Another Return

I always go MIA for long periods of time, then come back suddenly.  I guess you’re all used to that by now.  I guess a lot has happened, and I really do need to “restaple” my heart to Christ.  It’s been a hard year, but I’m ready to stop living in fear that I’m somehow beyond God’s reach.  Depression, eating disorder, anxiety, Dad leaving me—my God is greater than the sum of my fears.  Just a stream of consciousness prayer I wrote to God today:

 

Lord,

I ask You constantly for things I can’t even comprehend, so I’m going to humble my prayers to layman’s terms.  I’m looking for Your peace, Lord, first and foremost.  I pray that You will help me to quiet the intrusive, fear-stricken voices in my head so that I may listen to You instead and come to hear the quiet words You whisper into my heart.  I trust that You’ll bring me back to Your arms, Jesus, and I promise You that I will, by the help of Your grace, let Your gentle, loving voice lead me back home.  I’m a little lost right now, Jesus, but I will not give up.  I love You more than I can understand, and, if nothing else, I will always stretch my arms toward You as You pull me back to shore.  Again, I’ll say it, Jesus: I love You.  I’ll give You my nothing if it’s all I have.

Amen.

 

Out of context, I’m sure this prayer is pretty incoherent, but in light of my faith life as of late, I feel like it says all that I’ve been wanting to say to God.

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Alive Again

ImageI’ve always loved being a Confirmation peer, but I don’t think I ever realized just how much it matters to me.  I really do think that leading people to Jesus and faith is the greatest joy in my life.  Right now, I’m so at peace, my heart physically aches, if that’s even possible.  Do you ever have moments in your faith when you’re just so incredibly taken by otherworldly joy that your whole being aches for more?  I haven’t had a moment like that in a while—until now.  Lately, faith has been a struggle to some extent.  I’ve been so surrounded by cynicism and bitterness and despair, it seems.  So many mixed feelings about my own inadequacy, my guilt, the burden of feeling like nobody’s on my side and I’m fighting an internal faith battle alone.

 

This past year, I think, I’ve been a little lost.  I stopped going to youth group stuff because I was busy or tired or couldn’t get a ride.  I couldn’t go on the Confirmation retreat in September, and I’ve been so worried about my sister and her apparent disinterest in faith.  But last night, I went to a retreat lock-in for Confirmation peers, and for the first time in months, I felt at peace.  I love the people in my church family, I love how close we are, I love the acceptance, I love the giggling and goofing off, I love how dedicated we are, and most of all, I love—with my whole heart, I love it!—seeing and feeling and experiencing God shaping each one of us in beautiful ways.  In my experiences as a Confirmation candidate and later as a peer, I’ve seen so many iceberg hearts just melt, so much bitterness fall in surrender to His love for us.  In my almost-eighteen years, I’ve never known anything nearly as incredible as being a part of that love and sharing it with others.  Lately, I’ve just forgotten that part of me, I guess.  I’ve been mixed up about what I want to do with my life, but last night reminded me that He knows just where I belong.  I feel so called to actively melt hearts and change people through Jesus’s love.  I’m praying that I don’t lose my way again.

 

Thank You, Lord, for everything.  Captivate my heart and lead me to You.