My life drastically changed when I was 8 years old. We moved (for a year) to Argentina for my dad’s job. Before we left, I was given several diaries from friends and family to preserve the memories of my time there. At first, I began with the typical “Dear Diary, Today was great because…” but I was so bored by what I wrote that I stopped writing all together.
However, soon after arriving in our new home (and not just the motel where we spent the first 3 weeks), I began to miss friends… and being able to talk to anyone outside my family… and marshmallows. (Seriously. At that time, the country did not have marshmallows… and I was an 8 year old that adored them!)
My faith in God was just beginning… as I had been baptized by my own choice only 6 months before leaving the States. I began to turn my frustrations into a new writing… prayers to God… in those tiny, tiny diaries that had a clasp, lock and key. Soon, things began to change. As I wrote out my sadness in not having friends in Argentina… more so… that could speak my language. God began to answer my quiet cries.
We began attending an Anglican church in the area, that had English-speaking services. I sat that Sunday, in reverence, inside that beautiful church building that sat just off the square, and squeezed my eyes shut. “God, I just need some friends who can understand me!” Then I tried to listen to the sermon and swallow the wine at communion that burned my throat… all…the… way… down.
Afterwards, my parents were surrounded by older men and women who all had wonderful British accents and wore dapper Sunday attire. A woman, who appeared to be slightly older than my own mother, pushed her way into the crowd and tapped my Mom on the shoulder. I couldn’t hear what she was saying to her, but I immediately zeroed in on the girl, about my height, who was standing directly behind her and holding the hand of a smaller child, her sister. My heart began to float… and finally hope… that maybe… just maybe!
After that service, we were invited to lunch out on an estancia (wealthy farm). I realized soon afterwards, that God does listen to our cries, selfish thoughts and voice in every circumstance. The girl was just a year younger… but spoke brilliant English. We became fast friends and had adventures with our brothers all over that estancia! She began to teach me Argentine Spanish and soon my brother David and I were fluent for our ages. My friendships at the local school grew at that point, and when we left Argentina, I had so many friends… it broke my heart to leave.
I continued to journal my prayers even after we came back. Now, I look back and see how far I’ve come. God shows me when I begin praying something rather selfishly, and how he turns my heart back towards His Will and Plan. But most importantly, my prayer journals tell me a story of God’s faithfulness in loving me through it all! Prayers are always answered. It make take an hour, day, week, month or year. Maybe even years later. But He will always listen and answer.
My prayers for Argentina to begin carrying marshmallows in their supermarket were never answered while we lived there. However, after several months, we drove 4 hours to pick up a box that was so large, they could not deliver it to us in Venado Tuerto, Argentina. The box was from my Grandma… and it was full of marshmallows. 🙂