I have decided to spend the next week in consistent prayer. Every day I will pray three times (morning, noon, and night) on my knees. I also plan to keep my journal nearby during these times in case I want to write out my prayers or record something the Lord is telling me. I began this afternoon, and after I finish blogging, I plan to meet God again before bed.

Another heads up: I begin classes again on the 18th, and I will be slammed with more work than I know what to do with. I’ll be glad to feel productive again, but it will demand a lot of my time and attention. You can’t say you weren’t warned.

With both of those things in mind, it should go without saying that this blog will probably be neglected occasionally in order to maintain my relationship with God and my good grades. Try not to be too offended. However, you should also feel free to prompt me if I’ve been absent for more than a few days.

Until then, I wish us all good blogging fortune!

Get Away

December 21, 2009

Father,

I don’t even know what to say except I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so self-centered and for not spending time with you. I waste time on things that don’t matter. I neglect prayer. I avoid solitude. And I am left so empty and dry.

There’s nothing I can even ask you for, because I know what needs to happen. I don’t want to waste time making up prayers that attempt to put the ball back in your court. I just need to step out and away from the things that I preoccupy myself with. I need to get alone with you.

All I’ll ask of you is that you’d meet me there when I come.

Loathed Neediness

December 11, 2009

Well, today has been a rough day. I found out that one of my best friends has not yet won his battle with cancer. It’s looking like he may be in the hospital over Christmas, and recovering from the surgery will definitely be a bitch. I feel sad and more than a little angry. I hate this feeling of being upset with God, and it makes me very nervous. I have this idea that I should only ever be happy and grateful (and occasionally broken in repentance) before him but never mad.

That being said, I feel very thankful that progress was made in counseling today. While talking with my counselor this morning, it became apparent that the source of so many of my issues–specifically of feeling like I can’t pray about what’s really in my heart–is the way I view neediness as a bad thing. I won’t get into all the messy areas that it plays out in, but I do want to address how it affects my prayer life.

I realized today that every time I start to pray, I begin with telling God how I feel or what I want or what I need him to do. Then I immediately chide myself for having been so selfish and ungrateful. I try to start again by thanking him for things or praying for other people, but I inevitably wander off course because I’m discouraged by my inability to even start the right way. I walk away feeling selfish and whiny and like a failure.

My counselor called it out for what it was: feeling like I couldn’t or shouldn’t go to God with my needs. She then told me something I had never heard before: “Beth, your neediness is the best thing about you.” Her point was that I can only have a relationship with God if I realize I need him. It’s not a bad thing to feel helpless and desperate sometimes. That’s what pushes us toward God.

So often, I push away the Lord’s help without realizing it because I won’t take my needs to him. I feel like I’m being self-centered in asking for help and that I shouldn’t be bothering him with my problems. Somewhere along the way, I must have learned that I should be the one meeting all my needs because I can’t trust anyone else to meet them.

Today I have felt so mad that my friend should be fighting cancer when he is the person I admire the most in this world. It just isn’t fair. But I’m resisting the urge to just write this feeling off as the attitude of a petulant child. I’m going to bring this to the Father, no matter how stupid or selfish or childish it may seem, because I really believe that he wants me to tell him these things. I’ll admit that it makes me a little nervous just to tell you guys about this impending conversation with God, but I know it needs to happen. If I can’t bring this to him, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever make it into his presence with anything else.

Something this big can only be dealt with by him, and I’m going to take this opportunity to expose my neediness.