He’s already there.

“You need to stop holding yourself back. The pity party must cease and you must de-invite everyone to your darkest parts. You need to stop thinking you have never deserved good things for your life.”

Hannah Brencher has done it again. She always seems to know the exact words I need to hear. Yesterday, I was supposed to be packing. Part of me didn’t wanna pack because I’m scared to start the next chapter. (Even though the next chapter already started and I should just get a move on.) Mostly yesterday’s mood was because I threw a pity party and not only did I throw one that lasted the entire day, I invited people to it. (I don’t do anything half way so that pity party was pretty epic and spiraled pretty fast.) I felt like I didn’t deserve how good things were. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of all the good in my life. I am a sinner. I made mistakes. I hurt people I care about. I had a whole list. (I’m telling you I was in a terribleeee mood.) I felt like I was being punished, but the truth is, no one was punishing me except for me. I was waiting for someone to fix me and put the broken pieces together.

What I apparently forgot, is that You already did that. You already forgave me. You already put me back together. You already loved me. You already found me. You already rescued me. You already have plans for my life. You already know when I’m gonna need You. You are already there.

Lord, help me to forgive myself. I hold onto petty little mistakes for far too long and let them eat at me. I hold onto every single thing I do wrong. Lord, help me to let go. The only one that can control my mood is me. I need to stop waiting for someone else to make me happy and just be happy. The only one that can comfort me is You.

“Jesus replace my anxious thoughts with Your truth. Soothe my restless heart with Your peace. Help me find comfort in Your presence.”

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I remember that your plan is greater than my own. I pray that I remember there is a purpose for every good and bad thing in my life. I pray I remember there is a purpose for every minute of every day and I shouldn’t waste anymore. I pray that I learn from my mistakes. I pray that today is a better day. I pray that I let go of the anxious thoughts and focus on you. I pray that I let go of all the negative thoughts. I pray that I am filled with your love. Thank you for already being there and already forgiving me and already loving 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 of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Praying that I’ll find a way to make it.

Yesterday, I had such a good morning. I felt great and I was in a great mood. My presentation went fabulously. Then it all just went downhill. I started to feel sick and then I got all self conscious and insecure for absolutely no reason at all. I let the fear creep in. It all started with that stinkin fortune cookie from last week that told me I needed to make new friends. Maybe they won’t have time for me anymore. Maybe our lives are in different places. Maybe they don’t even like me anyways and are looking for an excuse to get rid of me. I started freaking out about what’s going to happen next year and the year after and the year after and everything just got wayyy scary. That 10 year plan is like halfway over and sometimes, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. Half the time I am still unsure of myself.

Then, as if I wasn’t emotional enough, I thought about Christopher and how much I missed him.

So, by this point, I wanted to curl up in my bed and hide. I was done with the day. I felt like even when I was happy and excited about my presentation that something was missing. I felt alone even though I was surrounded by people that loved me. All of my fears were completely irrational.

I realized that none of it was about me. It was about You. Lord, I need You.

“Empty me of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of me so I can be filled with You”

I realized that even though I was in a terrible mood, good things could happen and I could fly.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I wake up renewed today. I pray that I let go of my fears, my pride, and whatever is holding me back. I pray that I look to you. I pray that I am filled with you. I pray that you empty me. I pray that I learn to fly on the way down. I pray that I focus on you. I pray that you take my life and use it for your will. I pray that you keep guiding me. I pray that you keep using me. I pray that I learn to let go. I pray that I let go of my 10 year plan. I pray that I let go of all my plans. I pray that I hold on tighter to you and your plan. I pray that I am filled with your love. I pray that I share your 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 of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I wanna be Your hands. I wanna be Your feet.

When my group in class got our final assignment I was not ready for how much I was going to love it. Not only was the project great and my group was great, but we got assigned the Tim Tebow Foundation. As if she wasn’t my favorite professor and adviser already. So, with all I learned here is a list of why Tim Tebow and I are totally meant to be:

1. The foundation’s mission statement and tagline is about Faith, Hope and Love which is my mama’s favorite verse.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

2. He has a passion for orphans like I do. I literally cried reading about all the great stuff he was doing.

3. He is completely not self serving or selfish.

“It’s not just for the Tim Tebow Foundation, no it’s just making a difference in people’s lives.”

4. He has his priorities in check.

“Two things really matter: loving Jesus and loving people.”

5. He contributes to the world’s work like I do.

6. He wants to be Your hands and feet like I do.

7. My middle is Faith.

8. He is resilent like I am. No matter what people say about him, he knows he is living for You and not for them. He knows what is important.

9. He has a giving heart. He wants to create a brighter day.

“Together, we are making a difference.”

10. I mean seriously, he is Tim Tebow and I am Alyssa Faith, how are we not just completely lovable?

So, this is my prayer today. In all seriousness. I pray for Tim Tebow. I pray for the Tim Tebow Foundation. I pray for all aspects of the foundation. I pray for Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, Team Tebow, Tebow CURE Hospital, Timmy’s Playrooms, and W15H Programs.  I pray for the annual Celebrity Gala and Golf Classic which will be coming up in the Spring. I pray for his family. I pray that he continues to do your work. I pray that he continues to spread your love and your word. I pray that he continues to bring the honor and glory to you. I pray that he continues to stay humble. I pray that he continues to keep the focus on you. I pray that he continues to win in your name. I pray that he continues to be your hands and feet. I pray that I learn to do more and be more. I pray that I go where you send me. I pray that I take Audio Adrenaline’s song with me.  I pray that I learn from Tim Tebow’s giving spirit. I pray for my group and our presentation for our final today. I pray for my professor and classmates 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 of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I was made to shine.

I was catching up on Girl Meets World and watched the episode “Girl Meets Flaws.” This episode quickly became my favorite. It had quite a few lessons for just half an hour. Riley was worried about what her friends think of her. Billy was jealous of his friends which led him to be mean in order to make himself feel better. Farkle was told he was nothing so he believed it.

I’ve always thought I was confident, but I’m really rather insecure. I guess that’s just scars left over from my childhood that never really healed. I’ve heard that you spend your whole life getting over what happens in your childhood. The more I think about that, the truer it becomes. Mr. Matthews was teaching them and said: “Sometimes the world presents you with opportunities to show who you really are. Will you have the courage to stand up to someone who tries to take your spirit away?” 

The second lesson was how to respond when people are mean. Lucas said: “Don’t let what anybody says get to you; that’s what gives them power.”

When I was a kid I felt like I got the Matilda speech from adults. I gave them the power and tried to fit myself into whatever box they wanted me in.

“Agatha Trunchbull: [accusing Matilda of putting a newt in her drinking water] For this newt, you piss-worm!
Matilda: I’m telling you, I didn’t do it!
Agatha Trunchbull: Besides, even if you didn’t do it, I’m going to punish you, because I’m big and you’re small, I’m right and you’re wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it!

Another lesson was that people change. I love that when Billy was being mean, they still worried for their friend. Riley was wondering why Billy didn’t see that he did anything wrong. Maya turns to Riley, like she always does, and says: “Riley, you can’t fix everything. Ok, go ahead.” (I absolutely love that and relate to Riley because I totally try to fix everything too. I totally have a Maya who believes I can too! She’s perfect!) At the end of the episode the kids in the class owned up to their flaws and wrote them on their foreheads. They did this as a way to show Billy it was ok to have flaws. When asked about their foreheads, Maya said: “When I own it, it doesn’t make me feel so bad.” Then Mr. Matthews handed them wipes and said: “We’re all human beings. We’re all on the same team and if we sense our own flaws because we see them in others; it’s true friends who help us wipe them away.”

A friend of mine posted on Instagram this quote: “Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the gold. Proverbs 11:27” So, I looked up the verse, which says: “If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!” I wanna live like that. I wanna see the best in people always. I wanna be the one who finds the gold in everyone and everything around her. I wanna search for the good.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I burn bright for you. I pray that I see the good in others. I pray that I take Proverbs 11:27 with me. I pray that I remember to be patient with people because they can change. I pray that I continue to change as well. I pray that I continue to grow and learn. I pray that I stop letting others control me and try to take away my spirit. I pray that I stop giving them power over me. I pray that I focus only on you. I pray that I accept my flaws because you made me. I heard that we shouldn’t feel insecure about our flaws because it was like insulting you because you worked so hard to make us. Thank you for picking out every single hair on my head. Thank you for picking out my every strength and flaw. Thank you for creating me. I pray that I shine for 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 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.

It’s the prayer in an empty room.

Yesterday, was not my finest. It was one thing after another that messed up. I was riding in the car and on the radio some guy was telling a story and told this person that sometimes the Devil throws punches because you’re special. It reminded of a part in a Taylor Swift song: “People throw rocks at things that shine.” Sometimes people hurt our feelings. What matters is how we react. Michael Jordan said: “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” Lord, we can’t control what others do or say to us, but we can control what we say and do. Trent Shelton said: “You’ll never be enough to somebody who can’t recognize your worth. You can’t make them see what they choose to stay blind to.” There is no point in concentrating on what others see in us. What is important is what You in us.

When I got home, on my desk was this quote I had written down a while ago. It said: “It’s ok to be a glow stick, sometimes we need to break before we shine.” Lord, sometimes we need the bad days to remind us how good the good days are or so we can be reminded that there is still good in the bad days. Sometimes, we need to fall on our knees before You in order to realize what’s important. Taylor Swift said: “There’s a fire inside of you that can’t help but shine through.” Even on our bad days we can still shine for You.

In a conference, I attended, where Hannah Brencher was speaking, she read this quote that has stuck with me. “Bless me with enough foolishness to believe that I can make a difference in the world; so that I can do what others claim cannot be done.” I loved that so much! Lord, You are teaching me to be more and do more, every single day.

Max Lucado said: “Live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.” Changing the world doesn’t take much. All people have to do is change their thoughts which will change their actions. Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” All it takes to change the world is really quite simple, just show more kindness. All we have to do is show a little more love. All we have to do is show a little more of the love and kindness that You showed us.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I learn to show more kindness. I pray that I am nicer to those around me. I pray that I am more patient and forgiving. I pray that I am more compassionate and encouraging. Thank you for holding me up. Thank you for giving me my special gifts and talents. I pray that I use them for your will. I pray that I show more of you. I pray that I remember even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. 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.

Before I ever knew you I dreamed of you.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my mom and one of my best friends before I went back to school in Mobile. We were talking as usual and got on the subject of our plans after graduation and what not. I remembered that my 10 year plan that I made several years ago consisted of my college graduation and wedding.

My sister decided a few years ago that she wanted to wear some variation of mom’s dress for her wedding. So, I decided I wanted to get married on the same day my parents did, August 20. I looked in the calendar for the next time that August 20 rolled around on a Saturday which is in 2016 and determined that I would get married then. That’s after my graduation so I would have time to get settled and ready. August is warm, but not too hot. It was perfect.

Shortly after that I found out the American Village hosts weddings. It was perfect. There is a little white church for the ceremony and a barn for the reception which is what I’ve always wanted. So, yesterday at lunch, I remembered this plan and realized that date was coming a lot sooner than I realized.

So, my best friend is nuts and says I’m gonna need to start planning now, even without a groom. Well, my mama gets even nuttier and says I should go ahead and call the American Village and reserve the date and ask questions about it, again without a groom. Then, because I am the nuttiest of all, I write it on my to-do list later to call and ask questions about reserving a venue for a wedding with absolutely no groom. (Did I mention, there was no groom for this imaginary wedding?)

I don’t want much. I don’t want some big huge elaborate thing. I want simple. I want a rehearsal dinner outside with twinkly lights all in the trees and one big long rectangular table like a family. I want a ceremony focused solely on us and You, Lord. I don’t want any frills (besides my dress, of course). I want a little southern reception filled with love, dancing, and country music. I want lights and little American flags everywhere, but I don’t want it to be cheesy looking. It’s not too much to ask for, right? I’ve been dreaming of my wedding since I was a little girl. I want the whole day to circle around the of us joining together as a family through You. I want it to be personal to us (whoever “us” is).

So, this is my prayer today. I pray for the man that I’m gonna walk down the aisle to. I pray that he is a strong man because he is gonna need to be able to deal with my kind of crazy. I pray that he is looking to you. I pray that I look to You too. Lord, you write better stories than I could ever even dream. I pray that whether I get married tomorrow or August 20, 2016 or 10 years from now, that no matter what You are the center of that day. I pray that you keep writing my story. I pray a little something extra today for him. I pray that he has a good day and is surrounded by your 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 of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You are with us.

Today is one of those days where I am just emotional for no reason. I am completely afraid of everything even though I have no reason to be. Fear is defined as: “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” So, because I like lists, here is a list of my biggest fears:

1. Bridges

2. Car Accidents

3. Death

4. Losing Loved Ones

5. Feeling Inadequate

6. Loneliness

7. Elevators

8. The Future

9. Failure

10. Getting Hit

Why am I so scared when I have You? They call You Emmanuel which literally means “God is with us.” 

Lord, You set us free from all our fears. In You, we can find rest and peace. In You, we can find joy. In You, we don’t have to have anxiety. We can lay everything at the feet of the cross. Lord, You save us. Psalm 121:1-2 says: “A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” 

In the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, the girl I related to the most was told that she likes the drama; that she liked the fear. He called her out so, she decided to cut the additional unneeded anxiety out. I realized I do this too. I add unnecessary stress by:

1. Waiting until the very last second to put gas in the car.

2. Returning Redbox movies at the last minute.

3. Over planning.

4. Over analyzing every word spoken to me.

5. My irrational fears.

I realized that these things hold me back, and I should just fix my eyes on You.

Today, the soundtrack in my head was playing a lot. It made me realize: 1. You are with us. 2. My help comes from You. 3. I should fix my eyes on all that You are. Basically all my useless drama, anxiety, stress, and fears come from my need for control. I want to control everything, but I can’t. I need to give you the reins and realize you are already there.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I let go of my need for control. I pray that I let go of my anxiety and stress. I pray that I let go of my fears because no matter what my fears are you are already there waiting to take care of me. You are already there waiting for me to take your hand. You are already there ready to help me. Lord, you already broke the chains, so I pray that I learn to put them down. I pray that I learn to give you the control. I pray that I learn to praise in the storm. 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.