“no” is an answer

Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.

Oh..Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.*

Dear Lord, please heal Cort’s dad.  Take the cancer away and make him whole.


Dear Lord, please let this bleeding be normal and NOT a miscarriage.


Dear Lord, I want to be a mom so badly.  Please help my body know what to do.

Not yet.

Dear Lord, please don’t make me go through another miscarriage.  I am too weak.  I can’t do it.

Yes, you can.  And you will.

Dear Lord, please save me from being on the “cut” list for work.


Dear Lord, please help Cort keep his job in these hard times.


Dear Lord, please make these demons leave my head.  Please make me the mom others think I am.  Please help me fix this crazy.

No.  You can’t fix yourself alone.

Why, Lord?  Why us?  We are good people and hard workers.  We try to be like Jesus and love people and give of ourselves.  WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US?


Lord, I want to turn my back!  I want to do this alone.  I think you must have lost your “plan” for us somewhere.  You have left us!

Go ahead and try.

Lord, this is our plan…please oh PLEASE let it work.


Lord, I can’t be in charge.  I can’t make anything work right.  Just please handle it for me.  Please let me find someone who will love me for everything I am RIGHT NOW.

Here is Cortney.

Lord, I can’t make things better with Cort’s dad.  He is going to die.  Please let me know what to do to help Cort.

I will strengthen your shoulders and pad your hugs.

Lord, he lost his dad and his appendix and now he is alone in the hospital.  What do I do?

Stay with him.  I’ll be there too.

Lord, I only have one try left.  I can only try once more.  Please bless us with a child this time.

Here is Edward Steven.

Lord, please help me keep my job.  My family needs me to provide.

You will teach Spanish.  You can also teach at the college.

Lord, I can’t change myself.  I need help.

Here is Cortney.  Here is your family.  Here is an internet full of support.  Here are your friends.  Here is your doctor.  Here is Celexa.  Here is a therapist.

Lord, what will we do?  Unemployment runs out in August.

Here is a job for Cortney.

Sometimes the answer is no.

But sometimes?  The answer is yes.

No matter how many times you falter.  He will save some “yes’s” for you.

This week?  He finally said YES to Cort’s job prayers after many, MANY no’s.

We are blessed.

*lyrics from “I believe in miracles” by Pearl Jam

If you also believe in miracles, please pray for our nephew(s)/niece(s) in Ethiopia.  Our siblings were dealt a GIANT “no” this week in their adoption process.  Please read about it here.

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And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party!  Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. What a beautiful true post! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this with everyone and know that we may not all know each other in real life, but we’re always here for you when you need us.

  3. So lovely and such a good reminder that we don’t always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean that we are alone or that there isn’t a plan. Congratulations on Cort’s new job.

  4. thanks for sharing your heart and Jesus with your readers. so glad for Cort’s new job!

  5. What a great post. You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding us that God’s answer isn’t alway the answer we want, but it’s the answer that will bless us the most (even if we can’t see how at the time). Love ya! Your friend’s sister, oops I mean your friend!

  6. Wow Katie, this was beautiful, I literally have eyes full of tears in my office. So well written, and an incredible reminder that we are not in control. And that’s OK.

  7. What an amazing testament, Katie! Thanks for the powerful reminder that we are not in control. 🙂

  8. Thank you for writing this. It brought tears to my eyes, reading that while filling in my own questions and hearing the repeated no’s. And the occasional yes. Thank you. I know I can give one more try and hoepfully the result will be a yes. {And congrats on Corts job :)}

  9. This is divine. Through it all you have had faith.

  10. wow

    Congratulations on your husband’s new gig….best wishes

  11. Thank you for writing this. It is exactly what I needed to read today.

  12. Wow. What a fantastic post. I could have written parts of that myself. So, so, so true.

  13. Such a good reminder. Sometimes I think I need answers for certain things – answers to get somewhere, do something, meet someone… and yet I don’t acknowledge the “no’s”. I think you’ve inspired something for me to do {in private.) Thank you.

  14. Thank you, Katie! What a beautiful post and a wonderful reminder.

  15. You know you made me cry. Love this and you. Thank you for giving me an Ah-ha moment. Sometimes when things are so terrible we can’t find what we already have. Love you

  16. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this glimpse of intimate moments in your relationship with God. Katie, you recognized your limitation and asked, “Lord, I can’t be in charge … please handle it for me.” And it was there that you became stronger. It was there God’s strength became your strength. It was there you met with God. It’s in those humbled meetings that we begin to understand how big the word “no” really is. Tammi said it so well, “…God’s answer isn’t always the answer we want, but it’s the answer that will bless us the most….” “No” can hold so much love and wisdom and blessing.

    I do believe in miracles! And so I pray….

  17. What an awesome testament to true faith. You’re right, sometimes we ask God for things, and his answer is no. For some, that is too much for their faith to handle. One of my favorite scriptures says that God will not let us be tempted or suffer beyond what we can bear. And, he is our strength – and does listen to and answer our prayers.

    Congrats on Cort’s new job. SO sorry about the ‘no’ your siblings received. I’ll keep them in my prayers.

  18. Wow what a powerful compilation of words; and every one of them truth.

  19. i am so so so so happy that you’ve been given some yes’s lately!

  20. Very well said. I am so happy for you that Cort has received a new job.
    Life is journey…might as well enjoy the ride.

  21. Such deep truth. I remind myself on an almost constant basis that everything is part of God’s plan, which is a far bigger and better plan than anything I could possibly conceive on my own. Sometimes it takes constant reminding…!

  22. I’m so, so, SO happy that Cort got a job! I really hope you guys are on the up and up for a long, long time! You deserve a whole string of yeses!


    I am so VERY VERY happy for you!

    Congratulations to you all.

    (((HUGS)))) All around.


  24. WhoooooooHooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you feel my excitement and happiness for your family?

  25. Such an amazing post. Really hits home that we have to wait until it’s time for things to happen (and patience is NOT my friend).

    Glad that you’re starting to hear “yes”….

  26. A person (family) can only take so many no’s.

    Congraulatios on your husband’s new job!! One amazing yes is all it takes. 🙂

  27. YAY! I’m so glad to hear that a job came through. Hugs to you, mama!

  28. Always happy to hear of someone getting a new job, especially now.

  29. This post brought tears to my eyes! Beautiful.

  30. Katie, what a beautiful post. I am in years… there has been so much going on these past few months and it was so easy to lose my head to all that pain… but finally things are getting back to their place, slowly but steadily.

    I am so glad that you guys are alright now. This post is inspirational.

  31. what is so often ugly for me is my heart, forgetting that there are yes answers out there, just not the ones I was looking for. This was heartaching in its resonance.

    and Yay! for your family!!!

  32. Such a beautiful post, wonderful to hear how things have finally turned to “yes” for you. I hope the good fortune continues, you deserve all the happiness in the world.

  33. You are blessed.

    So lovely that you can find a “yes” in amongst what had to feel like a very long stretch of “no”.

    Sometimes the plan is so very hard to understand.

  34. Oh how difficult “no” is to hear. I have to remember that He’s the “Father” for a reason – parental guidance sometimes knows better, even when it hurts. But alleluia for the “yes!” Congratulations to you and Cort.

    Prayers of peace and hope to your siblings.

  35. This was brilliantly written and gave me chills throughout. I’m so happy for your turned corner.

  36. Really beautiful way of communicating all that you have been through.

  37. I cried reading this! I love the flipping back and forth between your prayers and God’s answers. And I can completely relate to how a “no” can be beautiful in so many ways. I loved the interpretation of the prompt, great job!

  38. This post really resonates with me, at the beginning of Lent. I know you’re not Catholic, but your words bring to light a struggle I sometimes have with religion. People always talk about “answered prayers” in a positive way, but this is a reminder that God’s answers aren’t always the ones we want or think we are ready for.

    But sometimes they are.

    I am so, so happy for you that Cort finally got a “yes” answer.

  39. Katie:
    I’ve prayed so many of those prayers and been answered “no” for a time too. It’s so hard to keep praying. I admire your faith. I finally got some “yes” answers too–mine came from adoption. I love the call & response form of the piece. I honor your faith. Amy a/k/a/ HonestConvoGal

  40. You are a brave strong woman to be able to share this. Bravo!

  41. So happy Cort got a job! Hopefully, this is the first of many yeses.

  42. Yay for the yes’s. But I too struggle to accept the no’s. Sorry to hear about your siblings. I was adopted from a third world country and know first hand what a blessing it is to live in a safe place with so much abundance. Hope it’s a yes soon. Joined your site.

  43. I loved this. I accepted the Lord as my savior when my hubby was in Iraq for 15 mos. And in a month and a 1/2 he goes to Afghanistan for a year. God answers every single prayer….but it’s not always what we want as a response. THis post is amazing and honest and beautiful!

  44. I loved this opposition between feeling abandoned and blessed by God. Who hasn’t had similar arguing/pleading/thanking conversations with God, I know I have.

  45. This is incredible. Hugs to you.

  46. Sounds like you’ve had your share of hard times, but know how to find the positive. So glad to hear about his job!

  47. I’ve had my fair share of ‘no’. I can’t say my faith is as strong as yours apparently is. Thank you for reminding us that the ‘yes’ eventually does come.

  48. this was a perfect take on “No” , I loved the flow ( I was reminded of that Garth Brooks Song about “Unaswered Prayers” ) this felt like that, when you get to the end of the LONG LONG road and look back and can’t believe how far you’ve come.

    and praying for your siblings and their adoption. Hoping with all my heart that a YES is on the way.

  49. Congrats on the new job!!! Great post!

  50. damnit i love you woman! hugs for you and congrats to cortney!

  51. Katie…..so happy to hear your husband got that all-important ‘YES’. I’m still waiting (and yes, praying) for my YES. It will come.

  52. Oh thank GOD there’s a “Yes” for a job for your hubs! So happy that is the case. Wahoo!! 😀

    Loved reading this. God has said “no” so many times to one situation in my life that I just don’t understand anymore but I try and I just keep praying. It’s all we can do…

  53. I really do believe we’re guided where we’re supposed to go.
    Great post.

  54. WOW, so needed to hear this today. Been praying so hard for so long on many things and today two of my prayers have been answered due to his favor. My brother recently did a home video with his daughter and my nieces. The thing went viral and they are getting blessed beyond belief with the thing, and they didn’t intend for this to happen. News people coming to visit, offers to buy the video, etc., I am very happy with them and rejoice with them, but at the same time I have struggle with this since I have been working so hard in my writing career and my family is trying to get off our feet in debt. It was so hard to not get jealous at the situation and fought alot of warfare in my mind yesterday. God had me use this situation for his glory. I did an article on the viral video through the Detroit Examiner and it was cover news this morning, so I know God blessed me while trying really hard to rejoice with others close to me. It was an answer to prayer that has been offered up for quite some time. If you want to see the article you can go to this link: http://www.examiner.com/pregnancy-in-detroit/northville-father-to-be-and-daughter-viral-video-spotlight Have a blessed day and thanks for what you do!

  55. This is so, so beautiful, and congratulations to your husband on the job. I don’t remember who said it, but this reminded me of a favorite quote (Mother Theresa, maybe?) that “God only gives us what He knows we can handle. I only wish He didn’t trust me so much.” Hang in there – things are surely looking up!

  56. You floor me. Every.Single.Time! This is so honest, so raw, so beautiful.

  57. I am so glad that things are looking up for you guys & Cort has found a job 🙂

  58. For every door slammed in our faces another door opens, and if not….try the window! =)

    Everything seems to work out for the best!
    And? I LOVE that song!

  59. What a fantastic reminder that even when things are not going so well, they WILL turn around. I loved how you wrote this as a prayer.

  60. Hurrah for answered prayers! I came over from TRDC, and I love this interpretation of the prompt – showing how you made it through the ugly times and the “no” answers.

  61. This brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations on the job!!! We went through 18 months of unemployment, I know how scary it can be and what a relief that job offer is. Good for you guys!!

  62. Wow!

    TRDC keeps on delivering. It was really remarkable post.

    I love your use of structure here; it kept me in the narrative, giving me just enough so that I could fully see the situation, without overdoing it.

    Also, I often want to write about religion, but i feel my attempts at it have been vague and never what I hope they can be. I think there is great courage in writing about your personal relationship with god as this series of unanswered prayers.

    And since i too am going through a life situation where it seems my prayers and those of my family are in fact not being answered (as are so many people who responded here), it gives me hope.

    Thank you for sharing!

  63. What a great post! So glad your prayers were answered 🙂

  64. Such an emotional piece full of what life really is all about!…:)JP

  65. This moved me so much!

  66. thank you for such a personal, emotional look into so many big decisions and heartbreaks and trials. Thank you for sharing them so eloquently. And congratulations on the job!!!

  67. We discussed this already last night. Beautifully done. Sometimes “no” is so very hard to hear, but it’s necessary. Love this!

  68. I love this.

    You know this is how I pray sometimes, by writing it out (including responses). Sometimes they’re not what I want to hear, but inevitably, they’re what I need to hear.

    I hate that you heard “no,” so much, but I’m so glad you finally heard a yes. Beautifully written, Katie. Just beautiful.

  69. Beautiful, Katie.

    So many blessings, and so much evidence of give and take in the world.

    And congrats to Cort on his new job!

  70. I am so so so so stinking happy foe you, I’m about to pop! Brian was unemployed for over a year in 2004-2005 and when he finally got a job (a GOOD job – a job that may as well been created exactly for his skills and talents) we both floated like parade balloons for weeks.

    Enjoy the floating. 🙂

    Oh, and one tiny piece of advice: I know you’re going to be very responsible with your money (nothing like extended unemployment to make you super careful forever!) but take some money and have a REAL celebration – a weekend for the two of you at a bed and breakfast or something like that. You two SO deserve to just spend some time enjoying each other!

    Sigh. So happy.

  71. Many congratulations to Cort and your family for his new job. I am sorry about the major setback in your siblings’ adoption process! I made sure I signed the petition. I hope it helps!

  72. How did I not see this before? CONGRATS to Cort – and to you, too! How exciting! I’m guessing he will miss his time at home with Eddie, though.

  73. This made me think how many times I say ‘no’ to my kids because it is what’s best for them. It’s not so easy to take when it’s directed at ourselves, but with our best interests at heart, it will be alright in the end x


  1. […] “No” is an Answer by Katie @ Sluiter Nation: Wow. This post was so moving, so true, and so hard to swallow. Sometimes, even when we have other plans and we think things should be different, God says no. Repeatedly. We don’t control our destiny. He does. Go read this. Now. […]