I hold on and on and on and on and on.

It’s no secret I have had some slight issues with my car this year. I take full responsibility for last semester, but not this weekend. This time it was out of my control. First it was the belt, then the battery, then we found out the real issue: the alternator.

I am completely fine under pressure. I can handle anything thrown my way. Except that Dodge Nitro. I have no idea what that thing is doing. It is so far out of my wheel of understanding, that it is just sad and pathetic. I am fully capable of taking care of myself, until it comes to dealing with that car. I turn into a crying puddle. I immediately turn into a child and only want my daddy.

I tried to handle it myself. I took it to the mechanic. I was sitting in the waiting room when another mechanic came inside for a water and started making small talk. To be honest, I was in panic mode and couldn’t even hold the conversation. I was glad he just kept talking and I was able to just smile and nod, even though I was holding back tears. Then he started  talking about You, Lord. I started listening a whole lot harder. He said something about how the Devil comes after you when you’re weak and can take the hit. He said when you’ve got the foundation and you’ve got Jesus under you, it’s harder to take you down. That’s some deep stuff for the waiting room.

I know I have the foundation, but sometimes I don’t trust the foundation not to shake underneath me. When Hollyn and Tru sing: “Yeah man, I got issues, I can’t even lie”, I relate to that so much. I jam out to that one line more than any other. My trust issues have trust issues, but I’m trying to work on it.

Today, I was cleaning my room and starting the beginning stages of packing. Leaving college is proving to be a much harder transition than I thought for and my to-do list gets longer every day. I found this narrative essay I wrote in like the 10th grade. Why I even have this in a box of papers at college with me, is beyond me. I am a hoarder. I keep literally everything, but I got rid of an entire trash bag full of things today, so that is progress right? My little said no, that I need to get rid of about 3 or 4 bags full. Ok, so, I’m taking baby steps in my moving process.

Anyways, the narrative was about this girl who was falling in love which was pretty much what all my stories were about back then. Part of the essay was so bad, it was laughable. I mean I literally laughed out loud. The story was also about her trusting You and Your plan. She was lost and had no idea what was happening in her life and what direction her life was going. What I thought was an essay about a girl falling in love, was about her relationship with You. The story was so much bigger than what my little 16-year old self could even fathom and I had no idea how much I would relate to it now, as I am getting ready for my college graduation. Well, not the love story part because that is not even close to my life right now, but the learning to trust You part.

I relate to the girl now more than I ever thought possible back then. So, I’m gonna hold on to that story. I am gonna hold on to a little bit of the 16-year old girl who wrote the story. I am gonna hold on to the 16-year old girl who was bold enough to write down her dreams. I’m also gonna hold on to the confidence I found in college to actually share those dreams. I am gonna hold on to the foundation that I have in You. I am gonna hold on to the fact that You have carried me through all the good days and the bad. I am gonna hold on to the knowledge that I am never alone. I am gonna hold on to the relationship I’ve built with You. I’m gonna hold on to all that You have taught me and are continuing to teach me.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I hold on. I pray that I hold onto who I was and who I am and who I will be. I pray that I hold on to my family and my loved ones. I pray that I hold on to my foundation in you. I pray that I hold on to the things I believe in. I pray that I hold on to that story. I pray that I continue to write that story. I pray that I finish that story. I pray that I hold on to my dreams even when they change. I pray that I hold on to trust in you. I pray that I hold on to you. I pray that I hold on to the words written in red. I pray that I hold on to your teachings. I pray that I hold on to your lessons. I pray that I hold on to my faith. I pray that I hold on to everything that brings me closer to you. I pray that I hold on to everything I’ve learned in college. I pray that I hold on to the friendships made and memories shared here. I pray that I hold on to the dreams we made. I pray that I keep moving forward even when I don’t know the direction. 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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Thy will be done.

Ok. Lord. Every time I think I’m figuring it out and moving forward, something pulls me backwards. I think You are leading me in one direction and then a complete 180 degree change to the other direction happens. I have no idea what I’m doing here. I’m throwing my hands up. The more I try to make sense of this life, the more confused I get. I have no earthly clue what You want me to do. I try to make plans and figure it out and every plan I make falls through or changes and we both know I’m not so good with change.

I went to lunch with my person on Wednesday and she gave me a copy of her morning devotion and boyyyyy did I need it. The scripture on the paper was Matthew 6:34 which says: Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The end of the devotion says: “Leave these worries and heartaches in the sovereign hands of the One who created the heavens and the earth. Trust Him with the future, and accept your daily bread today with open hands and a childlike heart.” 

Ok. So, I could make a list of all the things I need to accomplish tomorrow, which thanks to that lovely burnt rubber smell coming my car tonight, just got longer. But instead, I am going to make a list of things that went right today.

  1. I woke up early this morning, got coffee with my little, and knocked out some more of our project.
  2. Today is exactly two weeks to graduation.
  3. I had time for an hour nap before going to work.
  4. My sister ordered me a new bathing suit for the beach.
  5. The people I work with are pretty great.
  6. Afterwards, I got some quality bonding time with my roommate and little. All while benefiting the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation with some frozen yogurt at Chill.
  7. Hilary Scott’s new single was released today and I got all the feels.

The closer to May 7th I get, the more I think about all that I have survived since starting college. Sometimes, I don’t understand Your plan. Sometimes, I was so lost I didn’t know if I would ever find my way back. Sometimes, I was so sad I couldn’t move. Sometimes, I was so anxious I pushed people away. Sometimes, I was hurting. But sometimes, I felt more joy and love than I ever thought possible. Sometimes, I was blessed more than humanly possible. No matter what I was feeling, You were there. I heard someone on the radio yesterday say that is what sets Christians apart. The knowledge that You are always there. Part of me was in complete awe of You because You never left me. Not through the pain or sorrow or heartache or trials or fear or love or joy or any of it. The other part of me realized how empty some must feel because they don’t have that peace. Some people will search their whole lives, for what they will only find in You. You complete me, Lord. No one else. You are the missing piece in our lives. You are what makes the empty places, whole.

There is this quote that says: “When it is all finished, you will discover it was never random.” Lord, You have a purpose for everything. You have a reason for every single thing that happens. Nothing is by accident. Nothing is coincidental. Nothing is random. Nothing happens without Your prior approval and planning. When bad things happen, my first question is why. I start pointing the finger and assigning blame. If nothing else, college taught me that was the wrong question. That question only shows my narrow view. I can only see what is right in front of me. I can’t see beyond my own two feet. Lord, I can only see my 5-10 year plan, but You created an eternity plan. Your ways are not my ways. Your ways are so good. Your ways are so right. Your ways are so just.

In the interview about her new single, Hillary Scott said she wanted people to find their own stories in the song before she shared hers. Well this is mine. Two years ago, I asked You why bad things happen, why things fall apart, why people are taken too young and too soon, why people suffer. I had a lot of questions. Then a year later, I found out those were the wrong questions. I read a book that said we should be asking, what are we gonna do with it now. I realized I had already found the answer to that question before I even asked it. I started praying. Two years ago, when my entire world shifted. A lot of things were taken really fast. A lot of things were thrown at me and I was grasping at straws trying to keep myself together. What I found was, when I let go of me, I found You. When I let go of the pain, I found You. When I let go of the questions, I found answers. Lord, I found peace. I found strength.

So, that is my prayer today. I wanna start with the prayer from the devotion. “Lord, I have so many worries about the future, so many things that are causing my heart to ache. Help me to leave these fears in your hands and to trust you with them. I want to be filled with your joy and peace in this day. Give me the right perspective.” Thank you for all the good in today. Thank you for the peace I have in you. Thank you for friends that think of me when they read their devotion books in the mornings. Thank you for friends who keep me in their prayers. I pray for them too. I pray thy will be done. I pray that instead of trying to understand your plan, that I trust in you. I pray that I stop looking forward and focus on today. Thank you for your plans. Thank you for your ways. Thank you for all that you are. Thank you for teaching me, for guiding me, for leading me. Thank you for allowing me to see your hand in the world around me. Thank you for songs that show me your love in new ways. 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 will fall if you come around.

This morning when I was getting ready, Dolly Parton stated singing Jolene on my playlist. I immediately turned it up and started jamming out.  But I’ve never really related to the lyrics. She’s asking this woman not to swoop in and steal her man. What I don’t understand is why you’re trying to keep a man that is so easily taken? Like if a man doesn’t want to be kept, he’s not going to stay. I’ve had a real hard time accepting that fact so maybe that’s how I relate to the song. Because I tend to fall for the ones who are never going to like and definitely not love me. I fight so hard for the ones who don’t want me or maybe they do, just not in the way I need them too.

I’m just gonna be honest. I don’t know if the problem is the guy for saying all these nice things and not meaning them or me for knowing they don’t mean it and for believing in every word anyways. “You’d make a good wife some day. You’re my heart. You’re the love of my life.” I don’t know if it’s because I got comfortable hearing those words so much that I actually started to believe them or if it’s because I prayed so hard for a man of intention, that this is just the devil coming after me with the complete opposite of intention. I mean, I knew when one of them said “We’d make pretty babies,” that it was a joke. But like I want kids and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have them for several reasons. And I read once that 10% of women struggle getting pregnant. So like, it’s not really funny and my fears are completely valid, but he doesn’t know my fears or struggles, so is it even fair to get upset? I don’t even know how to stand up for myself, because it was just a joke and besides I’m waiting for marriage and apparently that is a joke, in and of itself. It’s not even just one guy. It’s every one I’ve ever liked. Like they say these things, but then ask another girl out. Or one minute they say these things, but then they try to set me up with someone else. It’s a never ending roller coaster, and to be frank, I just want off. It’s not fun anymore and maybe it never was.

I guess, Lord, the point I’m trying to make is the more I pray for intention, the less I get it. The more I let fear creep in. The more I trust less. The more confused and hurt and misled I become. The whole point of praying for intention was the opposite. I feel completely vulnerable. I’m pretty sure that if someone promised to buy me the moon, I would believe them right now. I feel weak.

So, here is my prayer today. I don’t know what to pray for. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to stand up for myself. I don’t know how to differentiate fact from fiction and the lies from the truth. I don’t know where to go or what to do from here. So, I’m helplessly, defenselessly, praying for strength. I’m praying for Proverbs 31:25-26 which says: Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. I pray that I am no longer susceptible to the lies and jokes. I pray I learn to handle these things with grace. I’m lifting my arms up to you and I’m making Lauren Daigle’s song my prayer today. I pray that I put my trust in you. I pray that I let go of my dreams and that I lay them down. My hands are weary. I need your rest. Lord, I need you. I’m in complete surrender. You are my strength and comfort. You are my steady hand. You are my firm foundation. The Rock on which I stand. Your ways are always higher. Your plans are always good. There’s not a place where I’ll go, you’ve not already stood. When you don’t move the mountains, I’m needing you to move. When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through, When you don’t give the answers. As I cry out to you I will trust, I will trust. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. Lord, this isn’t just about a few guys telling me things I want to believe, this is about my whole life. This is about everything. Lord, I trust in 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.

I’ll shine a light ’cause I am loved.

I fall for the same type of guy every single time. The one that says all the right things but doesn’t mean them. The one that makes promises he has no intention of keeping. The one that hung the moon.

The funny thing about that is the moon is pretty and catches my attention and makes me happy for a little while but it’s just a reflection of the sun. The moon has no real light of it’s own. The moon is just a glimpse of the sun.

I’m tired of settling for secondary light. I’m tired of settling for the one that only sees me as the moon too. I want sunshine and I want someone who sees me as the sun too. I’m tired of settling for something that is just a preview of the real thing. I want the world to revolve around me. I want someone to think of me daily. I want someone who needs me daily. I want someone who cannot function without me and who depends on me. I want to be someone’s first thought in the morning, not the last thought they have at night.

I know I sound selfish, and that’s probs because I am. I don’t want these things because I think I’m needy and need the person to spend every waking second thinking of me and needing me. I just want to be a consideration. Like when he goes to the grocery store, I want him to pick up flowers. I want him to make sure my car gets the oil changed because he wants me to be taken care of. I want him to take out the trash because he knows I hate it. I just want the little things, the little moments of sunshine and warmth.

I want to be the sun because I want Your love to shine through me. I want others to see You through me and the man that loves me. I want others to know that You created the sun. I want a love story written by you because it is better than any story I could ever write. I’m tired of trying to write my own story.

I’m waiting for someone to love me like You do. Adam Cappa posted: “Your heart is precious to God, so guard it, and wait for the one who will treasure it.” I don’t want perfection, because I know the only perfect love, You’ve already given me. You’ve shown me love in more ways than I will ever even be able to grasp. I just want someone to pursue You with. I want someone to hold my hand on the way to church. I want someone to pray with me and for me.

In Fervent, Priscilla Shirer told us to pray for our husbands before we ever walk down the aisle. She wrote: “Pray that he’ll be set ablaze with love for Christ and a heart for leading you well and making your marriage a devoted priority. Pray that God would guard his friendships and those who influence the path he is taking even right now. Pray that his passions would be attuned with an authentic faith, that his purity would be a matter of deep commitment, and that God would superintend the circumstances that bring the two of you together…all in His perfect plan and His perfect timing.”

So, here is my prayer today. I’m praying for my sunshine. I pray that he prays for me too. I pray Priscilla’s prayer and I pray that he is actively seeking you. I pray he is working for your glory. I pray that you are his everything. I pray that he is running to you. I pray that when trouble finds him, he goes to you. I pray that when sorrow consumes him, he goes to you. I pray that when he is lost, he goes to you. I pray that when he is blessed beyond measure, he goes to you. Lord, thank you for writing my story. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me your perfect 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.

And You met me in the fire.

I’m finishing Max Lucado’s Before Amen. And boyyyyy did I need chapter 8. Max made a list of everything he’s thankful for. He wrote: “Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems.” That is exactly what I needed today.

For the past few weeks, things have not been exactly going my way. You are still good has become my daily prayer. I knew it was true, but sometimes it is hard to believe, especially when things are uncertain and confusing. I thought my last semester was going to tie a pretty little bow on all my hard work. Of course, I was completely wrong. This semester has not been easy, but it’s still been good. This is not at all the way I thought my plan was going to be working out. My ten-year plan had me graduated last year, starting a fabulous career immediately following graduation, and getting married this August. We both know that was never Your plan, Lord and I’ve had a littleeeee bit of a hard time accepting that. (When I say a little, I might be down playing some of my…ummm resentment.)

Towards the end of the book, Max says to note what pulls me towards prayer and what pushes me away from prayer. Knowing what pulls me to prayer is easy. It is slowing down everything. It’s a song on the radio and the words were exactly right. It’s a line in a movie or a TV show that makes me see something new. It’s a small gesture of love from a friend. It’s the trees lined up along the road on the way to my apartment. It’s seeing You, everywhere I go and in everyone I meet. It’s seeing Your hand in the world around me. What pushes me away from prayer is a little harder for me to pinpoint because it’s a slow fade and sometimes I don’t even notice how far from You, I’ve become. It’s the busyness like Max said. It’s my fear I let get in the way. It’s my selfishness. It’s my lack of understanding. It’s my need for a plan and control. It’s prayers that are left unanswered or answers I didn’t want or simply understand.

Max wrote about a time that he tried to take control and made a mess of things. Then he wrote: “Why was it hard to trust God in that situation?” Psalm 46:10 says, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ Take a moment to be still. Meditate on God’s goodness and power by reading Psalm 19.” Then he says: “Ask God to let this truth bring peace to your heart.”

Peace is exactly what I’ve been asking for. So, as I’m reading Psalm 19, I make my list of things I’m thankful for:

  • America.
  • Bubbles, Bath tubs, and Books.
  • Christmas.
  • my college Degree.
  • English classes that taught me how to write.
  • best friends Forever and one day a Forever and always love.
  • Grace that I need far too often.
  • Heaven. A friend of mine posted on the anniversary of the day that he went to Your Home, she wrote: “Although Christopher is gone from this physical world, he is standing in front of the Father in complete worship – and that is #goals.” The other day on the radio, one of the guys from Mercy Me was talking about their song, Finally Home. The song is about his father who went to Home and he said it was like the final chapter to I can only imagine. What struck me right to the core was he said he didn’t think his father was watching over him because he had better things to do like worshiping You, Lord. I was in complete awe. Lord, thank you so much for Heaven and for Your promises and for allowing us to worship You.
  • Ice in my coke.
  • Juggling schedules.
  • Kind words.
  • Lunches with good friends.
  • Music, especially in the car.
  • New things to get me out of my comfort zone.
  • Oranges that I used to hate and now love.
  • People and Puppies and Prayer.
  • Quirks, which I have plenty of.
  • Red lights to make you slow down and stop every once in a while and appreciate the world around you and make you remember to let others have a turn.
  • Safety because I crave it and it took me making this list to realize that I already found the ultimate security in You. Psalm 19:6 says: It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

    nothing is deprived of its warmth. 

“I’m reckless, and senseless, I’ve jumped off the fences, abandon all the rules, and crashed like a fool, out of control, so criminal, You could have let me drown, but You reached Your hand out.”

  • Tests and Trials to make me stronger.
  • the Universe You created.
  • Violins.
  • Walks with friends, which was also Max’s and it reminded me of the walk during Spring Break that my person and I took on the beach. I’m pretty sure we walked from Gulf Shores to Dauphin Island and back. She asked me to be her maid of honor on that walk. I am so thankful for that walk.
  • X-rays.
  • my Youth and all I’ve learned along the way.
  • Zoo’s.

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you a million times for a million different things. Thank you for everything I’ve listed and soooo much more. I could never even begin to thank you enough. Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer, my Father, my Everything. I am in awe of you and all you’ve done. You created this beautiful, confusing, inspiring, beyond comprehension universe. You created the Heavens and the Earth. You created everything around me from the people to the trees to the lakes and oceans and everything in-between. I do not say it nearly enough, so thank you. Your ways are not my ways and your plans are not my plans. Thank you for that because yours are so much greater. Thank you painting an eternal picture instead of my 5 year outlook. Thank you for leading me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for showing me. Thank you for unanswered prayers. And thank you for the answers I wasn’t looking for and for the answers I didn’t understand and for the answers I wasn’t expecting. Thank you for loving me even when I’m reckless. 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.