It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t kick this post off by saying: GO. HEELS. We are National Champions, y’all! Monday night was amazing in so many ways — I screamed my head off and freaked out and became way too emotionally invested in college basketball, but I do believe it comes with a territory when you go to the University of North Carolina. So for now and for many more years to come, I will probably brag about 2017. #sorrynotsorry.
Moving on from basketball… the past few weeks have been wonderful in so many ways, and I’m excited to share them on the blog with you this morning. I mentioned in one of my posts a few weeks back that I had been making an effort to get up a little bit earlier in the morning to sit down and pray before starting off my day. Even though I never, ever expected to find myself rolling out of bed for anything other than necessity, this habit has actually continued to grow on me and I have to tell you, it has made for not only some of the sweetest times of prayer over the past few weeks, but it has also been a time of watching big things happen in my heart AND in my life.
Lately I’ve been watching the people who are closest to me go through times of celebration, hurt, confusion, triumph and so many other life stages that can result in rapid reactions from those around them. But as I’ve sat in my living room with coffee in hand every morning and prayed fervently for these people and their lives, I’ve been able to see their struggles and their excitement through the lens of God answering prayer. I want to take a second to emphasize that last part: God answering prayer. Literally: me, little old me, speaking words filled with hope and hurt and confusion, not ever knowing how to say what I want to say in an eloquent manner, and God hearing those words and bringing them to life through the people I love most. It is powerful and it is raw and it is so glorious that we serve a God who hears us. It is so amazing that when someone tells me what life has been like lately, my response is, “wow, I was just praying about that for you today.” Can you imagine if that’s what our lives and our relationships looked like across the board?
And I use all of this to say that this time in my life where the Lord has blessed me with a quiet corner of our apartment to do nothing but be still and know that He is God has led me to want so much more than what I have right now. Not in terms of resources or finances or milestones, but in terms of community and passion and fearlessness. I’m going to be honest, there have been many times when I’ve joined in on songs like “Set a Fire” during worship and when the line “I want more of you, God” comes along, I don’t feel like those words and that desire is truly pouring out of my heart. But lately, it has burned like a fire inside of me.
We never really know what’s happening deep down inside of the hearts of others, but I have to admit that when I’ve come across people in the past who express the same sentiment that I’ve described here, I’ve always pictured them as so enlightened and carefree. For me, it doesn’t feel like that. I feel like a servant of the Lord more than I ever have — and while that is a great blessing, it is also a challenge day in and day out. I constantly find myself struggling as I ask the question, “what does it look like to be a gospel-centered friend / employee / wife / daughter?” And most of the time, I find myself discouraged at how I’m so unequipped to do so — but, joy comes in the morning. Day after day, I bring my hurt and my hope to the Lord and in His overwhelming love, He shows me the real, true result of prayer through the people that I love so deeply.
Wherever you’re at right now, I want to wholeheartedly encourage you to push for more. If it is helpful to you, my morning prayer sessions started out few and far between. But the Lord is working in our efforts, He really is. God is working whether we are paying attention or not — of that, you can be sure. But I promise that when you shift your sights to pay attention to what He is doing, this world and your life will become so much more glorious. Let’s ask for more.