When I was about seven years old I began praying for good girl friends. I watched movies and television shows where people hung around coffee shops and talked about boys, jobs, life and all of them, no matter what drama happened during the show, seemed happy. This contentment led me to have a deep desire for friendships and I looked for these personalities everywhere I went.
At the age of 12 I thought I found them; the type of friendship you grow old with. There were a group of girls I had met through my church that I felt like I could truly be myself with. One by one their families each moved to Houston and we began our best friendship pen pal relationship. With the boom of the internet, communication became easier through emails and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). I loved these friendships. They made me feel wanted and important and happy. Mostly, it made me feel known, and as a girl who often felt invisible, this was huge for me.
One of the girls in this group had a guy friend from school named Chris and every so often he would be over at her place and we would also chat. The girl confided with me that she had a huge crush on Chris and wanted me to figure out if he liked her. I felt honored to have a best friend who told me secrets and without any hesitation, agreed to play detective on her behalf. It worked, one time on AIM Chris told me he had a deep crush for my friend and wanted advice on how to “woo” her. I helped him think up sweet, romantic ways to confess his love for my friends and I was bursting with joy…I couldn’t wait to hear how the story unfolded!
About that same time my parents gave me the okay to go down to Houston to visit my best friends. I was ecstatic! I messaged all the girls and told them I couldn’t wait to see them. Chris messaged me after hearing I was going to be in town and mentioned that we should meet up at some point. I told him I couldn’t wait to finally meet him as well and we should all meet up as a group for dinner. Hopefully, with his new official girlfriend at that point.
When I arrived in Houston, everything was great. A whole week with my best friends, I was living the plot of my favorite sitcom. Over dinner at one of my best friends house, her parents asked what I was most excited about and I listed all the things we had planned. “I also can’t wait to meet Chris!”
My friend’s face turned white. Her dad responded, “Who is Chris?” I realized they had never told their parents about Chris. It was common in Asian culture to not approve of young relationships and so in stellar-best-friend-mode, I quickly changed the subject. Later I received a message from Chris that he wanted to meet-up because he needed to talk to me, but he didn’t want to tell anyone. No one in the best friend circle could know.
I’ll fast-forward this story for you. One of the brothers in my best friend circle pulled me aside and told me the truth. There was no Chris. The girls had made him up, AIM screen name and all to play a trick on me. They wanted to see if I would fall in love with him, if I would try to steal him from my “best friend” even though I knew she liked him, if I would try to secretly meet up with him if I was in town and the awful list went on and on. Worse of all, my loyalty angered them and fueled them to come up with more creative ways to force out a betrayal for me. I was crushed.
After that, I had a hard time trusting girls and found my fruitful friendships through guys who were like a band of brothers in my life. Throughout high school and college, it started to feel like my quest for a girl best friend was a moot point. I felt defeated. And even though I made peace with my lack of female friends, I continued to yearn for one, just one, girl-coffee-going-amazing-friendship.
God answers prayers. It may not be in the way you expect Him to or in the time frame you’ve asked for, but He does. I promise you, He not only hears you, but He gives you exactly what you need.
There are moments where we treat our prayers like a broken machine. We bang it against the counter and ask “Is this thing on?” because for whatever reason, our prayers don’t seem to be getting answered. But God’s timing is perfect. It may be to teach us patience or to help us appreciate what we have to realize He is truly all we need. It may even be to show us what we really need to be praying for or to keep us from getting too greedy. Whatever it is, God answers prayers exactly when it is needed and in the way it should be answered.
I’m not saying the wait on answered prayers is easy. In fact, it can be pretty excruciating. When I turned 27 years old, I received a table full of flowers, unique and beautiful like their sender. My enchanted day was filled with so many lovely friendships and ended with a surprise, intimate dinner with a group of girls I adore. I sat at the table looking around to each girl. Each girl has shown me love through friendships and has on several thousand occasions, spent countless hours at coffee shops with me talking about boys, jobs and life. I realized in that moment that I was living my dream sitcom. And I know if I had to have waited another 20 years to be surrounded with this community I have now, I would do it. Because, what I’m trying to say is: it is worth the wait. However unattainable your prayer is or however long this seemingly radio silence from God is, it is absolutely worth the wait.
When God answers prayers, even in the smallest requests, He answers big. And I promise, it’s worth the wait – every time.