Read His Words Before Ours!
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
One of the beautiful things about Gracefully Truthful is the vulnerability required to write each Journey studies. From the beginning, we have strived for authenticity, as our desire has been for other women to know we are walking the reality of the Journeys we write.
Rarely do I write from distant experience,
I write what the Lord is revealing in my heart moment by moment.
It is messy, I cry many tears as I write,
and I trust that the Lord will somehow use my scattered words to bring Him glory.
With that transparency I tell you, sisters, I am walking through an incredibly dark valley.
My future is uncertain.
My dreams are shattered.
My heart is broken.
In the midst of this valley, the Psalms has brought comfort, putting into words prayers I haven’t known how to pray. I’ve spent days sitting in one Psalm drawing as much truth and comfort from it as I can hold before moving onto the next.
It is beautiful to see how the Bible has so many dimensions!
The same verses I clung to as a little girl learning the Lord is my shepherd, are the same verses God used to makes me lie down in green pastures.
Today, those same verses remind me I will never walk alone.
The Bible never changes.
But I change.
Because of that, the Bible will always be relevant.
God spoke through Psalm 6, meeting me exactly where I am.
But His word is ready to meet each of us in every circumstance
because His Spirit makes it come alive!
Women trying to conceive can pray these words back to the Lord.
Mamas grieving loss can read these words as the Spirit ministers directly to their souls.
Soldiers may feel as if this psalm was written just for them, finding solace in His rescue.
God’s Word is relatable, bringing us life!
His Word is for each of us!
“Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am weak;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking;
my whole being is shaken with terror.
And you, Lord—how long?”
My heart echoes amen and amen.
And countless hearts down through the centuries do the same.
Our beings shake.
Be gracious, Lord!
And Lord?! How Long??
The older I get, the more I realize how incredibly messy life is.
Even in the beautiful seasons, there will always be trials to face.
Every single person reading this page has faced a trial of some kind,
so we can all draw comfort from His Word.
“Save me for the sake of your steadfast love!”
Oh sisters, how weak I have felt in this valley!
How deeply I’ve begged, “Save me for the sake of your steadfast love!”
I’ve never experienced the shaking of my bones quite like I have lately.
Often, I find myself crying out to God,
“How long? How long will this season last? Surely this valley can’t be any deeper?”
Are you weary from your groaning?
Is your pillow drenched every night?
Do you wait until your kids are in bed, then let the tears flow?
Do you hold them in for as many days as you can, until they just burst while you’re driving?
Take comfort in this, Dear One, the Lord sees every single tear that falls.
He catches those tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8); He knows the source of those tears.
He knows the heartache, the grief, the loss, the suffering, the anger, the disappointment.
Are your eyes swollen from grief?
Does your head throb from the overwhelming thoughts running through it?
Does your body ache from exhaustion as you long to sleep just one night without the interruption of horrible dreams or racing thoughts?
Does your jaw hurt because of the constant clenching?
He knows each thought, each dream, and your aching body. (Matthew 11:28-29)
He longs to give you rest.
As I sat in my counseling session sharing with my therapist the anger I was feeling, he explained that my grief will come like the tide, sometimes it will roll in and come further up on the shore before descending back down, but like the tide, it will surely come.
The beauty of grieving, he explained, is that I am able to understand even more deeply the devastation caused by sin, and therefore, grasp the need for a Savior even more than I ever have before.
But I do not have to walk through grief alone.
As I enter into a new phase of grief I can bring it to the Lord,
transparently asking Him to walk with me.
The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping!
He hasn’t turned a deaf ear to my pain.
He hasn’t blocked out my mourning or allowed it to become like white noise mixing with the sounds of weeping across the globe.
He has heard each individual cry.
Yours. Mine. Your neighbor’s. Your child’s. The hungry child in Honduras.
The mourning father in Guam. Each and every wail is heard by the Lord.
And the Lord accepts my prayer.
Not only has He heard.
He listens. He accepts.
I look forward to the day I can write a Journey like this from the other side.
But I’m not there yet, and I won’t be for a while.
So, I sit in the peace that is offered in Psalm 6 and throughout the rest of Scripture.
The Lord knows my pain. He knows my tears.
He knows exactly how long this season will last.
And He will walk with me every step of the way.
This Bible study is property of Gracefully Truthful, where it was first published. For studies like this one, check out GracefullyTruthful.com!
Read His Words Before Ours!
1 Samuel 1:10-19
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky – up -up – up into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness, and then I’d just feel a prayer.” ~Anne Shirley
I’ve been reliving my childhood fancies lately; escaping into the ever-magical, imaginative world of Anne Shirley. After a difficult upbringing by incredibly strict grandparents, author Lucy Maud Montgomery married a Reverend and wrote many books, including my all-time favorite, Anne of Green Gables. Montgomery’s bold theological statements often pointed out how reverence and worship aren’t what we tend to make it.
Since re-reading Anne’s quote about feeling a prayer, I’ve done just that many times over.
My life feels a little as if it’s spinning out of control right now.
I’ve tried to paint a perfect picture of my life for the outside world to see,
but inside, a tornado rages..
Many days, I feel like I can’t even think what to pray.
So, I’ve closed my eyes, imagined myself in a massive field, and just felt my prayers.
I’ve felt the glory and wonder of God and what He has created.
I’ve felt the loneliness and instability that quakes my soul.
I’ve felt the insecurities and I’ve felt the joy.
And I’ve felt myself releasing it all and giving it to Him.
All without saying a word.
How is that even possible?
Because God knows.
He knows my every thought and every feeling.
He knows me.
The Spirit Himself prays for me. (Romans 8:26)
In this blessed assurance, I’m free to saturate my chaos with intimate moments of communion with my Savior, while He calms my storms and brings peace.
I feel the tornado slowing.
The tension is leaving.
Because of prayer.
Not perfect, holy, well-thought through words.
But connection, groanings I lack words for, shared to the ear of God through the Spirit who dwells within me.
Centuries ago, Christians practiced the discipline of prayer through “Daily Offices”. Believers marked off specific times throughout the day, generally the third, sixth, ninth, and bedtime hours, dedicating them to prayer. At each interval, they put aside their daily tasks to spend time saturating themselves with the Lord.
Prayers of praise.
Prayers of worship.
Prayers of joy.
Prayers of need.
Prayers of longing.
Prayers for others.
Prayers for themselves.
Prayers of confession.
Prayers of angst.
Intimacy and relationship.
What if we prayed like Hannah?
She bitterly wept before the Lord, thinking her prayer,
unable to even audibly speak!
She was heartbroken with infertility. She poured out her soul to the Lord, all of her deep anguish and grief.
What if we surrendered our deep anguish and grief all throughout the day?
Suppose we told Him our ache for a lost brother, or the way our arms feel empty for the child we’ve never held, or how our soul feels crushed from the weight of a seemingly hopeless marriage?
Enter into that intimacy with the Lord, Sisters.
Hearts are changed here.
What if we prayed like David?
King David had an affair with a married woman, yet with the deep convictions of his heart, he cried out to God to wash him of his iniquity and cleanse him of sin.
In prayer, David begged the Lord to restore the joy he’d once known.
What if we recognized our great sins and ugly failures, confessing them to the Lord multiple times a day? Would we become more aware of our pride, quickly confessing and running from it? Would our hearts begin to grieve as we recognized and confessed our lust again?
Enter into that intimacy of giving the Lord your sins, Sister.
Hearts are changed here.
What if we prayed like Mary?
With the news of her pregnancy, and the coming Messiah,
Perhaps she knelt to sang. Maybe she danced, rejoicing loudly while exclaiming the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise! She celebrated her worship!
Sisters, imagine if we were to take intentional time to thank God, celebrate Him, and declare His name throughout the day!
EVEN IF we don’t feel like it.
EVEN IF we have difficulty believing what we say.
Imagine how the thanksgiving we surrender will grow in our hearts, overflowing onto others, and shifting our perspective as we praise the Lord throughout the day.
Enter into that joyful intimacy with the Lord, Sister.
Hearts are changed here!
What if we prayed like Daniel?
Nothing could stop Daniel from praying throughout the day.
Not even the LAW or the threat of his LIFE.
Daniel met the Lord three times, everyday, windows open to the world, unashamed of his God.
What if we said no to distractions having priority over prayer?
What if we paused our lives several times a day to approach the throne of God.
Even WITH kids screaming in the background.
Even WITH a messy house just beyond our closed eyes.
Even WITH a meeting that will last all day.
What if we kept the conversation going on road trips, on business trips, in the grocery store, in the car.
Oh, let’s go there, Sister! Enter into that precious intimacy with the Lord.
Hearts are changed here. Yours and those around you!
I want that in the middle of my messy chaos.
Join me in my Prayer Challenge:
Choose 3 times a day for your phone alarm to go off.
I’m doing it right now setting it for 9 AM, Noon, and 3 PM.
When those timers go off, we pray.
Even if all we can muster is our deepest feelings, a groan, or a cry.
Let’s specifically, intentionally, prayerfully, enter into deeper intimacy with our King.
Watch out, Sisters.
Our hearts and lives are about to change!
This Bible Study is property of Gracefully Truthful, where it was originally posted. For more studies like this one, check out GracefullyTruthful.com!
From Bible studies to blogs, articles to musings of the heart, Kendra's writings are unbarred and raw - exactly how she speaks.