I had the pleasure of spending time with one of my dear friends this weekend and we discussed how important it was to figure out how your personal praise to God should be. I shared with her my personal history of learning what worked for me in terms of communicating with and hearing from God.
I believe I’ve shared this before but for the sake of clarity, I’ll divulge a bit. I went through a brief wilderness period where I didn’t necessarily deny God’s existence but I questioned who He was. I was curious about other religions and their ability to connect with God. I also had been reading the bible and not agreeing with the messages I was receiving from my church home. Through this discovery period, I learned that it was my duty to get to know God. I shouldn’t rely solely on the clergy and leaders of the church to tell me who God was or teach me. I had to study and pray and meditate and spend time getting to know God myself.
This was how I discovered that I should journal my prayers. I had been told that I should be praying out loud and basically imitating what I saw other people at church do but that wasn’t who I was, yet. I was still getting to know God. I wasn’t at that place and if God wanted to get me there, he would. (He did.) I’m not sure if it was the messaging or the delivery but it only pushed me further away which was helpful because I wouldn’t have gotten closer to God and developed relationship without that push.
Fast forward to present day as I try to adopt a steady practice of spending time in daily prayer and constant communication. Journaling has become therapeutic. I thrive off of it. I wake up and journal and pray and meditate, get some writing done and head to the gym (sometimes). But I was still struggling creatively. Yes, I would write but it wasn’t good. I was telling one of my friends how a few years ago, I would really get into my groove when I would just roll out of bed and start writing. Most writers will tell you that early in the morning, before you’ve been tainted with the world’s news and images and media, you should write because that is when you’re most creative. I rejected that though. I had to pray and journal first because I had to put God first every morning. That’s the way it goes, right?
Lo and behold, this morning, I rolled over and grabbed my phone and started writing. It is now 7:55 on Wednesday morning and I have written roughly 1,500 words and I have yet to pray.
What does it all mean?!
Writing as soon as I wake up in the morning is an act of obedience. I was getting caught up in the structure and killing my creativity in the process.
“I have to pray before I write. I can’t start my day until I pray and writing is starting my day.”
In the newsletter I discussed how by not being obedient in the morning moments when God woke me up and I lost ideas. The same happened when I tried to stick to a structure God didn’t give me. Actually, it was worse. I had no ideas.
The Lord knows my heart. Routine and tradition are not from God. If your God is anything like mine, He shakes things up whenever he feels like it. Sure, it would be great to get into a habit of spending time with God every morning but by writing and working on this book, I’m honoring my gift and that’s praise within itself. I refuse to believe these words on this page aren’t a gift and sharing them is an act of obedience. I would like to think that I am being used as a vessel to let you know that your praise is in using the things gifts that God has blessed you with.
I will study and meditate today. As soon as I finish writing this. Just had to spend some time on the Korner to let you know that God is good. Don’t look for blessings that look like anything you’ve ever seen before. Don’t get so caught up in traditionalism that you miss out on days of creativity and writing because your day doesn’t look like how you were told it should. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Trust God.
Don’t mind me. I’m talking to myself.
I said all this to say: find what works for you. What I do or your pastor or your home girl does won’t always work. We’re all spiritual beings having experiences with a God who we’ve all come to know and love differently. I heard a few weeks ago in a sermon: you may know God as a healer while I may know him as a provider. That’s the beauty of God. We’ll never know Him in His totality or on the same level but we’re all praying to the same Being.
Will every morning be just like this? Probably not. Some mornings may yield 1000 words before breakfast and others might call for prayer and a full day before I produce a word. The goal at this point is to take heed to what God is telling me to do that day.
Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.
Randomness That Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with Anything:
I really like alliterations.
Do y’all remember how excited I was that I met people to start a book club with? Well guess who forgot to read the book and has a book club meeting today? Go ahead. Guess. I just bought it yesterday on audible lol I might just skip the meeting.
I want every music app! If we’re completely honest, Spotify is the best. But Apple is convenient bc it’s right here on my phone and Tidal is black owned so there’s that. I want all three but that’s not an effective use of my funds so I only have Apple Music and Tidal. My heart belongs to Spotify, though.
Sza really made a classic with CTRL. I’ve worn out every single album I’ve ever liked except this one and The Best of Anita Baker. I can run it and sing it like it came out two weeks ago. And Garden? Don’t get me started.
Shoot Your Shot 101: Sittin Up in My Room by Brandy. “Tell me what is up. See I need to know. Tell me if I’m far. If I’m getting close. I have but one concern: how can I get with you?” Okay!!
Alright. I had a lot to say today! Until Monday…