Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so.

I watched some sermons on YouTube again this morning and I meant to click another one from Transformation Church. Somehow it loaded a Priscilla Shirer message instead. I paused. My first thought was uh-oh. The next thought was ok, Father, I see what You did here, I’m listening.

And let’s be real for a second, Priscilla is my fave so I was not bothered when the intended video was changed. Her message was titled: God will use your abandoned boat. Like ok, I get it. I abandoned my boat.

Priscilla talked about how You don’t shame the men for getting out the boat because they were frustrated. She pointed out the men were cleaning the nets, so their intention was to use them again. They weren’t giving up, just taking a time out. Then Priscilla says when this is over, there is an assigned that’s still been assigned to you. Like ok, ok.

She said in verse 2 of Luke 5, Simon got out of the boat. In verse 3, You stepped in. You step on the very thing causing me pain and used it as a platform. She continued with the place where I didn’t have what it takes, is exactly where You will plant Your feet. The emptiness I feel is what she called a God-margin, the place between what I can do and what You can do. Priscilla said if there is emptiness, You intend to fill it. You have something planned for this little ole fishing trip. In the huge crowd of people trying to get Your attention, You saw the little ole fishermen who had a rough night fishing. She said, You see us too. You are always near. We serve a God who isn’t waiting on Heaven to have a relationship with us.

Priscilla also pointed out that Simon was not alone, there were others there in the frustration with him, helping him clean his nets. We are built for connection and relationship. Isolating myself will not get me back in that boat faster. In fact, I cannot do it at all on my own.

I also watched a message from Steven Furtick. In the message he told a story of swimming in the water with his kids, how they got carried away by the waves and got too far out without realizing it. His feet couldn’t touch the bottom and what he used to know felt more stable. I felt that. Steven talked about before Jesus’ ministry, there was the wilderness where temptation is.

Ya girl been in the wilderness. Ya girl stayed there too long too. Because like Steven said, it’s easier to reject yourself in advance instead of opening yourself up to rejection again. To really be loved requires vulnerability. Ya girl took herself out of the boat. Steven said sometimes we’ve been writing a story so long, we become a slave to it. He said self-pity is comfortable. I felt that too. He said the devil uses the word to twist the truth, to trade truths. I was stuck between two truths, like Steven preached, the one is the situation and the other is the revelation. Ya girl is leaning into the revelation today.

Priscilla talked about the wilderness too, she said the wilderness will either kill me or make me stronger. She said don’t let the wilderness in you.

So, this is my prayer today. Thank you for the lessons in the wilderness. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me there. Thank you for being near me in the wilderness. Thank you for encouragement and relationships and people to help clean up the messes. Thank you for not abandoning me when I abandon my assignment. Thank you for letting me participate in the miracles. Thank you for not giving my assignment to someone else every time I fail. Thank you for using me. Thank you for giving me opportunities to learn and grow. Thank you for filling my God-margins. Thank you for filling my emptiness. Thank you for stepping into my pain and frustration and using it for your glory. Thank you for allowing little ole me to come and worship good and holy 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.

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I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence.

I’m counting on all these worldly things to keep me safe. I talk about stability but I don’t have any of my own.

I’ll be safe as soon as my car is fixed.
I’ll be safe as soon as we’re out of the rental.
I’ll be safe as soon as I’m in my new room.
I’ll be safe as soon as people stop hurting me.
I’ll be safe as soon as I get daily repetitive positive praise.
I’ll be safe as soon as I pay off my student loans.
I’ll be safe as soon as I start saving some money.
I’ll be safe as soon as I get married.
I’ll be safe as soon as start and finish grad school.
I’ll be safe as soon as I move.
I’ll be safe as soon as I do this or that.
I’ll be safe as soon as other people do this or that.
I’ll be safe as soon as my circumstances change.
I’ll be safe as soon as all my ducks are in a row.

I’m looking for stability in quick sand.

Then it gets serious.
I’ll be safe as soon as You carry me Home.

Lord, You are so gentle. You gently bring me to You.

I started building my foundation on You before I could even walk. I built my life on the rock. Father, You let me build it one brick at the time. You revealed just a little at the time and let me build it. You didn’t rush me. You didn’t yell when I did it wrong. You didn’t pressure or force me. You let me come to You. You didn’t want me to be a slave. You let this be my choice. The most beautiful part is that through it all, You never left me. You never abandoned me or forsake me.

I went on the winter retreat again this year. The first night, they took us on a night hike. I knew it was going to be hard. I like to be still out in the woods, not climb mountains. (Those people leading the hike called it a hill, they were wrong. It was a mountain.) Bless that girl leading the end of the hike, she just didn’t have a clue that You and I were doing WORK on that mountain. I was having a Jesus moment. Lord, that ground was solid under me, but I still didn’t trust it. The rocks moved, but they were solid. I was completely fine. Even if I fell, I would be ok, but I didn’t fall. Lord, You let me build my house on the rock. You revealed just a little at the time. You let me build trust with You. You let me have a relationship with You, Lord, God Almighty.

Lord, some of these things are all fine and dandy, as long as I’m not building my house on them. Some of these are even helpful and healthy. But, they are not where I get my identity, You are. You are my security. You are my light in the dark. You are my strong tower. You are my safe place. You are my lighthouse in the storm. You are my hope, my future, my past, my present. You are my everything.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray for peace. I pray for guidance. I pray for ears that listen. I pray for eyes that seek. I pray for feet that walk. I pray for hands that hold. I pray for lips that speak your name, Abba Father. I pray for a heart that heals. I pray for a holy spirit filled soul. I pray for a mind with filled with Truth, Wisdom, and Knowledge that comes from you and you alone. I pray for knees that kneel in worship and awe of you. Lord, my King, I am in awe of you. Thank you for your gentleness. Thank you for your gentleness. Thank you for your gentleness. Thank you for your gentleness. I pray that I trust you. Lord, this past year, I have had extreme lows, but I have also been extremely filled by your goodness. Lord, this past week, I have had extreme lows, but I have also been extremely filled by your presence. Lord, fill my life with you. I want only your love, your kindness, your glory, your gentleness, your goodness, your presence. This world is not my home. Thank you so much for your teaching. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the rugged cross. Thank you for carrying all of 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.