This one’s for you, Mel.

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I wasn’t going to write today. I’ve been too busy dancing with a demon and crying at very inopportune times, like driving towards incoming traffic and pretending I’m singing my favorite Hanson song to throw off the faces speeding towards me.

These? They aren’t tears. They’re mmmbops.

But then my father called. And after I spoke to him, I had to sit down and write.

My father is the male version of me. Or perhaps I’m the female version of him. I’ve known this for a very long time on a very deep level. We have our differences, of course. He’s the guy who the entire line to Spaceship Earth knows by the time we enter the ride and who is thrown a “Hey, Mel!” as we’re walking through Epcot, whereas I’m sitting down in said line, talking to my friend. And by friend I mean reading a book. And the only time anyone says “Hey!” to me is when I accidentally walk into the men’s restroom. But besides that, we’re practically the same person.

He has a heart for greatness, just like me. It’s just that our circumstances have never gotten the memo.

But here’s the thing about my dad: he’s the hardest worker I know. And everyone loves him because he genuinely loves them. He’s taken care of his family from day one, and I always think how amazing it is in this day and age to have somebody who truly loves you, no strings attached.

So in my mind, he is great. But just like him, I have a hard time seeing this in myself.

I keep typing up those memos, but it seems like they’ve all been sent to nowhere.

So talking to him was a reminder of what great really looks like, and I have to imagine it’s the same sort of great God is on board with. A heart outward-focused and a mind tailored to the good of others.

And a soul set free from its former binds.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have an mmmbop in my eye.

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Bless my rough-edged heart.

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Last Sunday, my husband and I were asked to pray over marriages in our congregation.

The idea was perplexing.

Me? The closet lunatic that I am? The woman who sometimes tears up mid-sip of her tea feeling like her plight in the world is to live like Jeremiah, lamenting societal woes, and yet still brushing up on the mechanics of the air fryer just so she can seem to fit in?

You want me to pray? For somebody else’s marriage?

Like I said, perplexed.

If anyone were to receive a medal in this world, it would be my husband. Matt’s not perfect. He’ll claim as such…depending on what day it is. But the man is the epitome of patience and intestinal fortitude, two things with which a person needs to be equipped to deal with a thirty-something struggling writer and stay-at-home mom who claims her oven is trying to break up with her.

It is not easy being Matt Clay.

But he does it anyways, with great finesse, and I started to lean into the idea of praying for other people’s marriages because at least he would be standing there with me, watering down my extreme flavor of crazy so that God would stand in our midsts and hear our prayers.

But we all know that’s not how this works.

Here I am, raw and vulnerable, imperfect and rough-edged servant. I want to add “humble” to that list. I think I’d willingly die for that word to be written on my tombstone. But God and I both know we still have work to do to get me there.

So instead, I’ll say this: I have a broken heart that always needs mending. And I’m not too proud to announce that only Jesus can do that work. So maybe that’s why I was asked to pray for others.

Because I know God hears those who know they need it most.

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