My prayer for the church

Dear Sovereign God

Would you work a miracle

In hearts and minds

Would you create anew

 

Would you unblind the eyes that cannot see

Melt the chains around the feet

Change the motives, move the emotions

Empower drastic love

 

Would you unbind hands that are bound

And untie arms that tie up others

Would you enlarge hearts of weakness

And expand narrow thinking

 

Would you humble and break

Would you heal and draw near

Would you comfort and seek

And would you start with even me

 

Would you bandage up broken bones

Soothe the cuts and bruises

Help the church, which is Your church

To stop all the wounding and the hurting

 

Enable unconditional love

Convict radical reconciliation

Pursue us even in our failures

Push us into forgiveness that embraces

 

Fill us with grace and mercy

Be our soul of peace and rest

Fight for us to be the light and life

That You are to us

In every way always

 

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Written to my younger self

Today, October 11, 2017, is the International Day of the Girl Child, or as I would like to call it, International Girl Day!

This post was inspired by fellow blogger, Kevin Garcia of http://www.thekevingarcia.com/ and his blog post http://www.thekevingarcia.com/a-letter-to-a-younger-me/.

 
Dearest Laura,

You are so unashamedly adorable. You are so priceless and valuable. You are worthy and deserving. Don’t ever believe the inferiority that you feel from others. Stop listening to the condescending “Tom Boy” that people throw in your direction. Don’t fit into their box of who they think you should be or what they think you should look like. You’re so much more gorgeous as your true, unhindered self.

You have a name that is as beautiful as you are. Your name means victorious. And you will live up to the meaning of your name, in ways that you can’t even imagine right now. You will conquer so much. You will fight so many battles. And you will learn the meaning of being a miracle.

You are such an independent and creative thinker. You are so hard-working and confident. You are thoughtful and purposeful. You are going to go through some hard times when you get older. You are going to fear and doubt, question and struggle. You may even think that you’ve lost your independence, creativity, hard work ethic, confidence, thoughtfulness, and purpose. But you won’t. They will surface again. In fact, you will never be without them.

You are resilient. You will find out just how much you’re capable of. You are going to become your own hero. Who knew how much you would learn to carry before you collapse under the weight? Please don’t worry. You will be sad, and mad, and angry, and furious. But this doesn’t make you bad. You are human. You were never meant to be perfect. You were made to feel and be.

Whenever you don’t understand something, it’s all right. The journey is more than the destination. Maybe that frustrates you right now, but it will make sense some day. You will grow and change and heal and become. And you will survive what overwhelms you. You will reach and try and sometimes give up. But you will never lose yourself. You’re only on the path of being more fully who your parent God created you to abundantly be.

Discouragement, deprogramming, and trial will come. But they will not destroy you. You will be stronger than ever because of all of this. You are not going to be forgotten. You will be able to thrive. I can tell you that you will find grace, freedom, safety, and love from the very One who exudes those free gifts to you, child of God.

You will hurt. But it’s not your fault. The pain is because our world is broken. It’s going to be hard. But you’re never going to be abandoned. You’re never left alone. It may seem like it sometimes. It may even feel impossible. But you will get through it. You will. I know it. I believe in you. I watched you grow up. I saw you in your silence, your confusion, your tears. You were never a waste. You were never a failure.

Here’s my hug for you and some words to build you up: don’t forget how special you are. Be brave and remember, you may not ever have all the answers and that is okay. I am here for you. We’ll weather the storms together. There is a way. God made the way. And He is with you.

So much love,

Laura

When you’re too hard on yourself

Posted on October 10, 2017 in recognition of World Mental Health Day.

 

Slow down

Take it easy

Deep breath

Feel

Exhale

Inhale again

And breathe out

You’re doing the best you can

You’re doing fine

You’re going to be okay

You are brightness

You can’t be replaced

Stop fighting yourself

Stop fearing yourself

Love

You can

And you will

You are all right

Push through

And don’t push yourself anymore

Battle the urge to battle yourself

 

Please say this

Especially when you need to hear it

Because you are the one who’s too hard on yourself

Resilience

Posted to raise awareness on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2017.

 

Today I realized

That I see people

In their pain

I see it in their eyes

Feel it in their bodies

Hear it in their silences

 

What do I do with that?

How do I feel for them?

And for me?

Who can lift all that for a lifetime?

And should I? And will I?

 

I know I’m resilient

But I’m also human

I know I’m strong

But how much can I take?

I know I’m powerful

But how much can I carry?

I know I’m made to endure

But how long can I survive?

I know I’m persevering

But how long until I break?

 

Humanity walks the line of paradigm

As strong as a hungry lion

And powerful as a tired eagle

Our hearts long for connection

Yet we fear being known

We want love

But we’re afraid of honesty

Where can we go from ourselves

When we both contradict and exceed

Our very beings of extraordinary minimalness

 

I am resilient

And that is how I face the day

Sometimes I feel it

Sometimes I know it

Sometimes I live it

Sometimes I reach for it

I am still full of resilience

God of Humanity

God of our humanity

Fill these clay pots with divine Spirit

Permeate our weak bodies with supernatural

 

God of our humanness

Expand our limited dust with your sacred presence

Build up our finite with your vast, surpassing truth

 

God of our created beings

Surround us in pure, encompassing love and grace

Soothe our need and longings with your all-knowing emotion

 

God of our human hearts

Create our lives of smallness to discover your inventive will

Regard our lack and reach to us with perfect embrace

 

God of understanding us

Find calm for us when we have fear and confusion

Hold us in thriving rest and peace

 

God of incomplete people

Be our wholeness, abundance and arrival

Enable our experience of your absolute and total affection for us

 

God of the little and insignificant

Tell us we are wanted, beloved, cherished

Instill to us our importance, irreplaceability and beauty

 

God of the dying flesh

Preach in us our eternity with purposeful passion

Sustain our fighting breath to matter while we are still here

Advocate

You can’t get out of your skin

So be kind to your body

And be gentle with your mind

Cry for yourself as crying over a loved one

Shed tears for you because no one else will

So much to feel but so little time

Be patient with your very full heart

It will get better inside

You’ll find a way forward

I’m convinced you are a superhero

I’m sure you’re a winning fighter

In some small way, you win everyday

In every step you take I see bravery

You’re inspiring me, one breath at a time

Your impact is mighty and big

You may not see yourself, you can’t

But trust yourself, believe your faith

Power moves the mountains in you

You’re not going to stop surviving

You’re going to still be thriving

You’re being a difference by staying true

Yourself is a treasure to the earth

Stop the breaking and start the mending

Stop the shutting up and start loving

Be nice

You’ll be better for it

And your life will ring out the song

Your song

It’s the melody that we’ve been waiting for

We want to hear you

Please sing your voice

Your beautiful heart is

Our friend

Not your foe

Welcome home

Burning Blue

Heart with a fire

You warm those who are alone and scared

You burn those who criticize and judge

You welcome to the hearth those who are hungry

You question those who are self-righteous and ignorant

Your flames are light to the ones in shadow and fear

Your sparks surprise those in lukewarm complacency

The fire is a gift, a treasure, your calling

But carrying a fire in your heart comes with a cost

I see your scars and they are beautiful

Because whatever fought you didn’t take you

I see your loneliness and it’s not your fault

You are not empty, weak or helpless

I see the burdens you carry alone and I want rest for you

You can’t live with a fire inside and not feel it

Your fire grows weary and burns itself out

But even coals have life in them, they just need stirring

Open up to receive well, in order to give well

No fire lasts forever without flaming

Learn to receive the gifts of oxygen and wood for warmth

You will find a way to live

Your heart will stay here

Even with a blue flame fire