When my husband started deconstructing his faith, I viciously took to penning my prayers—a practice not new to me then, but one that inflamed the page with my heart cries (I rediscover these in my first blog series, Valley Notes). It’s tough to read some of them now. Especially reading between the lines and seeing the lies of my own personally constructed faith.
But, even in my misaligned theology at times, God worked with the prayers I inked, and while my faith deconstructed as well, my heart was in the business of rebuilding. God stuck with me, even if my husband’s faith is a dusty pile of braces and beams in a forgotten corner (forgotten to him, not God, I am certain).
I think it’s pretty easy to give off impressions of a deeply spiritual lifestyle—especially with social media allowing us to construct ourselves however we want.
But, I will be completely honest:
Over these nearly seven years of spiritually-mixed marriage, my prayer life lodged itself somewhere close to my husband’s forgotten corner.
Eventually, I was scared to try. Often, I quaked in worry when I heard nothing but my own voice rattling around in my head. I think I had/have PTSD of atheist explanations about prayer and its power. To be honest, those became a lot louder than God’s whisper.
Lately, prayer has been a constant buzzing word in my life. I hear it everywhere, I feel the deep heart-pull to pray for people who do not voice their struggle but show it in their eyes. I have so many people around me asking for prayer outright, and then I have a welling conviction when I give my word, but don’t use my words in the quiet place. Besides the needs of others, I have amazing women in my life, whose commitments to pray have tempted me to blow the dust off praying as I once prayed long ago.
A precious friend committed to waking up early to pray, a practice that sounded good in theory, but I didn’t want to commit myself to something that I would inevitably bring my sleepyhead to failure! Yet, while that buzzing word became persistent, my daytime became distracting, and the pressures of unknowns became burdens, I will admit, I have started getting up early to pray.
My ink prayers are rusty. Oh, I have some practice ahead of me! I don’t have the ability I once had to convert my inward cries to words on paper. Not in the intimate way with God, anyway. But, I am getting reacquainted with my heart’s voice. And my journal. The most surprising thing?
When I stop for the morning, I feel like this is the beginning of a new friendship. I cannot wait to meet with Him again, on the page, with ink, slowly but steadily flowing again.