I intended to blog more this summer.
It has been without a doubt the best, hardest, most life changing, God filled summer. Unexpected things at every turn. Amazing things just around each corner. Challenges I never expected. Easy things I thought would be difficult. But through all of this…
I’ve said this before, but it was drilled into our heads for a reason so I’ll remind you. The God who brought me to this summer, brought me through it. So whatever you’re going through, the God who brought you to it, no matter how crappy it seems, is the same one who is there with you. No matter how lonely it gets. No matter how dark, scary, unknown. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Pray. Pray always.
If I have learned anything in 2010 that has been reaffirmed day after day, minute after minute this summer it is never cease praying. Several verses have been laid on my heart about this throughout 2010 but mostly the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
God has shown up miraculously this summer. There is zero way I could have made it through 6am-12am days with the energy and sanity I have without him. One cup of coffee on most days and those of you who know me know that’s unusual for me. Usually its 2-3 a day during school and this is 100x more exhausting than school. Playing silly games of cow math, green glass door, etc in the evenings. Taking kids out every day to touch lives by offering a smile and a fresh coat of paint. Teaching them why this paint is so important to this community. Then getting to know their stories as they get to know each other. Late talks with adult leaders about anything and everything. Talking with community members and simply listening to the hearts of this community. The pain, the struggles, the sickness. The things these people have overcome. What it’s like to be a native america. What it’s like to live in minnesota winter. What its like to live without sonic or chick fil a. What it’s like to have everyone in your family die of cancer except your sisters who refuse to come to your cancer treatment. It’s been a beautiful collision of a summer. Faith, hope, love, the midwest, me, 70 kids a week from 4-6 different places. Beautiful. Oh, and coffee. Sloppy joe Sunday, pizza Monday, taco Tuesday, cookout Wednesday, and pasta Thursday, sleep a bit, go to walmart, sleep some more, and repeat. Bunyan bag warm and fuzzy notes that would brighten even the darkest days. This summer has been a million percent God and zero me. There is no way and I thank Him every day.
I know this blog hasn’t been much about details of the past month since I’ve blogged. That’s on its way.
If I could encourage you in any way, it is to pray never ceasing. Pray always. Pray whatever is on your heart in the way it is on your heart. He knows all. He knows what you’re thinking, so why try to force it to be poetic and proper? He is God, He created us. He knows how many hairs are on our heads. If there is anyone we can be 100% honest with, it is Him. At all times. Prayer journal. Cry out. Talk as you drive down the road. Question, be 100% honest. Hold nothing back. It was always told to me and I would hold things back. I wonder why now, He knows already, and we are called to carry our concerns and burdens to Him. To lay them at His feet. Do it. It’s simple. He already knows but needs us to bring them to Him. He needs us to recognize our need for Him and our brokenness without him. Cry out to your creator. Thank him for things around you. Thank him for health, strength, family, the prayer of friends, the tears of loneliness. Thank Him for all things at all times.
This is all for now.
More to come.