Let me introduce you to my friend, Emily. Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. Follow Emily on Twitter or Facebook.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Emily and Solange

by Emily T. Wierenga

I didn’t know I was praying.

All I knew was I was hungry. Sobbing into my pillow with my skin pulled tight across my rib cage begging the cotton, which smelled like the wind—because Mum hung our sheets on the clothes line strung across the skies of northern Ontario—to be normal.

No, I thought prayer was what I did at the very end of the night, in those final moments before falling into a sleep bloated with dreams of chocolate and sandwiches and cakes.

The long rote of a thing this preacher’s kid did which begged God not to send her relatives and friends to hell. It was a detailed list of names, and if I missed one it felt as though they were damned. And I put it off until the very end because this nine-year-old didn’t know God was love. She just knew life was as hard as the wooden church pews she sat on each Sunday morning.

But when the nurses told me at thirteen that I was a miracle; when they looked at this hypothermic girl whose braces showed through her teeth, whose hair was falling out in clumps, when they said Someone out there loved me, I knew then those nights of begging had been some kind of letter-writing to the sky. Continue Reading...

What a Week Off Social Media Can Do For You

Last week was the first week I’ve chosen to take off of social media, and I count it a pure privilege to do so.

I jotted down the thoughts I wanted to post and tweet and even snapped a few photos I withheld from posting on Instagram. Apology for all the randomness: Continue Reading...

4 Questions to Ask When You Heard from God (Plus: a Free Printable)

A few years ago, Leif and I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. When we checked into a hotel near the historic site, Leif discovered that BMW was hosting a special promotion, inviting people to take one of their new vehicles out for a spin on the Blue Ridge Parkway at no charge. We jumped at the opportunity.

Leif wears a size 14 shoe, but nowhere is his foot heavier than on the gas pedal. Continue Reading...

Why I’m Logging Off and Shutting Down

Elijah ran hard and fast.

Fearing the threat of Jezebel, he knew he had to get out of Dodge, err… Israel. Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Carol. Carol Kent's love for the Lord and her passion for equipping, encouraging, and empowering people to live for things that matter shines through. Her readers are irresistibly drawn to see God’s astonishing “grace places” in the middle of their roadblocks. A sought-after speaker and teacher, Carol is the author of many books including her latest, Unquenchable. Carol and her husband live in Tampa, Florida. I had the privledge of meeting Carol at an Extraordinary Women event this spring.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I've invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

Does prayer work?

by Carol Kent

As a teenager I wanted to live for something that would outlast my life.

I remember saying, “God, I’ll do anything for you.” After I graduated from college and got married, I began a home Bible study. A couple of years later I was directing women’s ministries in a large church, followed by an opportunity to teach a city-wide Bible Study Fellowship class.

But in the middle of saying, “Yes” to a speaking ministry, I was stopped in my tracks when my only child, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was arrested for a serious crime. Continue Reading...