Prayer requested.

Don't worry. It's nothing tragic or urgent. It's just personal. Wondering how to take God's path for my existence rather than one that may have more to do with my ego and personal feelings.

I was telling one of my friends about a totally bizarre answer we had to a prayer we've been praying for almost a year now. Last week we got a phone call from the Fairfield library saying they thought they have something that might belong to us. Having only been there once, maybe twice in the last year and half since we've been back I couldn't imagine what it would be. I thought maybe it was my library card from when my purse was stolen back in 2002. It turned out to be God answering a year-old prayer in an amazingly creative way.

We have all of our important documents in one plastic file folder that is usually in a safe place in the house. That folder was taken with me to register Sean for school around this time last year (it has our birth certificates, social security cards, shot records, etc.) I've found that if I take those documents out of the main folder - which is florescent green - then they're more likely to get lost on their own. So anyway, I had the folder for registration and the next day we were having a garage sale. I took the folder out of the car and while getting side-tracked with the sale I put the folder down on a shelf in the garage.

So the morning of the garage sale, we had the garage door open but everything for sale was out in the driveway itself. It rained and Rusty and I had a table with chairs set up just inside the garage door. This seemed to be an invitation to shoppers to come into the garage and rummage through things that were not for sale. I know at one point a man picked up the green folder to look at the box underneath. I remember because he asked about something in the box to which I replied, "That's not for sale" and put the folder on a higher shelf then turned to talk to someone else rummaging through the stuff for sale. That was the last time we saw the folder.

Fast forward a few months and we realize it's gone and most likely it had disappeared that day. What should have taken one day to get my Ohio driver's license took weeks as I waited for a social security print-out to verify my number, a new birth certificate, etc. We talked to the social security agency and our numbers were put on an alert status meaning any time something came through using that number it wouldn't be ok'd until we were notified. We struggled with whether to re-order everyone's birth certificates, social security cards and our marriage certificate (something you can only do in person right now where we were married in Maryland.) It would cost a lot of money, a lot of time and some confusion as the supporting documents you needed to request one thing were needing to be replaced as well.

A month or so ago we sent up one last prayer of, "If they're really gone, please let us know and we'll go on from here." I'll admit, after turning the house upside down twice and cleaning out the garage a few times, I honestly figured they were stuck in some closet or cabinet and was surprised when they didn't turn up. The alternative was kind of scary - with birth certificates and social security cards someone can really jack up your credit history and your life overall. I was planning on using some of the tax rebate money to go ahead and re-order the paperwork that proves the history of our family. Then the library guy called.

The folder turned up sometime last fall. After hearing our story they figure it was dropped of there since it's a somewhat "official" location but the person wouldn't be subject to questions on how they obtained it. In all honesty, I don't necessarily think it was "stolen" as there is just as much chance that someone else picked it up to look at whatever was underneath it and may have walked away not realizing what they had until it was too late (I could see where returning a folder to someone and having to say, "I just walked off with your whole life's worth of paperwork. I promise I didn't copy anything down. So sorry... here you go" would be kind of scary.)

So why did I just tell you this very long yet strangely fascinating story? Because it's just proof that God is not boring. God is not easy to figure out. Sometimes the route to answered prayer seems so cut and dry... and obvious... and yet it's not God's answer. It's ours. Because we're so short-sighted, you know? So that's what I'm wrestling with right now. What does God want me to do with the ideas He's given me. The obvious answer seems to be the one that's staring me in the face right now. The path with someone saying, "You'd be perfect for this." And to be honest, some instant gratification and ego boosting. I just want to make sure that's what God wants. And that's why I ask for your prayers.

Thanks.

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