“Be the friend you are to me to yourself,” said a long-lost friend from college as we wrapped up our conversation about how God had dramatically changed her life overseas and mentioned that I may have been one of the seeds that brought her to faith.
God’s been doing something weird lately – he’s been answering my prayers. It’s kind of scaring me actually. Like I mentioned in my blog a couple weeks ago, the supernatural confuses and scares us away. But I’m leaning in.
I had been praying for words of encouragement as my tank was running empty and I thought I hadn’t made much of an impact with my life that’s likely already a third of the way over. And then my coworker said something was different; that I had this inner joy about me and my eyes had that fierceness back. I said it was Jesus and that I was in love.
Over the last month or two, I’ve had at least a handful of colleagues or friends ask me why I’m not a pastor. Something along the lines of “it’s not my time yet” was my answer. (Also this guy’s got loans to pay off. But maybe I should be praying about those too?) I said, “But I want to be a New York Times Bestselling author someday,” and they said, “You will be.”
Chills. Absolute chills. I had been feeling abandoned by my inner-circle for a while. (I wasn’t. They’re all super busy chasing their own dreams and making things happen in their marriages and I’m super grateful and proud of them.) But I received texts/letters back and set dates to grab beers. And I’m just like, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Thank you, sweet Jesus.”
Allie and I have this journal where we’ve started writing letters back and forth to each other in. And I lost it. It was terrible. Anyways, I’ve been looking for about a week for it around the house, in my car, stopping by my hangout spots like Starbucks and Johnny’s and leaving my number with them in case I left it there on accident. Nothing. It was nowhere. Then I prayed. “Lord, would you help me find that journal? I really don’t want to have to rewrite all of those letters…” was my honest, goofy prayer. I got home, parked my car, looked down to my right and there it was. Tucked right in between my drivers-seat and the middle console of my Camry. It hadn’t been light enough for me to notice it when I looked frantically the night before. But I prayed and he opened my eyes.
I opened it up and read the most recent letter (it had been her turn to write me and I hadn’t even had a chance to read it yet). A smile came over my face and my heart skipped a beat or two. That woman loves me.
God answers prayers. So start praying. I have and it’s awesome. He may leave a few unanswered and you may wrestle with bitterness, but be honest with Him then. “God, I’m immensely frustrated that such-and-such isn’t happening yet, but would you please calm my heart and ease the stormy seas of my thoughts so I can sleep tonight?”
As my friend discovered in France. When you engage with God and allow the Holy Spirit to enter your life, you become that much more aware of the spiritual. Darkness and Light can seem like overwhelming forces. But as my pastor said this last Sunday. “Just remember the devil today is much different than the devil before Christ. Now he’s the A.D. devil. The Already. Defeated. devil. He’s only got as much power as you let him.” Light casts him out. And perfect Love (Jesus) casts out all fear.
Back to the quote that opened up the blog. What my friend was saying is, “You’re enough.” The exact message that Jesus and Allie have been speaking into my heart. But I prayed and asked for outside sources, a gentle answer, a kind word, a story of fruit, a glimpse of light. So God sent coworkers, old friends, dreams, and then he helped me find a journal I thought had been lost forever.
If the God of the Universe has enough time to listen to my achy, anxious, sometimes needy heart – then surely He’s got enough time for yours.