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.

Advertisements

There’s gonna be a great rejoicing.

I woke up this morning with a need to talk to You, Lord. I saw this interview with Stephen Fry a couple of days ago and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. He was asked what would he say to You. His response: “I’ll say, bone cancer in children, what’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say.” I’ve heard the interview before but didn’t know what to say or think or do. Seeing the interview reposted a few days ago, I watched it again. I could see the hurt and pain and anger behind Mr. Fry’s words, but all I could think is what I heard in that movie I watched yesterday, In-Lawfully Yours. The pastor in the movie kept saying you can’t be angry with someone you don’t believe in.

This time, I would like to address his remarks. First off, that world he said You created Lord, where there is misery that is not our fault. You didn’t create a world with injustice and pain. You didn’t created a world filled with sin. You didn’t create us with malice. You created the Garden of Eden. You created perfection. You created beauty and life. You also gave us free will and asked us not to eat from one singular tree. But we chose that tree. We keep choosing that tree. We had the option of staying in the Garden of Eden or that tree and we pick that tree every single time. We’re all prodigal children walking away from You because we think we know better or can find better.

Now, about cancer. I don’t know why kids get cancer or anyone gets cancer for that matter. But I do know, You, God are still good. Lord, You have a purpose. You have a plan. I have a narrow and focused view of the world. I can only see what is right in front of me. But, Lord, You have an eternity plan. You are all-seeing. When I look, I can certainly see that cancer is bad, but that doesn’t mean You are. When I look, I can certainly see that pain and death is bad, but that doesn’t mean You are. When I look, I can certainly ask why my friend had to die so young or why my grandma had to suffer, but that doesn’t mean You are bad. You have this glorious plan that covers all time and all things. There is a reason, though sometimes I can’t see it or understand it. Nicole Reed said: “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” Maybe You were protecting us from something else or teaching us something or maybe one thing had to happen so that something else would like a domino effect. I can’t begin to understand Your plan. Your ways are not my ways. My brain can’t begin to wrap around what You see. There was a teacher in Tennessee that had cancer and was sitting at home when the entire school and faculty showed up in his driveway to praise You with him. When I look, I can certainly see Your hand in everything around me. When I look, I can certainly see Your goodness.

“Questions of this world, someday will be known.”

In bible study last week, we finished Stronger by Angela Thomas-Pharr. We watched the last video, God Is Stronger Than Every Broken Thing In Me. In the video, she tells a story about her 8 year old son running a 5k. At the end of the race, she was waiting at the finish line cheering: “bring it on home, baby, bring it on home.” So, he runs back to her crying and saying: “Mama, it was so hard.” She responded with: “but, baby, you did it!” Then he said: “that last part was all uphill.” She said that’s how she saw Heaven when our time is done. She saw Angels cheering: “bring it on home” and You, God waiting with open arms saying: “baby girl, you’re home.” Lord, sometimes our journey is all uphill battle, but You are teaching me to press on, every single day.

 

So, here is my prayer today. I pray for Mr. Fry. I pray that you heal his hurt. I pray that you open his eyes and soften his heart. I pray that you keep knocking on his heart, Lord. I pray that you don’t give up on him. Lord, he believes in you, he just doesn’t understand you. Lord, I pray that you help him see your goodness. God, I may not be able to understand your plan, but thank you for it. Thank you for the good stuff that I forget to appreciate and to thank you for. Thank you for the lessons from the bad stuff. Thank you for the assignments and work. Thank you for your ways. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your benevolence. Thank you open arms. Thank you for Heaven. Thank you allowing me to run my race with endurance and passion. Thank you for teaching me to press on. Thank you for the grand reunion. Thank you for the great rejoicing. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for showing me your goodness. Thank you for showing me 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.