A Prayerful 2018

This blog was the lofty dream of a seventeen-year-old girl, a way of recounting gratitude and processing pain. What has emerged is something so much bigger. “A Grateful Life Lived” has both developed and sparked my creative, expressive self. And for that I am so grateful.

As you may know, my blog takes on an annual theme. I have had years focused on gratitude, the presence of God, freedom, awe, and courage. That brings us to 2018. It’s a year of immense change and new adventure. To be brutally honest: It’s exciting, but it’s also terrifying!

I’m walking into a new job, a new apartment, and new independence. But it hasn’t come without some growing pains. The past six months have been hard! Yet, God has remained faithful– more faithful than I could have imagine. He’s not only stretched my faith, but He’s revealed something huge to me: I don’t understand prayer.

Surprised? Me too. I was practically born in the church, siphoning off Bible stories at the feet of my parents. But absorbing knowledge is only half the battle. The real difference comes when the heart is impacted. For me, that happened at the age of ten, when my family fractured. That’s when I truly found a relationship with God. But prayer was one thing I didn’t quite grasp. In fact, I very much shied away from it. As a child, I had consistently prayed for God to save my parent’s marriage, to spare my grandfather’s life, to make my best friend stay in Ohio. None of those things happened. In response, I closed a part of myself off from God. Prayer was a means of speaking with God and listening to Him. I used prayer to ask God to help and heal others and to make me a “better” person. But I stopped praying bold prayers, and I stopped asking God for any of my own desires. I stopped giving Him my heart.

It was too hard to put myself out there, to get my hopes up. So I stopped.

Thankfully, this past year has stirred my heart. One crisis after another, God revealed His will. He revealed Himself strong, even when I had hardly dared to pray for it. I’ll never forget the night in December when I stared up at the ceiling and prayed the prayer I’d been to afraid to even speak: “God, will you please get me an interview at College Park? That’s all I want, just an interview. Please.”

I woke up the next morning with an email from the church, asking me to come in for an interview.

Clearly, I don’t grasp the power of prayer, or the heart of the One I’m praying too. And I want that to change.

2018 is my year of prayer. It’s the year I get down on my knees and bloody my pride before my King. It’s the year I lay down my reputation and my guard. This is the year I pursue the Holy Spirit like never before, without guilt or condemnation. Oh friends, I want to know the heart of God. I want to truly know Him.

Join me this year as I seek to grow in prayer and in faith.

Love,

Hannah

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