I have never been your stereotypical farm girl. You can find me wearing sparkly sandals over boots, dresses over jeans, and the only time I wear a flannel is if it goes with my outfit. I love bold bright colors and I never miss an opportunity to sport a good tie-dye shirt. And although I have never really fallen into the “farm girl” box, I found where my unique style of bright colors were really able to shine. When I was a freshman in college, I went on a retreat that heavily emphasized the importance of cultivating a relationship with God. And although I have always grown up Catholic-- I was slightly overwhelmed by the fact that I knew God was real but did not really know how to reach him in the way that the speaker was talking about. After the talk, I asked the woman presenting-- how do I talk to God like that. How do I read scripture soI can hear him and understand him? With simplicity-- she said, “Talk to God as you would a friend. Talk to him in the way you really are”. I thought to myself-- who am I really? How would someone describe my personality or my personal character?
After the retreat, I made it my mission to pray. I got a prayer journal and one black pen because that is what I saw everyone else do. However... I heard silence. Absolutely nothing. Just silence. I thought to myself- how can this be. I am talking to God as my friend. I am writing down in my journal-- what is not working? But then it dawned on me-- the Lord knows who I really am, not this version of someone I am trying to be. He knows I am not just a one balck pen type of girl but actually at least five pens with neon colors type of gal. He knows that I love to highlight and write where a simple underline just does not suffice. And so with that self discovery, it led me to my favorite way to pray- with bold bright colors and alot of highlighters in Scripture.
I love to pray first thing in the morning to start the day. I love having hot coffee, my Bible, tons of pens, highlighters, Bible tabs, and markers to begin worship. Something that has been super helpful for me to learn how to pray with Scripture was finding Bible reading plans to follow and allow to be a guide. There are times where I struggle with trusting the Lord or maybe I am very impatient-- A simple “31 Days to Grow in Trust Bible Reading Plan” has been a blessing. I do best with having structure into what I read out of the Bible every day. It allows room for grace to allow the Lord to pursue my heart in the way he most desires. It allows the Lord to help guide my life in areas I need to work most in. I love to mark up my Bible with bright colors and honestly-- after reading a passage or two the majority of it is highlighted. It allows room for the Lord and I to communicate in a way personal to us. If you looked at my Bible, it would appear to be bold and chaotic- but to me... it is my escape to peace and serenity.
How affirming it is to be loved by a God that uses your unique quirks and transforms it into an authentic loving relationship.
And so I encourage each of you to begin to pray in the way that is most real and authentic to you. Who are you really? Are you simple and structured? Or are you colorful and scattered? Either way- the Lord already knows and loves you so dearly. He so desires an intimate encounter with you- the real unpolished version of yourself.
Your Sister in Christ,