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.

You have my heart.

Allyson Rowe’s post was shared on my Facebook newsfeed and she dropped some wisdom into some deep places in my heart. She talked about Proverbs 18:22 which says: He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. She emphasized that word wife. She said: “you are a wife the moment he meets you, not the moment he marries you.” She told us to walk around as if we are already taken and begin walking with the spirit of a wife. Ohhhh girl. Say it again. Say it again. Let it sink in. She talked about how some girls act like a girlfriend. I never really did that though, but I sure wasn’t acting like a wife. I am active member of the friend zone since 1991, but this girl is retiring. I always liked the idea of love growing out of friendship and marrying your best friend. After hearing her words, everything clicked into place and slid into focus. I have been a bridesmaid in three weddings. Three weddings that I knew You designed. Three weddings where I realize now that those beautiful friends of mine were walking in the spirit of a wife long before their wedding days. I have spent my whole life acting like everyone’s friend and wondering why no one was interested in more. I wasn’t walking with the spirit of a wife. I was waiting for some part of my life to begin. I have been walking around waiting, instead of walking around already taken.

She also said You, Lord will present us to him, that we do not have to do that. That I knew, but when I meet someone, I quickly forget. I need to work on this part. I’m either so shy I will literally never speak because I want to be invisible or I tend to want to show off and impress when I first meet someone. If I could serenade every cute boy with “I’m so pretty and witty,” I probably would. I’m like a show pony, I wanna jump around and have my hair brushed. It’s one extreme or the other. I have no middle ground. God, I am so glad You have another plan, because mine is a hot mess sometimes.

I went to a Bible study on Proverbs 31 and what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I kept my notes from it because I got a lot out of it, and I applied it to my life in parts but I don’t think I really applied it as a whole because I figured I wasn’t a wife yet. Looking back at my notes, Lord in the last year, You have taken those parts and shown me depth into each individual part and I think I’m finally connecting the dots You were trying to show me. I am finally putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. We learned that “a Godly woman is: strength, trustworthy, industrious, organized, loving, orders the priorities of her world so that Christ comes first, inwardly wise, occupied and adorned her rightful place, her relationships and responsibilities are wisely balanced.” See that’s just the first post-it of notes and I can already see where You have been teaching me that this year. Inwardly wise. Ohhh how I have a new meaning for that word wise. (Thank you, Beth Moore.) Ohh that word. Now that next part is what I’ve been struggling with lately. Occupied and adorned her rightful place. First off, You have been teaching me that in like sixteen different ways with the book of Genesis. You started with Eve and now Hagar. You started with my place as a woman and then You worked on my place in this world. In Bible study a week and a half ago, we watched: Unwrap the Bible. In the video we learned that just because we are going back to the same place, we are not going back the same person. (Thank you again, Beth Moore.) The last part was illustrated on Supergirl when Cat said that we have to take on a little bit at a time and balance what we have, then we can add more. It’s all about balance and understanding.

In that Proverbs 31 Bible study, we learned four C’s. We should be committed, first to You, finding our identify from You, and second to our family. We should be competent and communicative, both requiring that pretty little word: wisdom. Compassionate is the final C, with open arms and hands for everyone around me.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I pray that I keeping working to become that Proverbs 18:22 wife. I pray that I start walking with the spirit of a wife. I pray that I start walking like I am already taken. Lord, you are still my first love. I have been seeking you since before I can even remember. How I adore you, Jesus. You are my greatest joy. Ohh my soul rejoice. Lord, I pray that I am strength, trustworthy, industrious, organized, loving, order my priorities of my world so that you come first, inwardly wise, occupy and adorn my rightful place, and that my relationships and responsibilities are wisely balanced. I pray that you keep showing me your wisdom. I pray that voice in my head telling me to get some wisdom, only grows. I pray that I continue to grow committed, competent, communicative, and compassionate.  I pray that I apply what I’ve learned this year. I pray that I start becoming the woman you need me to be. Thank you for working on my heart. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for your truths. 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.

My life surrendered, my heart abandoned for more of You.

Part of me struggles with leading people to You because some days I can’t even get my own life to fly right so how can I help anyone else? But last year I sat through a sermon where the preacher said: “cleaning your heart will clean all parts of your life.” He quoted 2 Timothy 2:20-26 where he told us we were vessels to be made useful for the Master. He told us that You want to use us, we just need to get the dirt out of our hearts.

He broke down the verses and gave us the three main points:

1. to be strong and flee from youthful desires. Well we are calling me out already. My heart is convicted right there. I can hear Jo Dee Messina singing: “I’ve got pride, I’m takin’ it for a ride.” I can be real immature and real selfish. I forget there is this whole world around me. Lord, without You, I can mess things up six ways to Sunday.

2. to be committed to righteousness, faith, love, and peace. That righteousness word always intimidated me. Like how in the world do I accomplish that? The funny thing is that I make that one so complicated, but if I just commit to the other three, then righteousness falls right into place. They all go hand in hand.

3. to be consistent. Next to that I have written: humble and gentle. Okkk, we finally got something I know how to do. I’m gentle. Okk, so if I’m being honest, I need to work on the humility aspect. Then in parenthesis it says to create a habit of not fighting and fussing. Alrightttttyyyy then. I literally wrote on that church bulletin: “no foolish arguments.” Like I knew that one was gonna be a bitter pill to swallow and I would need to remind myself of that one a time or two.

Lord, I am far from perfect and some days, I find it completely terrifying that You have called me. But then I remember the sweet words of a girl in Bible study one time. She said: “I like Christ in myself.” Lord, I can list a million reasons why I shouldn’t be called, but You never called the qualified. You take my broken pieces and make them whole, that’s why I’m called. Because You are working in me and I can share that progress with others. Just like when I shared my report card to my parents as a kid, I can share what You are doing in me. And Lord, You are changing my heart more and more every day.

Beth Moore taught me that I am not responsible for being Christ to my people. She said that is not my responsibility. She said: “We are not Christ to them. We need to move it and let God do His job.” Lord, I have trouble remembering to get out of Your way. I have to remember that it is You in me that I like. I am not You. I cannot do what You do. You are my God. You are the King of the world. You are the Risen Savior. Lord, You are challenging my little bitty perspective and I want to be used for Your glory, not my own. I am nothing without You. I like You in me.

Lord, someone described it like this: You are the Gardener and I am the planter. I just plant the seeds that You give me. Someone else comes along to water the seeds. Someone else fertilizes the soil. We never know the impact we’re making because we’re just planting seeds, but You have this grand designed plan that connects every little thing. David Ring said: “If you don’t do your job, no one else can do theirs. It takes a whole team, it takes everybody.” He said: “I could never be the quarterback, but I can help somebody else be a quarterback.” He taught us to create a ministry of encouragement. He told us to make ourselves more available to You. He asked us if we were doing all we could do with all we have or could we do more. Lord, today I want to make myself available to You. I want to plant Your seeds.

So here is my prayer today. Lord, I wanna close to you. I pray that I make myself available to you. I pray that I keep planting seeds. I pray that I remember to that you are God. I pray that I remember to let you work. I pray that you use me and move me. I pray that I am a team builder and a team player. I pray that I help create a ministry of encouragement to those around me. I pray that I am strong. I pray that I am committed. I pray that I am consistent. I pray that I find my worth in you. I pray that I invite you into every hidden place, in every dark place, in every crevice of my existence. I pray that I like you in me. I pray that I am found in your presence. I pray that my only focus is to worship you. I pray that I am bound to you. I pray that my sole devotion is to you. I pray that clean out my heart. I pray that I work on removing all the dust, debris, dirt, filth, and darkness. I pray that your light shines a light into my heart and fills all the broken places. I pray that I have eyes to see that you are all I need. I pray I seek you in your fullness. 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 got somethin’ make the devil gonna run.

I still sleep with a teddy bear. I still call my mama when something goes right or wrong. I still call my daddy when I need something. When I’m scared, I still pray. When I was growing up, my mama taught me to pray when the nightmares won’t let you sleep. She told to pray out loud and tell the devil that I am a child of Yours and tell him he isn’t welcome here. When it’s the imaginary monsters under your bed and you have a brand new faith that is bigger than the monsters, it’s easy. When the imaginary monsters become real, that’s when my faith gets tested. But the villain is still the same. And You, my God, are still bigger.

There is a quote that says: “Fill your mind with God’s word and you will have no room for satan’s lies.” I’ve been listening to the lies for far too long. All the guilt and shame and darkness and fears sound so stupid out loud. I’ve held it in for so long that I let it consume me until I could hardly breathe. I was giving my sins control over me. It felt so big when I was holding it in and the more I held onto it the more power I gave it and the bigger it got, the more it consumed me. I heard once that: “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” I was doing all of those things. I was worshiping my sin. I saw this picture on Pinterest and the truth is: “where sins run deep, His love runs deeper.”

Beth Moore, at the Living Proof Conference, said: “wisdom is a whirl with wonder.” She said that: “when we play the fool, we always lose.” She said: “wisdom gets us out of the house before it destroys us.” The next day she said: “wisdom knows folly can kill you.” I can hear Beth Moore telling me to get me some wisdom right now. Frank Ocean said: “whatever you do, never run back to what broke you.” I have a problem running back to things I put down at Your feet, Lord.

For a girl who craves control, I sure was giving it away. The wanting for control started long before even me. Genesis 3:16 says: Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” We were studying creation in Sunday School and I’ve heard the verse a hundred times, but never that version apparently. That word control grabbed hold of my attention and I’ve been thinking about it since. I may not have a husband yet, but I sure was giving my control away. To the wrong person. Matt Chandler said: “God has seen our unloveliness-the deep brokenness and rebellion in our hearts-and instead of withdrawing, He pursues us until the very end.”

“What God is bringing you through at this very moment is going to be the testimony that will bring somebody else though. No mess, no message.” “You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

So, that is my prayer today. Father, help me to give my control to you. Help me to lay aside what I’ve been carrying. I pray that I watch my thoughts. I pray that I protect my attitude. I pray that I guard my heart. I pray that I clean up my “stinking thinking.” I pray that I stop letting what I feel guide me. I pray that I have a more intentional imagination. I pray that I stop listening to the lies. I pray that stop running back to what broke me. Thank you for your love. Thank you for letting your love go deeper than my sins. I pray that I become the woman my mama taught me to be when I was a little girl. I pray that instead of hiding my mess, I use it for your glory. I pray that I pursue you. I pray that I am intentional in my walk with you. I pray that I seek you above all else. 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.

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

I should feel refreshed and feeling great today. I had a full weekend filled with blessings. But instead of being appreciative of everything I have, I have been in a terrible mood all day. I complained and grumbled and fussed. I took a nap, that didn’t help. Over the weekend, I went to the Beth Moore Living Proof Conference with my church. I was filled by You the whole weekend. Then the moment I walked inside, after getting off the van, I felt like a balloon loosing all it’s air. My leg started itching from bug bites. I was too lazy to bring my luggage inside. I was reading a book that was so beautiful I cried. Denise Hunter had done it again and I just couldn’t put down Dancing With Fireflies. Real life hit hard on that drive home. I was jealous of a love story in a book. I was jealous of careers, families, husbands, people waiting on them at home. Monday, I got up with no real purpose. I came back to some packed up boxes and a desk in the garage, my little bat cave.

I should feel blessed. I should be thankful to have the opportunity to go to the conference. To hear all about wonderfully complicated families and worthwhile stressful careers and beautifully hectic schedules. To get to know them better and be so encouraged by their strength. To have a mom that planned the whole trip and invited me along. To have friends that met up with me and visited me while in town. To have parents who allow me to stay in their house and help me while I figure out what to do with my life after graduation.

Instead, I was ungrateful. I was more cranky in one day than I’ve been in the whole summer combined and I was rude to everyone that spoke to me. It was a downward spiral fun of sin. I had a plan for after graduation and it did not include sitting at a desk in a garage with a fan plugged up and a bad attitude.

Then I started to remember what we were taught this weekend. I could hear Beth Moore in my head saying: “Girl, you need to get you some wisdom.” At the conference she said: “Satan cannot keep you from getting wisdom, if you want it.” Today, I did not want it. I didn’t want anything from anyone. Then I made myself get up and do the dishes. Cleaning dishes gives me a little bit of that control I so desperately try to hold onto. But that’s just it isn’t it? Lord, I am trying to control everything. Every single thing in my life.

Lord, Beth Moore told us to ask for clarity. She told us about concealed wisdom and how You lead us to some things and we didn’t even have the sense to make that decision. Lord, I immediately thought of how I came to college in the first place. I didn’t find South Alabama on my own. Lord, You had a friend bring it to me. I didn’t even decide to go Greek either, I just did it. I firmly believe You used concealed wisdom to bring both opportunities to me. Those were two of the best things that ever happened in my life and they weren’t my decisions. I was just following the voice in my head telling me to go forward. Lord, You were guiding me and I didn’t even realize it at the time. Now I can see Your hand over every decision I made. So if I know all this and know that I should follow You, why do I still try to control everything?

Trust issues. Folly. Beth Moore said that folly indulges insecurity. I sure did have a lot of insecurity today. Everything is not going according to my plan and my way and my timing. My plan included graduating in five years, not six. My plan included starting a career, using my degree, immediately after graduation. My plan included getting married on August 20, 2016. Well… that was nine days ago for starters… Obviously my plans are not going so smoothly. But “wisdom is about God being right, not me.” The last point that Beth Moore made is “wisdom can tell what time it is.” She said: “wisdom knows when to move and when to come back.” I sure could use some wisdom, because I have no sense of direction. She said: “Ask for directions. If I take four steps forward, give me a sign if it’s folly.” At the beginning of the conference she said: “there is no place wisdom cannot show up, no crossroad.” 

So, here is my prayer today. Father, I am asking for wisdom. I am at a crossroad. I am asking for direction. I started making steps in one direction, Lord. I need you to take over from here. I am giving you control. Lord, you call the shots. I am just stepping out your way. I am a flawed human, with limited sight and can only see what is right in front of me. Father, you see all of eternity and have a plan that far outreaches mine. Lord, I am asking you to show up. I am asking you to open my eyes. Lord, please forgive me. I let things into my heart today that had no business there. Lord, I pray that you guard my heart. I pray that stop letting my emotions and attitude rule me. I pray that Lord, you move me instead. I pray that I stop focusing on everything not going according to my plan and focus on all the many, many ways you have blessed me. I pray that I put you above all else. I pray that I give you everything I have, everything I am. I pray that I put my hope and my trust in 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.