Burden to Pray

One thing I have found as I have gotten older is this burden to pray for others. When I tell someone I will pray for them, I mean it. It’s not a momentary pleasant Southern thing for me to say. Yes, I am Southern. Yes, I try to be pleasant sometimes. But I truly feel convicted and burdened to pray for others. My heart aches for the pain that others go through. Maybe it is because I have gone through so much in life myself and I know that prayer has helped me through some rough patches. I feel it is my honor and my duty to pray for others.

Right now there is a family that is on my heart in such a way that I cannot even properly express in words. The father is a local television anchor. His name is Jay Siltzer. He works for WLOS in Asheville, NC. Years ago he survived a battle with cancer. He married a beautiful woman named Kelly. They adopted a son, Malachi. Two years ago Kelly passed away from cancer. Malachi was young. He still is in fact. Jay and Malachi have been doing their best to survive this tragic loss of a very loved woman. Then Malachi was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Until recently, many of us didn’t know how severe it was. Malachi is now in hospice care. He is 8 years old.

No, I don’t know this family personally. But my heart breaks for them. This poor child has been through so much in such a short life. Jay has gone through so much. They’re Christians. I know there must be questions. I would have. I have had them of my own losses. But this tears me apart. I don’t understand it. But I pray that God will give some comfort. I wish there was a miracle to be had.

Please pray for this family.

If you want to know more about them, here is an article that ran in People magazine in May.

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

 

Asking for Wisdom

I so often wish life was an easy road where everything just fell into place. That never seems to be the case. Well, things fall into place, but it never seems to be the place I would like for it to be. And it always seems to be fraught with a little chaos mixed in. There is never enough time, money or a combination of the two.

Then there are the times when there are too many choices. I really hate making decisions–especially when I am scared to death of making the wrong one. I have made so many wrong ones that there are times I am just terrified I am about to make another one. I have chosen bad men, jobs, etc.

Currently, I have some choices in my life to make that scare me. I literally get anxious thinking about it. I know that the Bible says to be anxious for nothing. While my head knows that, my heart is racing. So through prayer and supplication, I am going to ask for wisdom and discernment to make the correct choices. That is not easy to do.

I do wonder at times if there is anyone else out there who is as neurotic as me? I think a lot of this stems from the fact that while I do have God, I don’t have a true earthly sounding board that would back me up in case I fell on my butt from making the wrong decision. If I fail, it’s on me. And I have failed many times. It’s scary.

I’m off to pray and hopefully do the right thing. God bless!

Just Breathe

Sometimes we need that time to just breathe. That is what I have been doing lately. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed on this journey. I haven’t quit praying, but writing wasn’t easy. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to discourage anyone, but I didn’t feel very encouraging.

My frustration was multifaceted. It was at myself. I couldn’t seem to do anything right. I was also frustrated that it affected my journey. I continued to pray. But I felt so discouraged. I also felt frustrated with people. It’s amazing how hurt you can be by the actions or lack of actions of people who you think should be there.

During this time, rather than just quit praying and turning from God, I prayed more. I did turn more inward and spoke more to God. I was too frustrated with people to trust myself to talk to them about my feelings. The last time I tried speaking about how I felt didn’t go too well and I ended up feeling more rejected and hurt.

So I allowed myself time with God to just breathe. While nothing seemed to be completely solved, I felt ok with how I handled myself. I didn’t pitch a fit. I didn’t yell. I wasn’t ugly. I walked away and just let it be. Yes, it still hurts. But I have to just let God deal with it. It’s too much and too big for me to handle. And frankly, I do not want to handle it. I’m tired of handling things. I would love for God to handle everything and make life all better. I don’t know that He is going to make things that easy, though. I just keep praying and doing my best.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

I’m sorry this post isn’t very uplifting. But it is very real. this is part of my prayerful journey. God bless!

Some Days Are Not Easy

I have been MIA for a bit. The past month or so has been difficult. It seems that life has been upside down.

I was hit with the realization that my mother has been dead for 20 years this year. Yes, I knew she had been gone for a long time, but the number hit me like a brick. 20 years! That’s almost half my life. I miss my mother. I have so many things going on that I would love to just talk to her about. She had a way of telling me things were going to be ok even when it looked bleak and she could make me believe it would be ok.

While my mother could hold me physically and tell me it would be ok years ago, God can hold me spiritually and tell me it will be ok now. I am still learning to turn to God with my hurts and brokenness. He is the ultimate healer.

After the anniversary of my mother’s death came the anniversary of my father’s death two weeks later. It was hard. He’s been gone 19 years. This was another painful time. I may be in my mid-40s but I felt like that 20-something that was orphaned earlier than I ever anticipated.

During all of this time that I couldn’t write, I still held strong to God. I prayed. Oh how I prayed. I needed relief from my pain and thoughts. He was there.

I must have been on the right track. While I was praying as hard as I could, it felt like Satan was coming after me in any way possible. Everything seemed to go wrong. My cat was sick and not doing well at all. My car was having all kinds of problems. My AC in the house went out during the hottest time of the summer. My screen on my phone cracked. My computer died. People I thought were friends began treating me like a stranger.

It was just one thing after another. The wonderful thing about God is that during the time of pain and sorrow, all we have to do is cry out to Him. He’s there. Over this last month, I have talked to Him almost incessantly. I have cried. I have complained. Over and over He has reassured me that He loves me and hasn’t forgotten me. Over and over He has reminded me to read Jeremiah 29:11-13. He has a plan for a future and hope and  not to harm me. If I continue to seek Him with all of my heart He will be there.

My life is not perfect, but God is with me and for me.

Romans 8:31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Purposes & Plans

There have been so many questions along my journey. What is my purpose? What is the plan? As I have asked that question over and over, I turn to the book of Jeremiah. My life has been filled with calamity and questions.

Jeremiah 29:11-13: For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Reassuring, isn’t it? The Lord has a plan. Good thing! Mine hasn’t worked so far. I love that there is a plan for a hope and a future, though. All I have to do is call upon God and pray to Him. He’ll listen. If I seek with all of my heart, I will find Him. He’s there.

I only have to seek. Sometimes that seems impossible when you feel broken. But you need people in your life to remind you that you need to seek. You need to seek especially when you don’t feel like it. I was reminded of that years ago. The best time seek is absolutely when you don’t feel like it.

A Mustard Seed

Faith. Just a little. As small as a mustard seed. It can do so much. So many things in life seem so difficult. And they really are. We face a lot of struggles. But Jesus said we only need the faith of a mustard seed in order to accomplish things.

Sounds easy. It’s not. I have tried to just trust. I think that because of the way humans have let me down so many times have made me jaded in general. I have to remember that God is not human. He is not like the people in my life who were weak. There were several people in my life who said they could be trusted and would be there, but it turned out to be a lie. God does not lie. He will be there. He has proven Himself over and over. It frustrates me that I have to remind myself of this continually. As a Christian, I should know this.

I pray without ceasing. I truly believe that God can work miracles. There are times where I just don’t believe He will for me. And it all stems from the distrust of humans.

Matthew 17:20: And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Jesus told his disciples that they could do what seemed impossible if they just had faith. Just a little. Trust. Know that God will be there for you and you can move mountains.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this issue. I just hope others remember that verse and know that a little faith can go a long way!

Tearful Times

There are often times we will find ourselves in tearful times. Recently I have felt pretty tearful. I no longer have immediate family and my extended family has dwindled. One of my aunts is very sick and I made a rushed trip home to Alabama earlier this year because of this. Then just a week or so ago I found out her daughter, who has been like a big sister to me, has cancer. I have been heartbroken.

I love my family so much. I know that even in times of sorrow that we are supposed to give thanks. Today was one of those days. Even though my cousin has cancer, we found out it hadn’t spread. We’re trying to find the positive in a bad situation and thanking God. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” So while cancer isn’t great news, the fact that it hadn’t spread is wonderful news. Our family is thankful.

This week has also been difficult for me because it is the anniversary of my mother’s death. While I am so grateful she is in her heavenly home, I miss her every day. It’s hard to believe she has been gone for 20 years. Almost half my life. I have been crying the last few days over how much I miss her. Tonight I talked to a friend of mine who is also motherless and she reminded me of something important–we were blessed to have been loved by such wonderful mothers. There are some people who never know that kind of love. So even though my heart hurts like crazy and I cry over this woman who I can’t wait to see again, I am thankful to God that He allowed me to be hers for a while. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been anyone else’s daughter.

I have been talking to God and crying to Him as I thank Him for all He has done. I praise Him even through my tears.