This week I found myself reciting the Serenity Prayer. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
This prayer is most popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but with a quick google search, I discovered it was written by an American theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr. I’ve always associated the prayer with being a part of AA meetings because of what I’ve seen on TV. However, I just knew it had to have been written by someone in relationship with God. Anyway, in the moments I found myself saying the prayer, it was like a weight was removed. I didn’t know why that specific prayer fell on my spirit, but I do know I was grateful for the words.
I had a vague idea of what serenity meant, but in true Yvette fashion, I needed to know how the dictionary defined the word. Serenity is a noun defined as “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.” Immediately upon looking up the word, I knew why the Holy Spirit gave me those words. This week I have found myself feeling the opposite of these things. Maybe I’m the only one, but I often time know I need to have a talk with Jesus. However, I don’t always know what to say or how to express fully what I’m feeling. I know this is not always a necessary because God knows my heart, but sometimes it just feels better to have the words. You know?!
Anyway, upon looking up the definition and learning it’s meaning there was a sense of care that I came to feel in that the Holy Spirit gave me the word for exactly what I longed to feel. Philippians 4:6 comes to mind immediately, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYthing by PRAYER and SUPPLICATION with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Just in case you’re like me, too, supplication is a noun defined as “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.” In my case, it was earnest!!!
Acceptance is huge! It you’ve been around a while, you’ve heard me speak about my tendency to need to control elements of my life and the people, places and things that make it up. Hahaha! My lack of acceptance of the fact there are things I cannot control no matter how hard I try is what drives me to experience disappointment time and time again. My ability to practice acceptance of the fact I cannot control everything is what will eventually lead me to that feeling of peace, and maybe even contentment.
A friend reminded me of something I said to her recently. It’s a phrase I first heard from my husband. He said, “on the other side of fear is freedom.” Courage is a noun defined as “the ability to do something that frightens one.” When I choose to do something that scares me or makes me feel uncomfortable, I am closer to being free of any anxious thoughts that are opposite of the serenity I am asking God to grant me. There are so many things in life we cannot control (aka change), but how we speak to and about ourselves is something we can control. This week I had a revelation that some of the negative talk my inner voice speaks to/over me, I would never speak over anyone else. Just as I can control my tongue when speaking to others, I need to do the same when speaking over myself.
Wisdom comes in many forms and fashion. It can come through wise counsel you have in your life via relationship with a mentor, like-minded friend, therapist, mother of the church, etc. It can come through scripture. It can even come by way of a direct word from the Holy Spirit to your heart. However it shows up, we have to avail ourselves to it.
I felt led to share about the Serenity Prayer this week because I was truly blessed by how these words calmed my spirit. Sometimes borrowing the initial verbiage that communicates your heart to the Lord can open the floodgates of your heart to reach the depth of conversation you so desire with the Lord. Whether you’re a prayer warrior prayer in tongues or you’re at a loss of words when it comes to having a little talk with Jesus. I hope by bringing this prayer to the forefront of your mind you’ll be just as blessed by it.
Whether the physical change of seasons from Summer to Fall, or a change of seasons of life has you a little uneasy, my prayer for you is…
God, please grant the person reading this the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, the courage to change the things they can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Lord, I ask that You would overwhelm them with Your presence as You assure them with Your tender love that while there are things they cannot change, there are most definitely things YOU can redeem. I thank You, Lord, for being such a good, good Abba. I thank You that You see what troubles their heart, and that You care about those things too! Concerning the things they can change, I pray that as they make the courageous decision to show up differently in those areas that they would be assured of YOUR strength in them. I pray, Lord, that You would instill your wisdom in them, and that You would as only you can, make divine appointments according to Your will for their life. Ah! Lord, meet them exactly where they’re at in this very moment with Your overwhelming peace and love. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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