I’m so sorry for not making Your priorities mine these last few months.
I’m sorry for vacillating between Your will and mine.
I’m sorry for seeking to get my own needs met in place of Your will. Or in place of others’ needs.
You keep repeating to me, through many others (a total answer to my prayer to You!), that I seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. Then all else shall be added to me — but that is NOT why You encourage me to seek Your kingdom. You want me to seek it because You have transformed my life and because I am not my own. Many people will be blessed through my obedience, a life lived for Your kingdom, not its own.
This explains the lost feelings here in Atlanta. This explains why the last 9+ months I haven’t been able to make sense of my life’s path… because I’ve been traversing two different paths.
Where do I belong?
What defines me, really… not a pretense but the real me?
What am I here for – not only Atlanta, but in this world?
What am I here to do?
These questions have all but haunted me since I stepped on Georgia soil.
You want us to get to a place of brokenness so we realize this life is not our own. And we should want it that way because Your agenda for our lives is far better than anything we could’ve ever hoped for, dreamed, or imagined.
You want my life to be clay in Your hands because You want to bless so many through me.
You’ve given me a testimony that can break chains – I know because it has! You’ve given me gifts that others desperately need to receive. You’ve given me words to say and write that heal. Not my words… Yours.
But how can they if I shut my mouth? How can You bless and bring life when I choose to speak death, or not speak at all?
Lord, I haven’t understood Your ways; I can say that even now. Your ways are higher!
I am just so sorry that, in the midst of not understanding, I’ve squandered so much. My name (in part) means “Opportunity”, and those You have given me — more than I could number. But how many have I not used? How many relationships have I sought out for selfish reasons? How many days have I idly wasted or filled with my own appetites :( How many times has my pride interfered with me speaking what You’ve placed on my heart to help others?
I know it’s a journey; I know I’ll never do it perfectly (though I’ve tried). I know You’ve brought me to this place, this day, for a reason…
You want my whole heart.
How else can we learn to believe Your promises than when we’re facing desperate circumstances?
And what other way can You capture our entire heart than to strip away all other lovers? We learn to walk by removing our crutches, and that’s what You’ve done.
I’ve never fully abandoned myself to You. Too much interfered.
I’ve feared blind faith. I’ve feared trusting anyone, anything again. But You, Father, are fully trustworthy. You prove that time after time after time again.
How many prayers of just my own have You answered, often at lightning speed? How many times have You delivered me from warfare far too powerful for me? How many times have You spoken to me? Touched and healed me? Touched and healed others through my prayers? And I’m just talking my own prayers. My mind spins to think of the innumerable others whose prayers You’ve raced to answer.
I know You forgive me. I thank You for that. I don’t want to take that lightly. Godly sorrow changes things; worldly sorrow doesn’t end. I’ve experienced both, and Your sorrow is far better. Thank You for giving it to me these last two weeks.
I’ve wanted and expected from You, but I’ve put those things before You. I’m thankful You haven’t given me certain things yet. I would’ve run back into my selfishness again, needs met.
It takes being without to understand how dependent we are on You. And to stay with You.
Twice I’ve been without power here in Atlanta, and I’ve learned how much doesn’t work without it. Many people worldwide live without the luxury of light and electricity. In America, our lives all but stop without it coursing through our homes.
That reminds me of You.
How far can we go without Your light? We flip a switch, but nothing flickers. The object we want to come to life remains dead without power to enliven it. It remains a square box, a dark room, a quiet radio until power returns.
I’ve been trying to conjure up such power myself – but I’ve learned Your power isn’t able to be counterfeited. It is impossible to rip off.
It either is…
… or it isn’t.
I’ve been trying to reach people, to touch their hearts, with my words.
But You’ve opened wide my eyes to how empty and hollow these words are without Your truth and Your heart behind them. I could say the perfectly wrong thing to a hurting person, thinking it was just what they needed to hear. But who am I to know what they need most? That only comes through You. And I can’t fake it. I’ll always be in danger of doing that if I’m operating apart from You.
I’ve wanted it to come easy. But some things, the best things, You’ve taught me come with a fight. We must fight for our own freedom and for that of others. And no war is won in a day. It can take weeks, years sometimes… but great battles yield great victories!
I’m sorry I’ve questioned Your heart, Father, during these trials — during the stripping away of everything to bring me to You. Hard times left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Eventually, somewhere along the way, I resigned myself to believing that the Christian life was, more or less, about not getting my desires met. I thought the carrot would always dangle in front of me, and that You were — dare I say it? – cruel.
But that’s not what You were teaching me.
You were teaching me to seek Your kingdom first, not my own.
You were teaching me that You come #1. Before all my desires. Before the fulfillment of promises You spoke to me years ago.
Thank You that You’re jealous for me, like a Husband should be. Thank You that You wouldn’t let anything else take precedence in my heart or my head. Thank You that You haven’t given up on me even when the rest of the world has :) because of my faults.
This isn’t a pretend apology. This is the real deal. Thank You. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so ungrateful, for not springing outta bed at the prospect of a new day — the way I used to as a young girl! I was so full of hope. Thank You for restoring that hope. I know it’s coming. I know it’s here.
Seek first Your kingdom and YOUR righteousness (not my own!!!)… and You’ll take care of the rest.
Thank You for teaching me that I don’t have to constantly seek ways to make money. You have that taken care of, You just ask that I align my life with Your will, and provision will come. I need not fear getting ripped off by some employer or getting taken advantage of. And if it happens, You’ll take care of them. You’ll pay me what I’m due, in due time. I just need to seek Your desires, not simply my own.
You want my heart, and You want all of it. You aren’t content with my heart pieces. Thank You for that, Father!!!!!!
That’s how You change the world: one person, one fully-surrendered heart, at a time. You light one light, and it lights another, until the whole stadium is filled – like the “Candlelight Ceremony” at ACU.
Thanks. What a battle it’s been! What a victory’s been won :)
Thank You for bringing me to the point of seeking Your kingdom, not my own.
I love You, Lord. I’m excited because I know Your plan is beautiful — not just for me, but for everyone around me. You crush me and my will to bring forth a much more beautiful plan… Yours.