The Answer ‘No’

Tawsha - La Mesa, California
Entered on February 18, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

No is sometimes a hard answer to bear. It is not easily taken or favored. But it is given. The answer no is given almost as abundantly as the answer yes. But as a Christian the answer can be taken at an even higher extreme; for the answer comes from a greater source, not of one we can ignore. There are many things wanted in this life, but not all given, we are to ask and the answer shall be given, but the response may not be what we have asked for.

I believe the answer “no” is often a valuable one. There have been many times in prayer when I have asked for something and have not received what I had asked for. Many people may claim it is because God did not answer their or my prayers, but I believe the answer was just no. God knows what is in our hearts; he sees our future and what it holds farther along than we can ever see. He knows the greater paths and arrangements for our lives even if we cannot see how they may ever piece together.

When I was three, my parents divorced. I was too young to understand the truth of it, but old enough to realize I was losing a dad. My mom remarried when I was four and I then regained what I had lost. As years began to grow me and my stepfather drew apart.

My biological father keeps in touch, but I’m lucky if I get to see him once a year or hear from him once every couple of weeks. I stand now with the empty essence of a father I had always hoped to have. I have found myself praying to God for a father of my own who understands me and who I am; and cares enough to know every depth of my soul. Each time I pray I feel his comfort, but am left without the answer I had anticipated. But I know his answer is no.

For a long time I could not comprehend why he would not give me the mentor I had asked for. It wasn’t a request of the world, but of a man’s love- a father’s love. I had gone through boys like I had old t-shirts, none much better than the last. Searching for the acceptance I had never found.

His answer has made me stronger. Because he said no to the father I had prayed for, I’ve grown stronger in my faith knowing he is the father I have dreamed of. The father who loves me unconditionally, does not judge me for who I am, listens to me when I need to talk, and will be there for me always. God may answer no, but he never leaves prayers unanswered. He is the father I need. And he is the guidance we should always seek.