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the prayer I’m breathing all day

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This week I’m 39 weeks pregnant. (WHAT. Thank you, God, for getting us this far.) Looking back in my journal the past few months, I noticed a prayer written in one way or another found on almost every page:

You’re here with me. I have all I need.

On every page I’m either rejoicing over the reality of His presence or asking for help to believe He’s near. Verses I’ve known for many years have gone from simply ink on a page to companions walking alongside me:

Your Father knows what you need before you ask (Matthew 6:8).

He is your Shepherd; you lack nothing (Psalm 23).

He perfectly cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

He calls you personally by name and leads you with His voice (John 10:1-18).

Jesus calls you friend. Apart from Him you can do nothing of eternal value (John 15:1-17).

The LORD is in your midst with power to save. And He takes joy in you (Zephaniah 3:17).

Genuine joy is found in His presence (Psalm 16).

He promises to strengthen and help you (Isaiah 41:10).

Walking such unfamiliar territory, I haven’t always known what to ask for, so I settled into a rhythm of simply asking for more of Him. I guess I figured as long as I have the Lord I’m more than okay, no matter what happens.

But it wasn’t the ‘I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus, Down in my heart, Where? Down in my heart!’ kind of having Him I wanted. (Sorry if the song is stuck in your head now.)

What I wanted (and want) and needed (and need) most to feel ready for motherhood was (and is) a genuine, abiding, experiential friendship with God.

A knowledge of His nature — how He thinks and what He does — that I could stand on when circumstances don’t play out like I hope or expect. A knowing what His voice sounds like for when I felt weary, sad or overwhelmed. A playlist of His words to run on a loop when I began to doubt and fear. An awareness of His presence when I was alone or in a busy crowd.

This might come as a shock to you – it shouldn’t have been one to me – but the request for more of God is a prayer He loves to answer. It’s beautiful. In a time of a gazillion choices to make and a variety of opinions steadily given, this verse has been a wash of peace every time I read it:

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NIV defines delight as ‘a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment.’ It seems unlikely to enjoy God to a high degree when we think of Him as far away, right? I’m going to stumble A LOT, but God is at my elbow, holding me steady.

This pregnancy has been an unexpected training ground for delighting in God as an intimate and sufficient Savior and Friend. But I don’t think I could be more thankful or happy for the practice. I feel needy, hopeful, humbled and excited, breathing all day a desire to know His nearness more confidently.

Is there a prayer you find yourself breathing every day? I’d love to hear about it.

A Fictional King and An Eternal One

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The opening scene put goose bumps on my arms.

The comic relief of Timon and Pumbaa was spot on.

The way they stuck to the original story made me glad. 

But what surprised me most as I watched was when I thought of God. 

It’s everyone’s least favorite scene. (I may or may not have watched it with my hands over my face.) The stampede. Scar’s lies. Simba’s fear. 

I’m watching Mufasa fight to reach Simba, watching him fall and get back up, watching him almost make it and then Scar betray him. I knew this scene was coming – hello – but I’m still feeling sad, angry, and wish it wasn’t so. 

And God whispers…

That will never happen to me. 

And the weight lightens a little. 

There is unfair, devastating loss in this life. There is uncertainty, disappointment, pain and a vast amount of circumstances to grieve over. But there is One who will never die, never lose and never falter. 

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find rest in unrestful circumstances

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How can I have rest in the midst of a bunch of “unrestful” activity?

I ask this of my kind husband who is an Olympic sound board for my daily external processing.

I go on to describe habits of thought that find roots in my introvertism. I spend a large portion of mental capacity thinking about what’s ahead. It is this desire to feel prepared, to ‘gear myself up’ as I often say, and feel confident about what is expected of me that leads to an angsty lack of true soul rest.

I pose the above question to my husband because I want to be sure awareness of self remains beneficial but doesn’t detract from living as God calls me to in His Word.

“Quit thinking about it,” he says [kindly] as if it is the most obvious answer.

I smile and nod, knowing I’ll need to sit with God and this newfangled idea for a few days to genuinely agree with him. I do, and the result is SWEET.

We can never know truly how a situation will play out. We can also never know how we’ll respond and feel in a circumstance until we’re there. You wouldn’t worry about mile 6 before you’ve even begun mile 1. Often, we can’t know exactly how we would or should handle a situation until we’re smack in the middle of it. Common sense, right? Mmm, evidently not so common for this human.

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