And I’ve got to get back home to You.

I get asked when are you gonna quit by kids testing their limits quite often. My response is always the same: when God tells me to, He brought me here, He’ll tell me when it’s time to go. Then as my wrinkles crease a little more and I find another gray hair from these beautiful messy bold children, I hear that still small voice saying: Sit down and stay awhile.

It’s like You’re telling me to get comfortable. Like You’re saying I’m gonna be here a hot minute, take a load off. You are safe, child. You are beloved. Dig your heels in and just love them the way I love you, my child.

I got a flight problem. I dream of running away. I dream of jumping out of moving cars just to get away. When a class got hard, I dropped it. When the drama was too much to handle, I didn’t show up. When a retail job was too much pressure, I quit before training ended. It’s easy to run. It’s my natural response. Satan knows it too. He is always pushing just the right button to send me running in the opposite direction. But this year my prayer has been: “let it be Jesus that sustains you here.” Morgan Harper Nichols posted that prayer and I immediately saved it as my lock screen. I prayed it over my home, my work, and my bible. “Let it be Jesus that sustains you here.”

That word sustain captured my attention. Sustain, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means: “strengthen or support physically or mentally; bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling; and uphold, affirm, or confirm the justice or validity of.” I love that intentional word choice.

Exodus 14:14 says: “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Father, let’s be real here for a minute. I got no problem letting You fight for me, it’s that hold my peace part I got probs with. That’s the part that will slip right through my hands if I am not guarding it carefully. If You are holding me, I can surely hold my peace. If I am truly trusting You, I can surely hold my peace. If my confidence is in You, I can surely hold my peace.

When the final touches were being completed on the house after the fire, one of the guys working was coming upstairs to install my air conditioner in the middle of the heat of summer. As he headed up the stairs and into the attic crawl space, he repeated to himself: I love my job, I love my job, I love my job. I was blown away by his attitude. Lord, You know as well as I do, that would not have been my response. It would have sounded more like: it’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot. Our attitudes shift when we teach them to, when we seek the light verses the dark.

I believe Jesus walks into the gay club or the bar or the movie theater or the elementary school or the shopping mall or church chapel with the same universal truth. I believe You meet us where we are. I believe You walk in saying: Child, come to me. Lay down your pain, your shame, your hurt places, your sin, your judgement, your unforgiving spirit, your pride, your resentment, your jealously, your sorrow, your grief, your questions, your confusion, your darkness. Pick up the light. Pick up the cross and follow me. I believe You meet us where we are and love us way too much to leave us there. You set Heaven on our minds and lead us Home. We are broken people, living in a fallen world, and You still have Your arms stretched wide for us. Never mind, what we’ve done or where we’ve been or who we’ve become, just come home.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, thank you for bringing me back every time I start to drift away. Thank you for reminders of your love. Thank you for sending hands to help me find my way. Thank you for pointing my gps to Heaven. Thank you for lighting my path and teaching me to search for the lights. Thank you for teaching when to stay and when it’s ok to take my wings and fly. Thank you for teaching me to trust you. Thank you for teaching me to put my confidence in you. Thank you for teaching me to hold my peace. 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.