I remember with stark clarity a time several years ago when our family sat staring at changes on every front. The kids were neck deep in school and activities. David was going through a job transition that took its own sweet time unfolding. As I wrote my first book, I dealt with tricky relationships. Much of what went on behind the scenes managed to culminate before we took our annual summer trip to visit family in Oklahoma. I remember being so haggard on that trip, completing the simplest task or request felt impossible. When we arrived to my in-laws’ lake house on Grand Lake, I sputtered through the front door with my suitcase in one hand and my daughter’s in the other. Sliding them into a corner of the entryway, I then plopped myself down on one of the bar stools.
At that point, my mother-in-law, who stood in the kitchen kindly making sandwiches for us all, asked me if I wanted a ham or turkey sandwich. I blinked and stared at her like she asked me to explain differential equations. I opened my mouth and stuttered, “Uh . . . umm . . . well . . . I’ll have . . . umm . . . ham.” Then I exhaled as if I’d just taken an exam on differential equations.
It’s worth mentioning that even when I’m hanging in there just fine, I have no idea how to solve a differential equation.
Sometimes a season of change will come on you, and you’re too thrown or floored or overwhelmed by your circumstances to form sentences, let alone sentences within prayers. You sputter and stutter like you’ve forgotten how to talk, like the simplest endeavors are suddenly difficult equations.
If that’s you today, first of all, I’m so sorry. What you’re going through is no small thing, and I hope you have a loved one with whom you can share your inside thoughts on the outside. And second of all, I offer up this prayer to you as some words to say when you’re at a loss for words yourself.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As I sit in this difficult change, remind me that nothing gets through the door of my life and the door of my heart without Your say so.
Bring me comfort right now through Your presence, gleaned from the Word and through the words of others, and speak to me through them, Lord.
When I feel disoriented, give me an anchored verse to repeat, such as “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
When I feel lonely, show up for me in ways that can’t be explained except by You moving in my life.
When I feel anxious, help me to know that through even this, You are faithful. Help me recall all the ways You’ve been for me in the past and how You are for me still today.
Lord, you’ve seen me through 100% of all my former change, and I know You’ll see me through this one too.
When this change affects me directly, show me the next thing I can do. I will get through this change by doing only the next thing within my assignment: stirring the soup, picking up the kids, paying the bills, or taking a nap.
When this change affects a loved one of mine, show me how I can sit with them and support them.
Lord, I am powerless, yet I know there is power in this very prayer.