Thursday, March 17, 2016

Praying Myself Silly

So I said I was taking a break from blogging, but then I put fingers to keys and needed to get this all out there. 
Thank you in advance for your love, patience, and prayers.


Some of you may know this, but we've had a health scare with my little brother. I say "we've had" but we're in the middle of it right now. I won't go into too many details, but I can tell you some very intimidating, big medical words have been used too many times in the same sentence as the name of a thirteen-year-old boy, and it makes me positively sick at the stomach.

I don't fully understand the issues at hand, and the doctors will meet tomorrow to see what can be done moving forward, but what I do know is that this is putting prayer in crazy perspective.

In a punch to the gut can't breathe anymore, dangle me out over the edge of the crashing waves, pushed up against the mirror so close my face is stuck kind of way.

Why?
Because I pray for silly things.

Now I believe that Jesus cares about these things, and is fully capable of providing these things, but in all honesty I pray about silly things. 

I ask for a nice parking spot at the mall.
I ask for grace from a professor on a late paper.
I ask for the slow barista at the counter to hurry himself up.
I ask for the rain to chill out on my drive home from school.

In the past month I've been asking for silly things, too.
I've asked for an apartment with pretty natural light and a fireplace.
I've asked for a farmhouse in my future with bright, white porch swings.
I've asked for my dream wedding venue to be open on just the right date.
(Should I mention I'm totally single and this could be ten years from now or never? Sheesh.)

I've also asked for more serious things before, and many times over.
I've asked to get into grad school.
I've asked for an acceptance to my dream teaching gig.
I've asked for safe landing on a turbulence filled flight.
I've asked for the health and long-life of aging grandparents.
I've asked for funding to come in for missionaries long-awaiting a trip home.

As valid as many of those prayers are, in this moment I want to throw all the silly prayers out the window to ask for the healing of my brother.

THAT feels like something worthy of my time and prayers.
THAT is something that will take an act of God to procure.
THAT is something I want Him put energy and power toward.
Asking him to open up a parking spot in front of Macy's feels rather foolish now.

Reading back through this list, I feel like someone who has a lamp with three wishes and used them up on trifling things. RED FLAG HERE. Who has been viewing God like a magic genie for far too long? This girl.

He does not operate like that.

He is not looking at me and sighing, saying, "Well, since you've been asking for that job, there just isn't room for this other thing. Sorry." He does not rank my prayers by what is petty or what is worthy. Some items on this list feel more worthy of my time and energy and prayer, and some of the things have only been whispered as a passing thought. Such is life.

But our God is not such a God. He is not limited.

He is not limited by my small thinking.
He is not limited by my endless list of prayer requests.
He is not limited by the doctors' diagnosis.

All of this has got me thinking about not only what I've been asking for but what I know about prayer. What I believe about prayer. What I believe about God.

Oh look, there's that word. That pesky little word I picked for the year.
Believe.
Don't you know you were just supposed to be pretty not be a problem?
Sheesh.

One of my daily declarations (that I may or may not have forgotten about for a few weeks...) is:
MY PRAYERS ARE POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE.

How can I declare that? Because scripture declares it so.

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."
Psalm 145:18

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." 
Mark 11:24

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." 
James 5:16

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."
 1 John 5:14
"And Jesus answered them, 'Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.' "
Matthew 21:21-22

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."
Jeremiah 33:3

You know what I asked yesterday?
What I'm asking today?
What I haven't asked in a long time?
What I should be asking with my first breath every morning?
Jesus, make me more like you.

I need to ask it every day, because by the end of the day my humanness has caused all kinds of problems and turned my mind back to silly things. But by being more like Jesus, I can prayer big, powerful prayers, fully confident in who I am in the Lord and who God is.

If I am made more like Jesus, then I can confidently, wholeheartedly ask "Lord, if you be willing, take this away. Never the less not my will but yours be done". (Luke 22:42).

I can still ask for small things. I can still ask for the Lord to take away the pain. But I can stand secure knowing that even if he doesn't, and if His will doesn't look like my will, then He is still good.

He can heal my brother.
He can take the pain away.
He can perform a miracle.
He can move on this side of Heaven.

If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.
If not, He is still good.

I want to be a woman who carries others in prayer. I don't want to text sweetly "you'll be in my prayers" and forget about it tomorrow. I want to BELIEVE in the power of prayer and BELIEVE in the power of God so much so that I am continually in prayer, tuning my heart to His and pressing in to the things that matter.

I am absolutely still learning what this looks like, and I'm not going to be perfect at it, but I want to pray more than silly prayers. I want to pray myself silly. 

He is the good, good Father worthy of my heart and words.
He is the good, good Father no matter how or when or where He chooses to answer those prayers.

So I'll keep praying. And I ask that you join me. Please?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

Sweet, sweet friends. You may have seen this coming. I know I did, but I kept putting it off and kept putting it off. This year started like a rocket, and if I'm being completely honest with myself, as things got rolling I let the year take off with me barely hanging on for dear life.

I did some travel, directed a show, and applied for my first post-grad job.

But I also stopped taking care of me, said yes to too many things, and was in denial for far too long.

It has finally caught up with me. 




March started last week and I kicked myself for not posting my goals on day one, for slacking on the book club in only the third month, and letting my posting schedule be buried under my bed. Literally, my calendar is covered in dust and on the floor.

Over the past few weeks I have said time and time again that I'm barely keeping all the plates spinning.

It's time to let a few of them fall. Why? Because nowhere does it say that I have to keep all the plates spinning. 

Sometimes your best yes is an intentional no, and in this case I am saying no to blogging for a while. This break will cover March, for sure, and quite possibly all the way until graduation. Believe me I came up with every excuse in the book of why I "HAD" to keep going, but I got exhausted and anxious just thinking about it.

I truly love spending time with you all in this corner of the internet, but my heart needs more margin. I need space to breathe, time to rest, and one less plate to spin. For now, Brave Love Blog is the plate being set aside.

With all this in mind, I am confident that I'll be back, but I'm not going to put a definitive date on things. I have major papers to finish, a job to obtain, a semester to finish strong, and my heart/health to tend to in the coming weeks. Brave Love Blog will be back in action soon enough, but for now I'm pressing pause.

Even typing this out is bringing a rush of relief and lifting a weight off my shoulders. That's how I know it's the right move.

You'll still find me on social media, as that is something I can easily navigate on my walks to and from class. I've been on Instagram way more anyway, so the book club and things of that nature will continue there :) You'll find me on Periscope a few times a week, and on Twitter now and again, so be sure to follow along there for updates and glimpses of my journey along the way.

Thank you for all your love, friendship, and patience! 
It means the world to me!
See you over at @baileyjrobert :)


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