So there I was, having a rough night and lamenting to my friend, asking, “When is God going to send me someone??” Boohoo… Rather than further exhaust my poor friend with my pitiful life-woos, I decided to go pray about it. I am so glad I did.
After about thirty minutes of pleading my case to God, I admitted to Him that I was also jealous of how other people can pray the way I only wish I could. Then I remembered a picture someone posted today that said, “No shortcuts exist. The person who would know God must give time to Him.”
Suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks: Why would God bless someone whom He doesn’t even know? Sure, He knows of me. I go to church every service and sing in the choir. My kids go to the church school, and I pay tithes. I go to prayer meetings and church workdays. But does He know me?
I don’t particularly like doing outreach. There, I said it. I can be painfully timid when talking to strangers and attempting to witness. Some people are great at it, and if that’s you, Lord bless you. Because I don’t enjoy outreach, I feel as though I am failing to do my part in the great commission.
I have been struggling for the past ten years or so with feeling like an imposter. I know that on June 7, 2011, God filled me with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. However, for whatever reason, I’ve rarely been able to speak/pray in tongues since the initial month or so. The capability quite literally disappeared one day; it seems.
When I try to pray, thoughts like “You don’t have the Holy Ghost”, “You aren’t saved”, “You’re not like everyone else”, “If you die, you’re going to hell”, “You’re a fake Apostolic” … and more run through my head. Only my pastor and a handful of others know about this issue until now. Maybe this will help someone to know that you are not alone if this is your struggle too.
I was in prayer today when the thought of my parents came into my spirit. I thank God they are now friends after 40 years of no communication. Suddenly a well of thankfulness rose up in me, and I began to weep. You see, my parents divorced when I was two; and my whole life, I have no memory of them even speaking to each other–let alone being in the same room.
I started my day off feeling like a failure. How’s your morning going? Back on July 4th, I realized there was exactly 180 days until the end of the year. I had the idea to use these 180 days to “do a 180o” and transform my life. I deleted all social media apps from my phone and determined to spend more time in prayer, fasting, and reading the Word.
I was pumped for a little while. You know how it is when you get a new piece of exercise equipment and use it every day? Then every other day… maybe twice a week… when the mood strikes? Yeah, that’s how my 180o is going. At first, I would wake up early to pray before work and pray each night before bed. I would read my Bible and books on prayer or listen to sermons. I looked forward to fasting once a week and spending more time with God.
But lately, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I just roll over and go back to sleep. Sometimes I pray that day, sometimes I don’t. I listen to the Bible App read the Word to me, but sometimes I’m thinking about other things. My weekly fast has lost its appeal. That extra time with God has often been replaced by playing games on my phone. It only took three weeks to slip back into my old routine, and I feel like a failure.
I have seen and heard this expression many times in the last few years. I usually think to myself that God must really like spending time with me, since I feel lonely much of the time. Then tonight, I felt like God said to me, “Maybe you wouldn’t feel so lonely if you spent more time with Me to begin with.”
There once was a boy who was six months away from his eighteenth birthday. Almost an adult now, he wanted nothing more than to have his own car. All his friends had their own car, but he was still taking the bus to school. Anytime he wanted to go somewhere, he had to find a ride, walk, or ride his bike. It just wasn’t fair.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I love my Fitbit. I try to get at least 6,000 steps or 30 active minutes per day (active minutes meaning 30 minutes of continuous movement). This is not as easy as one would think considering I have a desk job and it’s getting chilly outside.
Some days I aim for just getting the 6,000 steps while other days I try for the 30 active minutes. If I’m feeling particularly active, I will go for both! On those days, it would make sense for me to walk quickly or even jog to get the most steps possible in 30 minutes. This made me think about the spiritual application of time.
The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the 80s and 90s this week. The kids and I are going camping with our church this weekend. People are still swimming and taking their boats out on the lake. But I can tell winter is coming.
The leaves on the tree outside my bedroom window started turning from green to red a couple weeks ago. Many of them have already fallen to the ground. The night air is too crisp to sleep with the window open, and my feet are cold against the kitchen floor in the morning. The kids have started back to school, and I was starting to lose hope in my dreams for this year.
I am currently planning a trip for myself and the kids. I love to surprise them, so I am not telling them until the day we leave. I wonder if that’s why God keeps us in the dark regarding His plans; He loves to surprise us too!