For eternity all my heart will give all the glory to Your Name.

Well, it’s Friday. We know what that means: Girl Meets World left me in tears again. Seriously, I’m hooked every single second. I knew this week’s episode was gonna tackle the topic of faith and belief in You. I was extremely excited. What I wasn’t prepared for was the topic of grief to come up. Auggie’s parents asked him if he was praying under his blanket. He said no and explained he prays in the bathtub, mostly to not be sucked down the drain. He said he was talking to his friend that had died, he didn’t want her to be lonely. Then his parents explained to him that she wasn’t lonely because she was in Heaven. Well, Auggie is a sweet little kid, but one thing that struck me was how I related to him. I pray to You when I’m scared of being sucked down the drain. I should pray more like Riley does, for every moment of the day, not just the bad ones. I should pray like Maya has started to, for everyone around her. Lysa Terkhearst said: “Calling on the name of Jesus shouldn’t be our last resort. It should be our first response.”

Later on the show, they explained You like how someone can click one button and see all your history on the computer, that’s how You see us. The difference is, on the computer I can delete that history and it doesn’t show the future. That list isn’t complete. Your view is complete. You see everything. Past, present, and future. We don’t get to hide things or delete them. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in the details You created. It’s no coincidence that I turned the TV to watch the episode instead of going right to sleep. You knew there was something I needed to hear. Just like every Sunday in church, there is something taught or something we sing that I needed. That is not my sole purpose in attending church. I think we should be going to worship You and give to You. We should lay it all at the cross, but I believe the other part of that is You want to fill our spirit’s with Your love. You’re speaking to us everyday, if we just open our hearts and listen. I believe it should be a constant flow of being filled by You and giving it all to You. Just like every time I open my bible, there is a verse I needed. Just like the people that are in my life are not random. Just like the college I attend is not a mistake. There are no accidents. There is divine intervention and planning. You are literally guiding every moment of my life. Even when I’m lost. Even when I’m running from You. Even when I’m tired and hurting. Even when I’m scared. Even when my grief consumes my every thought.

I think what always gets me the most is the future I built in my head for him that will never be a reality. We had endless talks about our futures. He had all these big beautiful plans. I could picture it perfectly. As my own graduation nears, I can only think of the one he’ll never have. I read an article, An Open Letter To My Friend In Heaven, and she was feeling some of the same things I’ve felt in the last 609 days without him. I went through the usual stages of denial, anger, and depression. She talked about regret which, I definitely have some of my own. I regret a lot of things including that camping and fishing trip we never took but always planned to. Homecoming is especially rough for me. My Timehop fills with pictures. I don’t even open the app sometimes because it’s just too hard. She talked about how much the holidays sting and I completely relate to that. I miss our phone calls talking about all our town’s gossip and our families. Our birthday is 13 days away now and the closer it gets, the more I think of him.

The line of her article that got me the most was: “While it got darker at first, those of us who knew you learned to shine light in the same way that you did.” I have watched those around me that knew him and watched them change and grow and share his light. I watched them become kinder and more loving. He had a way of making everyone feel special and loved. I watched them share that with everyone around them. I watched them become stronger than I ever thought possible. I watched them lean on each other and support each other. I watched them reach for their dreams and plan big, bright futures because that’s exactly what he would want them to do.

Lord, You have a plan for our lives. Not even death can hinder Your plan.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I pray more. I pray that I pray for every moment. I pray that I pray for everyone I come into contact with and for those I haven’t met. Thank you for all the details in my life. Thank you for consuming me. Thank you for filling me with your love. Thank you for filling my life. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for creating a path. Thank you for knowing all of me. Thank you for still loving me despite knowing all of me. Thank you for loving me when I don’t deserve it. Thank you for allowing us to share what Christopher taught us. I pray that I shine your light everywhere I go. Thank you for the promise of Heaven. Thank you for your grace and mercy. I pray that I lay everything down at your feet and at the cross. I pray that nothing comes between us. I pray that nothing is holding me back from you. I pray that instead of running from you, that I run to you. I pray that I listen when you speak. I pray that I see what you’re showing me. I pray that my eyes, ears, and heart remain open for you. I pray that where my plans fall apart, yours will always come together. I pray that you continue to amaze me with the details you create. Thank you for holding me together. Thank you for your healing. Thank you for making me whole. I pray that I give it all to you. Literally everything I have. All that I am. Everything. 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 heart, my soul, Lord I give You control.

Today, I was watching yet another repeat episode of Gossip Girl. Blair is clearly my favorite character. (And it’s not just because of her love for headbands!) One of Blair’s biggest fears on the show is being seen as weak. The funny thing is the reason I watch the show is because of her strength. It’s the same reason my favorite Disney Princesses are Pocahontas and Belle, they’re strong and brave. She is literally one of the most forgiving characters like ever. She will also fight with every fiber of her being for the people she loves. Now I don’t necessarily understand some of her methods, but it’s TV so, of course it’s dramatic. What struck a nerve today was a conversation she had with her mom, Eleanor, on the show. Which went like this:

Blair: “What I want is to be a powerful woman, but whenever Chuck is around, I just feel like a weak little girl.”

Eleanor: “I shut myself for a long time after your father left. I was cold and hard then I met Cyrus and he taught me that sometimes you have to allow yourself to be weak in order to grow stronger.”

Blair: “Well, that sounds good, but it feels terrible.”

Eleanor: “You don’t have to lose the girl to be a woman.”

Now, while Blair’s issue might be with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Chuck. Mine is a little different, but I appreciated Eleanor’s words all the same. I think inside of me, there is a little girl just wanting to feel safe. I crave it. My want for safety and security, is exactly what makes me vulnerable though. It doesn’t take much to make the ground underneath me shaky. Part of me doesn’t like that about myself. The more I grow up, part of me wants to be strong and independent.

There is also that part of me that’s a little girl clinging to the cross with all the faith she can muster up. I quite like that girl. I’ve started to see the strength in that little girl. Sometimes the ground will shake. Sometimes the mountains will rumble. Sometimes the storms rage. The cross is unchangeable, unmovable. Through it all, You’re constant. I am strong because I am weak. I am strong because You are powerful. That little girl that ran and told her mama that she wanted to dedicate her life to You and walked down that isle in church is still inside of me. She is growing into a woman that wants to continue that commitment she made. I want to live my life for You, Lord. I want to be a reflection of You and the love You have so gracefully shown me.

Lysa TerKeurst posted today: “Love can empower me to feel hurt without becoming a person consumed by that hurt… I can feel offended, but I don’t have to be offended. I can feel insecure, but I don’t have to act insecure. I can feel angry, but I don’t have to respond in anger. That’s the choice love makes. I have to give myself permission to be honest about my feelings. But I don’t have to compound the hurt by reacting out of those feelings. Let’s allow God’s love to take us by the hand and empower us in every situation where we don’t know what to do.” 

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I never lose that little girl inside me and the faith she found in the 2nd grade. I pray that I continue to cling to the cross with all the faith I can muster up. I pray that I continue to see your strength in my weakness. I pray that while I feel afraid, I don’t respond out of fear. I pray that your love continues to empower me. I pray that while I don’t know what to do, I am thankful you do. I pray that I take Lysa’s words and Hillsong’s lyrics with me. I thank you that your light will shine when all else fades. I pray that you consume me from the inside out, Lord. I pray that I love you from the inside out. I pray your will above all else. I pray that my purpose remains. I pray that I continue to seek you. I pray that I surrender all that I am and all that I have at the feet of the cross. I pray that I make the choice to react to everything in your love. I pray that I put my life in your hands. 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.

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.

I’m running to Your arms.

My sister shared this video with me called Be Still from Trent Shelton. In the video he says “Too many times we let the fear of loneliness put us in situations that God never intended for us to be in.” Well call me out why don’t you. I mean, I am or have been on plenty of fish, match.com, christian mingle, and tinder. (Bless the heart of those on tinder, Lord they need you, myself included.) My sister tried to get me on farmersonly.com too. I am awkward and never left elementary school when it comes to dating. I am still waiting on one of my childhood best friends to tell me he loves me like my parents or Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World. I smile and run away. (Sometimes literally run.) I confuse friendship with guys for liking them all the time and it works out soooo great. I can’t keep a guy friend to save my life because I always thought that you had to be friends before a relationship could happen.

I am so busy looking for the fairytale that I feel like I am missing something. Trent also said “Sometimes that holding pattern that you don’t want, is the blessing that your life needs. Holding patterns are necessary because it allows God to properly prepare you for what He has for you.” Part of me is like “well how much preparing do I need?” The other part quickly responds with “clearly a lot.” Trent also mentioned “He first wants to make you His before He gives you to someone else.” Well how can I argue with that?

“You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing

You are life, you are life
In You death has lost it’s sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough

And nothing compares
To Your embrace”

I have never been in a real relationship before. I had those boyfriends growing up that were just kinda in name only. We would talk on the phone or write notes in class but that was pretty much it. I have no experience at all. My parents were high school sweethearts and by the time they were my age they were married and already had me. I wanted that. (Maybe not the kid part, I’m not ready for that yet. I’d settle for a dog though.) I get so caught up in my own timing that I forget that God has bigger plans for my life. Or maybe it’s not about me. Maybe he needs more time. Maybe my future husband just isn’t ready yet.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that I learn to see your timing is better than my own. I pray that you are working on my heart. I pray that you are working on his heart. I pray for guidance, encouragement, and protection for him. I pray that he is running to you too. 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.