AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart
My best friend growing up lived one house down from a candy store, so going to her house was basically the dream. The routine went:
- I’d show up at her house.
- Her Dad would give us a generous sum of money.
- Off to the candy store we’d go!
We raided that candy store like we owned the place. It was so much fun! We’d then go back to her living room, spread out all of our purchases, and proceed to consume everything we’d bought faster than you could say sugar high. It was a blast!
At the same time I was raiding the candy store with my friend, there were two significant life lessons my parents were emphasizing back home:
- Eat food that is good for you.
- Pray about everything.
I did not enjoy either lesson at the time. You see sugar was delicious, vegetables were disgusting, and prayer was a boring waste of time, but I felt constant guilt to do it.
It was a good, old mid-childhood crisis. If there is such a thing…
The Two Life Lessons
It took me awhile to acquire a taste for vegetables, but I eventually got there. Don’t get me wrong, I still occasionally buy a giant bag of gummy bears as a treat to myself. But it’s different than it was when I was a sugar-hyped kid. I get about 30 in and start to feel horrible! I realize my brain clearly got so excited I forgot the regret I have every single time I over-consume sugar. My love of sugar quickly turns into a hate because of how it makes me feel. The inverse happens whenever I eat vegetables. I get excited now when I eat them because I realize how much better I feel (I promise, this blog post was not sponsored by a mom).
Over the years, I’ve realized the importance of the two life lessons my parents were trying to teach me. I’ve learned first hand that if I eat my vegetables I feel better. If I eat too much sugar I feel sick to my stomach. And, if I pray it actually changes things!
After years of loathing prayer, I now think it’s the best! Why? Because I’ve seen its effects and I’ve finally begun to trust the heart of Jesus. Today if you were to ask my closest friends, they would probably say that I love prayer; I’m consistent and willing to pray about any issue that arises.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
The Sweetness of Prayer
Growing up, prayer was a routine; a time-consuming, stressful routine. Now, it’s a treasured opportunity. Seriously, we can share our hearts with God and He grants us His peace. How sweet is that?!
Now, having said all this, I understand for many, prayer can be discouraging (almost as discouraging as having to eat broccoli when you really want a Reese’s) Sometimes we feel prayer just isn’t working. That’s honestly how I felt for the first 18 years of my life! I’d occasionally even snap at God while praying because I’d get so frustrated that my prayers simply did not seem to be doing anything. If that’s the boat you are in, I get it. Looking back, if I could give my teenage self one piece of advice on the subject, it’d be to challenge myself to take those questions to God in prayer rather than just get upset about them. He can handle our questions. I’d also tell myself to be open and honest with a respected mentor about my struggles with prayer. As it is, if you find yourself not having a safe place to take your questions, please feel free to reach out to our Across My Heart team. We know what it’s like to have burning questions, and we’d love the opportunity to point you directly to Jesus, because as cliché as it may sound, He really is the answer. The sweet peace that talking to Him in prayer brings is there for you just like it is for me.