When I think about this year, I think about a year that has felt like I’ve been battling the feeling of barrenness. It’s been a season of having moments where I’ve been overcome with shame and inadequacy. It’s been a season of constant worry for the future, with a constant struggle to believe that I can trust God. In my desire to be transparent and vulnerable, I admit that sometimes it feels like I’ve only been hanging onto Jesus with my pinky. It’s like the photo by Michelangelo that depicts God stretching towards Adam and Adam just lazily flopping his hand out. I am that picture.
And yet I believe that the picture is true, God is stretching towards me and somehow has a firm grip on me. I choose to believe that this season of barrenness will give way to new life. I don’t know when or how, but I choose hope.
The other day a few other students and I were leading our class through a worship experience. I opened our time together by praying this prayer over all of us. It strikes me as a prayer that I really need to pray every morning. As I earnestly speak these words aloud, I think there is something that happens in me. I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s freedom? Maybe it’s this sense of not needing to pretend with God, because I’ve just swung the doors wide open and revealed all of the stuff piling up?
I don’t understand what happens in me when I lay it all on the table before Jesus. But I can tell you that I go through my day differently. And maybe it’s for this reason alone that I need to release my stuff more often.
And maybe it’s what you need to do today too?
To the one who knows me as I really am and still loves me.
Today, I bring all of me –
my hopes and my fears,
my dreams and my doubts;
the part of me that likes to please other people
and the part that genuinely desires you.
I bring all of me –
My anger and my past,
my goals and my priorities,
my flagrant forgetfulness of your glory,
and the familiar memories of my pain.
Here are my loves,
here are my needs,
here is my hurt,
here is my desire.
I bring my gifts as well.
All that I have and all that I am –
the abilities you gave me,
the training I’ve acquired,
the motivation to do good,
the strength of my convictions,
the influence I have with others,
the interests and passions that inspire me.
I bring you my stuff –
so much stuff, that I’ve cluttered
my heart and my home with.
I bring you my stuff as well.
I bring all of me –
my relationships and my needs,
my sins and my pride and my portfolio.
Time at work.
My all –
my eyes and the things I look at,
my tongue and the words I say,
my ears and my hands and my feet,
my heart and my mind and my soul,
and my will.
The cursing part,
the complacent part,
the depressed part,
the apathetic part,
the lazy, lonely, misguided, power-hungry me.
I bring you my all.
I bring you myself.
Even the hesitation I have to pray this prayer,
even the pride I have for praying it,
Even the fear that you might take me seriously
and expect all of this from me.
Even those things
I bring them all
and offer them, to you here, today.
Somehow in our broken states, Jesus is reaching for us. It’s that picture above. To the one who knows me as a I really am: thank you.