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When The Answer to Your Prayers Is "No."

Have you ever had a plan that didn’t seem to be working? You couldn’t understand how something that felt so right when you planned it could turn out to be so wrong?

Perhaps you took a few guesses at why it wasn’t working and tried to fix each one but the more you tried to fix it, the more wrong it seemed to become.

But was it really wrong? Had you missed something you could have fixed? Or had it initially been perfect just the way it was, with a Higher Purpose being served by your plan appearing to be a complete and utter failure?

With these and many other questions rolling through your mind, and even more possible answers, you might have grown more confused by the minute as every possible answer threw out a growing list of suggested courses of action.

Changing the plan hadn’t worked so maybe it looked like you should abandon it altogether, at least for the time being, and in the specific circumstances.  

But maybe that felt like failure to you. Like giving up, admitting defeat, all of which go completely against your grain.

But had you really failed? No. You had to understand that you might as well have been selling high quality diamonds in Walmart. There may have been a few diamond-loving customers in the shop but they didn’t happen to pass by your little stand while you were there.  

That wasn’t your fault and it didn’t mean no one liked or wanted your diamonds. There was nothing wrong with your diamonds. And there was nothing wrong with the Walmart shoppers. So failure had nothing to do with it.

Well, then, if you packed up your little stand and left before closing, were you giving up?  

No. You were accepting that Walmart shoppers aren’t looking for high quality diamonds.  

Or they might have wandered past, loved the sparkle, thought they were beautiful – but diamonds wouldn’t go with their everyday clothing, so perhaps they were still just window-shopping and trying to imagine themselves actually wearing your diamonds someday.

Would you be admitting defeat? No. You weren't doing battle with anyone or anything so it wouldn't have been about that.

Maybe you went back to the beginning. You looked at your plan. In and of itself, it was a great plan. You looked at all of its components – your intentions, the whole point, what you were trying to accomplish. Nope, you couldn’t see anything wrong in any of that.

And as it seemed that the more you changed it, the worse things got, maybe you decided that it must have been a lot closer to “right” when you started. You couldn’t have been so wrong after all. Could you?

But you say you really needed and wanted your plan to work and you had been so sure it would. So very, absolutely, 100% certain. And an awful lot was riding on your plan being successful.

Maybe when it looked like it was going to fall apart, you went so far as to pray for it to be okay. Maybe you kept insisting it would be fine. You were determined to continue, whatever the outcome, because you're just not a quitter. You waited for an answer to your prayers.

Finally, the answer came. And it was “No.”

You hadn't thought of that as "an answer to your prayers" now, had you...

As they say, when a door closes, a window opens. So you must get busy looking out that window to see what you can see.

I hope you can see that your plan did not fail. You did not give up. You were not defeated. I hope you can see that your plan provided you with valuable lessons you needed to learn if you were going to progress, so how could that be wrong or a failure?  

It had to be exactly the way it was, even if you still don’t know all the reasons why – and it would help if you don’t think you have to know all of them – and that you understand that it’s part of a much bigger puzzle.

You have not abandoned or given up on your plan. It is merely in a state of great transformation. And one day, it will become an even more beautiful diamond.