God intimately knows every aspect of our lives and what’s to come. Yes, we possess free will, but only the Divine Above All knows what experiences and lessons we need to grow and thrive.

I learned this after my 2007 Goldfield Hotel (GFH) experience.

After that ghost hunt at 4:45 a.m. with my spirit wilted and energy dissipated, I craved several hours of sleep before our afternoon investigation at a World War II air base. To rest, our team split into two groups at the Santa Fe Motel, a mere mile away from the GFH. Sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the time, I stressed about resting in a small room with three other people—the ghost hunters in our group—who acted more like seven-year-olds on Christmas Eve than weary adults who’d been wandering a deserted building all night. I didn’t want to relapse in front of these people, most of who didn’t know I was ill.

I craved solitude. I thought if I had time to myself, I’d sleep deeply. If it hadn’t been such an early, ugly hour, I’d have gone to the front desk and asked for my own room, assuming one of the six units was still available.

So I prayed for immediate quiet. For the lights to be shut off. For the Sandman to carry me off to Dream Land. What did I get? Fewer than 90 minutes of slumber. I awoke ragged and anxious with my mind whirling. I snuck out of the room while my comrades slept.

God knew what I didn’t.

During the first full night after my GFH experience, I had a room to myself at the Tonopah Ramada. My fractured dozing did little to restore me; I couldn’t shake the sensation that spirits lurked in the room, watching me lie in bed.

If I’d gotten my wish in the Santa Fe immediately after GFH, I’d have been saddled with digesting the night’s eerie events in an unfamiliar environment by myself. I never would’ve rested at all.

The Great I Am had realized what I couldn’t— I’d needed the positive, excited energy of others.

Only God knows what rapids we’ll paddle into and what skills we’ll need to successfully navigate those waters.

Don’t pray for a specific outcome.

Because I can’t predict what the Lord has in store for me, I try not to ask for a specific result. Only The Most Divine knows the lessons we need to learn to evolve into the people we’re meant to become. As painful as it is to think of someone important in our lives (or ourselves) in pain or even dying, we can’t know how or for what this is preparing us and those we care about.

Many times, my hardships result from my free will and my stubborn refusal to change my behavior, situation or outlook. So when I pray, I ask God to send heavenly love, light and strength to the struggling person (myself included) and to nudge them into learning the necessary lesson.