The one feature I know I need is a fenced-in backyard,” I told my realtor as we began looking for my new townhome. I thought it would surely increase my home office productivity if I could open the door, let Snickers the dog outside, and keep on working. I prayed and even visualized Snickers running around in that fenced-in backyard as I checked off item after item on my action list.

After an exhaustive real estate search, I settled on a townhome in a lovely, small community that had every feature I needed...except the fenced-in backyard. Little did I know that God had a bigger and better plan. As Snickers and I headed out of the door four times a day, I began meeting and getting to know my neighbors. Brief conversations quickly turned into learning each other’s names. Longer conversations soon turned into sharing laughs and hearing about each other’s lives and families.

One such conversation with my neighbor, Claudia, led to a Ladies Spring Brunch. A weekly neighborhood Bible Study soon sprang up from this gathering. The photo you see is from our February Ladies Brunch. With a Valentine’s Day theme, each lady brought her favorite heart item and shared the story of how it became her favorite. Ladies shared beautiful stories about heart necklaces, heart frames with pictures, American flag pins in the shape of hearts, etc.

Afterward, I passed out an invitation for our Bible Study. I shared my “Unanswered Prayer” story of how I had prayed for a home with a fully fenced-in backyard. “But God had something much better in store,” I said. “God did not answer the prayer for a fenced-in yard, so that He could bless me in a much greater way – allowing me joy of getting to know all of you on my daily dog walks!”

After several hours of coffee, laughter, and sharing, the ladies went back to their homes. My home was again empty, but my heart was full as I quietly thanked God for not answering my pint-sized prayer for a fenced-in yard. Instead He answered my greater and deeper prayer for community with my neighbors.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

What is your unanswered prayer? What other plans did God have for you?

Sherri Edwards loves running, swimming, laughter, and coffee. Most of all, she loves her four-legged, little, fur baby - Snickers the dog! Sherri loves being a part of the warmth and community that God has built through the neighborhood Bible Study where she lives. She continues to be astounded by God's love shown to her through encouragement from His Word, simple blessings, and wonderful family and friends. On any given Saturday you may find Sherri enjoying the fresh air of a nature hike with friends or curled up with a good book, afghan, and of course, Snickers.