In these or similar words ...

Dear Lord,

This seems easy, going back through the photo album of my life. Can I really call this prayer? I can go back to my earliest memories, of being a toddler. I wonder what connection this little child has to me?

As I move through my life, into school, learning to read and expanding my world, I can notice things in this album that I don’t want to see. They are difficult memories that cause pain and I thought I had put them away permanently. Not everything in my childhood was good. Where were you in that, Lord? Were you with me as I watched the shouting, the arguing?

There were good times, too. Running so freely as a kid, climbing trees, exploring the banks of the creek, and sledding down the big hill in winter. There is a freedom to those moments and I sense you in that, too.

As I got older, I made choices, Lord. For some of them, I ignored you completely and tried to pretend you didn’t matter in my life. But you stayed with me so faithfully anyway. You guided my headstrong decisions into choices that helped me into a loving life and a good marriage.

Thank you, Lord, for your constant presence in my life, especially today.

Dear Lord,

I feel a little uncomfortable. This kind of prayer is new to me and I’m a little more comfortable using someone else’s words. But I tried it yesterday and it wasn’t hard; it just didn’t always feel like prayer.

I return today and I look at the places where it hurts, the memories that make me want to squirm, pull away, and try to forget again. It hasn’t always been easy in my life. Were you really with me in all of it? I feel you so strongly now, but I never thought much about you during those times.

How have these difficult times shaped me into what I am today? How has your faithful guidance helped me, unseen, over the years? Please help me to see your presence in my life and to be guided by it.

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