History Doesn’t Always Repeat Itself

So, dating after you’ve had your heart broke a time (or two) can be somewhat challenging. Fear, there is so much fear involved. They take one step that looks like your ex and you’re suspicious; like “Oh my heavens, the way you eat your food with a fork is exactly what my ex did so that must automatically mean you’re going to hurt me too!” It’s unhealthy and it’s toxic (speaking from experience as the girl who got spooked from someone eating with a fork, hypothetically speaking)! But here is the thing: they aren’t your ex, and in many scenarios in life, even those outside of dating, there is potential to get hurt. It’s a part of life. Though, fear isn’t supposed to control our choices or actions. 
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalms 56:3
I’ve been struggling lately at not being afraid. I have experienced so much hurt this year that I’ve lost that fire I had for Christ. I got to the point that I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do. Praying wasn’t seeming to help. I couldn’t make myself go to church because I ended up in tears every sermon and I was so tired of crying. More than anything I wanted to call my aunt. I wanted to talk to her about how much I was struggling and how much I missed her. I knew that we could talk about God and sort through my pain and I’d be fine but she was part of my pain. Losing her was part of my heartache. Not having my go to person hurts. It hurts. When things in life would go wrong she knew what to say or how to help me handle my anxieties so everything was okay. 

Yesterday, my anxieties got the best of me. I lacked trust in the person I had begun to care for because I got scared that he would do the same thing that has been done to me in the past. History repeated itself twice now, why not a third time? But I learned the hard way that he isn’t “them”. He isn’t the person who hurt me before and my actions were unfair and uncalled for. I can see JoAnn now chewing my rear out for acting so selfishly. 

In the end, my attempt to protect myself got me hurt again by pushing away the person I cared for. But it did bring me to my knees in prayer and began to stir a fire in me for my Father once again. The only way to heal is through the Father’s hand and trust that my Father is looking out for me. I’m hoping I can be forgiven for my doubtfulness and that I learned to lean on my God for guidance instead of my own understanding. 

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Joyful Suffering

April 20, 2017

My alarm went off at 3:00 this morning. I brushed my teeth and my hair. I threw some make-up on, finished packing my bag, and walked out the door where my friend was waiting to take me to the airport. Yesterday I got the call I had been dreading. My dad told me there weren’t many days left. I got the quickest flight home. My parents picked me up at about 8:30 Oklahoma time, next stop: the hospital.

Today was a rough one. Today I saw my aunt, my second mother, in so much pain she was incoherent. The cancer was literally eating her bones. Her lungs were full of fluid. She could hardly breath. I watched her grasp for air, hold her cancer ridden rib cage, and heard her moans of pain. I watched a woman, who I had leaned on for strength more times than I could count, strain to recognize me as I attempted to convince her to drink some water with childish choo-choo noises (she was coherent enough I got a version of an eye roll for that).

Today was a rough one. Today half my heart was shipped overseas to serve our country. Today I cried tears as I saw pictures of him boarding the plane for what would be his “home” for the next 9 months, pictures of the rifle he’d be carrying, pictures of the boy who had to become a man. I watched the man I have loved, fought, and relentlessly prayed for leave me with a phrase I will cling too in the few messages I got the night before he left: “You’re strong hun, you can handle anything thrown at you”. That phrase and a hoodie was all I was left with. He left behind a single, broken-hearted girl who was forced to become a strong woman.

I’ve shed more tears in the last few days then I care to admit. I have found myself praying in any quite moment I might have. I cling to my phone waiting for the next aunt or deployment update. I have found my stomach churning as I see a Snapchat story instead of receiving the text from him that I desire on his whereabouts and his safety. I have been a hot mess express. The anxiety is high right now. I wonder when I got old enough to handle all of this as I help my mother take care of business for the upcoming experiences my poor cousins are going to have to face. I didn’t really have a choice, I was called to grow up and be mature for my loved ones.

May 16, 2017

I got to Oklahoma at 4:30 this morning. I was up by 8. I had errands to run before I met the family for lunch. I put my dress on, fixed my hair and make-up and met my parents down stairs to head to the funeral home. I didn’t get to make it for family night so my dad took me to see her before we ate lunch. Cancer had eaten away the beautiful woman I once knew but she looked good. My brother kept his sun glasses on. I cried, but I held back so many tears too. I had to be strong. I was about to see my cousins and they had just lost their mom. I was about to see my grandparents and they had just lost their daughter. They all knew how close JoAnn and I were but still I felt the need to be strong for them. I walk in and my papaw hugs me and kisses my forehead. That was something I hadn’t experienced before but I knew he was struggling to express himself. He wouldn’t shed a tear the whole day.

From the moment I walked into the funeral home and saw how many people were there the tears began to flow. I sat between my dad and papaw. My dad hugged me the whole time. I can still count how many times I have seen him cry on one hand, but that day was different. He lost his little sister. I grabbed and held my papaws hand through the whole funeral. It was happy, it was sad, and they played the rock music just like she wanted. It captured her beautifully. My dad walked me up to the casket to see her before we left. I just started bawling and hugging him. When we hit the people outside the emotions just kept coming. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I was told I had to breathe or I would hyperventilate many times.

May 31, 2017

Its been two weeks since the funeral and I still feel the urge to pick up the phone and call her. I put off writing this because I just didn’t know what to say. Aunt JoAnn is in a better place. She asked my dad to take care of her kids so that means I gained a brother and sister. We were really more like siblings anyways. I’ve seen my family take care of each other in the most inspiring way. Although we grew closer as a family it still doesn’t take the pain away.

I beg God to enlighten me on what his plan for my life is. I have experienced so much loss this year that the weight upon my shoulders is making me question if I am strong enough to handle all of it. How could God put the two things that I have been dreading the most on the same day? How could he put my brothers wedding and my aunts funeral in the same week? God what are you doing?!

Here I am reminded of Hannah. Hannah was verbally taunted by her sister wife because she could have children but Hannah could not. Her husband, Elkana, favored Hannah regardless. Hannah went to the temple weeping and begging for God to give her a child. Eli, the priest, saw her and in her distraught state thought she was a drunkard. Eli tried to get rid of her but then quickly realized the situation. He then proceeded to bless Hannah; he said:
“Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:17

Then came the waiting period. 1 Samuel 1:20 says that before the year was out she conceived. As I’ve read this passage before I have always been like “wow how miraculous it only took a year!” As I read that now and go through my current life situations I am like, “holy cow, how did Hannah do it?” I have almost no patience. I have been in my current struggle for months and still I feel distraught, I am still wondering when this wave of bad happenings is going to end. Like most people in my generation I want what I want when I want it. I am so used to having almost everything I need at my fingertips. Have a question: Google it. Want to talk to my family from 12hrs away: pick up the phone. Typically these things are simple. So, when it comes to God answering my prayers I think that it should happen right now too. I know just like Hannah the things that He has promised me. I know this without a shadow of a doubt! I understand I am being bold but I just know! Yet, I have not mastered the art of joyful suffering (James 1:2-4). Crying is my new norm.

Here I desire to be more like Hannah. I want to joyfully suffer because that is what God is asking of me. I want to lay my worries down at his feet and leave them. Why should I worry if I know what God has promised? He promised He would always protect me and I could take refuge when I need strength. He told me that when I couldn’t be strong that He would be strong for me. He knew this time was coming. He knew I’d be tested to the point that I was unsure if I was strong enough. He knew that I would need the confirmation that I was strong enough from the person that means the most to me. He was answering my prayers, just not how I thought He would. My goal: although I may be facing some of the most difficult life situations in my young life, I will suffer with joy that only comes from my Heavenly Father.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

A Letter to the Struggling Loved One

To my struggling loved one,

For the first time in months when I looked at that picture of us I smiled. I didn’t feel hurt or pain. I simply smiled. That picture was the start of something wonderful, and glorious, but also something extremely painful. The last four months have been agonizing for me. Like my heart was yanked out of my chest. I wasn’t sure what else there was for God to teach me through hurts because I have been hurt so much in the last year. I have lost one thing after the other and honestly have faced some of the most terrible times in my life. I have fallen to the floor in uncontrollable sobs, cried myself to sleep, and called my mom and bestfriends crying more times than I would like to mention. This year my strength has been tested but I also watched my prayer life with God grow. I had forgotten that throughout life you are always learning; there will never be a time you are not learning. I made a prayer wall. I spent hours upon hours upon hours praying for you, my family, and friends. I start my day with a prayer. I sit in my office and type it out every morning because most of the time if I speak it, it just comes out jumbled. I not only learned to pray but I learned to listen to God too. I learned from times in the past where I thought I had heard God and was wrong and now as I listen I can hear him ever so clearly. He’s given me visions of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. God has revealed how He will bring some of my hearts deepest desire, desires He planted in my heart, to fruition. He is teaching me faith and patience as I wait for those visions to be fulfilled and to be blessed with the things he has promised me. Waiting isn’t easy. Matter of fact it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I trust God. My God is a BIG God, but sometimes I still cry. After all I am only human. But when I start praying and a sense of peace washes over me because I remember what I have heard. This hasn’t been easy for me. People say that if we trust God then we shouldn’t worry. I lay down my worries at his feet constantly. I have to do it over and over and over again but I also have to fight doubt with myself. I fight the doubt in myself that Satan has planted and continues to plant as other people question whether I heard God right. I’ve heard God wrong before, maybe I heard him wrong this time too? Then it goes away, because I have never been so certain about something in my life. I pray that you develop the same relationship with God as I have. I know you’re struggling right now too. I know that the reason you have hurt me is because you are struggling and “Hurt people, hurt people” – Levi Lusko. I have a very forgiving heart. I have already forgiven you. Can you forgive me for the times I have put you down when I became angry with you? I hate the animosity that has developed between us when we used to have so much fun together. I miss you. Just because I don’t talk to you doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. I just can’t get through to you anymore so I choose to do all my fighting through prayer. I lift you up in prayer daily. Do you pray for me? I hope you remember how much you are loved. I hope you remember that you deserve to be happy. I hope you find your way again. Most importantly, I hope you turn to God to lead you. You can always return to God. His arms are always open. He is waiting for you.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15: 22-24

Sincerely,

Someone who cares about you.

It’s not you, it’s Him

Darling, it’s not you, it’s him.

Let me be vividly honest for a moment. I struggle with relationships. I don’t date often because I know I fall fast. For this reason I weed through potential suitors with a fine tooth comb. I don’t enjoy dating. I don’t find it enjoyable at all. In fact I find it emotionally exhausting. So, if I dated someone it was because I saw great potential. For this reason when I get my heart broken, it’s to a severe degree.
However, I feel this great pressure to be in a relationship. I feel it from certain people who consistently ask if I’ve met anyone. I feel it from the world because everyone where I’m from gets married early. I begin to ask questions. Am I not pretty enough? Am I not smart enough? Am I too smart? Am I too mature? God, what is wrong with me? God, why haven’t you sent my Boaz? At this point in my life my strongest desire is to meet my forever person. The Godly man God has designed for me. God, why are you making me wait, you know how I feel? I’ve gone from one bad relationship to the next, God, why are you letting me get into these situations? The last guy, well I even prayed about him. I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I turned to God and sought his advice.  I thought it better to turn to him than mess something up that could have been. He sent person after person who encouraged me to move forward each in their own way. I am certain I heard God tell me to move forward and because I don’t want to fight God, although it’s a lesson I have to continually learn, I moved forward. But I ended up heartbroken again. I have had enough heartbreak this past year alone to last me a lifetime.
Let me give you a tip: it’s Him, it isn’t you. Ladies, it’s God who is holding back your Boaz. You are pretty enough and smart enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I know you feel ready but maybe He is growing you. Maybe He is protecting you from a painful situation. Maybe it’s your Boaz. Maybe he needs to grow. Maybe he isn’t listening to God as He screams, “Son, this is the woman I made for you. Isn’t she precious?” Maybe it’s a combination. Regardless, I know God has a plan. But let me stop here. You’ve heard all of this A MILLION TIMES, right? You’re tired of hearing just be patient, he is coming. You literally want to just scream, “BUT WHERE IS HE??” I know sister, I feel the same. Here is my recent conversation with God:

“God, I tithe. I donate to the needy. I even got two pairs of shoes instead of just one. I donate to organizations monthly. I seek you daily. I try to serve you daily. I share the Gospel whenever the opportunity presents itself. God, why haven’t you blessed me? Your word says if I tithe I’ll be blessed (Malachi 3:10). If I help the needy I’ll be blessed (Proverbs 22:9). I promise I didn’t do it just to receive a blessing. I did it out of love for you but God where is my blessing?”

Ladies, you aren’t alone. Many others, as well as myself struggle with this too. I trust God with my life, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I question God. Sometimes I’m impatient and sometimes I don’t listen. Just because I’m Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle! I have to constantly lay all of this at my Father’s feet. I know his plans for me are great. Gosh, I’ve even had people tell me that they felt God telling them how great His plans for me are. Yet, I still struggle because knowing His plans for me are great doesn’t take away the pain I am experiencing now. But keep on trusting. Keep on hoping, I promise I will do the same and remember: it’s Him, darling, it isn’t you.

Love,

Shiann

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. Psalm 139:14

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

Don’t Ignore God’s Call

This picture was captured in a moment of pure bliss. Should it have been? Probably not. A friend and I were unloading trash out of the back of my truck into the trash pile behind my house and I might have accidently closed the tailgate on their finger. At the moment in this picture they had locked me out of my truck. They might have been a tad salty that I was laughing so hard at what had just happened. To be fair I was laughing at their reaction, not them getting their finger smashed. They took this picture of me as I was trying to catch my breath and attempting to get into my truck; and I have to say, it is one of my favorite pictures.

This picture to anyone else would just seem like any normal picture but for me, knowing the backstory it is a moment that captured the wholeness of God’s beauty. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, bear with me. This picture captures the raw beauty of love and friendship. It captures mistakes and forgiveness. It captures caring for one another. It captures the simplicity and joy of life, right before it all came crashing down. You wonder how do I get that all from a picture? Well I lived it. When I look at this picture these are the things I am reminded of.

Love and Friendship

I didn’t have to help this person haul off trash that day. I could have done anything else. They didn’t have to help me later on that week clean out an old disgusting house I had promised to clean out for my dad or go “treasure hunting” in an old falling down house on one of our places. They could have been doing anything else too!

Mistakes and forgiveness

I didn’t mean to smash their finger nonetheless it hurt them. I humbly said I was sorry (I might have been giggling when I did so) regardless they forgave me and it became a laughing point for both of us later on.

Caring for one another

We had a blast simply working together. Yes, we could have been doing anything else but because we cared for each other we took the time to help each other out. That is what you do when you care for someone.

Simplicity and joy of life

We didn’t have to spend any money, just working and being together was enough. We laughed, we made fun of each other, we pulled chunks of wood and old paint out of each other’s hair. Simply spending time with those you care about can make all of the difference. Money or even alcohol doesn’t make a moment special, the people you spend it with do and those are the moments that you are going to remember as the “good ole times”.

All of this wrapped up in one picture and there were many more moments like it. The most difficult thing is that sometimes, as humans, we fall into a difficult time of life that pull us away from each other. When you care about someone though, you don’t just walk away and that can be quite challenging. God puts different callings on each of our hearts, and just because someone else hasn’t received the same calling as you doesn’t mean that what you have heard is wrong. For as long as I can remember I have prayed that God use me as a tool to spread his word. Our goal as Christians should be to be Christ-like and bring others to know and walk with Christ. God is simply using me as I prayed He would, though at times it becomes very challenging. So when it has been put on your heart to help someone and be there for them do not let others discourage you. Friends simply want the best for you and seeing their friend get hurt can be tough, but search out the will of God. Continually pray that you are on his path and He will guide the way.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Old Fashioned

You are a daughter of Christ, do not forget that you should be treated like one.

Someday there will be a little girl who follows you around. She looks up to you and aspires to be like you. She pays attention to your every move, even when you don’t realize it. She may even call you mommy, aunt, sister, or she may just be someone special. Everywhere we go, everything we do is setting an example for this little person. They are impressionable. We face so many challenges these days with young girls not thinking they’re, good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and those little girls pay attention to how we view ourselves and can pick up bad habits if we are not careful. There was a study done that showed that daughters criticized their body in the same way they overheard their mothers criticizing their own bodies but that isn’t the only thing these young girls pay attention to. They also pay attention to how the men in our lives treat us. If these young girls grow up seeing men not express the chivalry that was long ago a society standard then they are more likely to think that the modern treatment of women is more acceptable because it is what they have seen.

Women this means that as a generation we must look for a man who values us as daughters’ of Christ and treats us as God would want us to be treated. Getting the car door, making a phone call instead of texting, walking on the roadside, and walking to the door to pick you up for a date are not gestures of the past and they are not that difficult. Yes, I am old fashioned. My grandpa would get on to men for cursing in front of us women. I was probably born in the wrong era but I am also encouraged to bring back the standards that have fallen to wayside. I envision someday a man meeting with my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I envision a man who treats me in a manner that makes his daughter want to “marry daddy” when she grows up. But that starts with us. It starts with prayer and asking God to send men of God our way who have been taught respect and chivalry. It starts with holding ourselves to a Godly standard and requiring the men who pursue us to meet that standard. I hope to be the cute old couple in the Walmart parking lot grinning from ear to ear as my husband still gets the door for me some 40 years later. Act like a woman of Christ and God will certainly send you a man of God. Those men are out there; just wait for God to send them your way.

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:10,26-31

Letting Go

I was a born fighter. I am known for getting back up swinging after being knocked down. As a high schooler that fight was mainly focused on my dreams and goals; things like winning livestock shows and speech contests, and I was very successful. But as I’ve matured and do almost no competing I have found that the fight has shifted somewhere else. I have this thing where I don’t give up on people easily. Although, I have also found that my control over this is far less than the control I had at being successful. I would say my speech to my dad in the living room 9 times in one night. We would write down questions as we were driving from place to place so I could spend my Ag period at school looking up the answers. When I was finished with my work in Trig I’d write my speech in the back of my notebook making sure I had it down to a “T”. While I couldn’t control how the judges chose or how much someone else practiced I could control how prepared I was when I walked into the room. With people it is far different.

img_8649Koda likes to join in on prayer time!

I’m a believer in the whole “cross oceans even if they wouldn’t do it for you” theory. I want to be a Godly example of someone who cares, but caring often leads to hurt. Tonight I did my best to let go of that hurt. You see that hurt made me angry, and that anger weighed me down. That anger was only hurting me. As a Christian I sought council for guidance to help me let go of the feelings I was harboring. After a conversation with my youth minister’s wife I sat down and made two lists: a list of hurts and list of all the things I loved about the person who hurt me. You know what? The list of loves was significantly longer than the list of hurts! It is so easy to focus on the bad that we forget the good we see in people! When I finished my lists I taped the “love list” to my prayer wall and I burned the hurt list. Yes, I burned it, in my sink, I was safe I promise! I prayed that as this list disappears so do all of the feelings I’ve been holding onto. It’s called GRACE and God freely gives it to us!
img_8648-1Koda on his rug by my prayer wall… he doesn’t leave my side! 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
We do not deserve God’s grace but he gives it anyways. In our walk to be more like Christ, we should also do the same for others.
img_8650-1My prayer wall. 

I heard this quote several days ago:

“The only thing harder than forgiveness is asking for it.”

Maybe for some people, for me I find the act of forgiveness far more difficult. Regardless God calls us to forgive. When you do you’ll find this amazing weight lifted off your shoulders (or maybe it’s just the endorphins from catching stuff on fire, only God knows!)
img_8644-1When you’re done all your left with is ashes. You can’t make heads or tails of once was, it has all been burned away. 

God’s Direct Hotline

You know that feeling you get right after you have a big, juicy steak? The satisfaction (and also the tightness of your pants) is overwhelming! The kind of satisfaction that makes you just want to take the rest of the evening easy. That kind of satisfaction is what we need to have in our daily life. We need to be so satisfied with God that we don’t need any other wordly fulfillment to briefly appease us.

I have a problem with modern day communication, if you want to even call it communication. Facebook is full of whining, Snapchat can’t even be considered communication, and even worse phone calls seem to be a thing of the past. Instead of communication they serve as distractions from the life and people in front of us, and that disappoints me. Like any 22 year old I am probably on my phone more than I should be. I check Facebook and Snapchat multiple times a day to keep up with my friends and family BUT I try really hard not to fall into the trap of letting it become my primary source of communication. I can’t hear their tone of voice or their emotion through Snapchat or Facebook. There have been times where I have deleted Snapchat because I have gotten so frustrated with its use. I was once asked one time, “What if we picked up our bible as much as we picked up our phone? After all it is our direct line to God.” We can search for satisfaction through social media but we will never find true satisfaction until we are satisfied through God.

Likes and watches can’t make you feel better. Having your phone blown up by a multitude of people on the daily only temporarily boosts your self-esteem. You have to find your true value through God, not the value of this world. Don’t look out, look up He’ll be there every time. I encourage you next time you desire to look for satisfaction outwardly, instead pick up God’s direct hotline. You will find just how much God loves you there and the satisfaction will be much much greater.

You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears. 1 Corinthians 7:23

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11

Not Today Satan

By 7:30am this morning I needed a Dr. Pepper (DP) something fierce. DP is my go to when I’m stressed out. I LOVE me some DP. At approximately 6:12 this morning the tire of my tractor swiped the concrete mount of a fence post while I was feeding the cattle in the feedlot. I didn’t even realize I had done it; I couldn’t even feel it. I make that pass twice a week on my feed rounds. If you look at the tire there you can see the mark where several graduate students have scraped the side of the tire, it just happened to pop with me. At 7:15 I realized I had a flat tire. Yay.

Sometimes it’s a bad day. That’s all it is, a bad day. I fall into this rut when things are somewhat rough where I am just exhausted, mentally and physically. Then, I remember a conversation my dad and I had on the first day of my senior year in college:

Dad: How was your day?

Me: Eh, fine I guess.

Dad: Shiann, life isn’t that bad.

It was so simple, but it stuck with me. It kind of slapped me in the face and woke me up. Life is what you make it and honestly it isn’t that bad.

About the time the tractor tire popped is when I realized Satan was attacking me and he had been all week. Through a series of emotionally exhausting events Satan had managed to get me very discouraged, then I thought, “If Satan is attacking me then I must be doing what God wants me too, why else would Satan try to steer me away?” That has given me some encouragement to keep praying and following God even as it gets difficult. God never promised us that following him would be easy, only that it would be worth it. Sometimes life is just hard; thank goodness we have an awesome God.

Several days before this happened I told Satan that he was no longer allowed in my life, he must have laughed and said, “I’ll show you.” But I hope God said the same about me as he said about Job, “Have you considered my servant Shiann?” (Job 1:8) I had been praying for confirmation, this morning Satan showed me that I was following His path. Instead of deterring me, Satan momentarily discouraged me and, oddly enough, encouraged me to continue on this path. He may have gotten me down, he may even keep trying but my God is big and I have faith that he’ll help me pull through.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Prodigal Resources

There is a prodigal that I have been vividly praying for. I wasn’t sure what to pray so I began looking for some resources. I found two really great articles and put together a list of prayers that I gathered from Kathie at The Character Corner page and B.J. Reinhard at the Encouragements From the Piper’s Wife page. I also did my own research and put together a list of awesome bible verses that will help you and your prodigal as you begin this journey of praying for them. I need visual things when I pray… I tape verses, prayers, etc. to my bathroom wall. I keep notecards with verses and prayers in my prayer journal so I can flip through them easily. Here is the list of verses and prayers BUT I also provided a download where you can print them off onto index cards! These new awesome printers these days have the awesome ability to change paper sizes to allow you to put little things like index cards in there! Give it a try! (I find it really helpful to put the cards on one of those nifty little book rings!)

Love,

Shiann

Verses:

1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of a sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Matthew 6:13
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Luke 10:19
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Isaiah 58:6-9
“This not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free,And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Isaiah 50:10
Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Psalm 31:2
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.

Psalm 40:11
Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

Psalm 40:2
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

Galatians 6:9-10
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Prayers:

  1. “Father, please allow their path to be filled with misery, frustration and irritation.” (Hosea 2:6a) This isn’t to be mean. We pray this because we love them. (Proverbs 19:11)
  2. “Father, please make them unable to clearly see what to do; please cause confusion.” (Hosea 2:6b)
  3. “Father, please keep them from finding the satisfaction for which they are searching.” (Hosea 2:7a)
  4. “Father, please allow her to see herself as You see her and create a desire to come back.(Hosea 2:7b) No prodigal will come back to God until they first come to themselves. This means that they recognize that they got themselves where they are, and it’s their responsibility to do what it takes to get out.
  5. “Father, please bring to their mind the good and allow them to forget the bad, pain, hurt, etc.” (Hosea 2:7c-8)
  6. “Lord, protect them.  Build a hedge around them to guard him physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Block their paths so that he cannot move toward activities and relationships that would harm them.” (Job 1:10; Hos. 2:6-7)
  7. “Deliver them from evil.  Rescue them from a destructive lifestyle.  Restore them to their senses, bring them home from the land of the enemy.”  (Mt. 6:13; Ps. 91:14; Lk.15:17; Jer. 31:16-17)
  8. “Guide them into truth.  Teach them to recognize deceptive ideas and thoughts.  Make them alert to the lies of the enemy, and teach them how to resist the devil by faith.” (Jn. 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:16; 1 Pet. 5:8-9)
  9. “Give them the courage to be honest with their self and with You.  Spirit of God, convict them of sin and their need for You.  Don’t allow them to blame other for troubles in his life.  Show them that he alone is responsible for their choices.” (Jn. 16:8; Gen. 3:12-13; Ezk. 18:20)
  10. “Lord, thank You for drawing them with love and tenderness to Yourself, even in their desert place.  Show them that You are with them.  You delight in him them.  Amid the clamor for their attention and affections, may they hear Your voice calling to them and respond to Your deep, deep love.” (Jer. 31:3; Hos. 2:14; Zeph. 3:17)
  11. “Cause them to call out to You in their distress and confusion.  Cause them to seek You with abandon.  Thank You for promising to answer him.” (Ps. 91:15; Jer. 29:13)
  12. “Remove their heart of stone and replace it with a new, soft heart.  Make this heart into a bed of fertile soil so that the seed of truth sown into it will grow deep roots and bring forth a rich crop of life.” (Ezk.36:26-27; Mt.13:23; Col.2:6-7)
  13. “Lord Jesus, reveal to them that lasting refreshment and satisfaction can only be found in You.  In You they will find an abundant life.” (Jn.4:10, 10:10; Ps.1:3)
  14. “Lead them to friends who will graciously point them to You.  Cause them to be attracted to those who are attracted to You.  Scatter like chaff in the wind any friends who will bring them harm.  Give them the courage to please You, not man.” (Prov.13:20; Gal.1:10)
  15. “Produce in them a humble spirit that is yielded to You. Teach them how to live in You, and show them that apart from You they can do nothing.” (Jas.4:10; Ro.6:13; Jn.15:5)
  16. “Lord, reveal to them how valuable and significant their life is.  Give them a vision for their purpose in the world, and show them the possibilities for their future.  Through You, they can do all things.” (Is.43:7; Jer.29:11; Phil.4:13)
  17. “Help them to see that they don’t need to condemn themselves.  Show them that they can experience complete forgiveness through the work You’ve already finished on their behalf.  Give them the grace to repent of and let go of the past.” (Jn.19:30; Acts3:19; Is.43:18-19)
  18. “Thank You for offering hope and comfort to them.  Thank You for restoring the years the locusts have eaten and bestowing on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.” (Is.57:18; Joel 2:25; Is.61:3)
  19. “Teach them that following You is not about following rules.  Show them that what You long for is a genuine relationship with them.” (Ro.6:14; Jer.9:24; Phil. 3:8,10)
  20. “Lord, cause them to grow up in You, maturing into an oak of righteousness for the display of Your splendor.  Help them to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with You and with man.” (Eph.4:15; Is.61:3; Lk.2:52)
  21. “Teach them to live in freedom, animated and motivated by Your Spirit and in step with Him.” (Gal.5:16,25)
  22. “Teach them to walk by faith.  Help them to see beyond their circumstances and trust You with every part of their life.” (2Cor.5:7; Heb.11:1; Prov.3:5-6)
  23. “Impress on them the need to protect their mind, guarding its purity through the choices they makes about what they looks at, listens to, and thinks about.” (Phil.4:8; 2Cor.10:5)

Download here:

Verses.

Prodigal Prayers

B.J.& Kathie’s Pages

http://thecharactercorner.com/5-things-to-pray-for-the-prodigal/

http://fromthepiperswife.blogspot.com/2011/12/prayers-for-prodigals-by-bj-reinhard-5.html