What if I’m just a vessel.

Don’t ask me how many cups of coffee I have had today. Don’t ask me if I ate a real meal today. Don’t ask me if I had the preferred the amount of sleep last night. Don’t ask me if I wore sweat pants or actual pants today. Don’t ask me if I’m stressed.

But do ask me if I still have motivation because the answer is yes. I have the opposite of senioritis. The closer to graduation, the more excited I am to learn.

Do ask me if I prayed over this because the answer is yes. Not just today. I have been praying over this for as long as I can remember. Psalm 116:2 says: Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe! 

Do ask me when I started studying because the answer to that is practically birth. I have been reading and researching since my parents used to ground me by taking away my books and fussing at me for reading in the dark after bedtime. More specifically, I started studying for finals over a month ago. I made a day-by-day list with things to accomplish from note-cards to PowerPoint’s and assignments.

Do ask me why I’m doing all of this because the answer is for You, Lord. My degree is not for me.

“But in actuality, your degree has nothing to do with you. In fact, it’s all about Him and what he can do through you.” 

After watching this spoken word, my entire viewpoint changed. I have never been one to brag about being stressed. Instead I pretend everything is fine, until I break down. Which is just as selfish, if not more. What this video reminded me of though, is that I don’t have to pretend. I am more than fine and this isn’t about me. I forget about the people that my degree is for. I forget the people that I am going to be helping one day. My degree is for You. My degree is to serve You. My degree is bring people closer to You. My degree is glorify You. My everything is for You. My degree is how I fulfill my part in Your plan.

Do ask me why I’m blessed. I am blessed because I am Yours. I am blessed because “I am in training to love people better.” I am blessed because I have the fortunate opportunity to be able to get an education and the freedom to study.

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I want to take myself out of the equation. Empty me of me. Fill me with you. Show the world what you can do. Use me for your glory. Use me for your plan. Use my degree, my attitude, my heart, my knowledge, my talents, my attributes, my actions, my abilities. Use my everything for you. Make my degree, the door. Make my work ethic, the key. Lord, make a vessel. Don’t let me throw away what you gave me. Lord, help me to use what I have. Thank you for everything you have given me. Thank you for blessing me. Thank you for all the opportunities I have been given. Thank you for my degree. Thank you for my university. Thank you for my professors. Thank you for the other students and faculty. Thank you for group projects and real life experience. Thank you for student loans and expensive textbooks. Thank you for online classes and desks in classrooms. Thank you for podiums and clickers. Thank you for white boards and markers. Thank you for research and technology and case studies and real world scenarios. Thank you for the workers who keep my university always gorgeous and running smoothly. Thank you for the financial aid office and student accounting people. Thank you for the secretaries and student recruitment people who got me here. Thank you for everyone who works at my university so that I can have an education. Thank you for computer labs and printers. Thank you for libraries and Starbucks on campus. Thank you for pencils and pen and highlighters and note-cards and for parents that have supplied them since preschool. 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, even if it’s just to speak Your name I’m gonna pray.

My best friend got me a devotion book called The One Year Book Of Bible Promises and today’s was titled “Life After Death.” You always know exactly what’s on my heart. I don’t know how You do it. I’m literally in awe of You. The verse for this one was Ecclesiastes 3:11: “God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” I can’t even begin to understand Your plan, but You have a hold on my heart. You have my attention. You have my full, undivided attention.

It’s almost been a year since Christopher went to be with You and then my grandma met You soon after that. So, I’ve been thinking back to conversations we had. Christopher and I talked about prayer all the time. We would have these car talks and our faith was a hot topic. We discussed our childhoods and how we grew up at great length. We both learned real quick as kids the importance of prayer. Last year, I was faced with that lesson again, this time it was much harder. I literally feel to my knees in need of You. I had the wind knocked right out of me more times than I can count last year. Each time, I cried out for You and You listened while I prayed. You were there when I needed You. You heard my prayers.

I read stories from Max Lucado and C.S. Lewis practically my entire childhood so, now those authors hold a special key to my childhood. They also talk about the importance of prayer quite frequently. Max Lucado said: “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble, but since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” C.S. Lewis said: “I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.” 

To be honest, I miss him and I miss my grandma, but You already knew that. You know my heart. “Prayer isn’t to remind God what your problems are, but prayer is to remind your problems who God is.” Psalm 116: 2 says: “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

So, that is my prayer today. “As I pray God I need You more than words can say. Right here in this moment. You know my heart. You know my need. You know every part of me.” Lord, I wanna say thank you for the time I had with them. Thank you for all they taught me. I know they’re with you now. I pray that you lay your hand on their loved ones in the coming months. I pray that I learn to think about what they gained in Heaven with you instead of what I lost. I pray that I keep coming to you. I pray that I keep praying. Thank you for listening. Thank you for changing me. Thank you for understanding me. Sometimes I don’t know what to say and it feels like I can never pray enough or find the right words. So, thank you for listening with open arms for me. Thank you for holding me together when I fall apart. Thank you for your not so subtle hand in my life. Thank you for my friend for giving me this book. Thank you for my friend who encourages me to pray. 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.