#AtoZChallenge Day 23: Wanting Too Much

W is for Wanting

W

Over the past few months, I’ve come to an odd realization:

I don’t think I know how to really want something.

I don’t know if I ever have in my post-puberty life.

Because I’ve learned that I need to be okay with not getting everything I want in this life. I need to be okay with loss and disappointment. I need to detach myself from this world and put more focus on the hereafter.

In the process of training myself to do that, I’ve also trained myself to just not want things very strongly so as to avoid disappointment and overattachment to this world.

Now I feel it has become a problem, because now it’s hard for me to pray for things. How can you sincerely ask God for something when you don’t intensely want it? There’s a fine line between trusting God to give you what you pray for and being okay with not getting it. And in trying to navigate where that line is, my duas have felt fake and insincere.

I noticed this when I was applying for graduate school. I realized last summer that as much as I grumble about continuing school, I did really want to go to grad school. And there was a specific program in a specific school that I had been wanting to get into for virtually all of undergrad.

So this past winter, when it came time to fill out the application and then go for the interview, I had to revisit that idea of really wanting to go to the school. As I visited the campus and talked to some of the current students, I realizes that I really wanted to get in to this program.

When it came time to tell the school why I wanted to go there, and then tell God the same thing in my duas afterwards, I was at such a loss of how much I should allow myself want this. It was my top school, but it was also competitive and I had already been rejected from there once before. If I was really relying on God, I would allow myself to be okay with not getting into the program.

But if I didn’t allow myself to feel that desire, how could I take the interview and my subsequent duas seriously?

So I decided to allow myself to want it. I wanted to get into this program more than anything I have wanted in years. I allowed the feeling of desire and longing to fill my heart so that I could give my all in the interview and shed tears when praying to God to allow the interviewers to see the potential in me.

Alhamdulillah, by the grace of God, I got in. I am finally enrolled in my dream program at my dream school. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

But I still have my “wanting” problem. What if I hadn’t gotten in? Would it have been worth the disappointment to have wanted it so badly? Or was my wanting it and praying for it a way of relying on God that I hadn’t tried before, and He rewarded me for it?

I still don’t have the answers to these questions. I only have gratitude.

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2 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Day 23: Wanting Too Much

  1. abetterjulie says:

    I understand this, I think. I used to pray a lot, but have prayed less as I’ve aged, but not so much from lack of faith – more because of an increase. I figure that God knows. I was also taught (by a Muslim, actually) that it’s important to ask God for our wants and needs, so I suppose there is a balance of thought required. I’m glad you were given what you wanted. @abetterjulie from http://www.persephoneknits.blogspot.com

  2. trancify says:

    In a class I took we called this “having a broken wanter”. More than half the class had it, including me. The assignment we were given to address it was to ask for things, and the things we were to ask for should cause fear in us to do the asking. The more fearful we were, the better. The more frequently we asked, the better. More importantly, however, was to have a way to be comforted in a healthy way when we were rejected, like a hug from someone or some words of affirmation. The healing after the rejection is what makes us strong, not just the rejection. This assignment helped me practice asking for things, to be OK with “wanting” again, to be OK with the fear of asking, to be OK with the possibility of rejection, and that rejection can lead to comfort instead of sadness if I choose. The fear and the possibility of rejection don’t go away but I know now that I will either get what I want or I can be comforted after being rejected, both of which feel good. Plus, I found out that the world wants to give me things, much more than I ever thought possible. I only need to ask.

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