Thursday, April 10, 2014

Be WITH me

The past two months have been hell at work, for a bunch of reasons that I will never discuss until maybe five years from now with a lot of good tequila.

For the past two months, I felt like I was walking into a war zone for eight hours a day, five days a week.  And every day before work, I would get out of the car and take several deep breaths and send up a few prayers to God, sometimes as simple as, "Please let everything go okay today" and sometimes as complex as "Please don't let anyone yell at me, in person or on email. Please let me discern when I should interrupt my boss when she's on the phone and I have another call for her.  Please forgive me for the murderous thoughts I have towards the MIS department, who aren't even located in the U.S. anymore, and it's not their fault their accents are so impenetrable."

What I suddenly realized one day is that I kept asking God to prevent things from happening TO me (or prevent me from acting on murderous impulses.) What I should've been asking Him to be WITH me.

That praying isn't about getting God to be your bodyguard, where He stands in front of you and blocks Bad Stuff from stabbing you in the neck.

Prayer is about asking God to dwell WITH you. I think technically He's supposed to dwell INSIDE you, via the Holy Spirit, and yet most days, I feel like there's too much bitterness, fear that I'm gonna get written up, cynicism, or junk food for me to feel like the Holy Spirit's in there too.

So I started asking God to be with me.  To walk with me.  To stand alongside me. To help me stand in the face of whatever stresses the day was gonna throw at me.

I won't say things instantly got better.  In fact, they pretty stayed the same until one day... we were out of the woods. I survived.  For now.

I know there's a lot more to praying than what I just mentioned.  That it's not just about Him walking alongside me, but the whole relationship aspect, that Get to know Me! thing that is supposed to be at the heart of real prayer with God.

And I'm working on that. I'll always be working on that.

But that moment, that day in the parking lot, felt like a step in the right direction.

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