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Day 24 of 26 :: Keep going back.

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 HANNAH

I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.

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At the beginning of 2019, I really walked some stuff out with God.

I wish I had a more beautiful way to write that but that’s exactly how it felt to me: I felt like I was trudging through some personal mud and it wasn’t the kind of thing I could talk about Instagram or share with all my friends. It was personal “stuff” and I realized that, in order to fully walk through it, I was going to have to come back to it day after day, month after month, for however long it took to see myself come out on the other side.

So you know what I did? I transformed my office closet into a prayer closet. I began going in there daily and praying the same prayers. I started hanging the prayers and conversations with God on the walls and I would revisit day after day, pressing in harder.

I think there are some seasons where our faith requires this of us. To not just pray once or twice and hope for the best but to be diligent and committed to seeing God move the needle.

On the topic of commitment– after we meet Simeon in the temple, we come across a woman named Anna.

Anna was a prophetess who spent years of her life grieving the death of her husband. But the response that came from her grief? A life totally devoted to God.

It says in the text she never left the Temple. She worshipped day and night. She fasted and she prayed. She knew, because she had been promised by God, that she would see the freeing of Jerusalem in her lifetime.

And here it was.

In the form of a little baby, she was witnessing her miracle.

I cannot imagine being so old in age, nearing the ending of my life, and still believing with everything I have that God will be good and I will see his promise in my lifetime.

What Anna did in her waiting required so much strength and devotion to God. It was like she permanently lived in the prayer closet and chose to never exit.

She could have easily walked away and picked a different path. She could have given the hours of her day to something else.

She could have wiped her hands of God at the 40-year mark or the 60-year mark.

But she waited. She waited and she deepened her devotion with each passing day.

I want to be more like Anna.

I want to not wither and fade when the days pass by and I still don’t see the fullness of what God has promised to me.

I want to remain steadfast and loyal.

I want to keep pushing into prayer.

And friends, it’s hard. I will just say it in plain terms: it is hard to stay devoted to prayer when you don’t see God moving day after day. It is hard to say “your will be done” when you’re not so sure you’re going to like the outcome.

But do we keep moving in closer?

Do we come back to the prayers we write in our prayer journals? Do we circle them dozens of times and still bring them to God even when disappointment is thick?

The prayer closet was not an easy thing for me because I just wanted to walk away. I wanted to find my own solutions. I wanted to pick my own exit strategy but God made it clear to me that there was nothing out there for me. There was no other solution but Him. And so I kept going back.

In a few short days, Christmas will be over. The trees will get piled on the roadside. We will all push our way into “new year, new you” mantras. But the things we are waiting on and our need for God will still be there.

And if you are waiting on something, or in the muds of something, or feeling trapped in a headlock for your own faith then all I can tell you in this moment is that you need to keep going back to God.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Even after Advent is over, you need a rhythm with God. Today. And tomorrow. And the next day. You need to go back when it hurts and give him your hurt. You need to go back when it’s good and tell him it’s good. You need to go back to rejoice even when you don’t feel like lifting your hands and thanking him.

There is nothing that can act as a suitable bandage for your waiting. Not your phone. Not Instagram. Not Netflix. Not a full calendar or a new suitor.

The only thing that will really soothe you, as I’ve learned myself, is going back to God when you want to do anything but that.

I am standing on the other side of a transformation because of my willingness to keep entering the prayer closet. I can say, because I walked it out, that I have an Anna moment to show for in my own faith. I kept believing and I saw God move.

Some days were slow. Some days felt like nothing was moving. But my belief in God became sturdier. My resilience took to a new level. And I know I will look back on that time where I felt so in need of God and be able to say, “That was one of the more beautiful spots in my faith because I really clung to Him above all else.”

READING

Luke 2:36-38

STEAL THIS PRAYER

Dear God, I want to keep coming back to you. Over and over and over again. Teach me how in 2021. This will be my constant prayer for the days ahead– still, I will praise you and declare your goodness, no matter my circumstances.


 

 

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!

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