Hold on, I am loved.

My entire life, when the good guys come around, I automatically shut down. Words don’t come out. Sentences don’t form. My eyes practically hit the floor. My first thought is there’s no way I deserve his attention or anything more. So, I just tell all my friends how much I like the guy and then never actually have a conversation with them. Then I’m just some crazy girl liking a guy I don’t even know. When the mean ones come around, I’m all ears. Because that’s the kind of attention I think I deserve. And because that is the kind of attention I think I deserve, I accept the crude, rude, controlling, hot mess as my normal. Because I watched so many of my friends date this type of guy, I don’t actually date him. So, I just continue this cycle of only talking to guys I know I will never date because they treat me like dirt. At least they’re safe because I will never let them get close enough to actually hurt me. It’s this really backwards cycle of protecting myself.

What I’m realizing in my walk with You, Lord, is that I don’t deserve Your love either, but You give it anyway. Lord, You forgive me when I mess up. You hold my hand in the storms. You guide me through the darkness. You teach me when I can’t do it on my own. You are the rock beneath me when my world is shaking. You refill my canteen when no one else remembered to fill it. You bring the well to me when I can’t even make it to the well.

Last week, I was watching Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie at my best friend’s house with her son while they were putting up their Christmas tree. Btdubbs, watching them put the tree up was the most adorable thing I’ve ever witnessed. I am so beyond filled with joy for her and the family You gave her. I can’t even begin to explain how much her friendship has impacted my life and how much she deserves this happiness. When her son was explaining the movie to me and said: “there are some bad guys, but the good guys are better.” That five year old just dropped a lot of wisdom on me. The good guys are better. We have to be better. I don’t think that there are strictly bad guys and good guys in the world like there is in the movies. It’s more complicated than that and there is a whole bunch of gray areas involved. We’ve all got darkness and light in us and it’s a battle everyday of which will win. What I realized sitting there on that couch is that we have to better. I am one of the good ones and it’s time I started acting like it. It wouldn’t kill me to walk with a little more confidence here lately. Making myself smaller isn’t making anyone else shine brighter. I have to be better because You gave me a light to shine for You. I have to shine brighter, love deeper, live more fully, show more kindness, be more intentional, give more generously, share more compassion, forgive quicker, and bring glory to Your name.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for this Little Miss, one big mess. Thank you for always showing me how to clean up my mess. Thank you for always taking care of me and showing me the way. Thank you for being my lighthouse in the storm. I pray that I try to be better. I pray that do more because you gave me so much more. I pray I live with purpose. I pray I hold on and remember just how loved I am. I pray that this Little Miss, big old heart beats wide open and I pray this Little Miss is ready now for love. I pray I learn to accept love and not run away from it. I pray that I stop trying to make myself smaller. I pray I stop trying to fit myself into this little box. I pray the light wins. I pray I don’t forget that light always wins, you always win. I pray that I let your truth sink so seep into my heart that it radiates outward. I pray your truth shines right out of every fiber of my being. Thank you for showing me real 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.

The sky’s getting dark but light shines through.

I’ve been acting like Chad Michael Murray in A Cinderella Story. I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought before I realized what I’ve known all along. So Lord, “Sorry I waited for the rain.” 

In Bible study, we watched Unwrap the Bible with Beth Moore. In the video, she talks about Hagar. She was Sarai’s servant and they were going through a rough patch to say the least. There was bitterness and resentment and a whole lot of pride. She ran away to this well where You told Hagar to go back to Sarai and submit to her. Beth Moore pointed out that “she is going back to the same place but not the same person.” That one statement resonated in me. I might have been sent back to the same place, but I am not the same person.

Beth Moore talked about Sarai and how she forgot when she was lashing out that it was all her idea to begin with. She asked for it. And boyyyy have I asked for things that were completely different when I actually got them. I could definitely relate to that. I’m learning that sometimes You don’t give us what we want and ask for, sometimes You give us what we need.

She continued the video talking about “Miss Mess” and how Miss Mess has been in enough messes to be a mess herself and sometimes she helps make the mess. Ever since I saw He’s Just Not That Into You, I have tried to cut the unneeded drama from my life. Justin Long tells Ginnifer Goodwin’s character that she lives for it. I related to her character the most and all her shenanigans. So, I cut the unneeded stress and anxiety out. I stopped letting the car get anywhere close to empty. I learned to pay bills wayyyy before deadlines. I’ve always been responsible and made lists, but I took it to a whole new level after relating to Miss Mess Ginnifer Goodwin.

Towards the end of the video, Beth Moore says: “Hopefully we’ll meet Him where He is. In case we don’t, He’ll show up right where we are. Sometimes we got to the well, sometimes the well comes to us.” Lately, I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought. I was listening to what You were saying, I just didn’t want to. I was being stubborn and hard headed. I knew You were trying to talk to me, I just wanted things my way, in my time. I was in a self pity rut. I am real good at making myself invisible, that’s part of why I relate to Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries sooo much. Except her invisibility wasn’t intentional, mine is. When I want attention, I do the exact opposite of getting it. I draw in real close and hide. Beth Moore told us to bring our canteens to You that no one else remembered to fill for us. For a girl who likes to make herself invisible knowing You always see me and hear me is quite a security blanket, one I don’t always appreciate and tend to take for granted. When I need my canteen filled, I put on my Harry Potter cloak of invisibility and wait for someone to find me and refill my canteen. The truth is, waiting for someone else to refill my canteen is like waiting for rain in this drought, “useless and disappointing.” It’s job only You can do. And all I have to do is ask. That’s the trouble, sometimes I wait for rain to ask.

So, this is my prayer. I pray I am gonna let that song that I’ve been holding in and I’m gonna let it all go. I pray that I let it ride. I pray that I listen to your voice. I pray that I trust you. I pray that I give you back the steering wheel. I pray that I let you lead me. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that stop waiting for rain. I pray that I learn to come to you before the storm. I pray that I learn to come to the well before my canteen is empty. I pray that I stop waiting on someone else refill my canteen. Thank you for bringing the well to me when I run away. I pray that I stop acting like Miss Mess and remember to carry that spirit of a wife with me. Thank you for sending me back a changed person. Thank you for continuing to knock on my door even when I’m peeking out the window and not answering the door. Thank you for being patient with me. I pray that I learn to open the door with confidence when you come knocking. I pray that I stop letting fear control 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.

Only You can calm a storm.

My Heavenly Father, four years ago, November 6th, I was voting for my very first presidential election with my Alpha Gam sister and Christopher. God, I need You. There were three of us voting that day. This Tuesday, there are only two of us and we’re in separate states this time. And we’re not voting in Mobile in college this time, we’re graduated. I’m gonna need a little hand-holding. Lord, I’m gonna be a little extra fragile, a little bit shaky. But that’s ok because You are the solid rock on which we stand. You have us.

And You have him. He’s standing with You and worshiping You. They told me that I wouldn’t want to celebrate our birthday, but after a year or two, I would want to celebrate for both of us. Our birthday is coming up so I’m thinking about him even more than normal. Time heals, that’s what the experts say. Well, I’m not wearing my heart on my sleeve, ready to fall apart anymore. I’ve put the pieces back together. The truth is, some of the pieces didn’t fit back the same. I am not the same person I was. I am changed because of what I’ve learned and experienced. I hug tighter. I apologize and forgive quicker. I remember to take time to do the small stuff. I make every minute count because they are precious. If he taught me nothing else it was to love You and love politics. I learned to come to You a lot more and a lot sooner.

Which is why I’m here today. I’m praying for this election as it winds down. Deuteronomy 1:13 says: Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ Daniel 2:21 says: He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for rain in this drought. I pray you keep me calm. I pray that I’m trusting all in you. I pray I’m serving you until the death of me. I pray I just need to step out and step into your flow. I’m praying for my Alpha Gam sister as she votes too. I’m praying for those running in this election. I’m especially praying for Mike Pence for VP. I’ve been praying for that man and I’m rooting for him. I pray you have your hand all over him and everything he does. I’m praying for Mike Pence for the presiding officer of the Senate. I’m praying for his wisdom. I’m praying for his understanding. I’m praying for his experience. I’m praying for all the people volunteering for the elections and voting places. I’m praying for all the people working for the campaigns. Lord, I’m putting everything in your hands. You alone control the course of world events. You alone remove kings. You alone set up kings. You alone give wisdom to the wise. You alone give knowledge to the scholars. Lord, I’m just praying for your work to be done. I pray your will be done. 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.

Never let my prayin’ knees get lazy.

Missy Robertson posted on Instagram saying: “I’ve prayed for this girl for 21 years, even though I didn’t know her name until the last 5.” I immediately sent that to a couple of friends. That woman has been praying for her son’s future wife. Not only is praying for her son, but she’s praying for his future wife too. Ohhh sweet Jesus, I hope I pray like that. I hope I have an open conversation with You for as long as I possibly can. And I hope I’m always praying for somebody.

I’ve prayed for my future husband for as long as I can remember and I hope I never stop praying for him. I hope I’ve prayed so much for him that You hear prayers for his name more than my own. I’ve definitely prayed for friends and family. My mama taught me to pray for people in accidents when we pass them or when we hear those ambulance sirens. My daddy taught me to pray for leaders in the community, country, school, and churches. My sister taught me to pray for kids. Her future ones, my future ones, and every single one we meet in children’s church. My bubba taught me to pray for him. Little stinker stole my heart back in 1996. I’ve prayed for teachers and principals and everyone in my schools growing up. I’ve prayed for professors and university faculty and staff. I’ve prayed for my peers and now that I’m graduated I’m praying for the next generation of students. If I worked with someone for even 5 minutes, I was praying for them. And good golly miss molly, I sure did pray for my Alpha Gams. (I’m still praying for them too.)

I hope no matter what stage I’m at in life or where I am, that I’m always praying. Whether it’s for my coworkers or my neighbors in my first home or my future kid’s spouses or my nurse at the nursing home. I hope I never stop bringing people to You. I hope I keep laying everyone I know at Your feet. Lord, if there is one thing I’m known for, I hope it’s praying. My little ole prayers might not change the whole world, but they just might so I’ll keep shouting Your name until I’m all out of breath. I believe in the power in the prayer. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen Your work. I’ve seen miracles happen because somebody prayed. After all I’ve seen and I’ve been given, how could I not believe?

So, here is my prayer today. I pray I keep singing Lee Brice’s song and take the words to heart. I pray that I am a best friend. I pray that I tell the truth. I pray that I overuse, “I love you.” I pray that I go to work and do my best. I pray that I don’t outsmart my common sense. I pray I never let my prayin’ knees get lazy. I pray that I love like crazy. I pray that I continue to grow that spirit of a wife. I pray that I keep praying for those around me. I pray that I take what I learned from everyone around me and apply it to my life. I pray that you keep teaching me and guiding me. Lord, my heart is yours, just keep talking 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 of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.