming home from the hospital because I had just given birth to our second child. So here we are, with two little kids, with so much to do before we move, and now we are a one-vehicle family.
So we relocated here, and had to live in a hotel for four weeks while we waited for our move-in date. It was four weeks of me being trapped in a hotel room with a newborn and a 2 1/2-year-old while Brian has our vehicle for work. My first year living in Albert Lea, a town full of people I didn’t know, and we were a one-vehicle family. It was one of the hardest years of my life.
Do you think we prayed? We prayed after the accident that his car could be fixed, only to find out it was totaled. We hadn’t bought a home yet, so when we were house hunting, we prayed that we’d find one that was walking distance to Brian’s job. We saw 26 houses in those two days, and our top three were all 10 miles away from his work.
When I was in that hotel, with a rambunctious toddler and crying infant, who I couldn’t get to nap, I prayed. In the cold winter months when I knew very few people and I was alone in my house with my two sweet babies, I prayed. I literally prayed for every solution that I could come up with. I prayed to find an inexpensive car. I prayed that Brian’s parents would want to upgrade their own vehicle and just want to gift us theirs. I prayed that my dad would know a guy who knew a guy who was selling a car. I prayed that I’d meet one of my neighbors who would loan me their ride, so I could run an errand. I prayed. I found myself praying that my van would hold up — that it would continue to run, because the thought of having no working vehicles was literally too much for me to even ponder. Please, God, answer me!
I found myself being so grateful for the vehicle we did have that worked. I would mention it almost every night in my prayers. Thank you for our car that runs and gets us to where we need to go safely. It took a year after our car was totaled to get a second vehicle. It was an unlikely find. It was a vehicle that had been passed around my husband’s family for years. It was a questionable answer to our prayer. It was a 1996 raspberry Chevy Cavalier.
When we got it, in my mind it was a temporary fix. It was a solution for now, and it’d tide us over until we saved enough money for a “real car.” Because we went so long with just one vehicle, I was very aware of how blessed we were when this little pink ride showed up. Again, almost every night I thanked the Lord, but this time it was for two vehicles that run and get us safely where we need to go. We still have that car, 6 1/2 years later.
This car of Brian’s was sitting in our driveway a few weeks ago. We were back to a one-car family. I had to bring him to work in the morning and pick him up at night. We both had to rearrange our schedules for it to work. I normally drive the kids to school every day, and about half the time I pick them up after school. We had to learn how the morning bus schedule worked, and we had to ask for favors from friends.
There were moments when I thought, “OK, this is it. We’ve had a good run, and now it’s time to start looking for another car.” I began, once again to pray for a solution to our car problem. The thing with prayer is that you can’t just say a prayer and walk away. You pray and then you need to start actively working. So I talked to my parents. I talked to my close friends. I put the word out that we might need help getting Brian to or from work. I started asking around if anyone knew of an inexpensive car for sale. In a conversation with a friend, he mentions that he might be able to help fix it. He’s not 100 percent sure what’s wrong, but he’d be willing to come over and look — if we wanted.
Our friend is over there, with knowledge we didn’t know about. We are over here — with a problem he didn’t know about. I could have prayed for weeks, waiting for help. If I wasn’t willing to do some of the work, my solution would have sat over there — and I would have sat over here. I would have thought God was ignoring me, teaching me a lesson, punishing me or didn’t want me to get my prayer answered.
“Get on your knees to pray, then get on your feet and work.” — Gordon B Hinkley
As I go through town, I see the faces of people who have answered many of our prayers — prayers for friendship, prayers for help with our house, prayers for extra income, prayers for help with our children. God does answer prayer, and often it’s through the people around us. Thank you Albert Lea.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.