I sing because I’m free.

I was telling my Jesus friend, I did not like driving in traffic yesterday. Wait, lemme be honest, I was totes complaining. And true Jesus friend capacity, she pointed me right back to You. She told me to put on a sermon when I’m traffic, that it’s just extra time with You. I got up this morning and pulled up the Podcasts app, looked up Transformation Church and clicked play.

Ya girl cried through half the drive, got to work 10 minutes early, and started my day is much better place. It was one of those gooddd, praise cries too. Thank you for reminding me how good You are this morning.

Ok, so let me break down the sermon and apply to my life like usual.

How to have your life not suck:

1. The decisions you make today determine your tomorrow.

2. You might be one step from stepping into God’s abundant blessing.

3. Your end just might be your beginning.

4. Don’t just think about your legacy, build your legacy.”

Bianca Olthoff was the one preaching and she brought the Word. Straight from the book of Ruth. She continually taught that if I am not dead, You are not done. If it has not been redeemed, You are not done. She told us to do the work, spiritually and emotionally. Day by day, decision by decision.

The most important takeaway I got was when Naomi changed her name from Naomi which means sweet and pleasant to Mara which means bitter. Naomi/Mara went back to Bethlehem. She went back to her Life Group, to her community, to her Church, to her house of God. TobyMac posted the other day: “when you are hanging on by a thread, make sure it is the hem of His garment.”

The final point she made was “your purpose is proven when you give your life away.” It wasn’t ours to begin with. Genesis tells us You breathed life into us. You gave us our very lives. Bianca preached: “it’s not what happens to you, or dealt to you. It’s what you do with what you have.” Woah buddy…I immediately saw the connection there to the message I heard from Lysa Terkheurst. About how asking why is the wrong question. We should be asking, what am I going to do with what I have left? I have carried that question for a hot minute.

Lord, only You can do that, take a sermon I heard in 2014 after I lost my best friend and my grandma and build on it in 2019. You changed my whole perspective on life with one sermon and here You are continually adding to it and taking that message and growing it in my life. It was a little seed planted in a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to grow anything. Now its a flourishing garden with so many flowers growing out of it, all I can see is Your handiwork running wild through my life.

That is your specialty though. Bianca showed us how You took a barren, homeless, trauma filled woman and somehow through her lineage King David is born, and through that Jesus is born. You take what everyone else would have written off and write a life full of love.

That is where freedom is found. When we give our lives away. I read in a devotion my sister sent me that He brings people into our lives we are designed to love. Nothing is random. Nothing is without purpose or meaning. Nothing happens by chance. I did not hear that message in 2014 by accident, nor did I hear the message today by accident. On Wednesday at Church, I heard a message on faith, which is literally my middle name so I was all for it. He taught us that “faith is believing that You can see what I can’t.”

In 2014, I couldn’t see past my grief. In 2016, I couldn’t see past my plans. Now it’s 2019 and I just want to see You, Father.

So, this is my prayer. I pray that I give my life away. I pray I love those you bring to my life. I pray I use what I have, where I am, and listen for your instruction. I pray I utilize these quiet moments to seek you. I pray that my legacy is built in your name. I pray I do the work needed. I pray I keep making those connections and keep growing in your word. Abba, I know you are for my good and your glory. Abba, I know you are watching me, I know your eyes are on me. I know you have never left me. I know you are working even when I cannot see. Thank you for reminding me to just simply praise you today. 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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Then I wouldn’t know that Your love coming home.

I felt like I was being punished. I felt like this was all of my fault. Because of my sin? Or maybe because I asked for my life to be interrupted? I asked to be a disciple maker. I asked to be your hands and feet. I asked for this. Because they hated You first? Or maybe because I heard what I wanted to hear instead of what You were actually telling me? Maybe instead of following Your will, I was following my own agenda? Maybe I just wasn’t for this? Maybe I just wasn’t good enough for what I wanted? Maybe I still have a lot to learn? Maybe I wasn’t ready? Maybe this was all supposed to be some kind of test that I failed?

I watched Steven Furtick’s Maybe God series when I was going through a decision making process so I thought it only fitting to start Lysa Terkheurst’s disappointment series when I am going through disappointment.

In the first episode, Lysa teaches straight out of Genesis. She taught about how You asked two questions before giving any consequences. Adam and Eve invited sin and darkness and pain and hurting and shame and yes, disappointment. They invited those things into the world when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The enemy tricked them into thinking that their eyes would be open to that knowledge and that would make them like You. But it only opened their eyes to the weight of the bad, the weight of guilt and shame, the weight of heartache and disappointment.

The first question You asked is: where are you? You went looking for them when they went hiding. Thank you so much for seeking me when I should be seeking You, for never giving up on me, and always finding me. I would love to say that since I’ve become a Christian that I am always found, but boyyyy howdy can I get lost still. The difference is that I no longer stay lost, I don’t have to hide anymore.

The second question You asked is: who? You want Your labels to be our labels. You want us to know whose we are and who we are. You want us to be labeled Your child, Your beloved. You don’t want shame and guilt and disappointment and hurt to be our labels. Then Lysa says what she always says that sinks right into my heart: You love us too much to leave us the way we are. You want so much more for us.

Lisa taught about how we’re doing life on earth with eternity on our hearts. We’re looking for perfection. It’s Your way of leading us home.

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for leading me home. Thank you for labeling me your child. Thank you for trying to protect me from my own sin. Lord, I live in a fallen world and I seek out the darkness that I invite into my world. But Abba Father, you love me too much to leave me in that darkness. You put a light in me, your light. The darkness and disappointment is not a result of me following you and being found, it is a result of the mercy you gave me. The consequence for not following those instructions was death. You chose mercy instead. You saw that I was worth saving. You called out to me. You sought me out. You want me to just come home. 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 on my way to Heaven, would you like to come along?

I didn’t know where to begin this one. I didn’t know how to start or even where to start. A friend of mine shared their story with me so I wanted to honor that trust by bringing it to the very person who wrote my story, Lord, You. Father, I think the very least I can do is to trust You. A sweet preacher in Chelsea, AL taught us, a few Sundays ago, that: “no one can sing my song but me.” He said: “you are a somebody because He knows your name, He knows your song.” 

Ok, so here goes nothing. Or everything…

I was sexually abused by more than one person, in more than one way.

All before I even started high school. I wanted to pretend this wasn’t real. Sometimes, it still doesn’t feel real. I almost convinced myself that the nightmares, were just nightmares. I started the healing process through counseling. I started to see things more clearly. Some of the symptoms that I had just chalked up to normal life were actually signs of PTSD and Disassociation. I got wayyy more signs of disassociation than I would like to admit. Ya girl got issues.

But You, my God, are so patient. so kind. so loving. You were there through it all. The more I have gotten to know You, the more I can see You through all of it.

My favorite verse is Isaiah 43:2 which says: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. If left to my own devices, I would be drowned, consumed, overwhelmed, and burned. I would have never made it through the second grade. But my God, that is the exact year I got saved. That is the exact year, I walked down that church aisle, asking You to save me. I always forget the first verse which says: But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Lord, not only did You create me and form me. You redeemed me. You call me by name. When Satan calls me by my sin, You call me by my name! I am free from the wrath by the power of the blood. I saved this picture on my phone that says: “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”

I started the Redeemed study by Angela Thomas-Pharr. In the first part, she asks us to fill in the blank for: “I’ve given up trying…” I finished it with: “to walk like this.” I am not carrying this baggage anymore. I am unloading these suitcases. I am not carrying this weight with me any longer. This guilt. This shame. This pride. This need for control. This darkness. I let everyone else in my life set the boundaries, so then I put up walls in response to my boundaries being crossed. What I should have been doing is letting You, Lord, set up my perimeters and focused on You. Because when I have my eyes on You, I’m walking on water. When I focus on everything around me, I’m sinking. Lord, I crave the light because there is a darkness in me, darker than even I know. In those broken places, is the exact places that the light gets in. In those broken places, is the exact places that we can help someone else. The exact place that I can chose to share Your glory.

When I lost my friend, I asked You a lot of why questions. Through Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkheurst, I realized that was the wrong question. The right question is: what am I gonna do with what I have been given, what I have left? In the Redeemed study, I am learning to ask: who You are and what You’ve said. In Unwrap the Bible, Beth Moore said: “God is going to use one question to lead to blessings in another question.” 

I have this question written in my journal that says: how do you design something, knowing it’ll fail? Lord, You created me, You designed every hair on my head. You knew I would fail before I even took my first breath. But I think that is the point. I think that right there is redemption. When I am broken way beyond repair. When I fall to my knees. That right there is exactly where I need to be. Because right there is exactly where You fix me. Because right there is exactly where I see You work.

Steven Furtick said: “whether we know it or not, we are passing on our perspective to those we influence. And whatever is not healed is handed down. I can’t chose what I’m handed but I can choose what I hand back.” In The Gospel of Mark, Lisa Harper told us that: “Jesus knows exactly where you are. Jesus knows how heart-broken you are, He’s been there. He’s been segregated and alone in the wilderness, facing wild beasts. He knows exactly where you hurt.” Lisa said we don’t have to clean ourselves up to come to You. But my God, You love us too much to leave us that way. You meet us there and cover us.

I have always been a very organized planner. I have my five year plan but I also have a ten year plan and a fifteen year plan. I have certainly changed my plans over the years. 1st grade me wanted to serve You and be a missionary. Best believe, I had a plan for it too. As I got older, I wanted to be a teacher. In middle school, ya girl watched Legally Blonde and got a little power hungry. Ya girl wanted to be a lawyer then a judge then swoop right into the supreme court. In high school, I came back around to teaching. In college, I switched majors to Communications. Now I’ve gone and started grad school in human services counseling in christian ministries.

I tend to get overly excited and put my cart before my horse. But no where, on any of my plans, was any of the bad stuff. Ok. I planned perfect fairy tales with only enough realism approved by yours truly. The only thing that has remained a constant is my want to serve You in whatever capacity I could find. Lysa Terkheurst said: “remember this: God is working things out. He is present. His plan is still good and He can still be trusted. I used to think that being in ministry made me more of a target for the enemy’s attacks. But now I think God saw the attacks coming and made sure I was in ministry. Having my heart and mind constantly focused on God’s Truths has changed the way I see and process everything.”

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I lead with kindness and grace. I pray that I am showing others who you are. I pray that I am showing others what you do. I pray that I am showing others when to lean on you. I pray that I am showing others where you’re leading. I pray that I am showing others why I chose to walk with you. I pray that I am showing others how to follow you. I pray that every word in my story point to you. Father, even when I am not present, you are. Father, even when my plans are no good at all, you are. Father, even when I fail miserably, you can still be trusted. Kelly Minter said: “who Jesus has called you to be is the most exciting and liberating identity you can have.” Abba, thank you for reminding me that my identity is found in you. Thank you for reminding me that my identity is not what happened to me, what I’ve lost, or even what I’ve done. Hanna Brencher said: “one day you’ll be out of this. And all the things you felt-all the places you went in the dark-will help someone come out of the woods too.” Lord, open my eyes to the needs of those around me. Niki Rowe wrote: “like a wild flower; she spent her days, allowing herself to grow, not many knew of her struggle, but eventually all; knew of her light.” I pray that everyone around me sees your light in me. Lord, I chose you. I chose grace over wrath. I chose life over death. I chose light over dark. I chose trust over fear. I chose your plan over mine. 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.

No life or death can separate us from Your love.

If I had a dime for every time someone told me my optimism bubble was going to burst right open, I would be living a lot higher on the hog. I would have that white house I want with the blue shutters and the red front door. I would have the front porch and the rocking chairs. I almost have to stop myself from laughing. Because yes, ya girl is optimistic. But home-girl had to TRAIN her brain to work that way.

I just realized I can sit around complaining about all I’ve lost and ask You why Lord. Or I can remember what I learned in bible study from Lysa Terkheurst. That why is the wrong question. I need to start asking what am I gonna do with what’s left. And because You, my God, connect the dots. My more recent bible study lesson was on how to use what I have, give it my best, and trust You to fill in the gaps. 

But what even is trust? Ya girl, has a HUGE trust problem. Like I didn’t trust anyone, not even myself. I certainly didn’t trust the spiritual gifts You gave me. And especially not You, Lord.

I have this double-edged sword of humility and pride. Someone stood up for me the other day and I like immediately was like woah, I’m not worthy of that kind of love and protection. I can feel that for you, but you can’t possibly feel that for little old me. Just like my brain was stuck in this pattern of: I can love You, Lord, but there’s no possible way You love me. I’m too broken. Not me, God.

My friends have this fear of being controlled by others, but that would require me to trust someone enough to give them that power over me. So, while I don’t worship others and can’t be hurt that way because of my trust issues. Sometimes I still think I can do it all myself. I have a tendency to look at something I’ve done and say oh wow, look at me. But when you look at a finished painting, is it the paint brush that did it or the artist? Is it the paint that did it or the artist? Lord, help me to remember You are the artist.

At the same time, I am so used to being controlled by others that I don’t even notice anymore. I’m always controlled, so I don’t even give it away, it’s just simply taken. Then I have to fight for it back by setting up boundaries. Then there is this really fun stage of push back where the other person like guilt trips me or tries to manipulate me or lash out against me to hurt me. So, then I have this reallyyyy fun stage of thinking I do everything wrong. But I’m learning to just simply say no assertively.

I have this doubt that comes up sometimes. This doubt in others, in myself, in my spiritual gifts, in You, in my place in this world. Lord, we both know what happens when I start thinking I’m doing a bad job. I start doing a bad job. Because I’m so busy looking at me, that I forget to keep my eyes on You. I’m Peter, walking out on the water with You. When my eyes are on You, I’m literally walking on water. When I take my eyes off You, I’m sinking, quickly. All I’m doing, whether I think I can do it all or I can’t do anything, is attempting to limit You, Lord. I try to limit a limitless God. Rebekah Lyons spoke at IFGathering and said: “God didn’t pick the wrong girl for ministry. Satan picked the wrong girl to mess with.”

So, this is my prayer. I pray that I remember who you are. I pray I appreciate how you use me. I pray I appreciate why you use me. I pray I recognize when you use me. Lord, I pray I appreciate being a small part of your masterpiece. Father, I pray that you use me as a vessel. I pray that through you, my weaknesses are grown into strengths. I pray that I start leaning into you rather than trying to limit you. Father, I am so humble sometimes that it is almost this false pride. While other times, I lack humility and am filled with way too much pride. Lord, help me find a balance. Lord, thank you for putting people in my life to show me healthy boundaries. Thank you for having patience with me as I learn to not only set boundaries, but to continually establish those boundaries. Lord, I pray that I stand strong and use that assertiveness I know I am capable of. I pray that I remember that you don’t make mistakes. There is no mistake that I am in the ministry I am. There is no mistake about my place in this world at this moment. Lord, every single hair on my head has a purpose and a reason. Lord, I pray that I remember just how intentional you are. I pray I remember I am the right girl for ministry and more importantly you are the right God for 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.

I’m just a girl talking to God, praying for rain.

I might be short on sleep. I might be short on money. I might be short on time. I might be literally short. I might be short on sanity. I might quite frankly be short on everything. But one thing is for sure, I’m not short on love and truth. I’ve got an abundance of unfailing love and unending truth. My cup is overflowing. Everything in this world can and will come up short. People will come up short. Places will come up short. Things will most definitely come up short. I will come up short. But You, my God, never will.

I struggle with depression, often. I’ve learned how to maintain most of my anxiety and panic attacks, but they still happen. Sometimes, the whole world thinks I’m fine, but You know I’m not. My friend sent me this Facebook post from a girl who struggles with depression. The girl said she was having a real bad go of it this time and couldn’t even function enough to shower for a week. She posted from this heartbreakingly vulnerable place to tell her family and friends that she was trying. Because on that day, she brushed her hair. She showered and brushed her hair. It seems silly because that’s something we do every single day. We get up, we shower, we brush our hair. Sometimes like a routine, without even thinking about for a minute, just doing it. But when you’re in the deep deep dark places, those everyday things can become hard. Like there’s not a point to even trying. You can lay down and stay in that dark place for days without pulling yourself out. I. Have. Been. There. More times than I care to admit. The lies talk fast and keep coming. Last Fall, I did a Bible study with Stronger by Angela Thomas-Pharr. In the study I learned that the truth is: “this life is harder than what we signed up for.” I also learned “it takes an effort to hide from people.” Angela told us about running the race and how sometimes you have to run through that cramp in your side, sometimes you have to run through the pain.

I’ve also heard previously that: “prayer is a bridge from your mess to God’s rest.” During the 21 Days of Prayer, we learned the warfare prayer in Ephesians 6:11-12 which says: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Priscilla Shirer has preached time and time again to know who the real enemy is. Another thing I’ve heard is we have to: “put on Christ the same way we put on clothes.” Every. Single. Day.

It’s way too easy to let those bad days become weeks and those weeks become months. The darkness doesn’t even seem appealing. Like I don’t like it there, but once the lies creep in, it gets harder and harder to push them out. I heard once in a sermon that the devil is still telling the same lies he told Eve in the Garden, he doesn’t need new lies because we’re still falling for the old ones. “The devil baits the hook, it harms me, it hurts me.” Ohhh but Father, You give us a way out. Out of the darkness. Out of the hook. Out of the lies. Out of the deep places. Out of sin. Out of temptation. Out of evil. Out of despair. Out of hell. Out of it all. You are the only way out. Lysa Terkeurst says we have to filter our thoughts through Your love, through Your Biblical truth. In that 21 Days of Prayer, we learned that: “truth has to constantly come in.”

The way I pull myself out is looking up. I literally just have to find the strength to look up. Lord, Your word is living and breathing in us. All I have to do is look at Your creations to remember Your truths. The sunshine reminds me of Your perfect light, of Your perfect goodness. The stars remind me of Your perfect love, of Your perfect majesty. The storms remind me of Your perfect grace, of Your perfect mercy. The rain reminds me of Your perfect promises, of Your perfect hope. No matter the weather, I can find You there. No matter my emotions. No matter my shortcomings. No matter my surroundings. No matter my battles. No matter the weather, I can find You there.

Prince Charming on Once Upon A Time said: “Darkness never wins. It just fools you into thinking it does.” Ohhhh Lord. Let that sink into my soul. Say that again. “Darkness never wins. It just fools you into thinking it does.” Ohhhh my sweet Savior. That alone is because of You. Because You already won the war. You already gave Your life. You already defeated death. You already saved the whole world. You already defeated the enemy. You already conquered. During the 21 Days of Prayer we also learned not to put our trust in ourselves. I am not the encourager. I have to take my hands off. You and I cannot carry it at the same time. I cannot raise the dead. I cannot do the impossible.

I heard a message by Allison Wilks, where she told us to stop remembering our sin or our fear or our pain or our loss or our illness or our betrayal more than we remember our Savior. She said that was the devil and his lies. She told us to remember Your character and who You are. To remember You are kind. You are loving. You are merciful. You are just. You are all powerful, all knowing, and all compassionate. To remember Your works. Allison said to remember and move to act, to trust the One who is above all those other things.

So, here is my prayer. Lord, I’m praying for rain. I pray that your truth consumes me. I pray that I remember that life isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. I pray that I run through the pain. I pray I remember who you are. I pray that I remember you are God and I am not. I pray I remember I am yours. I pray that stop feeding the lies. I pray that I stop hiding from people, from you. I pray I remember you are all knowing. Lord, you knew my pain, before I even felt it. You already conquered the war. I pray that I stop fighting a war that’s already been won. I pray that I filter my thoughts through your love and your truth. I pray that I constantly let your truth change me, shape me, form me, move me, guide me. I pray I put my trust in you. Lord, remind me of who you are when it seems like I forget. 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.

Into my darkness He’ll shine a light.

I woke up this morning at 7:30am with no where to go. Like I have been practically since graduation. I don’t even need the alarm clock anymore, by body just naturally wakes up at that time now. I made myself get into this routine so I would be ready for whatever comes next. I don’t let myself go back to sleep either. I am up and moving, doing whatever needs done. But today, I let the insecurities win. My heart literally ached. I wanted to cry for no real reason.

I messaged my friend and told her I was depressed today. Literally used the word. That awful word. I have tried to make it a habit of telling someone, using that exact word because when they have bad days, I hope they can tell me and we can help each other out of the bad days. I heard too many stories growing up of people who were depressed that didn’t talk about it until it was too late. Communication ain’t just my major. I need it daily. What I didn’t have is a conversation with You, Lord. So, I went back to bed and slept the entire day away. Got absolutely nothing accomplished. When I finally woke up, did I feel better? Nope. Still the same. So I went back to bed. Ignored phone calls, messages, and texts. I heard the phone go off. I just didn’t reach over to answer. When I finally woke up, I got on Facebook and on my newsfeed was the Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion.

There at the top of the screen was my verse. “Whatever is true … think about such things … And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8b, 9b (NIV) Ok Lord, You have called me out by name. I’m listening. “I know God’s love for me is deep, unwavering and certain. But there are still times I catch myself twirling again. Crying out again. Wishing I could feel totally secure. Hating my insecurities. And mad that this struggle I thought was over, surfaces still. Maybe it always will. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. For it keeps me desperate for a reassurance I can’t get any other way. It keeps me desperate for God.” Lord, I don’t know why some days that my ego is so big it needs a room of it’s own. I don’t know why some days that my insecurities try to drown me. I don’t know why the people I love struggle with depression either. I don’t know those why’s anymore than I know why bad things happen or why we have to lose loved ones. I spent the last two years struggling with why. I read a book that showed me how to ask a different question: what am I going to do with it? I don’t have an answer for that question right now either. Lord, I have no idea what Your plan is. I stopped trying to figure it all out on my own. I laid it at Your feet. I started with that. Maybe giving it all to You was the first step. Maybe honest communication is the next step. Maybe being honest with You and the people I love will help. Maybe it’ll help them too.

In the devotion it stated: “Brokenness is universal. We all have things in life that trigger deep insecurities and our own personal ‘twirling about,’ searching for reassurance. But here’s the amazing thing. While brokenness is universal, God’s redemption is also universal for those who proclaim Christ as Lord. No matter what cracks and crevices we have in our hearts, if we seek the truth of God above all else, He is enough to fill in those raw places.” “I pray these truths flood your heart with peace like they do mine. Peace that gives you permission to stop twirling and start to live like you are loved.” To live like I am loved. That is a declaration of truth. I am so loved. Even on the dark days when all I crave is love, I know I’m loved. By You, Lord. By family and friends. By myself.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I bring you everything. I pray I lay down, down my guard. I pray I share your silence. I pray I unpack my heart. I pray I let you in. I pray I let others in. I pray for honest communication. I pray for truth. I pray that truth breaks through my walls. I pray that I am filled with your peace and love. I pray that I stop twirling. I pray that I live like I am loved. I pray that I stop searching for love because it has already been given to me. I pray that I stop looking around instead of looking up. I pray that I remember you are on my side. 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.

Even when my strength is lost I’ll praise You.

Lysa Terkhearst posted this about two weeks ago and I saved it because I knew I would need to hear it again: “God isn’t afraid of your sharp edges that may seem quite risky to others. He doesn’t pull back. He pulls you close.” Lorddddd, I got some sharp edges for You today.

I typically do not take bad news well. Today, I got a phone call. I started to react like I normally do, which is shutting down. Then I decided I wanted control and I started to clean. My sister took me home and said those glorious words: “I’m gonna leave the house so you can have your space.” Before she even left, I was already cleaning. Five minutes later, I stopped and dropped what I was doing. I started thinking and remembered the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. My reaction to the phone call was the same as it is every time. So, I sat down right where I was and started calling Your name. I closed my eyes and sat there, asking You to give me peace, give me strength, and give me comfort. I usually bring my problems to You when I have exhausted all other outlets and have no where else to turn. Today, I did things different.

I got up and went to turn the radio on. I grabbed the remote and started to put Christmas music on because that’s been my go-to lately. It’s my happy music, but I needed to go a little deeper today, so I went straight for my prayer blog playlist. I needed worship music. I needed to praise You. I needed to speak with You. I needed some unfiltered, pure worship with You. I pulled up YouTube to get the playlist, but this song was on the home screen so I played it first.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, thank you for pulling me close today. Thank you for smoothing out my sharp edges today. I pray that you take my tainted heart. I pray that you take my tainted hands. I pray that you wash me in your love and come like grace again. I pray that when my strength is lost, I praise you. I pray that when I have no song, I praise you. I pray that when it’s hard to find the words, I praise you. I pray that when the fight seems lost, I praise you. I pray that when it hurts like hell, I praise you. I pray that when it makes no since to sing, I praise you. I pray that my heart burns for you. I pray my soul waits for you. I pray I sing until the miracle come. I pray that I keep praising you and keep praising you and keep praising you. Lord, thank you. I pray I sing only your praise. I pray I only sing louder and louder still. 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.