My prayer journal is a sacred place. I share the most intimate parts of my heart with God in there – fears, insecurities, hurts, desires, and praises. Sometimes when I am writing “things” that I did not even know I had tucked away inside of me just come pouring out. It is as if the pen is plugged into my heart without the censoring of my mind. Total truth. Total surrender.
If anyone wanted to know the “real” me, that is where I exist. Some people know me as so funny that they have encouraged me to pursue stand up comedy – true story! Others know me as shy, professional, or reserved. The “me” that I have known for most of my life, the person that I have “seen” when I looked in the mirror was simply “flawed and imperfect.” That was the “me” that I accepted and knew. Inside of me there was very little peace.
Getting back to the prayer journal – when I get to the end of a prayer, I close my journal and lay down my pen most often without expectation. It often feels awkward to lay it down and walk away. The best way that I can describe it would be a feeling of “incompletion.” An unfinished conversation.
I remember when my husband and I were becoming “us” we frequently communicated via one form of messaging or another. Many times I would re-think the conversation and wonder if I had conveyed my thoughts clearly. I would wonder if he was feeling the same things that I was or when we would talk next. The time in between communication was filled with anticipation and sometimes uncertainty that only the sound of his voice would ease. It turns out that we had begun a lifelong conversation that we would just continue to pick back up on where we left off from then on. Our relationship is a conversation that is never ending. A story that is being written as we go. Sometimes things come up, that one or both of us have to think about for a while. Answers cannot always be immediate.
Honestly, that is exactly how it is with my conversation with God. It is ongoing and never-ending. I believe that is why is feels awkward for me to walk away sometimes. I talk and talk and talk – like I do – and God is quiet. I cannot say as I do to my husband, “Did you hear me?” I just have to trust that He does. I have to lay “it” down, whatever “it” is and trust that God picks “it” up and wait. I am not good at waiting which is why a prayer journal is so good for me. It can remind me what it is that I am waiting on!
Yesterday, God answered many of my prayers and showed me that he has been working on them for quite sometime. He has been working on me. He continued the conversation.
Have you ever experienced God’s hand so apparent in the happenings of your day that it literally gives you goose bumps or maybe takes your breath away?
That is exactly how God answered my prayers. Apparent. Undeniable. Bold. God overwhelmed me.
I have prayed for over a year (closer to two) that God would bring some Christian women that would become friends into my life that I could do things with. I have not had that since leaving Texas in 2014.
I finally got tired of not doing the things that I wanted to do just because I did not have another “girl” to do them with so a few months back, I volunteered to work at the Joyce Meyer conference. There were two ladies there that were friends and we were in the same group. They took me under their wings and made me feel like one of them – I did not feel awkward or alone. I came home and wrote in my prayer journal that I was thankful for the kindness of strangers that day. These ladies made the weekend feel like a girl’s weekend for me and I had not had that experience in a very long time.
We have remained in touch and they invited me to dinner and to see the “Enough” movie featuring Chonda Pierce last night. To meet them required about an hour drive for me and somewhat out of character, I said “Yes.”
When I arrived, there were my two “friends” and some other ladies that also made me feel like I “belonged.” Coincidentally, (or not) they invited me to attend a Christian women’s conference – the “Belong” Tour.
I have to say that at my age it becomes a little more difficult to meet people as most women have their established “groups.” Add to that, I work remotely. It gives me limited opportunities to meet people.
I have learned that if you give God something to work with (as in going to events by yourself) he will multiply your efforts and make them beautiful (friendships.)
After dinner, we went to the movie. I had no idea what to expect, as I had not really researched it. I knew of Chonda Pierce and figured it would be good but no idea that it would be a revelation, inspiration, and an affirmation for me.
I have prayed about my writing and about my public speaking. Specifically, using my experiences to reach others with my message of hope. I am certainly not afraid to share my junk, as many of you know! Don’t we all want a green light when we are about to jump out of the boat? Of course we do! But, that is not faith. Knowing that, I leaped quite some time ago and took my chances.
As I sat there watching the movie, it was as if I were watching myself on the screen. I learned Chonda suffered abuse at the hands of her father, as did I. She has an estranged relationship with her daughter that parallels the estranged relationships that I have with my sons. Additionally, she has suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts and questioned whether or not she was “enough.” Ditto.
Suddenly, I sat there with tears forming in my eyes and goose bumps covering my arms. I was meant to be right there at that moment. God was speaking to me.
A few weeks back for the first time ever, I actually thanked God for the estrangement that I have with my sons. I know that may sound strange but I feel like I am at a place where I have found peace and forgiveness with it. Not long into the movie last night, Chonda expressed being at a place where she has found peace with the estrangement with her daughter. It can be and has been a tremendous source of shame for me to admit the estrangement. For her to be doing so on the movie screen gave me much needed validation.
As I continued to watch, segments of her comedy performances were featured where I saw myself – making jokes out of the darkness, and offering words of encouragement from a place of healing and hope. Sharing my story.
I believe three of her final words from the movie last night were, “MORE THAN ENOUGH” which my husband makes sure to tell me most every night before I fall asleep.
I had to reach a place where I did not focus on my flaws but rather on my perfection through Christ and a place of peace before God could really use me. Then, He had to show me that I was at that place and ready. It was as if He said, “Look at her. Look at you. Both broken. Both restored.” No doubt it is time to tell my story, to share my hope.
I believe that I had to step out in faith for love, friendship, healing, and in pursuing my purpose and passion. God heard my prayers, or rather my cries but allowed me time to be faithful and time to sow seeds before he showed me signs of any fruit or harvest to come.
I am extremely grateful that he has given me new friends with whom to share the joy of the journey with!
Until Next Time,