There are so many ways to document one’s life via social media today especially with facebook being a “timeline” and all. However, documenting one’s prayer life would be a little more difficult via something like instagram or twitter or whatever else is up and running today. I finally started a prayer journal. It’s helped me see things I need work on– things I had no idea were even an issue. I feel like sharing what prayer is doing so far in my life. This song is essentially self-explanatory about what happens once I start praying. He lights up my room and my life: When You Walk into the Room.
There are times in my life when I’ve questioned prayer and I choose to worry instead of pray. This is where I fail. However, in the moments when I choose to pray– w o w, no wonder God’s word says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV). One of my biggest dreams in life is to adopt. My first blog post was in dedication to that dream and to Hope. My first mini internship was for an organization called Christian Alliance for Orphans, and it was during that time my hope to adopt only spurred on more heavily. Knowing the heavy need for children without families out there is heart-wrenching and sad. I long to be an adoptive mother to a child who needs someone to have dinners with, outside play dates with during the day, and someone to soothe them to sleep at night. I want to be a child’s forever.
It wasn’t until somewhere in between my different doctor visits recently that a thought about China adoption I read a long time ago struck me like lightning. Applicant must be free of any condition that would affect lifespan or the ability to parent, including autoimmune diseases and lifelong conditions requiring medication. All of a sudden, I just felt sad. I started to have flashes of my doctor saying, “You will be on this medication for life,” and how I mumbled out words to him about what would happen to me if I just stopped taking medication all together. I wanted to be a magical fairy and tap my body with a magical wand. Zap . . . done. The pessimistic, realist, wrong part of me who doesn’t pray first would think, well you can’t adopt now. You have a chronic illness, no cure, not ever. Give it up. However, the optimistic, fervent praying part of me would think, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever” (Psalm 73: 26, NLT). Prayer has helped me see I have an issue with worry. Worry and stress only add onto my shooting burns and flares. When you’re told you have an immune system that’s attacking healthy tissue in your body and it’s unpredictable, sometimes you just can’t help all the places your mind wanders. So then I get disappointed and it ruins me until I eventually get drained. My last check up I was told my lupus should stay the way it has been level wise, mild and non-affecting to organs. It’s only affected tissues regarding my joints. Okay, so I know what to expect pain wise and yet I still get worried and it hurts when I’m inflamed. So the two things I seem to worry about the most are my health and my future. When I feel helpless, I’m learning to pray instead of worry and journaling is helping me keep up with that.
One of the greatest realizations I’ve had doing this journal is that instead of thinking God needs to help me accomplish this goal or that dream, I get the sense He’s trying to develop my character through suffering more than anything. Regardless if I am suffering or not, I am praying for myself to stop worrying and for what other character traits I need work on. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NIV). I know that I am young but things like adoption, stabilizing my career and financials, and taking in children that need families are things that I desire in life.
My young age is the time to make firm foundations for myself and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, is when worry and doubt soak in the cracks of the foundations I am trying to build. My future doesn’t deserve that.
Worrying is something I’m giving up on. I’m crumbling it up in my hands, climbing all the way to the top of a mountain, and throwing it into the abyss. I’m climbing with God again holding my journal, and His hand in the other. He’s the lead— He’s much tougher than I am and I want Him to have all the control. No matter what storm comes my way I’ll always be okay, because I let God take the reins. The thing is, I don’t believe in magical fairies or magical wands. I believe in the power of God and the pen He holds writing my life story.
Maybe the bigger picture here above all else is learning to surrender my whole life to God, letting Him write it all. That’s it Savannah– just drop the darn pen. The journey of life is no simple thing but it is a journey— a prayerful one I want God to write. The only pen I should be carrying is the one to my prayer journal.
And it will be the best journal I’ll ever look back on.
More prayer. Less worry.