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By B. Lynn Goodwin.

Guitar1Yesterday I opened iTunes and clicked on my Garth Brooks file, so I could hear an old favorite, “Unanswered Prayers.”

“Just a little diversion,” I told myself as I uploaded a book review to Story Circle Network while Garth strummed the opening chords.

Just the other night a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be…

That started me thinking about the way things used to be in my life before I met my husband, Richard. I was lonely, though I didn’t really recognize that. I’d adopted a dog, Mikko McPuppers, and he made my life much fuller.

Mikko gave me new friends. My fellow dog walkers would stop and chat as we passed each other in the park, and I imagined how young parents found friends wherever they took their kids.

For about three years, as I walked him along the paths in the park above my condo, I asked my Higher Power, who I call God, to “show me the way I should go.” I asked an unanswered prayer.

I wanted more in my life. I knew I needed guidance and that’s exactly what I got when I went into Craigslist very late on the night of July 4, 2011.

I responded to his catchy ad in which the writer compared himself to a 1944 Classic Car. I wrote back, comparing myself to a 1949 Classic. You can read more about our exchange in “A Classic Couple”.

As I listened to the song, I identified with the lyrics, even though I’ve never run into an old flame at a football game and Richard is my first and only husband. The phrase “Unanswered Prayers” had new meaning. At 62, I never expected to get married, much less be a pastor’s wife. My husband has been pastoring a small Free Will Baptist Church for many years. His parishioners have seen him lose the mother of his seven children, who had been his wife for forty years, and a second wife who’d come into their lives as his first wife’s caregiver. I am his third, and probably his last wife.

7 11 Bulb
Seeking a way out.

I’m not a Baptist. He knows that, and he accepts me. So does his congregation. Richard and I have had some interesting discussions about religion. I’ve read more of the Bible in the last year than I had in my whole life, and I’ve embraced the chance to listen to the people in his church and share my views with them.

My prayer was to find my purpose. I truly believe that finding Richard was a part of finding my purpose. Today, I’m leading an unexpected life.

I love the way my prayer was answered. I love the present, and I’m grateful my future has arrived, even though it looks nothing like the one I thought I wanted.

Has a prayer or a wish of yours been answered in an unexpected way? We’d love to hear about it.

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B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, available on Amazon. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care;, Friction Literary Journal, and The Sun.

A former teacher, she conducts workshops and writes reviews for Story Circle Network and InspireMeToday. She’s working on a YA novel and brainstorming a memoir.

She’s the owner and editor of Writer Advice. Writer Advice recently celebrated its 16th year and runs contests for aspiring and published writers as well as sharing useful tips from experienced writers.

For more information, please visit

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