This is one of those points in writing this blog where I go beneath the surface. I do not want this to be a surface blog full of pretty crafts, pictures of our animals, things I wear, and the like. I don't want to give women/girls another blogger to compare themselves to because we know that all comparison is detrimental in some way. I'd like to share a 6 year struggle.
I could not pray out loud. Not in to myself. Not in front of my hubby. Not even in a group of Jesus followers that I didn't even know (may sound strange but praying in front of people you know seems way more stressful than people who have no expectations of you - i.e. I am afraid of being judged). I pray in my head like all day but out loud, to others?! No way!
I heard this spoken this week by one of our pastors on a podcast from last week's sermon and then I went to a prayer gathering for our city and he repeated this which I found is from Dallas Willard's book A Divine Conspiracy which honestly I would never read because its cover is ugly. Shame, I know. Anyways....
"...God's response to our prayers is not a charade. He does not pretend that he is answering our prayer when he is only doing what he was going to do anyway. Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do. The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best. And of course God does not respond to this. You wouldn't either."
Sadly, I had fallen deeply into that psychological quicksand. I couldn't bring myself to pray because it seemed well, a dead ritual. Even after all the sermons I've heard on praying, the miracles I've seen, etc., I still just lumped these things into a "Well, that was just supposed to happen, it didn't really matter that they prayed," thinking. I'm an efficiency expert and it seemed a waste of time to pray, I mean come on, He was gonna do what He was gonna do.
Then, at that prayer meeting I prayed out loud in a group of 6 with some people I knew including my hubby and others I had never seen before and man, it was empowering. And not just once but, twice! I felt tingly and excited and I am surprised I even remember what I prayed. 6 years, it took me 6 years to do that? Man, I'm stubborn! But, God works miracles and the many that have been praying for me can finally see the light but, don't stop praying please!
In these next few weeks I hope to process other things that have been stirring in my heart and share with you all. It has been a rather life changing week and proudly I will say that God put Ashley Judd's book All That is Bitter is Sweet in my life at the very right point. It's an amazing book about struggle with abuse and neglect and what she does with it. Just go read it.
In other news, we have a new sponsor son, Joshua, who lives at Mattaw Children's Village in Kitale, Kenya. Go read about them HERE and sponsor a child please!!