Behind this curtain there is a heart that’s hurting.

I’ve been reading The Single Woman by Mandy Hale. Last night I read the part about ending toxic relationships. This is something I’ve struggled with. I can’t seem to find the line between loving and forgiving people and letting them affect me and harm me. The line gets blurry for me between loving them and loving me. Audrey Hepburn said: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” I haven’t found that balance yet. I want to forgive and let go, but words haunt me. Matthew 18:21-22 says: Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. It’s no secret that my love language is words of affirmation. Carrie Underwood kinda explains what I think in her new song: Little Toy Guns. 

She’s caught in the crossfire
Puts her hands over her ears
Starts talking through her tears
She’s saying, she’s praying.

I wish words were like little toy guns
No sting, no hurt no one, Just a bang bang rollin’ off your tongue
(I wish words were like little toy guns)
No smoke, no bullets, no kick from the trigger when you pull it
No pain, no damage done
(I wish words were like little toy guns)
Just a bang bang rollin’ off your tongue
(I wish words were like little toy guns)

My whole life I thought I was the problem. I was sensitive. I was weak. I misunderstood something. I was the wrong one. I was crazy. I just over-analyze. I read too much into it. Surely I heard them wrong. Maybe this entire time it wasn’t me that was the problem. Maybe it was how others communicated with me. Maybe because of how their words affected me it taught me to be careful with my own words. Maybe there is a silver lining in the middle of all the darkness. Maybe it taught me to be more conscious of my words and guard my heart more carefully. 1 Peter 4:8 says: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Maybe it’s what brought me to You, Lord because I was trying to fill the God shaped hole in my life with other people. Maybe where their communication lacked, ours grew. “I don’t want anything coming in between You and me. I’m holding nothing back from You.” 

So, this is my prayer today. I pray for forgiveness for my mistakes. I pray that I learn to forgive those who hurt me. I pray that I keep learning how to speak with love instead of hate. I pray that I keep learning from your love. I pray that I share your love with those around me. I pray that I let go of the hurt. In Isaiah 43:18 you said: But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. Lord, help me to remember all the good you’re doing for me. Lord, help me to remember that no matter happens you love me. I have trouble comprehending that sometimes, but you do love me. You created me for a purpose with a deliberate plan. You are preparing my heart for exactly what you need. You are preparing me for your glory. Lord, help me to be honest. Lord, help me open my heart for you. I pray that I learn to come to you more when I’m hurting. It’s easy for me to thank you when things are going right. I pray that I learn to let you in when things aren’t going my way. You already see my hurt, you already see behind my curtain. I just have to let you in so, you can heal my heart. You’re already in control, I just have to let you do your work in 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.

I want to live like that and give it all I have.

1 Corinthians 16:14 says: “Let all that you do be done in love.” I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately and what it means to love others. I’ve always been a lover, not a fighter. I believe in loving everyone no matter what. “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” I believe there is a story inside of everyone, we just have to look.

During winter break I watched the Madea Christmas movie, a comment was made that we all bleed red. I absolutely loved that line. A little while ago, Benjamin Watson addressed some of the issues going on as a sin problem. I was so encouraged by his words. I had never thought about it that way. I couldn’t understand why people could have so much hate in their heart for everyone around them. What he said made me realize that sin was the root of the problem.

I’ve been thinking about the kind of person I want to be. Audrey Hepburn said: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” I want that! I want to be loving and giving. I want to be kind and gentle. I want to see the good around me. “Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God.” I want to walk with You, Lord. I want to learn from what You’ve taught me. I want to be forgiving because You forgave me. I want to love because You loved me. Dolly Parton said: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” I don’t think that loving everyone is a flaw, but some people do. I’ve been told a lot that love is weakness. They said it leaves you naive and open for hurt. I think love is strength and courage. I think love is vulnerable and brave. Ryan Adams said: “There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So, never apologize for your enthusiasm. Never. Ever. Never.”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I show more love. I pray that I show more kindness. I pray that fill my mind and heart with positive thoughts. I pray that my actions are a reflection of my heart. I pray that I give you all I have. I pray that show your grace and mercy to those around me. I pray that I let my walls down. I pray that I let go of my guard and keep my heart open. I pray that I see your love in everyone I meet. I pray that I keep growing and sharing your 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.

I’m gonna be safe in the arms of love.

I grew up listening to Martina McBride. So, here’s a little bit of what I learned listening to Martina:

1. The Time Has Come

Sometimes, for us to grow we have to let go.

2. My Baby Loves Me

I don’t have to change in order to be loved. Love should be unconditional.

3. Independence Day

Things aren’t always black and white. I learned to take action in the beginning so, things don’t escalate.

4. Wild Angels

There are angels watching over us and love is a miracle from You.

5. Safe In The Arms Of Love

Love doesn’t have to hurt. Love means protecting and caring for that person. Love is kind.

6. Happy Girl

Martina was country Audrey Hepburn: “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” I learned my happiness is determined by me.

7. A Broken Wing

You can still fly even when you’ve been hurt.

8. Whatever You Say

Fight for those you love. Show them you care.

9. Some Say I’m Running

Michael W. Smith co-wrote this one. I learned it’s ok to give them something to talk about. I learned that I can run and fall back into Your arms. You’re always there to catch me.

10. Here In My Heart

I can run away but You’re always in my heart. You will always be my refuge.

11. Love’s The Only House

I can take a stand and help people because “love’s the only house big enough for all the pain in the world.”

12. Make Me Believe

If you want someone in your life, then you have to show them. Be steadfast for love.

13. I Love You

When you love someone, it’s “sure as the sky is blue.”

14. There You Are

You are with me always. When I’m lost. When I pray. You are watching out for me.

15. It’s My Time

I learned my time is important and of value. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

16. This One’s For The Girls

This song got me through the mean girl years and now it’s getting me through the Spaghetti O’s years.

17. How Far

I learned to always tell people how much they mean to me. I learned to be honest.

18. Learning to Fall

It’s ok to let my walls down and to let go. I learned how to move on and heal.

19. She’s A Butterfly

This song was written by Big n Rich. It taught me that it was ok to hope, it was ok to fly.

20. God’s Will

I learned to pray for more than just myself.

21. Anyway

I learned that bad things happen, but to build, believe, sing, dream, pray, and love anyway.

22. For These Times

I learned to pray, have a heart full of tender mercy, arms open wide, and words full of loving kindness.

23. I’m Trying

I learned the importance of the attempt to be better and the importance of forgiveness.

24. I’m Gonna Love You Through It

It’s ok to lean on those around me and it’s important to be there for them too.

Martina taught me to love without holding back. She taught me that Your love can get me through anything. She taught me to share Your love with everyone around me.

So, here is my prayer. I pray that I take all that Martina taught me about love. I pray that I love unconditionally. I pray that I love without holding back. I pray that I love with forgiveness. I pray that I love with mercy and kindness. I pray that I share love with everyone around me. I pray that I am steadfast. I pray that I fly. I pray that I never give up. I pray that I am persistent. I pray that I keep believing in angels and miracles and in you. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that you guide me. I pray that I stand up for what I think is right. I pray that I fight for 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.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord!

“Never allow yourself to be defined by someone else’s opinion of you.” “Don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle.” “Don’t let anyone steal your joy.” Sounds easy right? Well, not for me. I constantly let other people tell me that I am not good enough and list the reasons why I am not. I know that I am a child of God and that I am wonderfully and beautifully made for a purpose, but as soon as people say otherwise it catches me off guard. When this happens to other people or they say negative things; I immediately make them do what my mama made me do as a kid: a list of 10 positive things. So, for today’s prayer I am going to make my own list.

1. I have luscious, voluminous, long, thick hair. Ask the Watkins’ family! I told them all about my hair during our senior year spring break trip.

2. I am organized. I make really good lists. I am proactive. I am prepared and ready for anything. I have Mary Poppins bags. Whatever you need I probably have two, just in case.

3. I have twilight vampire Hazel eyes and they sparkle!

4. I love helping others. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn

5. I am really good at making others feel special. People need to be appreciated.

6. I am not fast at making decisions but when I do make a decision I am confident enough to stand behind my choices and defend them. “You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” — Ken Kesey

7. I have a southern accent and I am real proud of it. “Southern girls are God’s gift to the entire male population. There is absolutely no woman finer than one raised below the mason-dixon line and once you go southern may the good Lord help you-you never go back.” — Kenny Chesney

8. I see potential in people. “Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F. Drucke

9. I believe that you catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar. “Leaders don’t force people to follow — they invite them on a journey.” — Charles S. Lauer

10. I am a leader. This is the one I have trouble with the most. People have been telling me my whole life that I am not, but they are wrong. I am a leader.  “To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!”— Lao-tsu

I am constantly trying to prove myself to others but the only opinion I should be concerned with is God’s. So, that is what I am praying for today. First, thank you for all the many ways that I am blessed. I am so grateful for these things in my life. I pray for reassurance. I pray for confidence. I pray that I learn to listen to you rather than the opinions of others. I pray that I remember how truly blessed I am. I pray that others see you in me. I pray that I make Michael W. Smith’s “Open the eyes of my heart” my theme song. I pray that I follow your will. I pray that I keep my eyes focused on 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.