I've been taking it slow this summer.
Resting as much as possible, spending time with family and friends, and trying to give my boys plenty of opportunity to be little boys.
We're looking for opportunities to serve others, and working hard to learn some lessons that have to be learned the hard way.
And I'm reading your "She Said Yes" stories, knowing that there's something God is asking me to say "yes" to.
But not really knowing how to put my finger on it until I saw this book buzz by in my lovely friend's Instagram feed.
I have to admit, my initial thought was that Mark Batterson was one of those "name it and claim it" Christians. I still don't know much about him or his specific theology, but the book has set something off in my heart that I'm not sure would've happened without it.
You see, I never asked God to make me a prayer girl. My dream for my life was to be a career girl, a counselor, working with women, speaking, and writing. Prayer girl was not on my list. It wasn't even on my radar.
Nonetheless, I am one.
Confessions of a Prayer Girl
I'm not sure when I started praying my heart out—wait—oh yes...it was when I gave birth to two of "those" boys in 23 months. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.
People started telling me after I prayed that the Lord used my prayers to bless them. Sometimes they would say, "that's exactly what I needed to hear," or "I feel such peace when you pray."
And because I often didn't know what to pray for the people around me, I turned to praying the Word itself. I mean, if the Word of God doesn't return void (Isaiah 55:11), and God has promised to be true to His Word, why would I ever want to pray anything else?
One time, at a Women's Retreat, I participated in something called "soaking prayer." While I was praying over a friend of mine a verse dropped into my heart. I took out an index card, wrote out the verse, prayed that God would use it for her, and moved on.
Later she told me about her experience (not knowing it was me who prayed for her) and said, "I couldn't believe it when I read that verse! It's exactly what's happening in my life right now!"
Yeah...I believe in a supernatural God who can do those things if He wants to, and getting to be one of the ones He does it through is one of the most exhilarating things ever.
I've been through seasons where God seems to use me a lot in that capacity, and, unfortunately, I've also been through seasons of drought.
A Prayer Drought
After my miscarriage (and the five other significant losses I suffered leading up to it), I closed the lid on my prayer life for several months.
Slowly, but surely, I've been reopening that lid. But there's still a piece of my heart that's been holding out on God, too hurt and disillusioned to really trust that prayer matters as much as I thought it did.
Selfish and narcissistic, I know.
But I've learned that it's foolish to rush grief, and that grief winds its way through our hearts and minds affecting layers we didn't know we even had.
Sometimes we just have to give ourselves time.
The Circle Maker
As I read the first few chapters of The Circle Maker (and I promise, this isn't a book review...I haven't even finished it), something came alive in my heart. Want to know what it was?
Hope that maybe I can pray in faith again for me.
You see, it's easy for me to pray in faith for you friend. I believe God wants to be good to you, and I often get to watch Him answer my prayers on your behalf in fun and exciting ways.
But when I had my miscarriage, something in me stopped believing that God wanted to be good to me, hear my prayers—answer my prayers.
From The Circle Maker:
God is for you. If you don't believe that, then you'll pray small timid prayers; if you do believe it, then you'll pray big audacious prayers. And one way or another, your small timid prayers or big audacious prayers will change the trajectory of your life and turn you into two totally different people. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.
So there it was. My temperature had been taken and I was cold. Praying small, timid prayers had become the substance of my faith. I read those words, and I knew it was true.
And it's not what I want. I'm in a place of raw dependence...
...and raw dependence is the raw material out of which God performs His greatest miracles. ~The Circle Maker
Just Where He Wants Me
I'm pretty sure God allowed all of this suffering and challenge in my life to bring me to a place of raw dependence.
I'm NOT saying my family members and my child died just so I could be more like Jesus. But I AM saying it would be a waste not to let them make me more like Jesus...
...and propel me into the purpose He has for my life.
I'm a Prayer Girl.
And I'm saying "yes."
I think I'll be talking more about prayer here as I digest all that I'm learning from this book and others.
Question: What "role" or service have you found yourself in that you never (ever) imagined could be true of you?