Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Despair to Prayer Chronicles - Part 1

I've been going full throttle again, concerned about how I'll keep my head above water as we enter the busy holiday season.

With back to school needs behind me; coat drives, food drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas loom in the not too distant future. And all of that is on top of day to day responsibilities.

I  can sense feelings of becoming overwhelmed creeping up. I'm feeling a little desperate but I've also walked this road long enough to know I need to be securely plugged into God's presence to make it through.

Yesterday, I recalled this series I wrote 4 years ago this month. As I read through it, I nodded my head in the affirmative - after all this time, I remembered the experience well.

All those years ago, I felt like I was going down for the third time until I was able to lean on the strong arms that pulled me out.

I don't want to visit that place of desperation again, but I can feel the water rising so I know I need to make a move to my knees.

Are you feeling a little desperate today? 

Join me in revisiting my journey from despair to prayer. I think it bears repeating, and I pray you'll find the same encouragement I did re-reading it. It's a 6 part journey and I'll share one entry each day this week...

Two weeks ago, I wrote to a friend..."The demands of every day existence are just too much...I'm really feeling inept.  I just can't make it all work.  I feel like I'm letting everyone down, dropping the ball and I don't want to pick it back up.  I don't want to help another soul.  I'm done.  I just don't know what God wants me to do.  I feel so empty...so far from God, and too tired to pray.  I'm ready to throw in the towel and tell everybody to just go away."

Perhaps you really need to know me to understand how foreign those statements are.

I'm the one who's always smiling...always helping someone...always socializing...always talking to God throughout the day.

"No problem" is my motto.

So what on earth was going on?  I was obviously tired...more like exhausted.  Sometimes my 50 year old body has to remind my brain that regardless of what IT thinks, I am NOT 25 anymore, and pushing myself to the limit will cause rebellion of one body part or another, if not an all out strike across the spectrum of my being.

Then again, hormonal, emotional, and relational stuff added to the physical "abuse" of committing to too much and it all took its toll spiritually.  Not only had my desire and ability to express myself through the written word dried up, I couldn't...or wouldn't...pray.

Now here's what's the most interesting thing about that.  

For weeks - maybe even more like a month or two - I've been mulling over writing a post on prayer.  Many people have asked how I keep my prayer life 'interesting' and not 'dry'...how I keep from making it a laundry list of requests, or how I'm able to be consistent.

I'm no expert, but I thought I was doing pretty well in the prayer department.

I pray every morning during my ride to work and often on the ride home as well.  If something especially challenging comes up during the day, I've been known to leave the building and go to a quite place nearby to pray. If a friend called asking for prayer, I'd head into the stairwell and pray over the phone with them right then and there.  Or stop and pray over an email.  When prayer requests came to me for a doctor's visit, an interview, whatever, I always asked what time it was taking place so I could concentrate my praying while the event was going on.  And then there's the monthly women's prayer group I lead. 

I felt God answered many of my prayers in the positive.  One person recently told me he was glad I'd be praying for a mission trip he was going on because he thought of me as a 'person of prayer' and another friend went so far as to say that I got more answers to prayer than anyone he knew.

So, no, I'm not an expert on the subject, but because I know the impact it has had on my life and the lives of others, I thought about giving some 'tips' on what worked for me.  The problem was, I wrote and rewrote the post many different ways, but none of them expressed what I wanted to say.  I found it hard to get a foothold on the subject, and therefore, it sat in my drafts, occasionally revisited, but never published.

Then, all of a sudden, I found myself in the desert.  Where was this 'person of prayer' now?  Why did the thought of speaking to my Creator feel like a chore that I couldn't bring myself to execute?  When I wrote to my friend about feeling empty and far from God, I knew it wasn't God who had moved away.

I was keenly aware the problem was within my heart...I just couldn't push past the busyness of my life to recharge.  

I became overwhelmed by all I needed "to do" and it paralyzed me from moving forward.  In some ways, I was Peter, taking my eyes off the Savior and putting them squarely on the swirling waters underfoot.  Quickly, I began to drown...


  1. Looking forward to the "and then this happened" part. Know this place well, my friend. Keep on keeping on.

    1. It gets worse before it gets better, but "then this happened" comes along in Part 3 :) Thanks for the encouraging word Kathy!