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#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #26

Prayer: “God, please. Please let my marriage work. I don’t want a divorce. Just tell me what I did wrong. What do I need to do? What am I supposed to learn from this? Am I missing something? Did I make a mistake? If I did, just tell me. I can handle it.”

Tears on my pillow were the only way I could encapsulate my unspoken pain during that season of my marriage. I was at a loss. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t experiencing the Christian matrimonial dream. After all, I followed the regimen. I adhered to the plan. You know… the “1, 2, 3, voilà!” plan. When you’re a young Christian girl, you’re told to keep your legs closed, stay involved in church activities, and follow God’s direction for your life, then bam — you get a husband and 2-3 kids. It’s an absurd equation, but I believed it. I thought if I did everything by the Book, I would receive a beautiful marriage as a reward. On numerous occasions, I told people that I was only marrying one time. No exceptions and no divorce for me. Ever. And I desperately prayed for that confession to be true, but unfortunately, that prayer did not materialize.

My late former husband was not the focus of my prayer and is not the focus of this post. My anguish, despair, and confusion… that’s what was folded within the words of that prayer. My mind was in a whirlwind because I couldn’t understand what went wrong in the equation. What didn’t I do correctly? Have you ever been there?

If those questions relate to marriage in your life, let me help you with something that unfolded in the answer to that prayer up there. God doesn’t reward “good” Christian men and women with marriage and punish His other sons and daughters with singlehood, widowhood, or divorce. That’s crazy. It would insinuate that your only purpose in life is to be married and there are Biblical examples that prove otherwise. Even now as I type, I shake my head at the ludicrosity. Marriage is not a prize. It is a calling… an assignment… that you are better together and that your purposes on this Earth are perpetually intertwined. My late former husband and best friend was an exceptional man and regardless of the outcome of our marriage, our purposes were definitely designed to cross.

Right now, wherever you are, pray that real prayer. Don’t be afraid of your vulnerable humanity. I am proof that He listens and He will heal. And it’s OK to say “I don’t know where this leads… but I trust you.”

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweetheart.

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #25

Prayer: “Please bless every follower, every reader, every person that sees and hears this message.”

I don’t know where you are, what you’re going through, and where your faith lies, but I do know that I care about you. Every one of you. Whether we meet via blog, book, or speaking engagement, the prayer stays the same.

When your username appears on my screen, I pray for your well-being. I pray for your families, your careers, your hopes, your fears… I pray that you experience joy and strength in times of need. Since there is a mix of friends, family, and strangers that read this blog, I don’t take your time and visit for granted. Something about this place resonates with you, so I am glad we are connected.

I never check for likes. I check for connections and I pray for each one. Why? Because you’re not a username. You’re a person… a life. And if no one has told you today, let me be the first — I’m glad you’re here, you are here on purpose, and I appreciate you. Let’s keep going.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweethearts!

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #23

Prayer: “Lord, please make this work. I really need this to work.”

Have you ever had all the eggs in one basket and you were hoping you weren’t an idiot for putting them there, but you had to wait it out to see if it was a dumb move or a smart step? Cool. I knew I had found my people.

It reminds me of the bridge in my favorite hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” –

“O, what piece we often forfeit

O, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.”

Sweethearts, I’ve had my fair share of forfeited peace. Plenty of moments where it was no one’s fault but mine. I saw the signs and walked straight into (or stayed in) the quicksand. Maybe I thought it was truly a smart step or I didn’t want to be deemed a quitter. Either way, I was still stuck in it. I’ve also experienced times when I took God at His Word and couldn’t ssee the dividends of doing so. Same prayer applied in each scenario.

Whatever it is that you’re in, pray for it to work. Now, here’s the kicker… when you do that, you relinquish your right to choose the avenue in which it will work out and in what capacity. It could mean that you don’t get the raise, but you increase in favor with your colleagues and supervisor. That happened to me. It could mean that you are let go under false pretenses, but you are released before the crap hits the fan and the workplace reeks of unethical behavior. That happened to me too. In essence, be prepared for all things to work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

I’m praying for you all. You got this and God’s got you. Peace and Thanks for listening! It will work out!

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #21

Prayer: “God, you gotta help me get rid of this. It’s eating me alive.”

Bitterness is such a tricky thing. First, it seduces you like a delectable dessert. With every bite, it becomes part of your spiritual DNA… infecting the entrails of your common sense. You become infused with anger as it dilutes your happiness. Its roots take hold of every good thing that has happened to you and you become a hostage in your own skin. The bars seemed passion-retardant and kindness-resistant. On the outside, you’re doing fine but on the inside, you’re a caged phoenix.

That’s what a particular season of bitterness had done to me and I had finally reached the point where I could admit it. And I was bitter for a good reason if you ask me. A viable reason. One-hundred-percent-not-my-fault reason… but I was only one harboring the storm in my spirit while the offender seemed to frolic in a sea of Dutch tulips.

During my prayer, the words didn’t sound right to me and I’m so glad it didn’t matter. I let them out anyway. All I knew was I felt like I was choking in the vomit of my pain and I couldn’t take it anymore… and He heard me. I would be lying if I said I only dealt with bitterness once in my life. The cool difference about now and then is that I recognize it before that bite. I see it for what it is and I ask God for help much sooner than I used to.

I pray that you do the same. Don’t let it reel you in.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweetheart.

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #18

Prayer: “Lord, I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why can’t things just go right?!”

My passionate expression probably seems outlandish, childish even, but God knows I’m serious. He knows that I don’t pout at every little thing. I take the brunt of various blows so my friends, family, and teammates do not have to. It’s how I’m wired. Oh, but every now and then, I just have a good old-fashioned fit. I wouldn’t call it a tantrum, but close calls have occurred. The contents of said fit generally include a raw verbal exchange with my Heavenly Father, frustration tears, and deep breathing. Afterward, I usually end up praying words of thanksgiving and leveling up my faith that everything will work out.

Max Lucado calls it “the perfect storm”… the rather imperfectly perfect blend of unfortunate things that could happen all at once. For the most part, I chew up that storm and keep my energy focused on what’s ahead. I channel unnecessary energy to the Truth that there is an end to the misfortune. At times, it just gets too much and I am purely annoyed and frustrated. If I had a fistful of flour, my inclination would be to throw it all over the place. If there was a punching bag, it would ask for mercy… but only for about 2 minutes. Yes, you read correctly. When I need to just get it out, I do and I give myself a time limit to do so. My flustered self may scream, whine, grunt, cry… whatever it takes. Then once it’s out, it’s out. My faith takes over and God reinforces His strength in me and I’m geared up for the fight again.

That “perfect storm” allows God to show Himself strong in me and also in the situation that is trying to smother me at that moment. I’m also crazy enough to believe that He allows me to release the pressure valve if needed. Whenever that is. Without judgment. Without shame. I can go there with Him and I love it.

I pray that you release your real prayer in the midst of your “perfect storm.” Get it out. Say it, breathe through it, and do so unapologetically to your Creator. It’s definitely better out than in.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweetheart!

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #15

Prayer: “I want to love You with no strings.”

I am a firm believer in loving with your whole heart. After all, what good is it to say “I love you” and harness what it entails? That has always boggled my mind. Even as a child, I wanted to give bubble gum CDs out of the fullness of my heart. I loved shopping for Valentine’s Day cards to give my classmates. Opening up wasn’t a fearful act until I was crushed. After that, I stopped buying gifts for a while because I didn’t want to be hurt again (and it was also hurting my pockets). Pretty standard story, right?

Well, without knowing it, I had applied that rationale to God too. I went through a season of being scared to share my whole self with Him. I would pray and not realize how restrictive I was with my insecurities, questions, painful parts, and broken heartstrings. One day, I decided to change that narrative. If I could love others like a free bird, why couldn’t I release that flow to my Creator?

All of you deserves to be loved — fully and without reserve. Go ahead and start the conversation. He knows you anyway. He made you with His good intentions and there is nothing else He wants from you other than unrestricted Love.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweetheart. Pray with any open heart. It’s worth it.

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #14

Prayer: “Lord, please cover my words. I didn’t mean to say it like that. Just cover all of that, please. I’m so sorry. Let them know I didn’t mean it.”

I’ve said plenty of things that I didn’t mean. It may have come out of my mouth with a little more heat than I expected or it wasn’t as clear as the thought in my mind. Either way, I was put in a position where I couldn’t take it back or I couldn’t reach the person to fix it. Like a muddy pig, my words slipped out and there was no redeeming the moment.

One time, I was at an event where my team donated water. I mentioned over the mic that our water was cold and my team later tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that it could have been taken in a negative way… as if to throw shade at other water donors. That thought was the furthest thing from my mind when I said it and I couldn’t run back on stage to fix it. All I do was pray that prayer above. It may be small, but I never want to hurt anyone in word or deed — knowingly or unknowingly.

Sweethearts, it’s inevitable that your words will not adequately reflect your intent one day if it hasn’t already. I pray that you’re wise enough to own it and ask God for forgiveness. I’ve run into people that recalled me from an event and they had no clue what I was apologizing for. God always knows the heart. Remember that. And you’re not perfect. Remember that too. Just do your best to have a clear highway in your heart for God’s Love to always land.

prov 21.2

Peace & Keep Praying, Sweethearts. May God direct the words of us all and clarify our intentions toward each other.

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #13

Prayer: “Lord, please help my friend.”

The worst feeling for me is wanting to provide assistance but something is blocking me from doing so. I’ve experienced blockages of both distance and spiritual directives when it came to those situations. There were times when I truly wanted to extend myself and God told me no. That hurt just as bad as not being physically present in their time of need. Now, my friends (and I don’t take that term lightly) know they can call me at any time. If I can, I will — they know that too, but what do you when your hands are tied? When you know that this is a lesson they have to learn on their own? When you want to do it for them, but you know it will handicap them instead? When you’re hundreds of miles away? I had to learn to release that control freak to God too.

I say this often — I’m not Jesus, but I do listen to Him. I can’t be everywhere for everybody. I can’t make every baby shower, wedding shower, bridal party, funeral, birthday party, retirement party, hospital stay, court hearing, church event… you get the point. Trust me, I tried and it was an exhausting lesson of my finite abilities. I had to make peace with that unfortunate truth and send prayers where my hands couldn’t reach. Sometimes, I’ve sent prayers and a PayPal blessing where my pockets permitted. Other times, I stopped what I was doing, tucked away in an empty classroom or closed the door to my office and interceded on their behalf. Whether through my hands or my lips, through a text message or through a hug, my friends are always on my prayer list and I have learned to let God move through me however he wishes in order to confirm His Love in their situation. I’ve gone through some doozies with my tribes, but they always appreciate prayer… and so do I.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweethearts! Keep praying for your friends and listening for your next steps! I love y’all!

#bloglikecrazy: Peep My Prayers #12

Prayer: “Thank you for my life. It may not be everything I thought it would be, but it’s not as bad as it could be. I appreciate where I am. Thank you for being here with me.”

I’ve had my fair share of close calls and downfalls. I could have lost my life due to car accidents alone (before I started driving) not to mention the other unfortunate situations that could have taken me out of the game. If you ask me, I believe I’ve had a spiritual hit on me for quite some time, but I’m still here.

Outside sentiments usually include “You’re so busy!” “What can’t you do?” “How do you make time for all of that? and “When do you get to rest?” If you only knew how often I thought my time was up and that I wouldn’t get the chance to realize my visions, you’d understand why my grind-rest balance is so strong. I also had seasons of bitterness (yeah, definitely more than one) because my social clock wasn’t ticking according to everyone else’s timetable. Then that prayer became a breathing point in my spirit to re-align myself with the truth. No, I don’t have the things I thought I would at this age, but I have had some groovy things transpire so far like international travel and exhilarating performances. Amazing food experiences and friend excursions full of joy and authenticity. Moments of supernatural solitude and beautiful loving relationships. I’ve gone deep-sea diving into myself and found gems unbeknownst to words. I have a clear sense of self, reverence for God, and a refined focus on my purpose. All before the age of 40. For that, I will be forever grateful.

I thank God for my life. All that it is. All that it isn’t. Everything it has yet to become.

Peace & Thanks for listening, Sweethearts! Keep praying and I am praying for you!

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