I Can’t Fly

I prayed everyday for the power to fly.

I was such a devout little Catholic girl. I knew if I prayed furiously, on my knees, rosary in hand…my prayers would be rewarded because that’s what I was taught.

My prayer was to fly, responsibly of course. I needed wings to get heaven. There was no other way.

I promised to avoid airplanes. I promised I wouldn’t let anyone see me fly so as to avoid causing the evil sin of jealousy to creep inside their hearts.

I cried my prayers into my pillow each night. Surely He could bring me to heaven even for just one visit!

I wrote a letter and tossed it off the side of the deck. It would fly to heaven on the wings of angels and God would see there was a little girl down here that needed to fly.

Time passed and still no wings.

Were they invisible? Perhaps my prayer had been granted in secret.

I climbed onto the patio chair and faced the sky.

I jumped!

Again…and again…and again…for nothing.

I had prayed for my Dad to be cured and I was not rewarded. And now I would not be granted visitation rights. I clenched my teeth at this hard new reality.

My husband brought me to church last Sunday and he watched me bristle when the pastor asked us to bow our heads and spoke about rewards for those who pray.

“What’s your problem?” he drilled me on the ride back home. “Why don’t you believe in prayer?”

I don’t tell him it’s because I can’t fly.

“They teach prayer wrong.” I say and I swallow that girl back down.


  1. says

    Aww hun, I think as kids we all have that one prayer that doesn’t get answered. Although this one is one that is painful in memory for you and others who know the truth. Powerful post and a side of you it is nice to see sometimes.

  2. says

    Sweet post. Oh yes, those unanswered prayers and that faith we are taught as children. Conflicts within and without. This one resonated with me very much.

  3. says

    You’re right. A lot of people teach about prayer wrong. It should be about have a conversation with God, and we often forget that conversation involves a great deal of listening, not just making requests.

    For years, I prayed and prayed and prayed for a husband. All I got was bad date after horrible date after downright scary date. I was sure God hated me, or abandoned me, or worse yet, didn’t even exist. I’m nearing 40, and I still don’t know if God will ever answer that prayer the way I want it answered.

    But I am learning slowly (very slowly) to do more listening on my end of the prayer conversation. And maybe eventually, I’ll shut my Italian self up long enough to finally understand what Sr. Blanche said when she told us that Jesus was our best friend and we are supposed to talk with him like we’d talk with a friend.

    Prayers for you today, Mama Kat. Don’t swallow that little girl back down. Let her rise to the surface and take her right to Jesus. He’s got this one.

  4. says

    I honestly think your words have wings, they are flying across the internet right now. I can’t tell you how much this post hurts my heart. I prayed that my husband would realize the mistake he was making. He answered my prayers, not in the way I wanted, but He has shown me that I can handle being alone right now. He placed people in my life who are helping me get by.

  5. says

    This was a beautiful post. I’d like to say something profound here, but I’m as confused and conflicted as you about this particular topic, so I’ll leave it at this: you wrote something that was important to me today. Thank you.

  6. says

    Love this. How disappointed we are when we believe God doesn’t follow through. I’m so sorry you were given the wrong lesson when you needed the right one.

  7. says

    What beautiful words, my friend. The wisdom of the aged (that’d be me) escapes me on this one. Here’s what I DO get, the more I learn, the less I know. Wait, I feel a little wisdom coming on, I think you soar Kat, as you share yourself with others (thinking video here) and give us wings to do the same (thinking video here). :)

  8. says

    God probably had hundreds of kids praying for the gift of flight, and in his infinite wisdom he realized that all those flying children would completely wreck air travel. Think of all those 747s and DC-10s trying to land when you’re swooping toward the ice cream truck on the next street. It would be mass chaos!

  9. Naila Moon says

    What a heartfelt post from you and so different. I can understand the disappointment when we feel our prayers have not been answered the way they should be.
    Thank you for insight about you.

    • says

      Such sweet heartache. Remember that God answers every prayer…. but sometimes, the answer is “No” or “Not yet” or “I have a different plan for you.”