Well, this has been a crazy year, right? 2020. Unforgettable.
As we’re nearing the 7th anniversary of TAYP, I realize I have hardly written anything here this year—except a poem about curly hair. It’s been a tough year, Princesses, for so many reasons. I know I’m not the only one.
How have you been doing? What’s been on your mind these days? Anything we can pray for? Remember, we have the Prayer Wall just for this reason: so we can stand with you as you stand with us. We’re family. I just want you to know you’re not alone, wherever you are.
Alright, let’s see. I’m going to tell you about my year through a story. I can sum up this year in one word: unexpected.
Let me tell you a story. . .
I am walking along a winding road that has been carved out of a great mountain. The road is narrow. A thick fog has begun to settle above me, preventing me from seeing the top of the mountain. Step by step, I near the curve up ahead. Where am I going? Forward. That’s all I know. I round the curve, and—
There is a boulder in my path.
I cannot move it by my strength alone. I try to climb over; it is much too big. I try not to panic. I push, I shove, I kick, I holler.
Lord! I cannot move this. I cannot do this. I need you.
I wait—it’s all I can do.
I pray—it’s all I can do.
“Praise,” the Lord whispers, “you can praise Me.“
I don’t feel like praising—I am so consumed with stress—but I try anyway.
It first comes as a whisper, for I am weak. But then my words become a song. My voice rises, rises, rises, and echos off the walls of the mountain. Louder. I sing louder, “The Lord is good!” I feel the strength and energy rush through my veins. I shout, “God, you are great and marvelous! Who am I to doubt you, Jesus? Faithful one. Lord of my life. The Maker of the heavens and earth, I praise you! You can do all things. Nothing is too great for you.”
I feel so light all of a sudden. Without thinking, my body begins to move. I am dancing. My arms sweep in front of me, my feet point and flex as I turn. I leap, laughing, dancing to the music in my heart. My eyes are closed, but I imagine my Lord is with me, dancing with me.
My worry seems to have lessened. Instead of fear, I feel joy. I am so happy.
I pause for a moment, breathing deeply, and open my eyes. The boulder is gone.
I hear the Lord say to me, “This battle, you shall win with praise.”
Oh, thank you, my Lord.
Step by step, I continue.
Throughout this journey, bigger obstacles have come. I have felt fear, overwhelmed, shame, and small. Sometimes, my “hallelujah” feels like just words. But I keep saying it until it’s a conviction until it’s real. I thank Him, even though it feels like I have more worries than things to thank Him for. Yet, as I begin to thank Him for one thing, I thank Him for another, and another. How had I forgotten all that God has done? Faith rises in me for what He will do.
My family faces obstacles too, as do my friends. All around me the world is faced with the unexpected. Covid-19. Natural disasters. Bills. Hopelessness. Fear. Poverty. Lack. Sickness. Death.
I say the words of the Lord—who He says He is and what He said He would do. I say it until those words are louder than the voice in my head. “By His stripes, we are healed! My God is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Nothing is too great for you. Your ways are higher than our ways. Your thoughts are not our thoughts. Jesus, you know what you are doing. Jesus, you live and are seated on the throne!“
For the Lord has told me, “Daughter, this battle, you shall win with praise.”
I believe this word is for many of us, Princesses. God is faithful. He will not forsake us. Though this unexpected year caught us off guard, God is not surprised. He is in control. He is a God who will make a river through the desert, if necessary. He is the same God who parted the sea for Moses and the Israelites. He feeds the birds who do nothing to earn his provision—how much more for His daughters and sons? Though some days it may be the last thing you want to do, praise Him.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:26, 33)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Princesses, may God give you the grace to take another step. May you praise Him in the good, sweet times and in the difficult times. May His word be on your tongue, like a sword, as you speak. May you shine, even when you don’t feel bright, to show you that it is the Lord who is the light in you. It is the Lord who will do these things.
My Prayer For You
Princesses, as you walk with the Lord, I pray His protection over you. Jesus, cover these Princesses, your daughters, as they come out of trauma, seek healing, look for friendships and companions, and cry out for their obstacles to be moved. Jesus, heal their bodies, heal their minds, refresh their spirit, and guide them on their journey. Give them joy, Lord, and help them overcome the fear in their life. Give them peace—a peace that overwhelms them. May they feel rested in every way. Show them how faithful You are, as You have shown me this year. Remove anything in their hearts that would keep them from hearing You. Help them to be honest with You, to allow You access into the secret places of their hearts. Where there is lack, provide for them. Save their friends and save their family, Jesus. May they have grace in their interactions with all those who are in their lives. Though I pray and ask for all these things, Lord, above all, let Your perfect will be done in their lives. You know and love your Princesses, and You know what’s best for them and for all who are around them. You are a good Father. I thank you, Jesus, for all You’ve done, all You are doing, and all You’ve yet to do in all of our lives. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.