Last week in the mist of my thrill about getting to attend the writer's conference came frustrating news of a different nature. The kind that stirs unrest and emotional upheaval. Sticky, tricky and complicated.
My husband and I recognized a need for serious prayer in order to understand how we should move forward. To be honest, I grew frustrated with the Lord - I intended to pound out a praying session and be done with it! Yes, go ahead and laugh. I already knew that's not how He does things.
After dinner one night, with my angst thoroughly stirred up, I set out for a walk. I texted my favorite neighbor and asked her to join me - we love to walk and talk and fellowship when we can. I set on my heart not to be too grouchy about the matter at hand though I knew myself well enough to know I would likely "process" what was on my mind - it's just the way I work through things, talking them out.
Her text back said, she wasn't quite ready, but shouldn't be long.
I immediately tried to call my mom who is visiting her sister on a farm in No Cell Reception, Montana.
Since that failed, I decided to set out on my own and pray through this bur under my saddle, resolve the issue and then be ready to visit with my friend. Again, I know better. That's just not how it's done.
I have some amazing Bible Story Songs for my kids - and I've picked a handful of them that really stir within me a need to touch God, keeping them on my phone. I put earbuds in and pressed play. It distracted me from my inner dialogue (read: argument) and caught me up into a sweet fellowship with my Father. Instead of going before a Judge to plead my case and call it a day, I worshipped. I opened my heart. I asked the Lord to find delight in me.
I did not pray about the troubles that stirred my heart.
Yes, that problem does still exist.
And it does still need attention. But guess what?
My heart, my spirit came away from my private walk at rest. I met my Lord as I walked, prayed and worshipped. That's all He wanted. For me to rest in Him, be with Him.
When my neighbor joined me, I had peace. We walked, we talked, we fellowshipped. We spoke of God, and family and we spoke of what had been troubling me. It still troubled me, I still had no answers.
But now I saw it differently. I saw a new way to pray for our dilemma. I saw clearly that by coming before Him and pouring out myself, letting Him fill me, I suddenly approached it differently, with a new attitude. Rather than pray for, beg for and demand a resolution that had felt so paramount a short time before, I wanted to pray for the hearts of those involved. Both the people in my family and not in my family.
Instead of complaining into God's ear about a request that felt distressing and inconsiderate, I needed to pray for their heart to be one with God's heart. For my heart and the hearts of my family to be one with God's heart. That is all that really matters.
I want to be a delight to the Lord.
***There is a tiny clip of the songs on each Bible Story Song CD at their website. In particular, the song that deeply touched me that night is found in Matthew Vol. 1, if you scroll 12 songs down...it's called You are my Son, The Beloved (from Matt 12:18). We are also His sons....and He wants to delight in us!