Be Careful What You Pray For

It was December 17, 2011. A cool, crisp Saturday night. And I found myself utterly transfixed. Sitting speechless. Tears streaming down my cheeks.

A baby changes everything.

No, I hadn’t just discovered I was pregnant, or worse yet… okay, let’s don’t even go there. We’ll leave that thought completely untyped.

No, I was sitting in the Santa Fe Hall at Heritage Ministries, with a crowd of over 1,500 people listening to one of their choir members sing Faith Hill’s song, A Baby Changes Everything. The simple words captured my heart and shook me to the core.

For weeks I’d been searching for my word for 2012. Okay, that sentence probably makes little sense, but suffice it to say that I like to choose a word for each year. A word that will be my focus, my goal, my reminder, my mantra… but mostly… my prayer.

Numerous words had popped into my mind as the weeks rapidly went by and the new year quickly approached, but none had seemed just right. None truly fit.

But sitting right in that auditorium, I knew. I KNEW!

Well, actually, I’d known for quite some time. In fact, I probably was just a toddler when I heard Luke Chapter 2 (the King James translation, of course… you know, the one Linus recites in A Charlie Brown Christmas). I knew a baby was born. I knew the baby was our Savior, Christ the Lord. But yet, somehow I’d managed to let the magnitude of our Savior’s birth be minimized. It’s so very easy to do. Plain and simple, we just take God and His abundant grace and blessings for granted. And, we manage to lose sight of the sole purpose He placed us here on this earth.

I knew my word. God whispered it in the depths of my soul.

Unsettle me.



It was such an overwhelming and powerful experience, I immediately whispered to Brad, “I know my word! I know my word!”

And, it was no surprise that as I exited the auditorium, Brad pointed to the verse beautifully inscribed over the doors of the Santa Fe Hall. It was God’s confirmation. His blessing.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” Isaiah 55:12

Oh, you better believe it. I walked out of that sanctuary with a heart overflowing with joy and love for a baby who changed everything and a God who loves me enough that, despite my disobedience and distraction, He is still powerfully at work in my life. And I knew that, despite what would undoubtedly be a challenging year, I would be at peace because God was in control.

So as the new year came forth and all year long, I prayed like a mad woman. Father God, unsettle me. Don’t let me miss a glimpse of You at work in my life and in the world around me. Don’t let me miss a single encounter with You. Help me see others as You see them and give me a boldness to love others as You do. Help me rid my life of anything that isn’t about You. Father, unsettle me.

And here’s where I should add the disclaimer, lest any of you get upset with me.

DISCLAIMER: Be careful what you pray for.

Because this I know. When you seek God with all your heart, He hears you. And He answers. And He’ll get all in your business. He’ll place a passion and desire in your heart to serve Him and bring glory to Him. And your life will never be the same. My life will never be the same.

The last verse of Faith’s song says it beautifully:

My whole life has turned around.
I was lost, but now I’m found.
A baby changes everything.
A baby changes everything.
And so it is that God has spent the last year unsettling me. And about two weeks ago, I knew what my word would be for 2013. Refine me. Now that You’ve opened my eyes and shook me to the core, refine me. 
And up until last night… at a little after midnight… I thought refine was the word. But something still nagged me. So, of course, I did what I typically do when something is bugging me. Google it. 

re·fine: v. 1. to free from impurities or unwanted material, 2. to free from moral imperfection, 3. to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing…

Yeah. Not quite it. And even in the haze of the late night hour, I wanted more. Not just to be refined, but to be changed completely. Transform me, God.
And so it is. My word for 2013. Transform me. 
And the mad woman has already started praying for just that.
“And He brought us OUT from there, that He might bring us IN and give us the land that He swore to our fathers.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:23 ESV
In 2012, He brought me OUT. And in 2013, He’ll bring me in. Completely changed. Ready to do the work He has for me.

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