Years ago I thought giving security items to my new baby was a bad idea. They offered only temporary comfort, and eventually that teddy bear or pacifier would have to be pried from the reluctant clasp of my little girl, who’d grown too old for such things.
One year, on a rare visit with family, my toddler screamed at full volume in a playpen in my aunt’s den, unaccustomed to interruptions in her predictable world.
I shouted at my sister my parenting philosophy relating to security items. Not a good idea!
With a dry wit and keen intelligence typical of her, my sister looked at our baby – red faced, hiccuping, shiny with tears and interfering with everyone’s enjoyment, and she said, “Not a good idea. So true. This is much better.”
Today my main challenge is coping with a heart that’s not pumping right. Again. I’ve been sick, and I’ve had more bad days than usual. The shuddering world inside of me claims my attention and I turn, again and again, to worship music for comfort.
Outside the world of my malfunctioning body is the world of my home, where family members wrestle with their own challenges. And beyond this is the world of my community, facing another lockdown. In Ontario kids aren’t back in school, restaurants are closed for in house dining and employers are asked, wherever possible, to send workers home.
I’ve heard people refer to faith as a crutch, something weak people cling to during difficult times.
Frankly, crutches are a useful tool, designed for a purpose. Someone compassionate noticed a need and created a device exactly right for certain situations.
God did the same thing. He made me, you and the world. I’m a mess, you’re probably a mess, and the world is definitely a mess. Despite this, beauty, comfort and hope are within our grasp, laced into the fabric of the universe by the One who designed it.
Worship (one of the tools He gives us) can move me from frantic to calm. Desperate to peaceful. Angry to forgiving. Lost to centered.
Prayer (another tool) allows me to sort out my thoughts, feelings and motives. It reminds me of truths greater than those most obvious to me.
When hard times come or a bad day overwhelms me, no one can convince me to become that child, screaming in the playpen. I’ll accept the comfort He offers, make use of the tools He gives us.
In 2020, when the pandemic first hit, I felt utterly disoriented and longed to seek comfort in God’s presence… but I didn’t know what to say or how to pray. I grabbed a little book of prayers I love, but it didn’t fit the moment, so I spent the next month writing out prayers for myself. Today I want to share them with you, especially those of you, who, like us in Ontario, find yourselves isolated again. Lonely. Off balance.
These prayers are available in Kindle and paperback form, but I want to share them with you as a gift, if you don’t mind reading from a PDF. Here they are: