Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Foxhole Prayer

So last week was my blood glucose screening for gestational diabetes. The long one. I'd already flunked the one-hour test, so I was forced to fast and take the three-hour test.

The Lazy Bumpy Christian
Blecch. Glucola is the worst.

This pregnancy has had so much drama. Extended morning sickness! Daily migraines! Pain! Fear! More pain!

I blame Eve. Stupid curse.

But the one thing I love about being pregnant is not feeling like I have to count calories—eating like no one is watching what I eat. Not like I pig out or anything. I crave a lot of fruit, and I don't want exorbitant amounts of sweets. I only just made up the weight I lost in my first trimester, so I think I'm maybe eight pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight at this point. Eating is one of the things I enjoy most about pregnancy. I don't want to lose that.

So I said this (silly, immature) prayer: "God, if you let me not have gestational diabetes, I will stop complaining about this pregnancy. I will pretend the whole thing has been peachy keen. Just please let me not have to skip the Pączki!"

We call this a "foxhole prayer." You know, like a soldier in the middle of war (in a foxhole) who says, "Lord, if you just get me through this, I'll never smoke/drink/swear ever again! I'll go to church every week! Just get me out of here alive!"

It's a tricky prayer.

On the one hand, you're showing God your desperation. I won't say he likes to see us desperate or anything, but he likes us to be willing to be vulnerable to him. Sometimes we're so, "I can do it all myself!" that he doesn't get the chance to comfort us or help us. So that's the good thing about a foxhole prayer—we're showing God that, no, we can't do it ourselves. We need him.

On the other hand, you'll then be expected to follow through on whatever it is you promised to God in your hour of need. Some people do, some people don't. Since God's someone who keeps his promises, we look super lame in front of him if we don't. But I don't think he stands in front of us with his hand out saying, "OK, I got you out of that, just like you asked—time to pay up, kiddo!"

Heavens. He's not the mafia.

So what should you do when you've painted yourself into a corner with one of these foxhole prayers and God comes through? (For the record, my test came out negative, so I'm holding myself to these.)

  • Be thankful. Don't forget to tell The Man thanks. You could probably tell him he's awesome, too. That's always appropriate. You send a thank-you note when Aunt Erma sends you socks, don't you? God deserves at least as much.
  • Attempt to follow through. It's not always so much about making the change and being perfect as much as it is about making the effort. In my heart of hearts, am I super sick and tired of this pregnancy at this point? Yes. But then I try to remember all the good things about it: feeling my baby girl kick and tumble around, the excitement of knowing she'll be here soon, the sleep I'm not losing right now with a newborn. It helps me correct my attitude. God doesn't expect perfection from us. If he did, Jesus wouldn't have been enough. Sometimes he's willing to give us an A for effort, though. And he's quite likely to help us in our endeavors if we truly want to make a change—don't forget that.
  • Don't forget that He didn't forget. The next time you find yourself in a moment of desperation, remember the last time God helped you. Lean on that for strength and hope. Think to yourself, "God didn't forget me then. No matter the outcome, I know he thinks about me." You may be less inclined to offer up such a desperate, immature prayer and rely on God's timing instead.

Have you ever uttered a foxhole prayer? What was the outcome? 


  1. I find myself in that "I can do it all by myself state" way too often lately. Thanks for the reminder that He never forgets.

  2. Great post! You look adorable, and I failed mine too but then I did eat a brownie before going because I forgot about the appointment. LOL

    1. Silly! I was so careful, I didn't even eat any sweets the whole day before, just in case!

  3. I think it was when I was in labor with my second - I was praying for the 3rd epidural to finally be the one to work!!! It did!

    I always try to list my things I'm thankful for to him every night.

    1. Jeeeeepers. Good call on that prayer! I'm still deciding whether I want an epidural for this one. I had one with my son---because he ended up taking 42 hours to arrive. Hopefully that won't be an issue this time!

  4. Hi! Just found your blog and I really like it! Yes, I've been known to do a foxhole prayer. I bet the whole negotiating thing with God makes Him laugh. :)
    So glad to hear your test came back negative!

    1. What I think is funny is that I try to negotiate with God as if I have anything worth negotiating with. lol


I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!