Find rest my soul.

Peace is a hard thing to find sometimes. Especially for a girl like me who desperately tries to muster up all the control she can get. Especially for a girl like me who plans out every little detail. Especially for a girl like me who has a problem asking for help. Especially for a girl like me with trust issues.

Yesterday I bought Max Lucado’s book, Before Amen. He breaks down prayer into these simple terms that even a girl like me who complicates everything, can’t complicate. In chapter three, Max writes: “Before you face the world, face your Father.” I need that reminder. I take my problems to the world way too often. The only one that can change my heart is You, Lord. I need to start my mornings with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of You, God. Then he shares this prayer: Father, my Daddy…The words come slowly at first. But you stay at it. You are good. Your heart is good. Your ways are right…The words stir you. Something within begins to awaken. The weather is bad, the economy is bad, but God you are awesome.” Max continues with: “Don’t underestimate the power of this moment. You just opened the door to God and welcomed truth to enter your heart. Faith sneaked in while despair was dozing.”

And because there is a Francesca Battistelli song for every part of my life. This song and Max’s book could have been written for each other, which they kinda were since they were written for You. 

I graduate in May. I have no solid plans after that. My apartment lease ends in June. I could literally be anywhere in the world by the time July rolls around. My entire world is changing in just a couple of months, but somehow today in the middle of my big mess, I found peace.

Right before he ends the chapter he writes: “Is your world different because you prayed? In one sense, no. Wars still rage, traffic still clogs, and heartbreakers still roam the planet. But you are different. You have peace. You’ve spent time with the Pilot. And the Pilot is up to the task.”

So, that is my prayer. Abba, Father, Daddy. Alpha and Omega. My Creator. You are good. Your heart is good. Your ways are right. The weather is bad, the economy is bad, but God, you are awesome. Thank you for being the Pilot to my life. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for providing for me. Thank you for caring for me. Lord, you are so good. Thank you for putting truth in my heart. Thank you for letting faith sneak in. Even in all my uncertainty, you are still good. I don’t have all the answers, but I am so glad that you do. I am so glad that I put my hope in you. Because when the rest of the world is shaking, you are solid. You cannot be moved. Lord, I am in awe of you. Thank you for changing my heart. And thank you for being up to the task. 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.

And soon enough you’ll find the door.

I went home during my break and watched last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

They were nervous about the surgery they were about to perform. And first off that military man had me ready to cry the moment the episode started so I knew this was gonna be good. So Callie says: “Everything is gonna be fine, you guys. We just have to be squirrels about this.”And Avery, being Avery questioning everything says: “I couldn’t have heard you correctly.” The Alpha Gam in me was like shhhh Avery, this is about to get so good, just listen. Callie is talking about squirrels!! So Callie explains: “Oh you know, squirrels, they store nuts for the winter, right? But they don’t do it all at once. They do it one nut at a time. Everyone has their part to play so everyone just needs to handle their own nut. We do that and get all the nuts.” I was laughing so hard and grinning ear to ear. Shonda knows that squirrels work hard. Like if that explanation didn’t completely explain my four years in Alpha Gamma Delta, I don’t know what will. Those women in Alpha Gam work hard.

When they are done scrubbing in, Bailey stops and says: “We’re praying. Torez is right, we’ll be fine if we each just do our part. I figured it don’t hurt to ask God to do his.” If this were American Idol, this would be were Jennifer Lopez would tell everyone she got goosies. I mean, I got goose bumps on top of my goose bumps. Like I was one of those old ladies in church with her hand in the air, screaming Amen as loud as they could. What got me most was Dr. Jackson Avery was standing there with his eyes closed, practically praying with her. That man has been through a lot and he tries to fight God and faith at every turn and somehow he still winds up in the same place, faced right with You, Lord. Grey’s Anatomy might be just a TV show, but they are beautifully illustrating how You knock on someone’s heart. Sometimes You knock by taking the whole door down, but sometimes it’s more gentle and subtle and it happens slowly over time. Sometimes no matter how many times we ignore that door bell, You keep waiting and hoping patiently that we will open the door and welcome You into our hearts.

So, that is prayer, I’m praying Bailey’s prayer. I know I can’t do this on my own. I’m asking you to your job. I pray that I give up my control and let you work in me and in those around me. And I’m praying that I do my job. I pray that I work hard. I pray that you keep knocking on doors. I pray they listen. I pray that they see the door and they see you. I pray they stop running from you and see that you’ve been right there all along. I pray they open the door. I pray that I continue to be a squirrel and continue to do my job and continue to let you do yours. I am not in control. I am just doing my job. Lord, I surrender all. Thank you for showing up and doing your job. Thank you for knocking on my heart. Thank you for never leaving 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.

You can have all this world, give me Jesus.

I was in the car today on the way home from work and I called my dad. He started talking politics again and he says things just to push my buttons and get me all defensive. I played right into his hands. I started defending my opinions and just kept talking and he just sat there laughing. I was sitting there talking about how our only job in life is to bring people to You, Lord.

Our job as Christians is to engage in Your word and with Your people. Isaiah 40:8 says: The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. We are called to love others as You first loved us. We are called to love. Thomas Edison said: “If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” I just want the chance to do that. I want to use all that I capable of doing for Your plan. I know You are the Master and Creator, that You are connecting every single thing together to work for Your glory. I am just a small part in Your greater plan and I am so thankful to have a tiny part in Your plan.

I was watching American Idol the other day and one of the judges told La’Porsha that she was a vessel for her gift, that it just poured through her. Later she said: “I used to sing like I knew what I was doing now I sing like I know why I’m doing it.” My why is You, Lord. On the next episode Keith Urban told La’Porsha about this saying: “I judge myself not by what I have, but what I am willing to give.” I want to give it all to You, Lord. Everything I am, everything I have. I wanna give it all to You. I wanna grow in You. I wanna keep praying and walking with You. I wanna grow closer to You. I have spent my entire life, following You and growing in my relationship with You. And the last two years, I was practically running to You. I have spent time growing in my faith. I want to spend even more time with You. I want to pray more and read more and study more.

I want to tell everyone about You, Jesus. That’s part of why when I started college, my major was education. I figured that was the best way to serve You. Then I found public relations or rather public relations found me. It was like everything in my life has been leading up to this point. Every day in class, every experience, every job, every activity I ever participated in, every fundraiser I ever helped lead, every event I ever planned, and every leadership position I ever held has been leading me here. Graduation is only a couple of months away. I’ve been collecting certain skills and talents my whole life for this moment. I have been working towards this for as long as I can remember. Lord, You are so intentional. I didn’t see the way the puzzle pieces were going to fit together, but I think I always knew this was where you wanted me.

Lord, You have a plan for my life, I know that and whether this is what You want me to do or if this is just supposed to teach me something. Either way, Lord, I want to serve You. I want to bring people to You. I want to tell others about You. I want to share Your love. I want to use my education, my knowledge, my attributes, and my abilities to work for You.

Isaiah 6:8 says: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Lord, I sent out another application today. This one had me beaming from ear to ear and my eyes welling up with tears from excitement. Honestly, I just want to serve You, Lord, to the best of my abilities, in any way You see fit.

So, this is my prayer today. If this is your will, Lord, then let’s go. I want to serve you. I want to go where you send me. I pray that I keep seeking your will. I pray that I keep following you. I pray that I bring honor and glory to your name. Lord, I pray that you light my path. I pray that I seek you. I pray that you lead me and guide me. I pray that I have an open heart and open ears to listen. I pray that I sing because I know why. 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.

Show me the love I say I believe.

I was desperately seeking You so, I picked up that book my person gave me. Yesterday, the title hit home: “Not understanding everything.” March 8th’s verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. I’ve heard those verses so many times and each time I do, it means more.

I’m gonna break down my thoughts during the books explanation:

“By the time we reach adulthood, most of us are pretty good at figuring things out.” Well, I’m not really good at this adulting thing yet, but I’m trying.  Trying counts right? Nope. There’s daddy’s voice again saying: “Stop trying and do it.” “But in some areas our understanding may still be limited or flawed.” That’s for sure. Half the time, I still don’t have a clue what’s going on. Especially right now. I don’t the foggiest idea what You want me to do, who to be, or where to go. I thought graduation was going to tie up everything I’ve worked for with a nice little bow and it was going to be the stepping stone to my future. Truth is, I’ve never been more lost. Three months from now and my entire world is going to be changed and I have no idea what direction I’m taking. “That’s the joy of the promise in the verses above. God doesn’t expect us to understand everything perfectly.” Ok, good because I’m lost. “In fact, he warns us not to depend on our understanding but to depend on his perfect knowledge. We don’t just go our merry way, operating on what we assume or think to be true-we’re to look for God’s guidance. He wants to lead us.” This is where the hard part comes. Learning to let go and let God. Lord, way too often I try to figure things out on my own and then seek You. I should be calling Your name first. “Next time we start to set our own course, let’s pause and pray. Let’s follow God’s compass when we’re wondering which way to walk.” Ok, I’m gonna slow down, take a breath, I’m listening. Father, lead me. Show me which way to walk.

I remembered this part I read in Fervent:

“Because the fact is, He is quietly working on your behalf without any fanfare. Preparing, arranging, and planning for your good. He is all-powerful. He is sovereign. He is right and true and eternally glorious, impervious to the enemy’s intentions. And whatever comes next in your life, it will be undoubtedly be another opportunity for you to be swept into your Father’s arms and carried through it. And that is where you want to be. Because in His arms, you’ll know the beauty of His peace-‘the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension’ and which guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).”

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for open arms. Thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for being here. Thank you for guarding my heart and my mind. Thank you for working on my behalf. Thank you for your preparations, your arrangements, and your plans.  I pray that I lay mine down. Lord, help to lay it down, once and for all. Lord, help me lay down my control. Help me lay down my trust issues. Help me lay down my plans. Help me lay down my understanding, my confusion, my misdirection. Lord, help me to follow you instead of getting lost on my own. Lord, move me. Guide me. Lead me. Show me the path. Lord, open my eyes. Father, carry me. I can’t do this on my own. 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.

Lord, You are my wings. You are my flight.

My daddy asked me a hundred and fifty two thousand times: “where does trouble live?” The answer is: “trouble street.” The one little question defined every choice I’ve ever made. In high school, I didn’t even have to ask that question, I just avoided trouble at all costs. But in college, it is different. You’re away from your parents. You have complete freedom. Part of that is extremely liberating and exciting and I couldn’t wait. I was going to fly.

The problem is there isn’t someone checking on you to make sure you’re doing your homework or to bring that homework to you if you forget it at home. There isn’t someone to remind you to get up in the morning or go to bed because you have school in the morning. I knew I wasn’t going to have that anymore. I never needed much of that. I was pretty self motivated, but it was nice to have that security blanket. I knew my parents were still there for me, but it was going to be different.

What I didn’t account for was those friends that grew up in church with you aren’t there. Those friends that would text you if you missed a service? “Hey girlie, are you sick? We missed you this morning.” Those texts are long gone. The good thing about having a best friend go to a different church is that you got to go to twice as many youth events and retreats. Those invites to every single church function aren’t there anymore. “Hey girlie, we’re having that retreat weekend coming up. We’re so going right?” “Of course!! I’m so excited.”

I chose to move away for college. I grew up in a small town and I loved it, but I was ready to leave. I only went five hours away, but that was all I needed. I talked to my roommate on Facebook the summer before we moved in, but that was it. I didn’t know anyone else. I decided to go through formal recruitment. I just did it. I didn’t ask my mom. I just told her I was doing it and I needed help picking out dresses. It was one of the first “adult” decisions I have ever made.

I had people there to challenge me, to lead me. I had people to steer me in the right direction. I also found myself on trouble street a couple of times. When I did, I had people there to bring me back and help me pick up the pieces. I had an entire team of officers and advisors looking after my success. Then it was time for me to be the leader. I may not always make the best decisions, but I always had the best of intentions. I did my best to make those women feel protected and know they had a voice. As president, I made a list of things I wanted to do and then I sat down with every single officer and we made a list for her too. I wanted to do as much as I could to empower those women.

Lynn Cowell said: “I want to slow down, and carefully choose the words I say, the attitudes I have, and the actions I take.” I love that and have tried to live that way. I am not perfect and I’m still learning every day, but I’m intentionally trying. I think that we have to pick our friends the same way we pick our words, attitudes, and actions. I have been extremely fortunate to pick people that build me up. I didn’t realize how important that choice was until college, because the people you surround yourself with help define who you are too.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I keep learning. I pray that I slow down. I pray that I choose my words, attitudes, and actions with purpose and intention. I pray that I choose those around me with purpose and intention. I pray that they bring me closer to you. Thank you for them. Thank you for the texts checking on me. Thank you for the motivation to keep going. Thank you for the challenges and lessons. Thank you for giving me freedom and choices, but thank you for also giving me consequences and rewards for those choices. Thank you for letting me come to you on my own and for sending people to guide me to you. Thank you for allowing me to fly and stay grounded. Thank you for sending your son. Thank you for gravity. Thank you for the people surrounding 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.

Oh God, let my heart be tender in a world so tough.

To be honest. Boys confuse me and love scares me. Like plain and simple.

When I like a guy he should feel special because he must be pretty great. Except they don’t, they are pretty repulsed. Which I sooo don’t get, because when people like me, I’m flattered. Like ohh my eyes are pretty today? Thank you very much. Guys are not like that. At all. They give compliments away like free candy at a parade, to anyone and everyone, but they react terribly to them.

There are two sides to every story but there are like a million sides to me so I can’t even keep up with anyone else. Sometimes I’m running straight to love and diving right in. Sometimes I’m running away. Therein lies the problem.

Part of me is completely patient. I waited for five years for one boy to like me back. Well, it was all of elementary school, but it was still five years. I would have kept waiting too if I hadn’t changed schools. And don’t think for a minute that when I was a senior in high school signing up to take my ACT at the very same school that I still wasn’t holding out hope that I would see him. And I did, of course he didn’t even notice I was there, but whatevs. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely fearless. I will admit I like you in a two-page letter, hand written for the boy upstairs or I’ll wait after a football game outside the locker room and share my feelings. Truth time, I ran after both, so is it still ok to call myself fearless? One ended with silence and no words back. The other ended with a year of “talking”, three days of “dating” and then dumping me for a friend that I introduced him to. Oh well. Wasn’t meant to be. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely open to new possibilities. Ohhh a note has been passed to me? From a cute boy? And he’s asking me out? Okkkk. *Completely disregards 8th grade best friend telling me that it is a joke. What does she know? She’s only been my best friend for two years.* I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I learned. Again. Water under the bridge.

Part of me is completely trusting. Boy tells girl that she would make a good wife, girl believes him. *Boy then laughs when she tells him she likes him.* Boy tells girl she is the love of his life, girl believes him. *He’s just kidding. Don’t overthink this. Too late.* For the love of Pete, the next time a guy says something nice to me, could he please mean it? There is so much water under the bridge, can I even find the bridge? Someone buy me a boat.

All of me is just completely clueless. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m in a constant struggle between holding on and fighting for what I want or letting go and that was never meant for me. I’ve tried guarding my heart and keeping it safe. I pulled an Eric Church and “put up walls to show the world I’m tough.” I’ve tried letting people in. And I’ve definitely been honest, sometimes to a fault. I’ve prayed for You to close doors if they weren’t Your will.

God, I’m done running from the reason that You sent Your Son.

So, here is my prayer. I might not have any idea what I’m doing, but I know you have a plan. I pray that you lead me. I pray that you guide me. I pray that you light my path. I pray that I let you break down the walls I spent so long building. I pray that I let you in, completely. I know that no man can ever complete me because I am complete in you. I pray that you keep preparing me. I pray that I trust your timing. I know there is a man out there who will love me and all that water under the bridge will be just that, water under the bridge. I pray that where ever he is that you guide him and lead him and prepare him too. I pray that you protect him. I pray that he is intentional. I pray that I lay down my fear. I pray that I stop overthinking. I pray that I let go of my baggage and chose to 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.