Why I Pray

When I pray for you it’s like breathing –
equal parts commonplace and extraordinary in its rhythm and repetitive motion.

Each morning I climb the stairs,
check the first of many trash cans,
and begin to pray as I move counterclockwise around the perimeter of the library.

Some days I am eager to pray,
overflowing with hope in the promises of God,
but most days I feel frustrated and weary of
praying and praying and praying
without seeing growth or change.

And yet,
a little voice inside says,
“Kelly, God hears you,”
and so, I pray.

While walking the length of the library I look out on the quiet quad,
taking in the steadfast clock tower,
the blooming hanging baskets,
and the construction projects strewn across campus in various stages of completion.

I pray for your work,
your family,
your mind,
and most of all, our friendship.

Rounding the southwest corner of the building, I often begin to sing,
sometimes as a force of habit,
and sometimes because I feel as though my own words are failing me
leaving me no option but to lean on those that others have penned.

When I head to the other side of the library
my prayers often deepen in intensity
as I pray away the demons that threaten to devour
all who choose to walk in their identity as children of God.

I finish my circuit
and sometimes I feel relief that this particular morning ritual is finished,
but more often I feel a sense of longing for even just one more minute
in the presence of a God who already knows,
but still listens
who doesn’t need me,
but still chooses to use me in continuing the work of His Kingdom
as I pray for you.

So friend,
I want you to know that while my words may be raw,
and my feelings fickle
I am praying for you
because I trust that the growth that happens beneath the dirt
is every bit as important as the blossoming of the flower.

Purpose

Pebble Steps

This weekend I experienced a taste of what living out my purpose feels like. I had a moment, standing in the middle of the woods with a group of people who understand a commonly misunderstood part of me, when I thought, “This is it. This is what life is about.” Everything, and I mean everything, felt so right. I was standing in a thin space where heaven touched earth.

Let me back up and give you some context. This summer I will be traveling to Romania and Moldova with a team from my university, and this past weekend my teammates and I, along with the team traveling to Argentina, went on a retreat. It was glorious! Twenty-four hours of unpacking baggage and deconstructing preconceived notions while building trust and making memories. I came away from the weekend glowing!

The amazing thing is that while this weekend focused on my upcoming adventure, I came away from it feeling like I learned so much about life. I have learned many valuable lessons in college, but the lessons I learned this weekend trump them all in terms of propelling me into my future.

That’s the thing – this experience is about so much more than just this trip. This opportunity I’ve been given is about learning how to better live out, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to a melody we sang this weekend.

The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of your kingdom.

He’s opening the gates, and I couldn’t be more excited!

For Those Who Seek

The place where you are at right now is part of God’s will for your life. Your passion, skills, and creativity are absolutely from him. He won’t make you completely give up those things he’s placed within you, but this journey with him will require sacrifice. You are in a good place, but do you want more? More adventure, more Kingdom come, more Jesus? Examine where you are, and where you want to go. The near future is full of important decisions. Listen to God.

Not My Life, But His

You truly live when you’re living in God’s will instead of trying to do it your own way. You can have more radical life by him, for him, in him, and through him. The choice is yours…