I had this dream when I was a kid that I was going to find the love of my life at church. I was going to be standing there worshiping and he was going to see me and see my love for You. I was going to be that woman in Craig Morgan’s song: That’s What I Love About Sunday. “Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.” I might sing terribly to everyone else but You listen for the heart. He was gonna listen for that too and he was just going to know I was the one.
I have been trying to be that woman my entire life. I have made more than my share of mistakes and I am far from perfect but I have been in awe of You and all that You’ve blessed me with. I am trying to be the woman You created me to be. I want to be the kind of woman Eric Church sings about in Like Jesus Does. I think I forgot the other part of the dream. Somehow, along the way, I forgot that I want him to love like You do too. I think I let my dream become one sided and only focused on me and the kind of woman I am becoming. I have been praying for him since I was a little girl and the older I get, the more frequently and intentionally I pray for him. I want to love like You and I want him to want the same thing. I want the man in Sanctus Real’s song: Lead Me.
I am not praying for perfection. Although, I’ve been told too many times that I have unrealistic expectations, but a friend reminded me tonight that I deserve all that I am willing to give. I want to the woman You created me to be and I want him to be the man You created him to be. That’s not asking for too much. You have a plan for my life and You have a plan for his. It’s as simple as that. You are the planner. Not me. I surrendered control of my life a long time ago. You are the one leading me and I want You to be the one leading him too. Casting Crowns pretty much summed it up for me:
“Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you
So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus”
So, that is my prayer today. I pray that he loves like you do. I pray that he is intentional. I pray that he is strong. I pray that he is kind. I pray that he is filled with your joy. I pray that he believes in you. I pray that he is giving. I pray that he is sincere. I pray that he is positive. I pray that he is devoted to you. I pray that he does things wholeheartedly. I pray that he leads me closer to you. I pray that he is forgiving. I pray that he is spirited. I pray that he is willing to fight for you. I pray that you lead him. I pray that he becomes everything you need him to be. I pray that I keep praying for him everyday. I pray that he knows you’re always with him and he’s never alone. 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.
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.
“If you get lost in your sorrows
Then you could hit rock bottom
But if you smile in face of trivial things
And you learn to pray when you wanna complain
Stand up straight when the Earth is shaking
And just breathing when you feel afraid
Those problems you’re worried about
They can’t keep you from living now
When you shake ‘em off and lay ‘em down, down, down
At the cross where your freedom’s found
Oh You can stand up no matter what
March on when times are tough
Be strong and don’t give up
All you need now
Is to shake ‘em off and lay ‘em down
At the cross where your freedom’s found”
The new semester is officially is in full swing. Classes have begun and recruitment starts tomorrow. This is where lists comes into play. (As you know, I love lists!) I made a three page to-do list last night with everything that I still need to get done this week. I could not be more excited! With so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, this year I am going to practice giving it all to you before I get too stressed. I am going to be proactive with my prayer. I am on my knees, laying everything down at the feet of the cross.
I have the most amazing sisters that remember to check on me. When I was driving back to Mobile, on Sunday, after church, I had three sisters call me just to make sure my drive was going well. I could not be more blessed to have them in my life. I forget to take care of myself sometimes and forget to take a second to enjoy life. Last year was pretty rough to say the least, but even the darkest days had some bright spots. Every time I started to feel like I would crumble, they picked me up and reminded me to lean on you.
So, that is my prayer. Lord, I am giving it all to you. I am laying it down at your feet. I pray that I remember that you love me and protect me. That your plan is bigger than my own. Thank you for putting so many wonderful people in my life. Thank you for giving me sisters that support and encourage me. Thank you for guiding my life and being the light on my path, showing me the way. I am so grateful for all you have done for me. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I have faith in you and in your plan. You hold my life in your life hands and I pray that you keep molding me into the person I am meant to be. I pray that I shine a light right back to you. I pray that I follow you and you lead me where you want me to go. I pray that I remember Sanctus Real’s lyrics this week. 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.