By Nicole Smith
It is a tale as old as time: girl likes boy, boy doesn’t seem to notice girl, so girl prays a 54 Day Rosary Novena. Ok, that last part may not be part of the old tale. However, it is part of my story!
I think the beginning of this story will sound very familiar to some of you. In college I became great friends with a guy and ultimately developed very strong feelings for him. We would spend a lot of time together and have amazing conversations. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. I kept wondering, “Does this guy have feelings for me?” I could not tell and cherished our friendship too much to jeopardize it by revealing how I felt. After some time, I knew I had to do something. I knew I couldn’t just languish in the dreaded “friend zone” forever.
So, I prayed a 54 Day Rosary Novena. This novena consists of praying the rosary for 54 days straight. The first 27 days you pray for a specific petition. And then, regardless of whether your petition was granted, you pray the next 27 days in thanksgiving to God. Now, before you think I am completely crazy, I was praying the novena for this intention: that God would reveal His will for my relationship with this young man. Did God want me to pursue this relationship or not? I was praying this novena hoping for a sign. I was not begging God to make this young man fall in love with me...this is not Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
My friend left town for a month and I began the novena. Every day for 27 days, I prayed the rosary. I prayed it in the car, at home, in Adoration, everywhere! A Chews Life Rosary Bracelet would have been very handy, but sadly they were not around yet. After those first 27 days of begging God for a sign of His will, nothing seemed to have happened. My petition did not appear to have been answered. Regardless, I went forward with the next 27 days continuing to pray the rosary each day and thanking God for His goodness.
I did not get my sign. Therefore, I didn’t gain anything, right? So wrong! I gained so so much.
I had known how to pray the rosary since I was a child, but it wasn’t a prayer that I had a very strong devotion to. However, in that 54 Day Rosary Novena, the rosary became a lifeline for me. I had come to know our Blessed Mother. My prayer life had increased in depth. I may not have gotten the sign I prayed for, but God had still blessed me abundantly.
I truly believe that by praying the rosary every day during that novena, I gained the grace to see clearly how I needed to move forward and the strength to do it. I am still friends with that young man but each of us has moved forward to our primary vocations, me as a wife and mother and him as a priest (figures, right?)
There are a couple of reasons that I am sharing this story. One, 54 Day Rosary Novenas are incredible and you should totally do one. Here is a link to a beautiful resource to help you track the novena. Two, God does not always answer our prayers in the way we want Him to, but He does always hear us, and He responds. My experience of praying this novena and so many other experiences have taught me that I can trust God with my prayers. I can trust Him because His response will always reflect the perfect love He has for me.