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.

Open my ears, I wanna hear You speak.

I want to curl up in my bed with my Bible until I can process this. I want to shut out all the noise and distractions and opinions. I just want You, God. I am starting to lose my mind. Wait, back up, that process has most definitely already started. I want my mind back…on You, God.

Before Church this morning, I wanted to hear some preaching before the preaching. I pulled up Steven Furtick again. This time he was talking about Joseph’s dreams again. He’s preached on the importance of telling your dreams to the right people before and how to protect your God-given dreams. This message picked up right there and carried on.

Steven said: “a dream will make you bold.” Well check. I got bold alright. I started doing my best to move mountains and shake up the Heavens. Then he talked about the dream we see in one part of our life will show up later in a different dimension. His second point was that: “a dream makes you different.” Check. Check. The last point was that: “a dream can become a distraction.” Well that is exactly where I am now. I am not sure if this is a test to see if I have what it takes to keep going or if You are giving me an out because this isn’t what You wanted or if this is where I learn how to handle things going forward.

Joseph had the courage to wear his father’s coat, knowing his brothers hated him. He shared his dream with them, knowing them would hate him even more. Maybe it was immature to share his dream with his brothers, knowing how they feel about him. Maybe it put too much pressure on the dream by telling people that hated him. Maybe the dream changed because of our own agendas. Maybe we lose all sight of the dream and make it all about us. But You can use even this mess for Your plan.

I don’t want to leave my coat hanging up in the closet. I want to follow You and when I do, dreams will follow. Steven preached the dreams followed Joseph into slavery, into prison, into the pit, into all of it. Then Steven said: “you’ve got the right dream, you just need to see it differently. What if your dream was just the first draft? Are you open to a revision?”

Then the preaching took the message home for me. Steven taught God develops dreams in the dark room. Your dream is developed by a professional. Do I have the patience to let it develop? Do I have the courage to hand You the negatives? Even in the darkest places of my disappointment.

Then today at Church of the Highlands, Pastor Chris got me all riled up for Easter. He preached on Freedom and how each of the things Jesus went through were promises fulfilled for us. The whip was freedom in my body. The crown of thorns was freedom in my mind. The nails were freedom in my hands, for everything I’ve ever done and every time I’ve gone too far. The last point he made was the spear was freedom in my heart. That’s when I started weeping. Because when they stabbed Jesus with the spear, He was already dead. His blood was mixed with water because of heart failure. It wasn’t the 39 stripes that killed Him. It wasn’t the crown of thorns pierced into Head. It wasn’t the nails stabbed into Him. It wasn’t the suffocation. It wasn’t even the spear in His side. It was heart failure. His heart was crushed.

And He did all of this while holding onto His peace. Through it all he went like a lamb headed to the slaughter. He went willingly and without persecuting His enemies. He could have stopped the whole thing at any time, but He didn’t. He was loyal to You, Your plan, and my salvation.

Even in my darkest places of disappointment. Even when I am heartbroken. I can still carry peace. I can still follow You. I can still extend grace. I can still find You. Steven preached: I’m in the center, but not for status, for service. The greatest thing You are going to do for my life is use it to contribute to others. He said: I don’t have to be the one singing the song, I just have to be a part of it. The dream isn’t about me. The end of 2 Chronicles 20:15 says: the battle is not yours, but God’s.

So, this is my prayer. I pray for peace. I pray I hold onto that peace. I pray I hold onto you. I pray I remember that I am not God. I pray I remember who you are. I pray I remember the whole point of the story. I am not the whole story, Father, you are. I pray you develop my dream. I pray I leave it to the professional. I pray I trust you with the negatives. Thank you for freedom in my body. Thank you for freedom in my mind. Thank you for freedom in my hands. Thank you for freedom in my heart. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for taking what was meant for me. Thank you for taking it while holding onto peace. Thank you for taking it like a lamb. Thank you for reminding me the whole purpose is service. Thank you for reminding I am not alone. The dream is not about me and what I want. I am sorry I try to make it about me. I am sorry I rush things. I am sorry I put my agenda before your plan. I am sorry I put pressure on the dream. I am sorry I let the dream become a distraction. 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.

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.

The only place I can go is into Your arms.

Yesterday, with one phone call, my whole world crumbled.

I was not ok. I’m still not ok.

But my middle name is Faith. So I called my pastor on the way home yesterday. And this morning, I gathered myself as much as I could and I went to the Word. I was still in shock and barely present and definitely numb so I pulled up YouTube and searched for Elevation Church. I pulled up the sermon I missed in the Maybe, God series that I missed and clicked play. Because You knew exactly when I would need to hear that message. Because You, my God, have perfect timing.

Steven Furtick started with: “I can walk into darkness and light it up because the light of the world lives in me.” I immediately started going woah now, no I can’t, not right now. I am in shock. I am confused. I don’t understand. I am disappointed. I am defeated. This weight feels heavy. I can hardly breathe. I can’t even function. I am not ok. Well, obvi Steven was not finished, so he continued with a definition of my middle name: Faith, which means sure reliance, and he defined it as confident reliance. All I was thinking is I’m sure I got no confidence or reliance right now. At this point, I am almost scoffing at the message, because this must all be some sick joke, at the same time, I know nothing is funny right now.

But I kept watching, as Steven further explained that Faith is an expectation to know even if the sequence of things don’t make sense, You live outside of time and outside of my sequence. I thought I was doing what You wanted. I thought I was living inside of Your will. He continued stating: I don’t have to live in suspense, I live in expectation that You are good. I have goodness and mercy as the gatekeepers. I have security.

Excuse me, while my doubt screams, what security do I have right now? My mind has completely shut down on me. Lord, have some patience with me as always, ok? Because I know I sound awfully pessimistic and broken, but I am listening. So, Steven continues preaching, I’m still barely even there. He says the way You grow our faith is to disappoint my expectation. Well, check. Then he said the way the devil uses disappointment is to destroy your faith. Well, check. Jesus ya girl is confused. I know in my heart that disappointment grows my faith, but this feels like it’s being destroyed. I got to get it together.

So, I keep listening and Steven says my faith does not rest on me. And I’m all like: well thank goodness. He continues with You need our faith to rest not in whether You fill our agenda or not. You taught in parables so Your wisdom couldn’t be ascertained by the human mind so Your Spirit could reveal the unlearned, not the wisdom of this world. So much of what You do is hidden, but we spend so much time in our invisible prisons in our minds, trying to figure our whether You are good, whether life makes sense. Steven said: I can’t figure it out like that. I can’t figure it out through self. He said: it’s hard to see the light in solitary confinement. As long as I’m in the prison of what I thought, I can’t be a part of what You are doing.

Then Steven closed with a prayer. As if the prayer was just for me and my circumstances, he prayed: they got hopes up so high, they made a fool of themselves. He said: it’s You, I need to make sense of my life.

So, here is my prayer. This one is going to hurt. Steven may have been preaching about John the Baptist and he may have been preaching in North Carolina about a month ago, but you and I both know, he was also preaching about me, today, in Alabama. I still believe in your faithfulness. I still believe in your truth. I still believe in your holy word. Even when I don’t see, I still believe. I don’t even know what to pray for right now. Clarity maybe? Truth? Answers? I don’t know what I am supposed to do now, Father. I don’t know anything anymore. I feel like a fool. The world around me crumbled and it feels like there’s nothing left but uncertainty and storm damage. Yet somehow, I am still here, I am still standing. I built my life upon the rock so even when it’s storming, I’m still standing. I am soaked, head to toe. I am being tossed around by the wind. I am getting hit with debris. I am most definitely not ok, but I still believe. I feel lost, but I am not lost. I am yours. I am your child. I know who I am, because I know who You are. I have no clue where to go from here or what to do, but I know your light lives in me. I know you live in me. Lord, help me to know you’re near. Father, I love you and I am so so so terribly sorry. I don’t even have words to process this right now. The only thing I can say is I still believe. You are still good. You are still merciful. You are still King. You are still sovereign. You are still the way, the truth, and the life. You are still my life. Even when my world crumbles around me, You are still my everything. You are all I desire. You are all I need. You are my security. You are my safe place. You are my sanity. You are my sure reliance, my confident reliance. You are going to walk with me into this darkness and light it up. You are near. You never left even when I couldn’t see. You are still in control. 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.

We’ve all found ourselves worn out from the same old fight.

Yesterday, I went through a whirlwind of emotions. I was all kinds of emotional. This morning, I woke up, looked outside and decided to do things differently today. I always carry books with me, I went into my bag and grabbed the devotion book. I needed to spend some time with You. I was in desperate need of You this morning. I found the book laying around the house, it was one my mom read with some people from church a while back, Stuck study. Eight sessions on “the places we get stuck and the God who sets us free.”

Lord, You knew exactly what You were doing when I found that book. You knew exactly when I needed to open that first page. You knew exactly when I would need You the most. And I definitely needed You today. My friend and I were joking and she messaged me and said: “This is all I need! No man!” and sent a picture of her pizza. I responded with a moment of honesty: “Jesus. That’s what I need.” Then things got serious. She replied with this: “I need…..1. A man 2. Hope 3. To know I matter 4. Everything else you could think of 5. Oh and I’ve ran away from God so I prob need him”

Lord, I could’ve cried right there. I’ve been there. I’ve been in her shoes. I’ve lost my worth. I’ve run as far away from You as I possibly could. The funny thing about running from You though is You’re still there and our problems are too. Running doesn’t make our problems go away and it certainly doesn’t make us feel better. In the Stuck study, I read: “Nothing is more powerful than God getting bigger in our lives. He has the power to heal with a word.” On Pinterest there is a picture that says: “God is making things happen for you. Even when you don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident. God is working on your prayers.”

Ok. So. Here goes. Ernest Hemingway said: “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” I’m letting the light. Lord, I’m letting You all the way in. As for number 1, Charles Stanley said: “Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we are waiting for.” I have been praying for my future husband since my mama taught me how to pray. I saw this Instagram post that said: “I pray for him even though he doesn’t know about it because I wanna make sure God got him like I got him.” There was another one on Instagram saying: “Dear Future Husband, Find God. Find yourself. Then come find me.” Lord, maybe that’s what we both needed a reminder of today. Lord, I value love. I value him and I haven’t even been on a date yet. I value our relationship and it hasn’t even started yet. And most importantly, I value the relationship he has with You. That’s why I pray for him. I found You before I can even remember. I dedicated my life to You in the second grade and I have remade that commitment several times in my life. I started finding myself when I was a freshman in high school and I don’t know if either search ever really ends. I hope I’m always trying to find You in everything around me and I hope I never stop growing.

Number 2, 3, and 4, I believe those are found in faith. Proverbs 31 Ministries posted Whitney Capps saying: “Father, when my circumstances scream louder than my faith, help me cling to Your truth.” Lord, I tend to listen to the world when things are not going my way. But the truth is that faith is trust. Trust is something I struggle with daily. Trust means relying on You. Trust means giving up control. Trust means I am dependent on You. Trust means changing the way I think, feel, grow, live. Trust means giving my life to You completely. Trust means letting go. Letting go of the pain, resentment, hurt, sin, jealously, anger, brokenness. Trust means laying it all down and picking up the cross. You already did the hard part. You picked up everything I laid down. You died for me. All I have to do is lay down, what You already picked up. The first step is admitting I need You. The study said: “The space in which we are stuck, lacking, sinful, broken, and in need, is the space in us that longs for God, longs for forgiveness. When we soberly view ourselves and our sin, we see our need and call out for God.”

Number 5 hit me right in the heart because I run daily. I spent years running and I still try to run. In the study it says: “Before time began He knew people would rebel and run from Him, and He made a way to get them back in Christ.” My sweet friend is running from You. I ran from You. And still You hold Your hand out for us. Still You love us. We are the prodigal children. No matter how far we run, You arms are still open. Steven Furtick tweeted: “Fulfillment doesn’t start with getting what we want. It starts with wanting what God wants.” Romans 8: 14-15 says For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Stuck study said: “God will win this fight, but we have to start fighting it His way, on His terms.” 

At the end of the first chapter it asks: “Who are You, Lord? and What do You want from me?” Lord, I have spent so long asking the second question that I forget the first part. I grew up in the church, learning about You and Your stories, but I need to get to know You as an adult. I need You in my life. I need Your word in my life. Thomas Jefferson said: “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I pray that I hang on. I need you. I need your word. I need to run towards you and not away. I pray that I keep longing for you. I pray that I keep seeking you. I pray that I keep evaluating my life. I pray that I start making some changes in my life. I pray that I lay everything down. I pray that I pick up the cross. Lord, you already picked it up. I pray that I quit picking back up what I already laid down. I pray that I stop fighting you and let you fight for me. I pray that I stop rebelling. I pray that I want what you want. I pray that your love washes over me and changes me. I pray that I remember I am your child. I pray that I remember I don’t have to live like this. I pray that I don’t live in fear again. I pray that I cling to your truth. I pray that my faith screams louder than my circumstances. I pray that you become bigger in my life and my friend’s life. Lord, I pray you speak to her. I pray you keep knocking on the door to her heart. I pray that she sees her worth in you. I pray that she finds healing in your name. I pray for my future husband. I pray he finds you, finds himself and then finds me. I pray that he knows he is valued. I pray that you got him. I pray that you got my friend. And I pray that you got me too. 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.

And learn to love through the darkness and the light.

There is an episode of Girl Meets World that I was reminded of today. Riley got depressed and Maya was trying to pull her out of it. Maya pulled down her black curtains and Riley said: “Wow, there is a lot of light in this world.” Maya sat down next to her and replied: “If you let it in, yea.” 

Today, I needed to let the light in. My daddy always tried to teach me that everyone has good days and bad days. We have to learn to let the sunshine in. We have to learn to fight the darkness, instead of letting it consume us. I struggle with this, always have. I still need to remember that You have this. No matter how dark it seems, there will always be light, I just have to turn the light on. 2 Samuel 22:29 says: You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. Eric Lidell said: “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.” Lord, every part of my struggle and my success is part of your plan. You are not helpless among the ruins. When I realize I can’t do this on my own, is when I finally hand over the reins and allow You to work. I’m stubborn and try to fix everything on my own, but I don’t have to and Your ways are much greater than my own. 

Lysa Terkeurst yet again related to me on a deep level. She posted: “If you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down, those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and brokenness, you layer regret, shame and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost the girl inside who used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world. Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember: you are worthy because the Creator of the Universe says you are. Reclaim who you are today. Say out loud, ‘I am a daughter of the King. I am an overcomer. And with His strength, I can be whole again.'” Lysa also posted that her battle strategy is to worry less and worship more. Dayspring posted on Instagram that: “The measure of your worth to God is written in the palms of His hands.”

C.S. Lewis said: “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun-not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else.” That’s why I like the sun so much. It’s a reminder of faith. He also said: “Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.”

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them.” Steven Furtick posted: “You won’t rise to the occasion if you weren’t faithful to the process.” Before I came back home, my person told me that too. She told me that she got a lot closer to You when she moved back home after her graduation.

So, that is my prayer today. No matter what my circumstances are, I pray that I stop letting the darkness win. I pray that I stop letting the water in my ship. I pray that I remember I am a vessel for you. I pray that I stop letting myself drown. I pray that I come up for air. I pray that I keep turning the light on. I pray that I keep reaching for you. I pray that I remember you are my lamp, my light, my sun. I pray that I show more kindness in my process. I pray that learn to love in the darkness and the light. I pray that I let you work in me. I pray that I remind myself that you are the creator of the universe. I pray that I remember to say thank you for showing me my worth. I pray that I reclaim who I am. I am your daughter. You are my king. I am an overcomer because you overcame. Lord, you overcame death. You overcame sin. You overcame darkness. With your strength, I can be whole again. I pray that I worship you more. Thank you for writing my name on the palm of your hands. Thank you for bringing light into my day. Thank you for bringing light into my darkness. Thank you for allowing me to see through you. Thank you for allowing me to hold onto you in sprite of my changing moods and circumstances. Thank you for allowing me to grow closer to you. Thank you for this time. Thank you for this process. Thank you for always holding true. I pray that I stay with you. 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.