So I was in conversation with a friend today and she made a comment about next week being March, and I had to do a double-take… can you believe that we’re already moving full steam ahead toward spring? (Of course, for those of us in the South it has felt like spring for a while now.) I was really holding out hope that we’d get one more solid snow in Richmond before winter went away, but I think I’m out of luck on that one.
Anyway, it has been a crazy and fun few weeks for us, filled with a lot of growth and important questions as we figure out what’s next now that we’re comfortably settled in RVA. I’ve found myself asking a lot of questions from God recently, and speaking candidly with Him about my lofty hopes and dreams for everything from life in general to my career and much more.
If I’m being completely honest, it has felt a little weird at times — almost like I’m being naïve — to look to God and tell Him what I want for my life when I know that His plans will (and should) prevail. But in a silent and very subtle way, doing this has really started to strengthen my reliance on prayer and the priority it has in my everyday life. Just recently, I started getting up a little bit earlier each day so I could have time before work to pray about the day ahead. I had gotten to a point where cynicism was intertwined in my everyday thoughts from morning to night, and it just wasn’t good for me. It hindered me from approaching my work and my marriage and so many other things with the respect and Gospel-centered attention they deserve, so that’s what led me to be more intentional about where prayer fits into my day.
I certainly haven’t perfected it, and like I touched on earlier, I didn’t even notice the change it was creating inside of me until the other night when I encountered a situation that made me feel helpless on the inside. It wasn’t one of those momentous, ‘stop everything’ kind of situations, but I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about: the small feeling that wears on you just a little bit until you have a chance to think about it. I hate those moments so much that the first thing I ask myself is “how can I let this go?” Normally my instinct is to distract myself, possibly write about it (typically in a self-centered, overly analytical type of way), or find someone who will agree with what I say and allow them to affirm my every thought. But this time, my first thought was different: pray about it.
It sounds almost too simple, and in full transparency I’ve spent many a time being somewhat averse to hearing people blurt out “just pray about it” when people talk about their problems. But when I think about prayer less as a way to fix my situation and more about being in communion with God, the way I see it completely changes. Lately I’ve felt so much more comfort in knowing that when I talk to the Lord, He truly walks alongside me — feeling my pain with me, rejoicing with me in my triumphs, knowing exactly where feelings of uncertainty and hurt are rooted — and all so much better than I do. What if there was no such thing as prayer? What if God initiated no way for us to bring the deepest parts of our hearts forward to Him so that we could know Him more? It’s when I really start to explore this question that Psalm 139:13-14 (For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.) takes on so much of a deeper meaning: God knows us. God loves us. God meets us where we are.
I think it’s important for me to write these words and it’s important for you to read these words, and here’s why: there will be days when we forget this very important truth. We will get distracted and cynicism may once again seep into our everyday thoughts. And it’s when we’re in those moments that we have to come back to this and remember that God meets us where we are. The burden is lifted, Jesus paid the penalty for your sins, and God meets you where you are – because you are His.
Coming from someone who regrettably doesn’t always appreciate the power of prayer, I hope this resonates with you. I hope you get that you may not be where others are right now in your faith – maybe you’re unsure, or you are a Christian but you don’t know how that fits into your everyday life, or you find yourself in a rut in your faith right now. God meets you where you are. Be encouraged and hopeful in that, because it is a beautiful reality that we don’t deserve. It’s the beauty of the Gospel.
Want to chat further on any of this? You’re always welcome to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wanted to end this post with a few pictures from life lately, but it looks like the moral of that story is that I need to take more pictures. :) Have a great week, friends!