I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born……..Isaiah 66:9
At church last night, we talked about what prayer really means. There are a lot of definitions but what it all boils down to is communication with Christ. I think a lot of times we become overwhelmed with the thought of prayer because we feel like we have to be in the right place at the right time with all the right things to say. But really, it’s quite simple. A lot of times when I pray, I talk to God like I would talk to one of my family members or one of my friends. I don’t ever feel like I have to use fancy words or have to be kneeling or standing a certain way. Sometimes when I’m driving to work in the morning, I’ll use that time to pray and ask God to be with me during the day. My prayer might sound something like this: “God, I’m in a really bad mood this morning and I’m gonna need you to be extra patient with me and throw in some extra grace while you’re at it. Thanks.” It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant.
Something that we talked about last night was that when we pray, we are to start out by being thankful. I know that I’m guilty of getting straight to business when it comes to prayer. I start out by laying all my needs down and asking God to do this or that and I have all these requests of Him and then I forget to thank Him for what He’s already done for me. There’s a quote that goes something like “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Well, I’m just gonna tell it like it is: I’d be screwed. I’m so guilty of forgetting to thank Him for all the things that He does for me but I’m so so so quick to ask Him to do things for me. And often times, we overlook the little blessings in disguise that He places in our life. Can I be honest with you guys for a second? My heart is super heavy right now. The last year has been the best, most healing time of my life. That being said, my heart is super heavy in this moment, though. There have been doors that were closed or that I’ve had to close that have really just broken my heart and hurt me to my core….I’ve been standing in the doorway, keeping the door propped open with one foot, just hoping that if I stood there long enough, it would eventually be okay for this door to be open. It hurts, you guys. A lot. And throughout this whole process I’ve chosen to look at closed doors as a bad thing. But last night at church, something was said that made me stop dead in my tracks and reevaluate my thinking: Closed doors are often just as important as opened doors. Holy cow. I had to really sit and think on that one for a few minutes. How often do we get down in the dumps when God closes a door in our life? Instead we should look at that closed door as God’s protection and preparation for something even greater in our life. He won’t allow pain without birthing something new, something better than we dreamed. That’s really hard for me to wrap my mind around right now.
So the whole point of this entire thing is simply to remind myself of one thing: I need to rethink the way I pray. I need to thank God for a broken heart and the doors that have closed. I need to thank Him for his protection and for allowing me this time to prepare for a future that is unimaginable. C.S. Lewis said it like this: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Yeah, it’s a process, and a painful one at that. And God is so faithful to heal my hurt. This past year has proven that!!!!!! If I can survive the healing process from the last year, I can most definitely make it out of this funk that I’m in.
~Rach, the Work in Progress.