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Friday, June 20, 2008

Old and New Lessons

"Hello, my name is Holly, and I am a thinkaholic." ("Hello, Holly.")

It's true--I think way too much. When I say "think" read "over-think." Look, thinking isn't bad. Like most things, however, taken into excess a good thing will become a negative. So lately God has been re-teaching me a lesson: Think less and pray more.

Praying can be such an abstract concept for a black-and-white girl like myself. As un-spiritual as it sounds, praying is hard for me.

However, God has been reminding me that I need to talk to Him more about what I am thinking about, even though He already knows. I used to do this all the time. I would pray very short, specific prayers.

In the summer of 2000, I was working at Glorieta (High Point) and was having a horrible time. My personality was being attacked by some co-workers, and I was really discouraged.

One morning, with the warm breeze flowing in my widow and the New Mexico sun shining on my back, I sat in my closet of a room and prayed.

"God I am really discouraged. I need You to encourage me through people today. Will you use Robert to encourage me and someone that who I would never, ever expect? Whatever they say about me, I will take it as if it were You speaking. Amen."

A little later, Amy and I went into Santa Fe to see a movie, and I forgot about that small, simple prayer.

That summer two things kept us going on at little island of isolation--mail and "love lines" (what we called the encouragement note wall). When we'd returned, the mail had arrived. I grabbed my stack and went and checked my clip on the Love-Lines board. There was a tiny scrap of paper on there, so I gingerly took it off and headed to my room.

Setting on the exact spot I had before, I opened the little 2x2 scrap of paper. It was so small, it almost looked like trash. On it was a treasure, though. It was from Robert. In about 30-40 words he spoke Truth into my heart. It was one of the sweetest, most plainly simple and sincere encouragement notes I've ever received. I still have it actually.

Then I looked at my mail and there was a card there from an address I didn't recognize. "What? I'm confused," I said to myself as I scanned it for a signature.

It was from this girl that I thought HATED me. Her boyfriend and I were good friends (he went to OU, she didn't). From other friends, I'd heard about some relationship issues that concerned me. After praying, I'd confronted him with what I'd heard. He admitted to it, and I encouraged him to higher standards. He received the correction with thankfulness and brokenness. AND he broke up with her that same night. Oh. So you can imagine how popular I was with her.

A year later, I am in New Mexico and she wrote me a note THANKING me for what I'd done back then and how she now understood why I'd done it. Still to this day I have NO idea how she found out my address in New Mexico.

Then it hit me. He answered.

Still to this day, I am overwhelmed with that memory. How he prompted Robert to write an encouragement note, although he'd previously admitted he didn't do that kind of thing. Then, to prompt this girl to write that note, find my address, and mail it---all so He could answer a prayer I would pray days later and meet a need in my life.

There is a Watermark song that says it well:

Who am I...That You would love me so gently?
Who am I...That You would recognize my name?
Lord, who am I...That You would speak to me so softly?
Conversation with the Love most high,..Who am I?

Who am I, Lord, that YOU would do that for me? But it is not about who I am, but it is about who HE IS. The almighty "I AM" wants to answer. He wants to meet needs. He wants to shower me with goodness and mercy and grace. He loves me.

Those little, SPECIFIC, prayers are life-givers to me. It is when I ask for specific things I can see Him answer. Just this week I have been praying like this again--both for myself and for others. And each time He has answered. Each time, I am overwhelmed.

I want to encourage you to pray specifically today. Pray BIG, but pray specific. See what happens. And I would love to hear the results.

"Hello, my name is Holly. I am a prayaholic." ("Hello, Holly.")

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