Been doing some thinking today. You see – I am very aware of complaining, as I am of praying. The power of each one. And really they are inextricably the same thing.
Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember to – as far back as I can remember – praying to G-d before I went to sleep ( I was not at all orthodox back then.) I always put my two little hands in the prayer position, turned on my side, and my prayer went something like this, ” Dear G-d. Please bless, mommy, daddy, Pammy, Glendy and Cherie. Please let them get married soon. Please let all the starving people in Ethiopia get food. Thank you. I love you, Candy.”
Now – I don’t want to sound too conceited, but my sisters did all get married, and the famine in Ethiopia did end! So – from a very early age, I found the power of prayer, and to this day, am astounded at the sheer magnitude of one’s deepest prayers; and even the most minor inconsequential prayers, that get answered. Some get answered immediately and some not so immediately – much to our despair. However when those prayers finally do get answered, and we look back at the months or years that have passed, we can truly appreciate the value of those prayers only having been answered at later stage.
For example: I can remember a time when I was living in Israel, and I ran out of money. Literally had NO money. I did have a little trump card, and I did call my daddy! ( I did not do this too often in Israel, but this was one time I did). My dad said that He would put money into my account, and I should go to the bank. I had my last few agarot which I used for bus fare to get to the Old City. I got off the bus and realised I had left any form of ID in Har Nof, and now I did not even have bus fare to return there to get it! So off I went to the kotel to go and daven! After I beseeched G-d to some how get me some money, I walked to the bank.
I told the teller my plight, of how I had left my ID at home, and you know what? She gave me the US dollars without a stitch of ID! Now – you tell me how many times that happens!
That demonstrates short-term response prayer (STRP – I should trademark that and write a best seller!)
An example of long-term response prayer ( LTRP – LOL!!)is when I prayed for a husband, seriously prayed! I prayed everyday, 3 times a day, I did 40 days of shir Hashirim, I cried, I begged, I pleaded; and then some 2 years later – I finally did get to meet my sugar daddy, in a most miraculous way – better than any script I could have conjured up!
That brings me to my initial point. Complaining. I do believe when we complain – we are also praying on some level. We are basically telling G-d that we don’t like what He has arranged for us.
Soon after I got married, literally a month, I became pregnant. The pregnancy was relatively uneventful and easy. However I complained so much about how I hated being pregnant! Perhaps my complaints were justified. I was nauseous, I was achy, I was certainly uncomfortable, and insecure as to the well-being of my baby! I was also very grateful, but I never verbalised that part. I just moaned to any willing listener.
My lesson came two years after giving birth, when I realized that I Had not gotten pregnant. Then after looking into various t treatments, I became pregnant soon after – only to miscarry. A few months later, I miscarried for the second time. After a trip to Israel and blessings from many people, I became pregnant again! This time i miscarried in my 16th week. I delivered the fetus myself, and sent it to pathology as soon as we got to the hospital.
Finally, after 3 years of pain and anguish, I really appreciated what it meant to be pregnant. Of what it meant to have a child. It is not like I did not appreciated my child. But at that point – I felt truly blessed to at least have ONE child. I completely felt that this was G-d’s will, and one only gets what he/she can handle. So – I knew I should be able to handle the situation. And I did. And, thank G-d, soon after that I conceived again. And due to my sending the fetus to pathology, we found out the problem lay with me, and was easily correctable with medication during my pregnancy.
But it wasn’t really because of me. It was due to the kindness of Hashem that we found an answer, and I am now the very proud mother of 4 beautiful children. They may drive me nuts, but I truly appreciate them. I could not imagine my world without them. And with every subsequent pregnancy, I never complained again. I rejoiced in that fact that i felt nauseous and BIG and uncomfortable!
So, my message tonight to myself, is be careful what I complain about. A harsh lesson may be lurking around the corner.