Your love is a light that all the world will see.

I am reserved. I am restrained. I am not wild.

I am shy. I am ashamed. I am not proud to be seen with me.

I give my love in pieces. I hide myself.

I am controlled. I am contained. I burn out.

I am fractured. I have a troubled mind.

I am anxious. I am the restless kind.

I am passive.

I am disengaged.

I am not always present. I do not hang on to every word said.

I don’t always keep my promises.

I am broken.

I am insecure.

I am selfish.

I am not pure.

But Lord, my God, You are. You are all of the things I am not and so much more. You are. You are so gentle. You are constantly whispering in my ear, “my daughter, no matter what you’ve done, just come home.” 

I witnessed this child pitching a fit, like a full dramatic meltdown. This child was in a fighting mood. She was ready. And this father simply, gently, said: “hit me if that’s what you need. I can take it.” All I could think is every time I’ve been that child with You, God. When my heart is screaming. When my eyes are burning from tears. When I’m blaming You. When I’m literally putting You back on the cross. You’re just simply, gently telling me: “I can take it, my daughter.” 

When I was little, I saw the movie version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men. There was this scene that forever changed me. This foster kid was in trouble, I don’t even remember what for, but he went to the barn to see his foster father. The father gave him this speech and then put the switch or the ruler or whatever it was in the kid’s hand. He told this kid, he would take his punishment. He told this kid, to literally hit him that he would take the punishment. It was the ultimate image of Your love for us, God. Abba. Father. You literally took the punishment for me. You took the death I deserved. You took the pain I deserved. You loved me unconditionally.

So, that is my prayer today. I simply want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Abba. Father. Thank you. Thank you for loving me with such a pure, unconditional love. Thank you for taking the punishment. Thank you for your gentleness. Thank you for letting this prodigal daughter come home. Every single time. No matter what. Lord, thank you. Thank you for true love. Thank you. Thank you. I am in awe of your love. Thank you for surrounding me in your love. Thank you for reminders of your love. Thank you for the cross. 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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You make me brave.

Ever since I was a kid, I have been asked what my plans, goals, and dreams are. I’ve always been pretty self-motivated and self-sufficient. I’ve always set pretty high standards for myself. My dad jokes all the time that he didn’t raise me, he was just a genie going “what do you need?” *poof* “there it is.”

It wasn’t until college that I realized it was ok to ask for help. It was a tough pill to swallow, asking for help, sometimes. I was stubborn and didn’t wanna do it. What I quickly realized in Alpha Gam though is that people want to help. They loved me and knew me better than I even knew myself sometimes. They knew my limits even when I didn’t. They knew when I needed support and when I needed a shoulder to cry on. They knew when I needed to be pushed too.

I’ve always worked hard and tried to go above and beyond the expectations set before me. At a conference I attended, the speaker said: “Be better than the minimum.” That resonated with me. In Alpha Gam, I was required to maintain a 2.5 gpa minimum, complete a minimum of 20 service hours per semester, be actively involved in a minimum of two other campus organizations, and more. The purpose was to grow and be well rounded. The purpose was to help us succeed and be the best versions of ourselves that we could be. In our new member classes, we were taught time management, which has helped me my entire collegiate experience. It was easy to be better than the minimum because they supported me and encouraged me.

I heard once that: “One day, someone will be sitting in the shade because of a tree you thought to plant.” I am sitting in the shade because of what the Alpha Gamma Delta founders planted. I have been blessed with wonderful people and opportunities in part because of what they started. I get to “Live With Purpose” because of a purpose that other Alpha Gam’s wrote. Every Alpha Gam woman has heard “Inspire the Woman. Impact the World.” It was the first thing that caught my attention during my recruitment. I have been inspired so, now it’s my turn to impact the world.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I impact those around me. I pray that I take the knowledge I have been given and the encouragement to go out into the world and make a difference. I pray that I plant a few trees in the world myself. I pray that I water those trees and help others grow. Thank you for giving me the seeds to plant with. I pray that you keep guiding me. Thank you for all I’ve learned. Thank you for making me an Alpha Gam. Thank you for making me brave. Thank you for showing me the strength in asking for help. 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.