Whoa, Hallelujah, Whoa-ho, I am free.

I found these Benham Brothers “Whatever the Cost” sermon notes from GoTell Camp from 2017 in my prayer journal.

I was saved at 7 years old in the 2nd grade. I was singing in the balcony of the church. I had this feeling in every single ounce of me that I wanted to live my life for You, God. I knew what You had done for me. I had no idea at the time how much more You were actually doing and going to do in my life. Especially in the world outside my little 7 year old imagination. I ran back to my mama and with all the excitement I could muster and told her I wanted to be baptized. Nothing can change the fact that I was saved that day. My name was written in the book.

Satan cannot get me unsaved, but boy howdy can he get me thinking unsaved. That little nugget of wisdom was shared that week and let me tell you, Lord: You tapped right on my heart asking: “Are you listening my child?”

Another big ole heap of wisdom dropped in my lap was when we’re saved, we enter the fight between good and evil.

Lord, I prayed that I was tired of fighting victory. I prayed to fight from a place of victory. You already won the war. I prayed to fight with the presence of Your Truth. I prayed to delve into Your word more and more and more. “Through Your word, our faith turns to faithfulness.” I prayed I was tired of being a candle. Somebody comes along with a few negative words, my light goes out. When the winds of change come rolling in, my light blows out. I prayed to be a piece of coal in the fire pit. I prayed to know Your word so well that the Devil only fans the flames. I prayed for the light to be a burning ember in my soul. I prayed to burn from the inside out for You, Father. I prayed to win privately so I could win publicly for You and You alone. The same way we’re saved by inviting You into our hearts, privately, then we get baptized, publicly, to show we’ve been changed and set apart. I prayed to live like I’m saved.

Lost people are doing exactly what lost people do, acting lost. “It’s not the presence of darkness that is the issue, but an absence of light.” The Benham Brothers explained that we are chocolate chips in cookie dough. We mix in but do not change form. Even when baked, the chocolate chips are still distinct.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, Father Almighty, draw me in close to you. Sink your word deep into my soul. Let your truth flow out of every pore of me. Lord, there are going to be days I feel like all I am doing is putting out fires. There are going to be days when I feel burnt-out. Those are guarantees. But my God, Isaiah 43:2 says When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. And if I skip back a verse it says: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! Thank you, Lord for all of it. 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.

And I’m alright, I’m okay.

I just heard this song that completely related to my life. The song is Downside Of Growing Up. The song starts talking about how hard it is leaving your mama. Well, to be honest, I’m graduating in May, so I’m pretty used to crying as I leave my mama. It really doesn’t get easier leaving, you just also create a home in college, so it makes it hard to leave here too. College pulls your heart in so many different directions, sometimes it’s hard to find all the pieces. This summer, I said good-bye to my mama and moved into a house with a couple of roommates. I love the freedom. I can have candles and there’s no RA coming to check to see if my trash is piled up or if the fire alarm works, again. The downside is there is no more of the really nice maintenance men coming to fix things for me. I have to fix things myself. So, I went into Lowe’s and I figured out what I needed and tried to replace that toilet handle myself. The first time was a bust and to be honest, I wanted my daddy to come fix it for me. The downside is he is 5 hours away so, I had to go back to Lowe’s. The second time was a success. I have never been more proud to fix something in my whole life. Ok. I get it. It’s like a $7 replacement and it was like super easy to do, but I did it all on my own. Ok. It was a big step into the adult world for me.

Then this morning was less than stellar. I started by missing my classes because I was in a car accident. I was on time this morning and I was looking cute, like everything was going good, until it wasn’t. The downside of growing up was that my parents were 5 hours away. The truth is, as bleak as the morning looked, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. So, because I love lists: Here is a list of blessings for today:

  1. My daddy was on the phone with me the whole time, reminding me to breathe. He is usually a complete softy, ok. I don’t care what all the stories say about how tough or strong or he was or how he used to be like the best football player ever, ok. The man braided my hair and drove me to every single club meeting, event, performance, and cried like a baby every single time he was proud of me, which was every time I breathed. When Gary Allen sings Tough Little Boys, he is singing about my daddy. This morning however, that was the strongest man I’ve ever known. His reassurance held me together.
  2. There was a Bible in the ER room, so I could turn to Isaiah 43:2.
  3. My person dropped everything to be by my side, the moment I called her and she stayed right there by me the whole day. She texted my mom updates. She stood by me as they towed my car away. She stood by me in the ER. She stood by me while I waited on prescriptions. She stood by me at home too, just to make sure I was ok. She was everything I needed and more.
  4. In the X-Ray room, there is a dry erase board. Written on that board is Psalm 86:7 which says: In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
  5. When the insurance claims man called, he started by saying he was an Alum of South Alabama, Go Jags. I hope me knows how fabulous that was to hear.
  6. My little was beyond thoughtful. She stood by me in the ER in between classes. Then she brought me dinner, AmeriCone Dream ice cream for later, and breakfast for tomorrow. She texted my littles and grandlittles to let them know I was safe.
  7. My lovely Alpha Gam sister serenaded me Shake It Off. It meant more to me than words can explain.
  8. My roommate looked at me when she got home and said you look like you need a hug. I most certainly did.

I might have started this morning thinking I was going to see the downside of growing up, but I felt pretty blessed instead.

So, that is my prayer today. While the song says your dad ain’t there to get you unstuck, thank you for making sure that wasn’t true for me. Thank you for my daddy’s strength and kindness today. Thank you for making sure that you, my heavenly father, will always be there to get me unstuck. Thank you giving me a daddy to teach me that. Thank you for the many wonderful people that took care of me at the accident, in the er, in the line to get my prescription, and everywhere I went today. Thank you for the lady, when I called 911, that told me to just breathe. I pray for all of them. They were so kind and extremely patient with me. Thank you for my sisters for taking care of me. Thank you for Psalm 86:7 and the fact that I can call out to you when I’m scared. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone in more ways than one today. Thank you for the downside of growing up. Thank you teaching me and guiding me. Thank you for leading me. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am. 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.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

There was a picture on Facebook posted by the Proverbs 31 Ministries that had a quote from Lisa Whittle. It said: “I need God to consume me more than my life currently does.” I opened the picture and let it sit on my computer for a couple of days so I could think about it more. I want that kind of relationship with You, Lord. I want to be consumed by You.

As I was thinking about this, I saw an article. I was curious so, I clicked on it. In the post, she says “Godly Girls Want Jesus.” Lord, I want that. I want to be a Godly girl. I want to be closer to You. She goes on to say “All a Godly girl wants is one thing more than anything else: more of Jesus.” I want to be the type of person that is always striving for more of You. I want to be found in You. I want to be constantly moving towards You.

The article made me think of my favorite verse which is Isaiah 43:2. I went to read the verse again. This time I read a little more though.

1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” 8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And the deaf who have ears. 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” -Isaiah 43:1-9

Then as usual the soundtrack in my head started playing.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I become consumed by you. I pray that I seek more of you. I pray that I grow closer to you. I pray that I continue to build my relationship with you. I pray that I trust you more. I pray that I remember you are with me always. I pray that I keep my eyes focused on you. I pray that I look for you everywhere I go. I pray that you keep calling me. I pray that you keep reaching for me. I pray I learn to be your witness and servant. I pray that I learn to be a Godly girl. I pray that I keep striving to be more like you. I pray that I keep trying. I pray I remember that I am yours, that I am your child. 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.

There must be something in the water.

How to be Awesome part 3 is “Don’t Poison Your Well.” She says that we’re vessels trying to put forth this good, clean water and the 3 main ways that we poison our well and sabotage ourselves is through negative people, negative thoughts, and negative actions.

I fill my well by reading. Whether it’s christian fiction romance books or some article on new public relations tools on Pinterest. (I love music and movies but I typically pick the sappy, emotional ones so I don’t think that qualifies as filling my well.) When my well is getting really low then I pull out my favorite verse, which is, Isaiah 43:2 which says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” It reminds me that I’m never alone, no matter what I’m going through or where I am. You are with me always.

My affirmation to replace the negative thoughts is famous quotes. I post them all over my room. I have canvas’ covering my wall. My newest one is “Darling, you’re adequate. While dancing. While speaking. While ugly crying. While spitting game. While struggling. While fighting. While laughing like a lunatic. While singing Taylor Swift at the top of your lungs. While slamming the door and walking away. In every crook of you stands some sort of adequacy that the world would do anything to keep you unconvinced of.” Hannah Brencher posted that on Instagram one time and it stuck with me. I really liked that word adequate. I looked up synonyms for it, which are: satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, and enoughThat word hit home because I constantly feel like I’m not enough. I identify with the way we poison our own well. I am my own worst enemy. I let that one negative thing ruin my whole day way too often. I dwell on it and let it sit there for days in the back of my mind, reminding me that I am not enough.

“So I followed that preacher man down to the river and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be been something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water”

So that is my prayer today. I pray that I let you fill my well. I pray that I stop poisoning my own well with my thoughts and actions. I pray that I remember Carrie Underwood’s song. I pray that I remember that you saved me. That I am enough for you. That I am adequate for you. That I am acceptable and sufficient for you. I pray that I keep trying to be better because we are all “works in progress” but that I also learn to be satisfied with the progress. I pray that I remember that you created every single hair on my head for a purpose. I pray that I remember to fall on my knees in worship for you. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I keep coming back to 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.