By Sara Hagerty
In the day when I cried out, You
answered me, and made me bold
with strength in my soul.
—PSALM 138:3, NKJV
This one day held incidental moments of aching strung together until dusk like clanging bells on my insides.
I snapped at the toddler, not so much because of his behavior as because of the text I received an hour earlier about the friend whose latest cancer scan showed signs of recurrence. That text hung in the backdrop of my day—buzz—as did the regret I had for my sharp tone and hurting child—buzz. I spent the late afternoon vacantly present, sautéing onions for dinner and sifting through the mail and ordering my mom a birthday gift, all while my mind spun. Three hours absent, yet a meal for (then) seven on the table, an extravagant birthday surprise in the mail, playdough distributed and manipulated and then swept off the floor.
My big kids felt the vacancy, and my littles communicated their needs through fusses. Everyone wondering, Where is Mom today?
By nine that night I was distant and hardened to myself. I was annoyed that even though I’m not a new mom, I’m still acting like one. I feared for my friend facing another cancer scare.
The fear for my friend triggered it all, but I didn’t pay attention. Instead, I sank into a world of my own.
The crisp fall morning after called me to attention, something outside of me reviving me, as if awakened by ammonia. A flash of consciousness of my internal fears and anxieties and shame then gave pause for a moment to consider Him.
I looked back on the day before with different eyes—the sin, symptomatic, instead of its own beast. In my buried fear, I had snapped. In my concealed shame, I had recoiled. And after it all, I had condemned myself.
I’d related to Him as a distant and absent God. I hadn’t seen the relationship between my suppositions of Him and my distance toward me, my hardness toward myself.
I knew enough to bring His Word into my flash of self-awareness. Adoration turns a self-aware moment into a holy encounter with God, no matter how messy.
Simple enough to dismiss, His tending is what my day needed. My day needed my cry to Him. My day required a reorientation around who He is when I cry out.
The internal ringing quieted, becoming less of a clang and more of a prayer, a series of prayers that went like this: God, I’m afraid for my friend. I feel inadequate to mother our children. I feel shame over my lack and the responses I make when I’m weak. Please come.
That last ask, coupled with His Word that tells me, “You answered me,” and You “made me bold with strength in my soul” from Psalm 138:3, can change a minute. Adoration can change a minute.
I saw through the fog. With His Word, applied to my self-awareness, I saw Him. And I saw myself with more clarity. I am weak, and He moves near me in my weakness. Underneath my impatience and shallow responses, there is a cry for help. When I do, and when I adore as I do, His Word fills the vacancy with a truth that felt elusive yesterday.
I come crying (sometimes literally and sometimes with that gut-cry that says one word: “Help!”), and my God responds with Himself, strong enough to fill in all that I cannot.
In this adoration-prayer, I unclenched my mind from beholding lies about Him, and I allowed space to receive the truth of His Word. His Holy Spirit filled what had felt vacant just the day before. All as I adored.
I faced my friend’s test results and my toddler’s needs and my big kids’ disappointment in yesterday’s responses. Nothing had changed except for my mind and my heart.
And everything changed.
He heard me. I felt understood. He received me, and something inside of me shifted.
And Here We Adore
Using PSALM 138:3
You hear me.
I squelch tears and push through my life. I fill my
schedule and bide my time, riding over waves as if
they’re ripples, ignoring the torrent underneath me.
But ever so softly, You whisper, I’ll hear You.
Your Word whispers to me in the night hours: He
hears you, Sara. He hears.
You turn Your ear toward me. You are a ready
listener. Not merely to listen but to hear, to see,
and to respond. I adore You, God who listens. Who
pauses at my life. Who has space in Your heart and
Your magnanimous world to hear me.
I adore You that You respond to my weak cries with
Your answers. Emboldening me, strengthening my
I come with hesitancy, and Your response is
resounding. You tell me You are near and offer me
Your ear—morning, noon, and night.
I adore You for listening. I adore You for Your
attentiveness to the wanderings of my heart. I adore
You for attending. Creator of the ocean tide and the
humpback whale and the solar system, You attend
to my weak cries. And in response, I adore.
Taken from Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day by Sara Hagerty. Click here to learn more about this title.
For anyone who longs to experience God in the thick of life’s demands, Sara Hagerty’s Adore offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day.
None of us signed up for a conventional experience with the unconventional God, yet too often the spiritual life can become routine, dare we say, even boring.
In Adore, Sara Hagerty gives us all permission to admit “I barely know You, God,” and with this honest admission, to scoot a little nearer to this familiar stranger. Adoration is the simple practice Sara discovered for starting where you are, and letting the grit of your day greet the beauty of God’s presence.
Adoration is for the woman who feels frenzied and fearful in the middle minutes of her day. It is a simple practice for 7:37 a.m. when the children are waking and the dryer is already humming but also for the 12:17 p.m. lunch break and for 5:53 p.m. while stuck in traffic.
Adoration is the place where we put how we feel in front of God’s Word, and watch what happens to our insides. It’s what you were made for. Join Sara in this soul-stirring journey through thirty attributes of God which you can walk through at your own pace. Learn how the simple habit of adoration—in the middle minutes of your day—can help you see God with fresh eyes, and talk to Him right there. Experience a new way of engaging with God in your everyday. Adore will show you how.
Sara Hagerty is a lover of God, a wife to Nate, and a mother of seven—four adopted from Africa and three through miracle pregnancies. She’s also a bestselling author and speaker. As a lifelong admirer of words, Sara has experienced their power to revive. Raw words written in tearful honesty and shared with her readers. Words whispered in hidden places as conversation with God and worship to Him. Today Sara’s words offer God’s hope to readers facing unexpected life circumstances. You can follow her on Instagram (@sarahagertywrites).
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