Saturday, July 11, 2009

Praying for something better.....

"I feel so sad. So weak. So lost."

After a long pause, that was how I started off my prayer.

I wasn't getting much artwork done lately. Projects would start only to stop. Feeling unmotivated and useless and depressed.

I had time to kill before work this morning and decided to go to the Cathedral District to pray. That always seems to help.

There's an outdoor labyrinth I like to visit that's located right next to St. James Cathedral. I prefer this method of praying instead of actually going inside the church. It's much more private and intimate and freeing IMHO.

The labyrinth (the entrance/exit starts at the bottom-middle)

If you've never heard of it before, a labyrinth is an ancient, maze-like design often used in church as a form of prayer or meditation. Walking the intricate pattern was considered equivalent to pilgrimage.

There is only one entrance/exit. The winding walkway leads to the center of the labyrinth. The center is said to represent God or heaven upon where one would pray. Once finished, the person would then leave using the same path.

Anxiously I entered the labyrinth and thought about my troubles.

It will be less than a week until I officially lose my job. So much uncertainty and fear. As I turned and wrapped around the meandering path I wondered what I'll do next in life. What if I can't make it? I'm so drained and down as it is, I'm not sure I can handle much more.

The labyrinth's center

When I reached the labyrinth's center, I knelt on the ground, closed my eyes, and firmly clasped my hands. Police sirens mixed with barking dogs could be heard in the distance. My tears dotted my jeans. It was the longest amount of time I'd spent there. Maybe 15 minutes or more just sitting and praying and crying.

I've prayed for the same damn things over and over, year after year.

For better opportunities to come my way. A good, dependable job that lets me make ends meet. To be great and do great things. To have great things and great people come into my life. For clarity. For wisdom. For strength. For fulfillment. For guidance. For it to begin this moment!

I can NOT keep running on empty. Something has to come my way. It has to!

Close-up detail of the pathway

I once heard that God hears you the first time and that prayers don't need to be repeated. If that's the case, then maybe what I'm asking for will stay unanswered. Or maybe God's just a negligent father and I don't need another one of those.

With the prayer finished I backtracked the trail, hands still gripped tightly, reflecting on what I asked for. Curving and winding with the design, I pondered if this time will be different. Will my prayers be answered? When I reached the exit I wiped my eyes and gave the labyrinth one last look.

Only time will tell, I guess.


MartininBroda said...

I hope it doesn't bother you when I say I will pray for you too.

Dean Grey said...

It doesn't bother me at all, MartininBroda.

I think it's kind of sweet that you asked.

Thank you!


Pilgrim said...

Your prayers will certainly be heard by Our Lord Almighty, Amen. Propz Pilgrim

The Painted Nest said...

Dean, This is the first time I've commented on your blog, although I've been looking in on you for some time. Much like a mother watches her children when they move out on their own and begin to strech their wings to fly. Dean, I'm 52, I have 5 children,3 daughters,2 sons. All of them grown and on their own. I now have 2 beautiful grandchildren. My wonderful husband and myself have been married for 27 years. He's a wonderful husband and father. He's an electrition ~~ owns his own business. Well, a year ago when the housing market fell so did my darling husbands dream. He's been out of work for a year.We lost our home and had to move in with my oldest daughter~~in her double car garage.This was the hardest thing we've ever had to do! I am a woman of faith and I know God will see us through this.It's hard to move when there is so much changing around you,your mind gets in a fog and it seems all reasoning leaves you, you feel so helpless,confused,wanting! So we turn to someone bigger than our problems,bigger than we are,someone who has the answers.The Father!! Dean, He is a Good Father and he loves you,cares for you,He created you and knows everthing about you and is watching everthing touching your life. He has your best instrest at heart. We don't always see what God is doing until he has finished his work. Much like an artist when he is painting,the painter has a vision of what he wants to paint but often the painting when it is finished turns out much different than his vision of it.The artist is always surprised by his finished work.And most times happily so.~~~Dean our lives are very much the same in so many ways~~that's why I wanted to just chat a min.with you. I'm not trying to be mama,although you are the age of my oldest daughter. But my heart has been so heavy for you. I want you to know I pray for you everyday.~~You are a beautiful soul~~you see the world through the eyes of an artist and I truly understand that!! When we feel things around us WE REALLY FEEL IT!!!I SOOO GET THAT. I'm not a preachy person, just one voyer person peeking in on you because I truly care. And if you don't mind I'll peek in on you from time to time to see how you are. I so get the place where your mind and HEART is at!! Dry your eyes sweet Dean~~the word say~~God will never leave you or forsake you~~people may~~but God never will. Be encouraged, this too will pass and things will get better. God never closes one door without opening a window~~~look and you'll see HIS good hand in all this. I KNOW YOU WERE BORN FOR GREATNESS~~~HANG IN THERE~~praying for you sweet Dean, Deborah

Dolores said...

God helps those who help themselves. This is what the pastors and ministers have always said.

Unknown said...

Some believe God gives greater challenges for more evolved souls. With all that's gone on and is sill going on, God must have great plans for you. Hang in there my friend. HUGS!

naturgesetz said...

I'm sure God hears your prayers,and will answer them in the way that's best for you, at the time that's best.

It may include some things that you would not have chosen for yourself. Our understanding is limited and our vision is limited, so we don't always know what's good for us, but God knows.

I like to expand on what Jesus said about prayer: who among you would give his son a stone when he asked for bread or a scorpion when he asked for a fish? We can also ask who would give a stone if his son asked for it rather than bread, or a scorpion if his son asked for it rather than a fish? Sometimes we may not realize that what we want is a stone (useless) or a scorpion (harmful), but God does.

So keep praying. And be alert for God's answers. He may answer in your thoughts and he may answer in the events of your life. So try to ask yourself, "Is this God speaking to me?"

God bless you.

Dean Grey said...


I hope you are right!



I think you officially win the medal for leaving the longest comment ever!!

Let me say that I GREATLY appreciate you taking the time to send me such a thought out response. It made me kind of teary-eyed actually.

I'm aware we all go through bad times. I wish the very best for you and your husband and pray things will turn around in your favor.

Praying for you as well.

Thank you sweet Deborah!!



I've heard that phrase many times but helping oneself is easier said than done and at times doesn't always seem possible.

That's what I thought prayer was for. Asking for God's help when you aren't able to do it for yourself.

But maybe I'm wrong about that?



HUGS back at ya!



I will keep praying and continue to search for God's answers.


Thank you all SO MUCH for the wonderful insight and support! It means a great deal to me.


Gwen Bell said...

This is a beautiful post Dean. It takes a lot of courage to bear your soul that way. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with your invisible family out here in Blogville.((((Hugs))))

Meeko Fabulous said...

Hi Dean. I'll keep you in my thoughts as well. I believe everything happens for a reason. Another door will surely open for you soon.

sayrem said...

been looking into your blog for a long long time now and you truly do look at life through the eyes of an artist.

whatever happens, happens for a reason :)

endure and see what beauty comes out of that..

Carolina said...

Hi Dean!
You're in a "valley" now, but you'll soon be on the top again. Don't lose your faith...
Warm regards,

Dean Grey said...


Thank YOU for taking the time to read what I had to say.



Let's hope that door opens soon!



Thanks for visiting!

I will try to endure.....



Thank you!


I appreciate everyone's continued kind words!


stanw said...

Dean, I have often felt like I too have been running on empty. Someone said in their comment that we have to help ourselves but in reality there are times when all we might try to do hits a blank wall. I am just not that smart to always know what to do. I can't see tomorrow but we know One who does and He is faithful to take care of us. Yesterday the sun was shining, today it is cloudy, but the sun WILL shine again. Blessings.

Dean Grey said...

Thank you, Stan!!


ILHiker said...

Empty pockets can be a blessing and not a curse. --Amy Weintraub. Hope things are going better for you.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for stopping by!

Well, as I'm typing this response to you, I'm currently unemployed and on unemployment.

How that's a blessing, I'm not sure.

I do appreciate the kind words though!


Unknown said...

I want to believe in God so I keep on praying. If there is a God I think he is mostly hands-off.

Dean Grey said...


I think God is hands-off because he wants all of us to be hands-on.


stanw said...

It's been 4 and 1/2 years from when I first commented on this post...time flies!
I believe that God is hands-on more than we realize. Just that we have the desire to keep praying is one evidence that he is concerned for us and is gently nudging us to draw closer to him and trust his love. Also if we look at our lives I'm sure we can see things that would account for God working to protect us. Someone has said that we are only as close to God as we want to be. I found in my own life that I had to be able to approach God as Father. That was hard at first but in retrospect I see it was something I had to face, to see the reason why it was hard to trust him as my Father (that involved earthly father issues), and ultimately to see that God as my Father is to see that he is always with me and will never leave me.

Dean Grey said...


I don't think I've gotten to the level of closeness you have with God but I hope to one day.

In time.


P.S.: And thanks for the follow-up comment four years in the making!