So I will run into the waves, as courage comes to take fear’s place.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That’s what my email said this morning. Because today is 4/13 so Philippians 4:13.

The challenge was to hold up the I CAN paper for the 4/13 celebration. But it got me thinking of all the things I can do…

I can foster. I can open my home and my heart. I can foster knowing the kids I love will not stay with me forever. I can foster knowing that some things are completely out of my control. I can foster knowing things escalate quickly and people will hit rock bottom before they ask for help. I can foster knowing everything could go wrong and the kid will ask for another placement. I can foster knowing everything could go right and the kid will still leave. I can foster knowing that reunification is the goal. I can be hurt the kid is leaving and happy for reunification at the same time. I can keep saying yes even if I never hear a thank you. I can keep saying yes even if reunification happens and the kid I love forgets all about me. I can keep saying yes even when plans change on a dime. I can keep saying yes even when it’s not about me or my feelings at all, not even the slightest little bit. I can keep saying yes when all I hear is no because there is a possibility that kid will hear yes. I can do my job as a foster parent. I can love ’em while I got ’em.

Lord, my heart grieved yesterday. Not because I heard reunification is a possibility after all. Because I am selfish and I had plans. Because I won’t get to see her do marching band in the fall. I won’t get to see her get her driver’s license or go off to college or go to prom. I grieved because of all the things I will miss, most of all her.

But today, I can celebrate because reunification is a possibility and that is the ultimate goal. Because she will thrive. Because she will fail some too, but she will get back up and keep going because she is resilient. Because she will be given the chance at normalcy. Because she is capable of handling this responsibility and freedom. Because she has grown and progressed so, so much. Because she is smart and talented and funny and she is a force and a light. Because she is a really, really good kid. Because she loves You, Lord.

So, this is my prayer today. Because you reminded my heart yesterday that this is the job, this is a good thing. This is where I sing praises. Hallelujah, Amen. This means I did my job, and I did it well. Because you reminded my heart today that I didn’t do any of it alone. You gave me strength to foster, and you will give me strength during reunification. I prayed for this. I prayed for you to break my heart for what breaks yours. I prayed for this. I prayed for this kid. I prayed for reunification. And my village people prayed for her too. Thank you, God, for answered prayers. Foster care plans change on a dime. One minute, she’s staying another two years and the next she’s leavin in two months. This is where I use my coping with change target skill. 1. Identify exactly what is changing. Check. 2. Ask questions for clarification. Check. 3. Remain calm and relaxed. Check. 4. Appropriately discuss your feelings about the change with a caring adult. Check. 5. Avoid becoming unmotivated or depressed. Yesterday, we did not check this one, so I’m praying for this one today. Because apparently today is my day to grow and learn and not be selfish. Lord, I know she is going to be ok. I know this is what is best for her. Lord, help me let go. Lord, help me be brave. Lord, help me to love like you love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The ones that I love are in danger.

God, I don’t know what You are doing here. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know if this is just a scared teenager asking for control because everything feels so out of her control. I don’t know if she’s just angry and she doesn’t mean it. I don’t know if she’s just pushing me away because she’s hurt. I don’t know if she’s just looking for greener pastures because she can’t see the other side right now. But God, this is the real survival mode. This is where I trust You.

She asked for a change in placement. A formal request. Not the kind where she’s yelling it to hurt me because she’s hurt. A formal request, a 30-day discharge.

She’s a scared kid, trying to make adult decisions. She is going to set this in motion and she won’t be able to take it back. Or worst of all, maybe she doesn’t want to take it back.

Lord, hold her tight today, because I can’t. Lord, tell her she’s loved. Lord, tell her she’s safe. Lord, tell her she doesn’t have to fight to survive or run for freedom. Lord, tell her those things come from You. Lord, tell her that You are peace. Lord, she doesn’t have to struggle to look for peace the rest of her life, she can just look to You. Lord, remind her of the community she’s built at school, at church, at home. Lord, remind her of her goals and plans she’s made, remind her there are better days ahead. Lord, remind her how far she’s come. Lord, flood her heart with all the people around her that love and support her. Tell her how smart, funny, kind, talented, creative she is. Tell her how much of a joy it is to know her. Lord, cover her as she makes decisions today. Lord, shelter her from the pain of life altering decisions made in the heat of the moment.

Lord, tell her I love her, but most importantly tell her You love her. Tell her You moved Heaven and Earth to know her. Tell her You sacrificed everything to have a relationship with her. Tell her You are here for her even on the really hard days. Tell her no matter how far she runs, she can always come home. Tell her no matter how ugly or mean she gets, she can always come to You. Tell her it doesn’t have to be this way. Tell her she can have freedom in You. Tell her she doesn’t have to control everything, because You already do and You never left her. Tell her You’ve been with her through all of it. Tell her You know everything there is to know about her and where she’s been, where she’s at, and where she’s going. Tell her the only peace she is ever going to get comes from You and You alone. Tell her that no matter how scared she gets, You are holding her. Tell her that no matter how much she fights, You are holding her. Tell her that no matter how much she pushes You away, You are right here, You are holding her. Tell her nothing can remove her from Your hands. Tell her whatever she decides, she is still loved.

And tell that devil, he can’t have her. She has been set apart. She is in Your hand. She is an adopted daughter of the One True King. Tell that devil, he cannot touch her. Tell that devil, he cannot torment her any longer, that she is Yours.

So, this is my prayer today. I know this isn’t about me. I know that no matter how hard I try, I cannot make her stay. I know that the more I try to pull her close, the further she runs. I know there is no freedom in that, I know that you taught me how to have a relationship with others. I know that you love her, even more than I do. I know that you want what is best for her, even more than I do. I know that you have plans for her, even more than I do. I know that you want to see her grow and thrive, even more than I do. Jesus, come quickly, I need you for my survival. Remind me there is purpose for this pain. Remind me that I am helping even if I cannot see it. Remind me that seeds are growing, even if I cannot see the fruit. I pray that I am patient. I pray that I am kind. I pray that I do not envy. I pray that I am not boastful. I pray that I am not arrogant. I pray that I am not rude. I pray that I am not self-seeking. I pray that I am not irritable. I pray that I do not keep a record of wrongs. I pray I find no joy in unrighteousness but rejoice in the truth. I pray I bear all things. I pray I believe all things. I pray I hope all things. I pray I endure all things. I pray I put aside childish things. I pray that I do not react in frustration or hurt. I pray that I pull others close, instead of pushing them away. Lord, I am not praying for you to fix her. I am praying fix me. I am praying for the opportunity to help her. I am praying for the opportunity to continue to be her foster mom. I am praying for the opportunity to know and love her. Lord, even if this is the beginning of the end, I will love you still, because you are soo soo good to me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I hope You’ll find me praising Your name no matter what comes.

Lord, I need to remind myself of how blessed I am because my head is filled with lies. And I know they are lies, but they are so loud so Imma bout to get my praises sangin louder.

I am trying to complain less these days because the very things I complain about are blessings.

My hurt, scared kid that is pushing me away, knows it is safe to do so because I am not going anywhere. I have built consistency and trust.

My hour long commute to work is an hour to myself to listen to praise music.

I could continue going through my list and continue to identify my worth based on my titles: foster mom, assistant, daughter, girlfriend, youth group volunteer, etc. I could find my worth in what I do, I mean fruit is the evidence of faith right? I mean I got fruit growin stronggggg. My kid’s grades have improved every single semester she’s been with me. My youth group is some really great kids that enjoy service and it warms my heart. When we make food deliveries, somehow we always find one more family at just the right time. That’s You workin in me, God!!

But I am not what I do. I do not have to earn love. I simply am loved by You, the maker of Heaven and Earth.

I am not loved because of how hard I work. I work hard because I am loved by You, the One True King.

I am not loved because of how great of a foster mom I am. I am a good foster mom because I am loved by You, my Father in Heaven.

I am not loved because of how many hours I serve my community. I serve my community because I am loved by You, Yahweh, who came to serve, not be served.

I am not loved because of how stupendously I write words. I write because I am loved by You, The Truth.

I am not loved because of how far I travel or all the places I go. I move because I am loved by You, El Shaddai.

I am not loved because of anything I do or say or feel or become. I am trying to be intentional about what I do, say, feel, and become because I am loved by You, Good God Almighty. I am a new creation. The old lies are gone.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray I come to you more fully. I know I don’t have to clean myself up before I come to you. You are the only one that accepts me fully. All my mess, all my scars, all my trauma, all my past, all my triggers, all my insecurities, all my emotions, all my anxiety, all my fears, all my sin, and all my struggles. But my God, I am so thankful you don’t leave me that way. You leave me better than I was. You leave me better than you found me. You are with me through it all. I am right there in your hand and nothing can take me out. You are a good, good God. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and serve others. Thank you for my village. Thank you for my Life Group. Thank you for the ones serving alongside me. Thank you for letting me foster. Thank you for sending me in this direction, on this path, at this time. Thank you for orchestrating all of it. Thank you for placing the right people in my life at the right time. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for moving Heaven and Earth to know me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This I know for sure, that Your love is like a flood.

I am not enough. I feel it constantly, especially as a foster parent. I am not doing enough. For her. For her social worker. For her case workers. For her GAL. For her counselor. For her psychiatrist. For her doctor. For her teachers. For her school counselor. For her family. For her friends. For my work. For my family. For my friends.

And most days it feels like folks just wanna tell me what I could be doing better and how I am not cut out for this.

And I’m not.

I am not enough.

I am never going to be enough.

And that right there is the whole point. I am not You. You are the only one capable of filling the holes. You are the only one who can be at the psychiatrist’s office, in the zoom counseling meeting, meet with the case workers and be at work all at the same time. You are the only one that can make her feel safe and give her a sense of security when her security is threatened constantly. You are the only one that can encourage a heart change. You are the only one who can simultaneously be the hard boundary line to protect her and the soft place to land all at the same time. You are the only one who can show her what she is worth when she is constantly and overwhelmedly rejected. You are the source of her identity. You knew her before she was even formed. You know every hair on her head. You know where every bruise and scratch came from. You know every fear, every thought, every struggle, every success, every memory. I cannot and will not ever know all of those things. I cannot and will not ever be enough to heal all the pain and ease all the hurt.

I can only show up and point her to You. I can buy a shelf so she has a place to put her books and movies. I can make her sandwiches every night before school. I can keep endless amounts of Takis and sausage, egg, and cheese croissants stocked in the kitchen. I can put her artwork on the fridge and wear all the rubber band bracelets. I can make sure she has an extra blanket when it’s cold. I can drive her to the bus stop when it rains. I can put boundaries on devices. I can set limits. I can cover her in prayer. I can watch her favorite shows and play games with her. I can make appointment after appointment after appointment. I can sing the songs and do the car dances. I can order the 7th pair of tennis shoes. I can hold the hangers in the mall while she looks for a dress. I cannot and will not ever be able to do everything or be in multiple places at once, but I can show up and point her to You. I can keep showing up when she pushes me away. I can keep showing up when she’s lashing out. I can keep showing up when she’s angry. I can keep showing up on the really awful and totally messy hard days.

It’s easy to love her. It’s easy to show up on the good days. It’s easy making sandwiches and ordering Merlin books off Amazon. The hard part is watching her get rejected and sit in her pain, over and over again. That is the part they don’t tell you about in the foster parent training. That is the never ending reality.

And as hard as it is on me to watch her suffer, I know it was harder still for You, God. Because not only did You watch her suffer, You sent Your Son to the cross for her. You did more than just show up. You sacrificed everything. You died for her. You moved Heaven and Earth just to know her. You love her more than I ever will.

So, this is my prayer. I pray that she comes face to face with you and she knows just how much you love her. I pray she knows how much you paid for her salvation. I pray she knows how much you show up for her. I pray she knows how much you sacrificed just for her. I pray she knows how much you’ve protected her and cared for her. I pray she knows that you have been there for her every minute of every day even before she was born. I pray she knows that you can handle her anger, you can heal her heartaches, you can restore her soul, you can redeem her, you can revive her heart, you can light up the dark. I pray that I use my life as a witness to your love. I pray that I let my life be to you a symphony, singin’ out “Holy, Holy.” I pray that I spend all my days, every single breath I breathe, singin’ out “Holy, Holy.” Father, I am in awe of you today and all that you are and all that you do and all that you give. Your love has flooded my heart and soul today. For all of your goodness is like a well running over. I am thirsty no more. John 4:13-14 says: Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” And Father, thank you so much for my church family that supports me, encourages me, and points me back to you too. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I can trust You completely.

Sometimes I need to be called out for acting a fool. Sometimes I need space to breathe and count to ten. Sometimes I just need to feel heard. Good luck to those figuring out which mood I’m in when I don’t even know though. Blessss it.

Lord, You created me though so You always know exactly what I need. In an effort to replace the lies in my head with truth, I pulled out the last chapter in my Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt book and started reading. Lord have mercy, You know good and well that last chapter was on not quitting. I highlighted all over that last chapter then I grabbed my dry erase marker and wrote all the things I ain’t quitting on my mirror so I would be reminded every morning.

I am so blessed to have the village I have and the people You have placed in my life. These folks are so good to me and sometimes I am downright awful to them. I feel immediately convicted of my bad attitude then shame comes a knockin. That’s when the ugly cries in the shower happen then a nap. Because adults are toddlers too.

This season is showing me just how weak I am. Because foster care is hard. Because teenagers are mean. Because adults are needy and say dumb things. Because every minor inconvenience is inconsiderate and overwhelming. And I am 100% the worst of it all.

Last night, I was scared and hurt so I immediately wanted to run. I wanted to quit everything. But that doesn’t feel safe either. Quitting is not the answer or even an option. Showing up is the bare minimum I can do. Showing up is half the battle. And I don’t even really want to quit, like at all. I just want everybody to be ok and for the anxiety to go away.

I am breaking because the kid I’ve been raising for over a year is getting ready to leave me. She is breaking because she isn’t leaving quick enough. We’re both on a roller coaster and we’re making each other sick with the ups and downs. The worst part is, we’re pulling others along for the ride with us or maybe that’s the whole point. Not that we are bringing people into our mess, but that together we can all get pulled out and come out stronger together.

The part in the chapter of my book that really got me fired up was the description of the cross. Because You endured. You endure more than I can even imagine. You never quit. You knew what needed to be done to save me and You did it. You walked through death. You lived out victory. If You can endure the cross, I can surely endure foster care. I am not Jesus, I am not You, God. I cannot save anyone. I can’t even save myself. The only thing I can do it keep showing up. Keep serving. Keep loving. Keep giving. Keep trusting You. Keep forgiving. Keep asking for forgiveness. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep seeking You.

So, here is my prayer today. Thank you for reminders to keep going. Thank you for changing my perspective and reminding me just how blessed I am. Thank you for convicting me when I am ugly. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me actin so ugly. Thank you for naps and baths to calm down. Thank you for people who draw us in close and whisper in our ear that we need to stop actin a fool. Thank you for folks that forgive. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for enduring the cross. Thank you for saving me even from myself. You always have a way out. You always have one more move. Lord, you amaze me. I am in awe of your goodness. Thank you for never leaving me to handle this on my own. Thank you for walking through the fires with me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Yeah, there’s no denying I have changed.

I don’t feel like myself right now and my emotions are just plain dumb. And let’s not even talk about the Quarantine 10lbs I gained in each of the 3 quarantines I have been in last year. I am a chatty Kathy that wants to talk everything to death. I got anger in me coming outta nowhere and my attitude is short. I desperately want to see less of me and more of You, Lord.

I could turn this prayer into a complainin, pity party (ya know, party of 1) for how terrible I feel or have acted lately, but that aint gonna help anybody.

Instead, I just want to praise You. Lord, You have been so good to me. I am blessed far more than I deserve.

This morning, I got overwhelmed. Ya know, for the 5482th time this year and we’re only two weeks into the new year. I immediately felt convicted about it because of how blessed I am. Lord, I used to sit in my mess for how ever long my stubborn little self would allow. But the more I pray to You, the more You clean out the gunk of my heart. And as if that wasn’t enough, then You clean the literal messes in my life I make. Messes that should be my responsibility alone. But You keep reminding I AM NOT ALONE. At all. For one second. No matter how overwhelmed Satan tries to make me think I am. No matter how many times he tries to distract me or discourage me. You are always right there, mighty as ever.

So, here is my prayer. Thank you Lord for cleaning up my heart this morning. Thank you Lord for cleaning up my mess this afternoon. Thank you for every moment spent with you in-between. Thank you for changing my pity party into a praise party. Thank you for allowing me to come to you in worship. I was so upset this morning because I didn’t feel like myself and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, but maybe that is the whole point. I am not the same bright eyed, curly haired girl I was 10 years and 100lbs ago. I am a foster mama now. I am a youth leader now. I am a woman of God. I am not the same, but my God, you have made me so much stronger and so much better. You made me into this into strong, patient, kind, giving woman and I am so proud to be her even if I forgot for a few minutes because I saw a few extra wrinkles and gray hairs. I have a support system surrounding me that the girl 10 years ago could only dream about. My life is filled with so much more joy and love than I ever could have imagined. I pray that I continue to look more like you. I pray that I love like you. I pray that I forgive like you. I pray that I give like you. I pray that I teach like you. I pray that I am your hands and feet. I pray that I am your vessel. I pray that I reflect your light. I pray that I share your goodness. I pray that I don’t miss the good moments because of my pity parties. I wanna put you first. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I give You control.

Dear God,

I am madder than a hatter. Foster care is hard. And I mean, hard. Like earth-shattering hard. And sure, the kids give you a run for your money and give ya alllllll the gray hairs. (for real though, find me one parent that don’t blame the youths on they gray hairs!)

But the worst part is the self-seeking adults. The adults drive me plain ole bonkers. I mean like straight coo-coo. And sometimes, I’ll be real, it’s allll me. Sometimes, I am the one that is the one going nuts. Sometimes, I am the one that needs forgiveness. I know I am my own worst enemy.

The very folks in the village with me are not out to get me or do my kid wrong (even if my pesky lyin feelings say otherwise on occasion). They are just busy humans like the rest of us. They at the very least show up and try, day-in and day-out. Consistency builds trust in any type of relationship.

And sure, I could blame the bio families, but they are human too. Sure, me and my judging got a list of things that could be better. But I also have one of those lists for my own life, Lord. And I know just how quickly those tables can turn.

Lord, all these people tryin to fill God shaped holes in their lives with people/places/things that will never fill the ache. The ache that longs for You. To be filled by You. To serve You. To be loved by You.

At the end of the day, that’s all I know. That I am blessed. That I am loved. That I am whole. That I am forgiven of all my darkness. That I am made clean. And best believe, I am going to do everything I can to make sure this kid knows it too. Because even if it’s just for a little while, You entrusted me with her. You teach us time and time again, that one day we will be asked, “what did you do with what I gave you?” I want to be able to hear that Matthew 25:21 verse: His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, thank you for changing my heart. Because this prayer started as a maddddddd vent. I was angry, real angry. Like steam comin outta my ears. Because somebody was doing my kid wrong, but she’s yours before she is mine. And you have far greater plans than I do. And you can protect her, way better. And you can see the whole picture and not my simple little world view that only consists of what is right in front of me. But God, thank you for not leaving me that way. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me sittin in my mess. Thank you for working on me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And I wanna feel, unravel me.

Lord have mercy. This song got me all the way messed up.

Fun Fact, ya already knew God, I am trying to get off the anxiety meds, because they are a temporary solution, not a life long one. They did their thing. They helped, but now I am in a really good place in my life so I talked with the Dr. I get so overwhelmed by anxiety sometimes that I cannot even see clearly enough to function. Then when the anxiety is too much, it turns to depression. These voices in my head screaming lies at me, get louder and louder until I cannot think. Sometimes I literally wanna shake them suckers out. Like talk about lookin like a crazy girl. That’s why I use the Gospel music as a way to cope. The music quiets the lies. Filling my head with scripture and truth and the Gospel, drowns out the lies and silences the noise. That’s how I keep myself present and pull myself back out. If I can just focus on the words, the rest will stop. It’s like inviting You into my head to calm the storm and quiet the chaos.

I fill the house with scripture. I cover every door and every wall and every nook and cranny in between. I want to make sure I am focused on the right things and reacting in the right ways. I want to invite You into every moment of my life. In every thought. In every argument. In every choice. This might make me look like a Jesus freak, but I was called to look like Jesus, not like the world.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, help me invite you into my life, in the daily moments, in my budget, in my schedule, in my home, in my office, in my phone calls, in my thoughts, in my speech, in my actions and reactions, in my everything. I don’t wanna be alone anymore. I don’t wanna survive anymore. And I wanna feel, unravel me. Abba, unravel me. Fill me up with your love. Fill me up with your scripture. Fill me up with your plans. Empty me of me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Lord, you are so so good to me. Open my eyes to all the joy around me. Lord, light up the world so others can see the joy too. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We are waiting on the promise.

I am in survival mode. At least that’s what the lovely folks in authority keep telling me.

As much as I appreciate all the help and support these folks offer, because it truly does take a village, and I wouldn’t be able to do any of this on my own. They are wrong. They are just getting to know us and they don’t know what we’ve been through and how far we’ve come. I refuse to let it go down like this. No matter how many times, the kid pushes me away and tells me I ain’t her mama or anybody’s mama. I AM a therapeutic foster care mama, hear me roar.

And I serve a mighty God. A mountain moving. Dead man walking. Healing. Powerful. Redemptive. Holy. Calm the storms. Quiet the noise. Speak life. Fiercely loving and gentle and patient kinda God. You, God, are not out of miracles.

John 10:10 says: The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. My God, You did not send Your son to die on the cross so that we can merely survive. You came to give us life. You came so we could thrive. You did not give up on me and I am not giving up on her. You are not done here. There is more to this story.

This is the whole point to Christmas. There is light in the darkest of places. The baby born in the manger is the King of Kings. You came to give life. You came to save us. You came to restore us. You came to redeem us. You came to lay down Your life for us. You came so we would have the freedom to make better choices. You came so we could chose to have a relationship with You.

Yes, I cannot save anybody. I’ve been told on more than one occasion. Yes, she has to make the choices for herself. But I know she wants more than this. I know she wants better. She is such a smart, loving, giving, strong kid. Yes, she makes bad choices and chooses some terrible coping skills sometimes. But that is certaintly not all that she is. We all make mistakes. We all fall short. She is not defined by her mistakes, anymore than I am. You define us. You did not leave Heaven and come down to earth to die for us, just to let us suffer for no reason. You are so much better than that. You are a good God. You came to give us life.

So, here is my prayer. I pray for this kid. I pray that she sees her worth in you. I pray that you hold her even when I can’t. I pray that you give her space to come to you. I pray that I give her space to heal. I pray that you knock on her door. I pray you show up and show out. Lord, show her your grace and forgiveness and power and righteous glory. Show her your miracles. I pray she lets out her anger in a way that does not harm herself or others. I pray she uses those healthy coping skills I’ve been teaching all year. Lord, these are the hard moments, we’ve been preparing her for all year. This is when all the teaching was for. No, it’s not fair, but we were never promised fair. We were promised so much better than just fair. We were promised you would not leave us when things get tough. We were promised light in the darkness. We were promised rainbows after the rain. Lord, I know we will come out of this stronger. I know you will be with us through the storm. And God, I know you are here. I know you are good. I know there is hope. And I know my baby girl is loved by you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protections for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Open the grave, I’m coming out, I’m gonna live.

Holidays are hard when you are an angry little girl full of disappointment and hurt. Holidays are hard when you are grieving. Holidays are hard when you struggle to pay the bills already, much less anything extra. Holidays are hard when seasonal depression sinks in. Holidays are hard when regular old everyday depression moves in and stays there. Holidays are hard when anxiety asks a bunch of questions, you can’t answer and tells you a bunch of lies, you can’t quiet. But it’s not just the Holidays that are hard. COVID is hard. 2020 is hard. Life is hard.

We aren’t guaranteed an easy life, in fact, we are guaranteed the opposite. We are guaranteed trials and temptations and tribulations and yes, even suffering. People will most definitely let you down. And I will most certainly hurt someone. I will react poorly. I will respond shortly. My temper will rise. We are guaranteed loss. With all the darkness threatening to overtake us, it’s easy to focus on the disappointments, the shame, the guilt, the heartache.

But it doesn’t have to end that way, that is not the end of the story. Just ask the stone that rolled away.


Saturday was silent. Surely it was through. But since when has impossible ever stopped You?
Friday’s disappointment is Sunday’s empty tomb.

I played this song for my kid and told her that You had not run outta miracles. I told her You loved her and You were not through with her yet. I told her she was still alive.

The Holidays offer so much joy and sooooo much room for giving. The Holidays literally show off all the light the world can muster up. You are the light of the world. There is soo much goodness all around us. We are so incredibly blessed, yes, even when things are disappointing and utterly dark, there is always light. All it takes, is remembering to turn the light on. Just a flip of the switch.

So, today, this is my prayer. I am praying for my sour patch kid, my sweet then sour kid, my sweet tender giving, angry child. My God is able to save. And deliver and heal. And restore anything He wants to. My God makes dead men walk again. I am living proof. Lord, you redeem what is broken. Help her to see the light. Help her to see all the good around her. Help her to let out that anger. You can handle our anger. You can take it. You are the ultimate safe place. I know this story isn’t over. I know you have a whole lot more in store for this kid. As much as I love her, you love her more. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.