My Most Common Prayer

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe.  When you’ve been removed from a strong community and you are feeling like you are on your own in this whole walking with the Lord thing, I just feel like day after day I stand questioning everything.  I don’t think questions are bad, though.  I think you take the good with the bad.  But at the end of every day, I find myself laying in bed, and praying these lyrics over and over again.  This song sings the loudest cries of my heart right now.

Stand By Me.

What a year.  I cannot believe that my Junior year is quickly coming to an end.  As I look back on the past 9 months, I really wonder what the heck happened?  My year was chaos.

Fall semester was a combination of sorrow & joy, confusion & clarity, being overwhelmed, & then relieved, feeling weak but then empowered.  & spring semester was a crazy transition for me.  One that brought along loneliness, anxiety, stress, and fear.  But I was not alone.  The women in my life came alongside me, & helped me carry my burdens.  I honestly feel like I will never be able to repay these girls for the comfort, truth, and love they have shown me throughout the school year.  The thing that I cherished the most was the fact that I was constantly pointed back towards Christ.

If you are reading this & you are one of my brothers & sisters in Christ please know this:  I thank the Lord for you being in my life each & every day.  & as we get ready to go our separate ways for the summer, my prayer for you is that above all other things on your schedule for this summer, that you are running after the Lord.  Let’s do this together.  Let’s truly drop all our boundaries that we place in God’s way, & truly let Him grow us over the next few months.

Silly girl.

Yesterday was a rainy day.  On my walk home from class I was praying & then I legitimately started praying against the evils of the crosswalk lines causing anyone on campus any harm today as they walk to their classes.  After I wrapped up my prayer, I started thinking about how much God must laugh at me sometimes.   But, I know that He has a sense of humor.  If He didn’t, I wouldn’t have one, because I was made in His likeness.  It’s really cool to think about the fact that as awkward as this world sees me, my Heavenly Father just looks down at me with a smile on his face & says “That’s my girl.  My silly, silly girl.”

Spring Retreat 2011

Spring Retreat 2011. [Never the Same]

It was a good time.  Friday afternoon we piled into our cars & headed to Camp Faholo in Grass Lake, MI.  After we got settled in in our cabins & did a little adventuring, we went to our first session where we got to hear a really cool message about Never Being the Same because we have met Christ.  The speaker, Bryan, spoke about Luke 7:36-50 & broke it down into 3 keys to being “forgiven much”: 1. Meet the REAL Jesus. 2. His Holiness makes us realize our debt. 3. His love makes us run to Him.  I think the talk really made me think about if I look at the real Jesus in all of His Holiness daily, or if I make a version of Him that fits better into my life.

Saturday morning we had Women’s Time: Hot Messes Unite.  I LOVED THIS TIME!  Bryan’s wife, Lauren spoke about our identity in a way I had never heard before.  I am so used to being told that I am “a beautiful woman of the Lord.”  & after a while, I have really started to cling to one word in that phrase.  Beautiful.  God makes me beautiful.  & I take joy in that.  & there isn’t anything wrong in taking joy in your God-given beauty, however, something Lauren said really spoke to me when she stated “If you cling to the wrong identities, you will miss God’s big moment for you.” I am not just beautiful in the Lord, but I am strong, bold, powerful, intelligent, comical, creative, musical.  There is so much that God has made me.  But more importantly, I AM HIS DAUGHTER.  & that needs to come first.  That needs to drive me more than any other part of my identity.  I need to live life like Esther.  “If I perish, I perish.”  If someone doesn’t like me, they don’t like me.  If I am uncomfortable, I am uncomfortable.  If I don’t get that lake house, I don’t get a lake house. “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God.” AHH!  YES!

In the afternoon we went to really awesome seminars.  I went to the ones on Natural Evangelism & Delighting in the Lord.  & then at the night session, Bryan spoke again about Dreaming Big.  I will be honest, I am still processing what he spoke to us from Ephesians 1:15-20.  He left us with two very convicting questions: Do I give God the chance to do the extraordinary in me?  & Do I dream God-sized dreams?

I am still thinking about & processing things from retreat.  & to be honest, today I got a little distracted.  I put school & insecurities first, & The Word & prayer on the back burner.  I guess if you’re reading this & you have any desire to pray for me, please pray that the Lord will continue to show me His sovereign, faithful, and sufficient character. Pray that I know that He is enough. & I am enough in Him.  & pray that I will be willing to step out of my comfort zone & make an effort to really connect with people this week even though I have a lot of schoolwork to do.

& If you need prayers, reply to this post, email me [dsmith1287@gmail.com], message me, call me.  I would love to join alongside you in your journey.

Desert.

Today has been an up & down day.  I was more than delighted to catch up on some much needed sleep.  & then enjoyed the company of friends.  & then I had a random moment of insecurity.  & so I threw myself into The Word, & let the Lord comfort me with His loving words & promises.  & then I enjoyed being productive in my schoolwork, only to have a small moment of insecurity, & then the process would start again.  In reality, it’s not an enjoyable situation to be in.  To be honest, it’s hard to look at the positive, it just sucks.  To feel like you did something wrong, or you weren’t enough.

I’m just trying to remind myself that this is day 1.  That it is not always going to be like this. That the Lord is faithful.  & His love is enough. that I am adequate in His eyes.  & in reality, it is only His eyes that matter.

 

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be empited again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

The Desert Song [Hillsong]

Tisk. Quelf.

Yesterday was a very difficult day.  It was a day of too much thought, clutter, & tasks.  & not enough time, or joy.  It all finally crashed down on me when I was sitting at Hope-A-Palooza.  There I was, listening to people’s personal stories of hope, listening to songs of God’s love and the hope there is in that, & then listening to a powerful message being preached by a completely gifted man, & I just wanted to leave, crawl into a hole, & cry.  Once I realized that giving into my temptation of assuming fetal position in the aisle of the lecture hall was not a valid option, I found that the only option I did have was to pray.  But to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood to pray.  I guess I didn’t really trust that it would be heard or that it would be answered…I don’t know what my problem was.  I could only think of a short prayer.  ”God, I haven’t laughed all day.  Please just give me something to have a good laugh about.” Boy did He deliver!  I met up with some friends for a game night.  After catching up for a while we settled on playing the game Quelf.  My character was Queen Spatula (on the left in the picture above.)  Of course, I fittingly renamed her Sand Princess.  As we played the game without a board & made up the rules as we went, God gave me plenty of opportunities to laugh.  & then laugh more.  & then that laughter turned into joy.  & that joy was from a true appreciation for the people that have been placed in my life.  I finally understood the theme of the whole Hope outreach this week. Maybe I didn’t see it at first because I’m not placing my hope in “bad things” like drinking, drugs, sexual relationships, etc.  So I didn’t think that I truly had anything to learn this week.b But that doesn’t mean my Hope is in the right place.  If I go through my day with my hope in my classes, my family, my friendships, or my relationship, I’m going to be having a lot more of those moments where I want to curl into the fetal position.  Tonight, however, I chose to place my hope in the Lord, even though it was by being obedient and saying the most simple prayer I think I’ve ever prayed, in that God reminded me that my prayers are heard – they will be answered. & He is the right place to put my hope.