People think I’m lucky But I know it’s grace.

I have about 345232 questions running through my head. I am not a fan of uncertainty. I like actions, plans, steps, and lists. I like things to fit into organized boxes. This week is challenging me in more ways than one. I want to know exactly when and how things are going to work out. Those are my exact worries right now. Then I saw the Proverbs 31 Facebook update which was literally my feelings and anxiety at the moment. Renee Swope posted: “Faith means obeying God even when all my questions aren’t answered.” Allllllll Right. Way to call me out by name there. Middle named me and everything. I see what you did you there. Lord, your timing is absolutely astounding. It never ceases to amaze me.

A friend of mine posted Isaiah 26:3 today which says: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. I went on to read verse 4 which says: Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. Ok. I needed that today. I needed some peace and reassurance. I don’t like when things are all up in the air and I don’t have a plan, but that’s what the struggle is right now. I have to change my perspective. I needed to be reminded that You are everlasting strength. I needed this lesson in trusting You.

Hannah Brencher posted a while ago on Instagram: “Because only in the darkness do we know light. Only, and only, if ever there was a word called ‘darkness’ would there be a reason to create another word to counter that word called ‘light.’ And maybe that’s just life: patches of darkness and patches of light. Sometimes we see it all so clearly. Sometimes we don’t know the way. Sometimes we grab the hands of others too tightly and they’re just thankful – just so thankful – that you’re finally grabbing on and needing to be held.” I definitely do not know my way right now and I am totally grabbing the hands of those around me. I struggle with that too because I’m stubborn and I don’t like to ask for help, but sometimes I just cannot do it alone and I don’t have to. I am blessed beyond measure by those that love me. Genesis 1:3-4 says: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. He separated the light from the darkness. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that.” I heard that “sometimes God lets you be in a situation that only he can fix, so you will discover that he is the one who can fix it.” Casting Crowns has this song called Just Be Held and I was reminded of the lyrics today: “If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still, but if your eyes are on the cross, you’ll know I always have and I always will.” Those words meant so much to me today.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I look to you. I pray that I concentrate on the cross and not my problems. Lord, I know you love me and I know you have me. I know you’re taking care of me. I pray that you separate the light from the darkness. I pray that I see the light. I pray that I keep grabbing your hands and the hands of my loved ones who are going above and beyond to help me. I pray that I trust you. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I give you my struggles. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for teaching me. I pray that I get my peace and strength from you. I pray that I put my faith in you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I pray that I continue to see how blessed I am, even when I struggle. I know that you have a plan for my life and you are working for me. Thank you for that.  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.

Every child has a dream to belong and be loved.

We as, humans are flawed and broken. We try desperately to fill the God shaped hole in our lives with everything but You, Lord. Then when we are struggling, others come along and poke holes in our weakest spots, making us even more vulnerable and broken. C.S. Lewis said: “The fact that our hearts yearn for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.” We are so deeply searching for You in all the wrong places. We try to find peace and love and forgiveness and happiness in all the wrong things. We are simply begging to be made whole, searching for anything to make us feel whole. That search is different for every single one of us, but one thing remains true. You never left us through our search. You were right there with us, no matter how far we try to run from You. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. The more we run from You, the more we need You. C.S. Lewis said: “He loved us not because we were lovable, but because he is love.”

If You love us so much, then why do we hate others and use Your name to do it? Ernest Hemingway said: “Being against evil doesn’t make you good.” Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Romans 9:25 says: As He also says in Hosea: “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, My beloved.'” Let me repeat that. “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, My beloved.'” So when no one else claims me and no one else loves me, You still do? When I have done all the running I can and have gotten as far from You as I possibly can, I am still Yours and You still love me?

Now, since I’m forgiven and have been shown grace and love, what am I supposed to do? Am I called to live differently? Yes! Am I called to worship You? Yes! Am I called to forgive others? Yes! Am I called to love others? Yes! Am I called to bring others to You? Yes! Then why do we do the complete opposite? Tony A. Gaskins Jr. said: “Never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger, or insecurity. Evaluate your words before you let them leave your lips. Sometimes it’s best to be quiet.” I think a big part of the reason we use hate instead of love is because we are those very things. We are scared, insecure, angry, confused, jealous, misguided, misunderstood. I think sometimes we simply don’t understand each other. We go around hating actions we don’t understand instead of trying to understand the reason behind their actions. My daddy used to make me go weed the garden as a kid. I thought it was like the worst thing ever! I mean, I had to sit in the dirt and there were bugs and junk! But I learned real quick, when you pull weeds out of the garden, you have to pull them by the root. Otherwise the weeds will keep growing and then they will multiply until there’s nothing left but weeds. And believe me, my daddy was a big believer in: “If you don’t have time to do something right, then you have time to do it again.” On Pinterest, there is a picture that says: “Do not pass by a man in need, for you may be the hand of God to him.” Then it lists Proverbs 3:27 which says: Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help. 

“When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory”

In the new Avengers movie, there is a set of twins and in the beginning of the movie, they are totally the villains. It’s only when we see their story that we begin to see that there is more to it and things aren’t simply black and white. In the twins’ eyes the heroes were the villains. The entire movie was spent with everyone trying to figure out if they were really the heroes they were supposed to be or if the other one was right. By the end of the movie, through a little love, forgiveness, and understanding the twins become heroes and together they are all working to be the heroes they were always meant to be. (And yes, I cried like a little baby.) I’m with the Avengers. That’s how exactly how villains become heroes. With love. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” I couldn’t agree more.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I evaluate my own life like the Avengers did. I pray that I become the person I was meant to become. I pray that I love the least of these. I pray that I do not withhold good from anyone. I pray that I always evaluate my words before I speak. I pray that I learn to understand those around me. I pray that my heart keeps yearning for you and for Heaven. I pray that I only use your love and your light to drive out the darkness and hate. Thank you for your grace and power and strength in my weakness. Thank you for calling me yours. Thank you for your love. I pray that I stick with your love. 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 runnin’ to the One who made every part of me in His hands.

When I was a little kid I wanted to be the music minister soooo bad! I wanted to lead the choir and chose the songs every Sunday. I lovedddddd the idea of matching songs to the message and making them fit into this puzzle that helped people understand the message before the preacher even spoke a word. It was about making connections. The worship part of the service sets up the message to glorify You and then the message brings it home. I am painfully aware that I have absolutely no musical ability though. You gave me a lot of gifts and talents, but singing was not one of them. However, I found a way to bring music into how I think, write, and pray. William Shakespeare said: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Maybe that’s what You meant for me all along.

“The grass is green where you water it.” Maybe I should stop looking at my neighbors yard and start watering my own grass. Sometimes, I get so caught up in what others are doing that I miss the message You are trying to send me. Maybe, I am doing exactly what You need me to do. You created me for a distinct purpose. I have a specific part to play in Your plan. I was built to bring glory to You with clearly designed talents. You don’t do anything by accident or mistake.

I remember studying Martin Luther King Jr. growing up and today I was reminded of what he said: “Use me God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” He also said: “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Then I saw this picture on Pinterest that says: “When you’ve done everything you can do, that’s when God will step in and do what you can’t do.” It lists 2 Corinthians 12:10 which says:  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I take Martin Luther King’s words with me. I pray that you use all of me for a purpose greater than me. I pray that I remember 2 Corinthians 12:10 this week and remember where I can’t, you can. I pray that I do as much as I can to bring glory to you. I pray that I keep moving forward. I pray that I use whatever means I have possible to bring glory to you. I pray that I take Blanca’s song with me today. I pray that I remember this is real what I feel, no one made it up. I pray that I remember I am loved. Lord, you put every single hair on my head for a reason. You created every part of me. You know me better than anyone. You know who I’ve been. You know who I am. You know who I will become. You are using my every step, even the missteps for your glory. You are using my every strength, my every weakness, my everything. You created everything about me to be used for your will and for your plan. I pray that I learn to water my grass and use my talents for you. I pray that I give my talents to you. I pray that I use what you’ve given me for your glory. I pray that others see you in 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.