You’ve given me Your love, and it’s made me free.

I started reading The Single Woman by Mandy Hale and one of the things she talks about is stress. She told this story of how she noticed that stress was affecting her everyday life. She even noticed it in the way she drives her car. She hunches over the steering wheel paranoid of what could happen and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I do the same thing!! I didn’t even realize it affected my driving or how I sit in a chair or how I communicate with people. I know it’s affected my friendships. I have this completely irrational fear that secretly everyone hates me. I feel like I need to constantly tell people how much they mean to me or how much I love them so they’ll always know. Every time I tell them though I get scared that I’m suffocating them or smothering them. Like by loving them so much that I’m pushing them away. Like I’m overwhelming them or being to clingy. Like I need to give them space so, then I try to give them space and I worry that they’ll forget me. I’m scared they will realize they don’t need me and that will push them away. Like it is a constant struggle. Like no matter what I do, it pushes people away.

I’ve tried to cut the anxiety and stress and worry out of my life. I know these are irrational fears. Mandy Hale wrote about her own experience and how she doesn’t know how to relax. I can totally relate. I can’t sit still, period. I have to always be doing something. Except I can’t do anything alone either. Like I can’t even go to church alone. I haven’t been in a while, except when I’m in Birmingham, because I’m scared. I know that it doesn’t make any sense so, why do I still let the fear control my life? Trent Shelton said: “the will of God will never take you where the grace of God does not protect you.” I need to remember that more.

Plus, I’m completely and utterly terrified of Cruella De Vil. Like she totally haunted my nightmares for like ever. They are bringing 101 Dalmatians out of the Disney Vault and putting the “diamond edition” on dvd. (Ummm there is nothing sparkly about Cruella! Put that thing back in the vault!)

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3

“The phrase ‘do not be afraid’ is written in the Bible 365 times. That’s a daily reminder from God to live everyday being fearless.”

There is this quote on pinterest that says “to pray is to let go and let God take over.” Then is lists Philippians 4:6-7 which says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I stop letting fear lead me. I pray that I have the courage to look towards you instead. I pray that you put your hand on my life. I pray that I learn to relax and calm down. I pray I learn to take a deep breath and breathe. I pray that I learn to take the advice from Mandy Hale’s book by taking a dance class or painting or simply taking a bubble bath more often. I pray that no matter how scared I get or how hurt I’ve been that I keep loving those around me. I pray that I keep showing love to those around me. I pray that I love myself more too, anxiety and all. I pray that I go to church and spend more time with you even if I have to walk in alone. I pray that you give me strength. I pray that I let go of the fear. Thank you for making me free to love by loving me. I pray that I listen to your word more and let go of my fears and trust in 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.

It’s the prayer in an empty room.

Yesterday, was not my finest. It was one thing after another that messed up. I was riding in the car and on the radio some guy was telling a story and told this person that sometimes the Devil throws punches because you’re special. It reminded of a part in a Taylor Swift song: “People throw rocks at things that shine.” Sometimes people hurt our feelings. What matters is how we react. Michael Jordan said: “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” Lord, we can’t control what others do or say to us, but we can control what we say and do. Trent Shelton said: “You’ll never be enough to somebody who can’t recognize your worth. You can’t make them see what they choose to stay blind to.” There is no point in concentrating on what others see in us. What is important is what You in us.

When I got home, on my desk was this quote I had written down a while ago. It said: “It’s ok to be a glow stick, sometimes we need to break before we shine.” Lord, sometimes we need the bad days to remind us how good the good days are or so we can be reminded that there is still good in the bad days. Sometimes, we need to fall on our knees before You in order to realize what’s important. Taylor Swift said: “There’s a fire inside of you that can’t help but shine through.” Even on our bad days we can still shine for You.

In a conference, I attended, where Hannah Brencher was speaking, she read this quote that has stuck with me. “Bless me with enough foolishness to believe that I can make a difference in the world; so that I can do what others claim cannot be done.” I loved that so much! Lord, You are teaching me to be more and do more, every single day.

Max Lucado said: “Live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.” Changing the world doesn’t take much. All people have to do is change their thoughts which will change their actions. Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” All it takes to change the world is really quite simple, just show more kindness. All we have to do is show a little more love. All we have to do is show a little more of the love and kindness that You showed us.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I learn to show more kindness. I pray that I am nicer to those around me. I pray that I am more patient and forgiving. I pray that I am more compassionate and encouraging. Thank you for holding me up. Thank you for giving me my special gifts and talents. I pray that I use them for your will. I pray that I show more of you. I pray that I remember even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. 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 running to Your arms.

My sister shared this video with me called Be Still from Trent Shelton. In the video he says “Too many times we let the fear of loneliness put us in situations that God never intended for us to be in.” Well call me out why don’t you. I mean, I am or have been on plenty of fish,, christian mingle, and tinder. (Bless the heart of those on tinder, Lord they need you, myself included.) My sister tried to get me on too. I am awkward and never left elementary school when it comes to dating. I am still waiting on one of my childhood best friends to tell me he loves me like my parents or Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World. I smile and run away. (Sometimes literally run.) I confuse friendship with guys for liking them all the time and it works out soooo great. I can’t keep a guy friend to save my life because I always thought that you had to be friends before a relationship could happen.

I am so busy looking for the fairytale that I feel like I am missing something. Trent also said “Sometimes that holding pattern that you don’t want, is the blessing that your life needs. Holding patterns are necessary because it allows God to properly prepare you for what He has for you.” Part of me is like “well how much preparing do I need?” The other part quickly responds with “clearly a lot.” Trent also mentioned “He first wants to make you His before He gives you to someone else.” Well how can I argue with that?

“You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing

You are life, you are life
In You death has lost it’s sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough

And nothing compares
To Your embrace”

I have never been in a real relationship before. I had those boyfriends growing up that were just kinda in name only. We would talk on the phone or write notes in class but that was pretty much it. I have no experience at all. My parents were high school sweethearts and by the time they were my age they were married and already had me. I wanted that. (Maybe not the kid part, I’m not ready for that yet. I’d settle for a dog though.) I get so caught up in my own timing that I forget that God has bigger plans for my life. Or maybe it’s not about me. Maybe he needs more time. Maybe my future husband just isn’t ready yet.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that I learn to see your timing is better than my own. I pray that you are working on my heart. I pray that you are working on his heart. I pray for guidance, encouragement, and protection for him. I pray that he is running to you 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.