“I got nothing I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.”

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve –
I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.

I asked God for help that I might do greater things –
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy –
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I got nothing I asked for –
but everything I had hoped for.

Despite myself, my prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”

— Edgar A. Guest, Answered Prayer

Not sure why this particular poem has been on my mind, but it has all morning long; as if someone recorded then played it on loop. I think, too often, we count our misgivings rather than blessings. We’re short-handed, that’s true – for instance, I think I will forever wish I am more graceful, less of a hurricane – but I think we actually really do have everything we need and more, not less, of our wants. Isn’t this enough?

Maybe I’m just thinking good thoughts because today’s Day 2 of Ramadhan and I spent Day 1 in bed all day showered in cold sweat with a congested chest, feeling like I was between the realms of life-and-death; maybe it’s even because lessons learned from my recent trip to rural village, Bario, Sarawak, still weigh heavily on my mind and conscience; or maybe, just maybe, I have had enough of a particular friend’s low self-esteem. Why are you not enough?

I wish to convey to her that if there is a wall – she is the wall.

Now snap out of it.


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