Tag Archives: change

I couldn’t pray out loud like they did.

Everyone prays differently. In church, they always prayed out loud, with lots of “Lord”, “just”, etc, and they prayed for a long time. I tried mimicking them and I felt so self-conscious! I dreaded praying out loud. This past year, I have been a member of my campus ministry’s prayer team, which has been a huge challenge and has stretched me in ways I didn’t expect.

I have a really hard time praying out loud. I am comfortable praying in my head and in my journal. Over time this past year, I got used to vocalizing part of what was in my head. I pray best when I have time to think, and especially when I have the Bible in my hands or verses floating between my ears. I think, “I have an audience of One”, but I can still only manage one-on-one talk with the Lord when I don’t have additional people listening to me.

A friend reminded me,

“Jesus already gave you what you’re going to say. You’re just sending it back to him. Why are you worried?”

While I am still way too self-conscious (read: concerned about my reputation, prideful), this makes me relax. I can humble myself to listen to what the Spirit brings up for me to pray, and use God’s own Word with him. I hope that the Lord will make me more versatile and confident in prayer that I may be a better tool for His work. But I am not a “failure” for being unable to stand in front of a crowd and pray like they do in church. Lord, teach us to pray.

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Past, Present, Future

Who I am now would be foreign to who I used to be. There is some continuity between who I am and who I was when I was 10. Yet, if I could predict the future when I was little, I would not have had words to describe what is going on with me now. My motivations, thoughts, dreams, and perspective are different in nature. Every once in a while I get a feeling of deja-vu, where it is as if the present moment is a memory that I am reliving. These are usually very brief, on the order of a second or two, though they may go on for ten seconds or longer, especially if I’m in conversation with someone. I’d like to believe I’m psychic, so whatever I say will be biased towards that. I experience deja vu more often when I’m relaxed and not worried about my future. From that association, I use their frequency as a measure of how happy or at peace I am. I’ve recently had a wave of them, which makes me very happy about my state of mind. In my electronics / circuits class I had one little moment that felt like deja-vu, but it was suppressed, and I felt some confusion with it, as if I were experiencing that moment of the lecture for the first time without having had all of the other classes building up to it. When it passed, I of course understood what was going on as well as I ever do, but I maintained the perspective of how strange it all was. I could live my whole life never understanding circuits and miss nothing. But that moment also showed me how strange I am now. Past me would not know present me if we met. I would not be able to convince her that we are the same.

I desire love more than most anything. It used to be that I was actually planning for and expecting to become a political leader or dictator, and dreamed about having control over people to the point of having the right to choose who lives and who dies, and to bring people pain with a thought, by torture or rape or what have you. While that doesn’t repulse me (should it?), I have become much more peaceful and would rather take on someone else’s pain than add to it. And I feel like this is a choice I have. Is it behavior modification associated with being Christian? It might be. If I so desired, I could become who I used to be and find myself consumed by thoughts of greatness and power. But I am choosing today to give that up so that I can take up my cross and give my heart to God.

Over the past week, and especially two days ago, I got a strong dose of what I’ve always wanted. My reputation, how I am perceived, is very important to me. I was noticed, understood, accepted, and validated on my own terms. One friend called me insightful. Another said that I am always in a good mood. Several people respected how hard I work. I made a new friend. One of my professors spent an excessive time with me to help me understand course material, as if my success were worth something to him. And when I became frustrated (and started crying!), he gave me space to breathe, and let me know he was still there if I had more questions. I’ve been invalidated so much for being emotional and quiet. This past week has been amazing. I’m more stressed and getting less sleep then I ever have, and plenty still goes wrong. Now God has challenged me to lay down my pursuit of these things I want (very good things!), and follow him only. I plan to try. I don’t know where this desire for God has come from. It feels strange and new inside of me, but like something permeating my being where I will let it go, and it is not fragile. I’m hopeful that it will grow and blossom into something beautiful for the people around me. I rest assured that if God had not been working in my life, I might be more successful than I am now, but I would not be who I am. With God, I am in the right place, living the life I was born to live.