How many of you out there watched Dawson’s Creek? Wordy teenage angst set amongst a beautiful, small town, waterfront community? Raise your hands if you tuned in every week… Come on people – be honest – get those hands up! Alright, that’s more like it!
So did you love Dawson or Pacey? I know, that’s a stupid question. But I’ve heard rumors that there are Dawson lovers out there somewhere. But in my world, Pacey is the obvious answer. Unless you’re into girls… in which case, it’s not even a question. Obviously, Joey. Who could compete with her?
But surprisingly, adolescent crushes are not the reason I’m bringing up the show today. Despite the fact that I absolutely loved this show, and that my love for Joshua Jackson continues to burn strong and true to this very day… (if you’re reading this Josh, my phone number is: 512-###-) What? You don’t think Josh reads my blog? Fine. Well anyways – despite all the other, childish and not pertinent to this blog – reasons that I loved this show, there was one episode in particular, that taught me a very important lesson. A lesson that I carry with me to this day, in fact. Yes, I know you’re surprised. I actually learned a life lesson from those overly educated, verbose and awkwardly smutty teenagers.
In the first season, there’s a scene where Jen is in the hospital with her grandmother. Her Gramps has been admitted and he’s not doing well. Spoiler Alert – he dies. Anyway, Jen is very rebellious and fights against her grandmother’s strong ties to religion and God. As Jen struggles to understand why this is happening and how her “Grams” can possibly be okay with it, she is lovingly invited to join her grandmother in a prayer. In obvious frustration, Jen tells her Grams: “Prayer won’t change God!”
And with quiet faith and wisdom, Grams answers, “Oh my dear child, you’ve got it backwards. Prayer doesn’t change God. Prayer changes me.”
Wow, right? I felt something when I heard those words. And I never forgot it. Even at 15, as I watched this silly show, I knew those words were true. And they changed me just a little bit that day. I gained a little deeper understanding of the meaning of prayer.
Sometimes, we have to deal with things in life that we didn’t expect. And sometimes, they are things that push us to the boundaries of what we feel we can handle. I know I’ve been there. Certainly with Crohn’s Disease, but I don’t even have to be that severe. I could say the same for when I have a rough day as a Mom. Or when we adopted Dominic and for days and weeks on end, we waited anxiously to know for sure whether he would be ours… or even stay ours.
Everybody has their “cross to bear.” But we don’t have to do it alone. I’ve known all my life that through prayer, we can communicate with our Heavenly Father. That wasn’t new information for me; I had been taught that principle for as long as I could remember. Suddenly though, as I gained a deeper understanding of what it means to pray and applied it to my own life, I began to realize that prayer isn’t to change your circumstances. Prayer is to help you understand and accept the ones you’ve been given. Maybe to even help you gain a little more perspective on why you’re going through it. And most importantly, to help you feel His unconditional love.
I’ve never forgotten those words. I’m sure they were just words that some writer put down on paper for actors to repeat; but they meant something more to me. And they mean something to me still. Who’d have thought you could learn a life lesson from TV? But I did. I think of those words every single time I kneel down to pray. I’m grateful that the script was written, and that the actress repeated it. But most importantly, that I was there to not only hear them, but was able to be at a place in my life where I could listen, and take in the true meaning.
Gotta love Dawson’s Creek.