Big Prayers

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“When my mom died I stopped praying big prayers. It’s not because I didn’t think the Lord could do them, but I didn’t think He WOULD .” – Roseana Smith

ME: “What if God doesn’t heal you?”

MOM: “We just have to trust Him.”

ME: “I don’t know if I can do that.”

MOM: “Oh Roseana, He is so worthy of our trust.”

“Through testing and fire, I’ve experienced wonder and life,” said Roseana Smith. “It’s through loss and uncertainty that the Lord has taught me the most about His faithfulness.

“My walk with Christ began very early in life. My family, well-known in our community of Hot Springs, Arkansas, hails from several generations of Christ-followers. As a rule-following Baptist girl, I came to a clear understanding of the gospel when I was five. I went to private school at church through middle school, and starting attending public school in the 8th grade. That shook my world. I sat alone at lunch, I didn’t fit in, and alienated myself with a judgmental heart. Rules, order, and the logistics of being right gave me a false sense of peace. My freshman year of college at Ouachita Baptist University was an opportunity to thrive in a community full of fellow Christians. But everything I knew about God was about to change.

“Two months after starting college, my grandmother died, and my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. She fought hard over the next year, enduring multiple surgeries and medical interventions. The Lord was sweet to me throughout that journey, gifting me the support, love, and encouragement of friends, sorority sisters, and professors. The impact of my mom’s declining health highlighted turmoil and hurts that had been building in our family. I truly believed that the Lord was going to heal my mom. Six weeks before she died, I finally accepted that she was too sick to survive her illness. She was such a gracious lady, steadfast in her faith, and joyful. She had a true servant’s heart. God gave me a sweet gift as I sat at the bedside of my faithful, gracious mother when He took her home.

“A year after my mom’s passing, my cousin committed suicide. The chasm of hurt in our family widened, which forced me to trust the Lord when I felt disappointed and forgotten. I had to look beyond pain and unmet expectations, knowing that even in sorrow there was holy work to be done.

“I took a leap of faith and studied at Hong Kong Baptist University my senior year of college, even though I’d never traveled alone outside the state of Arkansas. I didn’t know anyone, so this was a true moment of trust and courage. The Lord tenderly showed me that this was my chance to focus exclusively on Him. For the first time, I was able to tangibly experience God’s love and pursuit of me. Traveling throughout Asia was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

“After the trip, I decided to take my post-college career outside of my home state and stretch my wings. The Lord led me to Washington, D.C., and later to Dallas. Throughout the challenges of the transition, the Lord truly showed me that He is always worthy of my trust. By the time I got to Dallas, I’d been walking with Jesus for over 25 years. But, I wasn’t experiencing the peace and joy of the abundant life the Lord promises. Because I was certain that recovery was just for those with ‘big problems’, it took me a year to agree to attend Watermark’s recovery ministry.

“It took time in recovery for me to clearly see my struggle with co-dependency, unhealthy emotional relationships with men, and my struggles with judgment, control, and anxiety. I learned that God does not rank sin like I tended to do, and following the rules wasn’t key to others loving me. I was called to encourage and care for others, as Christ loved me. My head and heart connected to the truth that His peace comes when I offer thanksgiving and focus on what Christ has faithfully done. (Philippians 4)

“When my mom died, I stopped praying big prayers. It’s not because I didn’t think the Lord could do them, but I didn’t think He WOULD. But our God is BIG, and my big prayers are exactly what deepens my relationship with Him. While my life doesn’t always look how I thought it would, my life is abundant because of Christ. He has blessed me with an overflow of joy.

“Getting to serve in the Single Adults ministry, traveling to Haiti for short-term discipleship trips, and coaching women’s community groups have been beneficial to my heart. In serving others, I see how big God’s love is and share that love with others. I’m humbled the Lord would let me pour into ladies who are discipling others in community; the idea of multiplication gives me goose bumps! Through all of my messes, the Lord has made everything beautiful. Even when I wrestle with trusting Him, God is faithful. I know that He will never fail me.”

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