so you prayed for a miracle and it didn’t happen.

end of summer~ 106-

end of summer~ 099

end of summer~ 059-

end of summer~ 105

end of summer~ 076

i sat down on monday to write a blog post.
i ended up reading a story instead.
of a boy and his kite and how it all came crashing to the ground..
how our lives can feel the same.
the question asked, “can we trust Him?”
and the answer given, “only one way to know.”

strange now to look back and see the stage being set on my heart –
challenged by trust the first of the week and ending the week having to live it!

my “kite crashing” involved a hard drive sitting on the kitchen table friday night and a little two year old foot that got caught in the chord and sent it falling – being told the next day by the data recovery guy, “everything on it is gone!”

i wasn’t there when it actually happened. i had run to pick up kate from a friend’s house. but oh, how i’ve seen that hard drive falling in my minds eye in slow motion over and over… and the imaginary scenario of reaching to try to catch it but missing every time. and i’m left just standing there looking down at this crashed thing at my feet~

when i first discovered it my heart just caved in with this awful dull ache.
i felt that i was literally going to vomit!

anyone who’s a photographer knows exactly what feeling i mean.
actually, anyone who just loves taking pictures probably knows exactly what i mean.
special memories. all those moments captured. just gone.
years in the taking and in a split second forever lost!

i was angry. i thought of how it all could have gone differently.
what i could have done differently. should have done differently.
and shhh-it! was the only word going off in my head for the first hour!!

i had just {i mean JUST} picked my computer and hard drive up that very afternoon from where it had been cleaned, backed up, all the files transferred from my computer to hard drive, then deleted from my computer to free up space. so everything from the last four years of our lives in pictures… e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g….. was inside that little black box!

there was my baby’s birth and the girls first recital.
our move to canada and anniversaries and christmases.
the fun. the joy. the growth and experiences.
those things we want to sit and look through when we’re gray and 80 and remember…
all gone

after trying it again and again.
off. on. unplug. plug. look at it for a long {long long} time. then, try it all again…
i gave up and went to get a bath.
i guess it’s what i do when i’m stressed- go take a bath.
when i want to be alone.
and mainly, when i want to cry!
and i did.

as the water rose my tears filled in with it and i bawled.
big ugly “why, God?” kind of tears.

it’s one of those times you tell yourself in light of “real” suffering throughout the world it doesn’t matter.
but it does.
and i laid back in the tub and put my head completely under, listening to the echoey sound of the drumming water and asking God if He cared about things like crashed hard drives. i know i felt the reassuring whisper deep in my heart of, “i care about you.”

but i struggled with that, to believe.
because if He cared wouldn’t He answer my prayer to fix it?

i tried reminding Him He had raised people from the dead so what was a few micro chips?
and i prayed hard for a miracle. for faith to be sight.
but that was the question pounding out above the roar of the water..
what if He doesn’t?

what if He doesn’t do a miracle?
what if He doesn’t fix it?
if faith isn’t sight, but dark. senseless. even cruel.

what then?

and that’s when i was reminded of trust. and would i still?
when it was hardest to do and needed the most…

when we don’t get our way to a way that seems only right and fair, even good.
and we think if only there could be a miracle, how much stronger would be our trust!
and think of the testimony. the glory God would get.
doesn’t He need my story of a resurrected hard drive to get more glory?

and i sighed deep and my breath choked in my throat over my crying.
i knew the answer.

i held my hand out under the tap and the water fell over it running down my arm. my mind went to all the others whose lives have poured out something they didn’t want – something much bigger than images lost. something way harder than a hard drive crashing.

because what of loved ones gone? husbands taken away too soon. babies lost. the mom of five told she only has six months. homes flattened. bank accounts wiped out. marriages failed. the teenage daughter who turned her back on her family and God, the parents who pray and wonder and cry for her every night. of despair and discouragement. rejection. abuse. the feeling you are all alone and hope is gone.

what of those losses?

what of trust then?

when you kneel before the place all your dreams were held and feel it’s unfixable?

so we pray for miracles.

but what if they never come?
what then?
do we keep believing?

when circumstances are beyond your control and pain comes from seemingly what? a God that loves you and only does what’s for your best? and isn’t this really the very nakedness of trust? not the fluff and sunday school answers, but the real life every day living kind of stuff! when we’re faced with what we don’t like. what we wish wasn’t. what we wish were different. and yet still at the end of it all say, “You are God!” not trying to make Him into the God we want. not just the God we’ve underlined in our Bibles. but the God that really is. and that’s what we believe in.

and that!! that is what our trust is anchored in.

not answered prayers and smooth lives..
not in what happens to us, but WHO it is that holds us!

that is trust.

and yet. how very difficult it can still be for us to gather up our broken, crashed pieces to bring to Him. we gather so carefully, don’t we? cupping our hands trying to contain it all. and somehow even in the cupping of our hands to hold it, to bring it all to Him, even then sometimes that’s the hardest to open in surrender.. because what if we lose a piece? what if somehow what i present to Him to fix and put back together comes back looking nothing like what i thought it would? what if the miracle we prayed for isn’t the miracle that comes? but another. and might we miss it if we’re so concerned with getting everything we’re holding so tightly put back together exactly as we thought?

what do we miss by being so concerned with our broken pieces?

do we miss the real miracle?

that it’s LIVES He’s rebuilding. changing.
not just putting back together from broken old pieces but making NEW!

and maybe what we think is broken isn’t the problem at all.
and maybe we find ourselves walking away with wholeness in places we didn’t even realize needed fixed.

and maybe…
maybe because of the crashings in our lives we begin to see a new image developing in us.



`♥. amber

32 thoughts on “so you prayed for a miracle and it didn’t happen.

  1. Jenn

    I’m so sorry that happened to you. I felt sick when I read it, so I can only imagine how painful it was to lose a life’s worth of pictures. I hope you’ll be able to see redemption in it…sometime… :)

    1. amber Post author

      thanks so much. yes, it was painful.. but i know not nearly as painful as the loss some have experienced in life. just a “taste” of losing something dear just makes me shiver to think of one of my children or someone i love~ life is put into perspective so quickly, eh?

      and good news! the computer guy WAS able to retrieve some of the pictures.. not all. but i’m thankful for what i got back.:)

  2. wilma

    The music video is a beautiful depiction of how God sees us despite our sin, pain, and dark hearts! Praying God will open your eyes to see beautiful things from His perspective – we’ve seen beautiful things through your lens :) now, may you see things in a different light that will add even more meaning and beauty to your talent!! praying your heart will be able to let go, be filled with peace and complete trust in the all-knowing God

  3. Pam

    Amber, So sorry this happened! I’ve had a similar experience. Sometimes, even when the machine doesn’t function any longer, the hard drive can be pulled and information rescued. Whatever you do, find a “techy” first before you recycle it! You may be able to pull the hard drive and retrieve all that your heart has surrendered. i don’t want to raise false hope, but it’s worth checking!

    1. amber Post author

      thank you, pam! yes.. we were able to retrieve some through the computer the guy had run the pictures to before he put them on the hard drive, he couldn’t get them from mine. we’re hanging onto the hard drive for future when we can afford to take it into a data recovery place. for now, i’m so glad for the ones i was able to get back!! it’s the little things, right. :))

  4. Karen Weber

    It takes courage, humility, and love to use our stories to comfort others, when we would much rather our stories had a different ending. Thank you for sharing this, Amber. Beautiful. You are right about it all, but I still found myself wanting to run around grasping for broken pieces for you–there must be family and friends who can salvage some of those images for you. Can everyone send you what they might have saved from when you shared in the past? I know, it would be only pieces, but they are priceless pieces. Hoping you can piece some of your images back together in the timeline of your life. :) But thankful you have found a redemptive way to express your loss. (The “redemptive” was borrowed from someone else, I believe.) Hugs!

    1. amber Post author

      thanks, karen! you’re a sweetheart wanting to run around and find all my missing pictures :)) we were able to get some back from a computer. and yes, i have several friends that have taken pictures of different things the last few years that involved my family that have said they’d give me copies – also, the ones i have on my blog. so i know there’s way to gather up the pieces. the Lord DOES redeem everything in our lives that we surrender to Him – even pictures, as i’ve learned! :))

  5. Clarita @ The Cottage

    You make me cry again. Do I believe that I can trust Him, even when things don’t go as I think are best? Do I believe He’s good, even when life is only pain?And realizing that Life is Jesus. Not blessings. But Jesus, and being conformed into His image. He’s be stamping these very things on my heart, and it all feels so tender. So much love to you!

    1. amber Post author

      Life is Jesus! yes and yes. but man!! how i forget so quickly – i think it’s Jesus AND things going my way. Jesus AND a miracle of retrieved pictures. Jesus AND all the blessings i “think” i deserve. but it’s just Him. and that’s more than enough.. it’s all i need. now – to just remember that!! :)) love right back to ya friend

  6. Betty Barrett

    So sorry for the loss of those pictures, but thankful for all of the beautiful memories and the gift God has given you to help bring them all alive once more for those who read about them on paper…..certainly does cause us to get perspective on life though….this is an awesome piece…thank you!

    1. amber Post author

      perspective – yes!! i couldn’t get over the grief i felt over pictures, how so many have felt that for loved ones, and things way more significant… i just cannot imagine the pain some have been through and yet to still see them shine with the love of Jesus and not grow bitter. wow!!

      always appreciate your words here, friend. love you!

    1. amber Post author

      thank you sweet friend~ i was thinking of you today and what a blessing your voice has been in my life over the years! i appreciate YOU! xo

  7. Carla

    “what if somehow what i present to Him to fix and put back together comes back looking nothing like what i thought it would?”

    It never does, Amber.

    But when I’m finally willing to look at what He’s placed back in my hands, I’ve always found it to be beautiful, even if in a wild way.

    Love you. I’m sorry. I know how precious those physical representations of our memories are. <3

    1. amber Post author

      it never looks how i thought it would because it’s never supposed to, i’m learning – HIS image. not mine!! slowly… slowly it’s sinking in. i might get it by the time i’m dead. ha!! ;))

  8. Peggy (Fwren)

    Oh my ~ how very traumatizing ~ but nothing is too big or too small for our great God to care about in our lives ~ and He does care, we know that. Blessings and hugs to you ~

    1. amber Post author

      “nothing is too big or too small for our great God…” feeling that today and grateful!! hugs back and good to see you around again. :)

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