I believe there is a “God” and know it is true because when I pray, someone answers me. When I call for God to listen to my concerns he answers. The problem is that I don’t always explain what it is I want done about my concerns and complaints. I understand now that I’m being too vague when I speak with God.
My older brother had a severe life long drug and alcohol problem since we were kids. In his adult life he was often homeless or living just on the fringe of society because of these dependencies and it was a source of constant concern and stress for me. I had prayed about how hard and unfair this was and how I just wanted to be able relax in the knowing that my brother was healthy and taken care of. I complained about how I just couldn’t meet all the goals I had set for my life because I was always worried about my brother. I went to sleep at night feeling guilty with my gut in knots not knowing if he was safe. I was scared and powerless not knowing if he would ever be ready to do the hard work he needed to do to be sober and productive in his life. Over the years I prayed in sadness, hope, and frustration. When my brother would go missing for months, I prayed as I searched unfamiliar streets for him, called jails, and city morgues. I rarely spoke to him even when he stayed for short turbulent breaks with my parents. I just loved him too much.
Little over a year ago my prayers were answered when my brother went to live with our grandparents and near our family. He was working and participating in events with our family. I went to visit my family that spring and prayed that it would be enjoyable but just in case, I only went for a few days. My prayers were answered, as it was a great visit and I felt a lot of love between us. I came home and prayed to thank God for answering my prayers as I really felt that this was a great start. I prayed he would stop being dependent on drugs and alcohol and, I relaxed for the first time in years because I felt God was taking care of my brother. I did not pray, I slept well and I smiled.
Three weeks later, my brother died by his lifestyle and I could barely breathe. I had prayed for him to be taken care of. I had prayed for him to stop using. I had prayed that I would not have to spend my entire adult life trying and failing to help him, and now these things are all true and I am grieving the loss of the relationship I never got to have with my brother but relieved that he is safe and cared for. I believe prayers are always answered.