So take this heart, Lord.

I’ve been told my whole life that I need to be more assertive. Assertive is defined as: “having or showing a confident and forceful personality.” It means: “confident, bold, decisive, assured, self-possessed, forthright, firm, emphatic, authoritative, strong-willed, insistent, determined, commanding.” It can also mean feisty and pushy. I never liked the sound of that. I do like emphatic though which is another word for wholehearted and forthright is another word for sincere, I like that. Friday, while talking with a couple of sisters, one of them said that wasn’t the problem. She said I was timid. I thought about it for a minute and knew she was right. When I’m in my element and I feel comfortable, I am bold and confident and emphatic and forthright, all the good parts of being assertive. But, when something is new, I am timid. I am the exact definition of timid: showing a lack of courage; easily frightened. I am apprehensive, fearful, afraid, timorous, nervous, and shrinking. This is why people mistake me for shy or lacking self-confidence.

Maybe I’m timid and apprehensive because of my childhood. Maybe I’m timid and fearful because I’ve been hurt. Maybe I’m timid and afraid because of how I grew up. Maybe I’m timid and timorous because I might get hurt again. Maybe I’m timid and nervous because I’m not ready. Maybe I’m timid and shrinking because of words said to me. Or maybe it’s all of those things. Or maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe I simply just need time to warm up. I have never been one to act or think quickly. Maybe I just need to take things slower than most. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something I have to be aware of.

Maybe this year was about becoming aware of it, so that I could grow. Maybe now I’m ready. Maybe now I’m prepared. Maybe I’m like Jonah and I just needed to run in the opposite direction first to see where You needed me to be all along. Maybe You used me despite my being timid. Or maybe You used me because I’m timid.

In bible study tonight, we finished Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. In the video, she said she prayed for You to interrupt her, to move her, to inconvenience her, to shake things up.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that you interrupt me. I pray that you move me. I pray that you inconvenience me. I pray that you shake things up. I pray that you use me. I pray that others see your light through me. I pray that I remember you made me. I pray that I remember you know my strengths and my weaknesses and you use them all. I pray that I remember that you created a purpose in me. I pray that you guide me and lead me. I pray that I give it all to you. I pray that you take all of me and use it for your glory. I pray that you keep preparing my heart. I pray that I hand over my life for your will. I pray that I put my faith and trust into your plan. I pray that put my fears aside. I pray that I learn to jump all in. I pray that instead of running from your plan, that I run to it.  Lord, I pray that you grab me right by the heart and move me where you need me to go. 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.

Make me who I’m meant to be.

The ladies in my Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl bible study were talking about insecurities. One of the questions in our workbook was “Is it Christian to say you like yourself?” One of the girls answered with “I like Christ in myself. I like who I am with Christ.” I was pretty much blown away with that answer. It was perfect. Another lady started talking and said she wanted to be a woman people said “She’s been with Jesus. She spends time with Jesus.” I’ve been thinking and praying about that a lot. I want to be that kind of woman.

I’ve been praying a lot for the kind of relationship I want and for the man I want to marry one day. So, today I wanna pray for the woman I want to be. In the book I’m reading, The Single Woman by Mandy Hale, there is quote that stuck out to me that said: “But sometimes what we learn and who we become in the process of waiting is even more important that what we are waiting on.” That seemed pretty powerful to me. Maybe that’s what this year was all about. To become the right woman. “A woman who walks in purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.” So, here’s a list of some of the ways I’m fabulous because ya know, I like lists:

1. On a personality test I was told that because I have a blue personality, I bring unity to society. (Just saying, that’s pretty cool.)

2. I believe in prayer.

3. I try to look at things positively and focus on the good. I mean, Alyssa means “of good cheer.”

4. I’m loyal. When I commit and feel invested, I’m not going anywhere.

5. I like giving and serving. I like making plans and building dreams.

6. I can act like a kid with the best of them. Bring on the pillow fights, camping, nerf guns, bowling, trampolines, game nights, water balloons, dancing around the house, or whatever.

7. I like safety and security so, I’ll do my best to provide the same feelings.

8. I like encouraging. I can cheer during a game with a painted poster or simply a post-it note on the mirror giving my love. I can get real creative with notes. I like words. (I used to carry a dictionary everywhere I went in my purse!)

9. I want a life surrounded by love grown in Your love.

10. I’ve been trying to the woman You made me to be, Lord. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to live more intentionally.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I am consumed with you. I pray you fill every part of me. I pray that you are working on my heart. I pray that I work to become who you need me to be. I pray that I continue to grow closer to you. I pray that you guide me and mold me and move me. I pray that I keep following you. I pray that I continue to try to be a better woman. I pray that I keep striving to share your love. Lord, let your will be done. I trust your plan. I am listening to your words. Lord, show me the way. Lord, keep making me. I pray I remember Colton Dixon’s song today. I pray that you take it all, I surrender. Be my king. God I choose more of you. I need more of 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’ve made my decision to run to You.

Sunday morning at church the Voices of Mobile sang for most of the service. To be completely honest, I cried practically the whole time. They sounded so beautiful. This lady in front of me turned to her friend and said “that’s what Heaven’s gonna be like.” Well I hope she’s right.

I may have been crying, but I broke out in huge smile when they ended the service singing:

“After all man is a God, they say
God is no longer alive

But I still believe in the old rugged cross
And I still believe there is hope for the lost
And I know the rock of all ages will stand
Through changes of time”

Then Sunday night, I went to a women’s bible study and they are using the Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl workbook set. They were on session 2 this week which is “In My Walk With God.” The video talked about how we settle for canned versions of pineapple instead of cutting the pineapple ourselves because pineapples look intimidating. I can totally relate. I won’t even eat pineapples because they look scary. Today, You took that lesson and ran with it. I was reading these articles to help form my opinion for an assignment. I realized that if I had just read one article I would have only gotten one thing from it and just reiterated that as my opinion. Since I am an analytical person, that wasn’t good enough for me. So, I continued to read three more articles and then read some more. I couldn’t just take the face value for what I was reading I had to go in there and learn something new from each article and then understand it fully in order to come up with a solution of my own.

Lord, You took that lesson and showed it to me in a different light and helped me see it again today. I called my dad immediately to tell him about it and how I was making the connection from Sunday night to Monday afternoon. You amaze me how you can take one thing and teach us so much. We were learning to apply to apply that lesson with our faith and our walk with You. I mean I have 7 devotion books on my night stand right now. I’m all about devotion books, but sometimes we need to delve into Your word ourselves and do the research ourselves because maybe You want to show us something we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. You want us to make informed, educated opinions. You gave us freedom and You want us to chose You. That’s why You made us the way we are. You give us the information and chance after chance, but at the end of the day it’s our decision to follow You.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray for the Voices of Mobile. I pray they raise the money needed to travel and I pray they travel safely. I pray they reach the people they sing to. I pray that they touch lives and bring glory to you. I know they touched mine today. I pray they keep singing for you. I pray for the ladies in that bible study. I pray they keep running to you too. I pray they have a good week. I pray for their families. Thank you for showing me that door, but giving me the freedom to chose to open it and the courage to walk through. Thank you for putting those ladies in my life to run to you with. Thank you for always having open arms for us. 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.