Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A journal entry

So it seems when all is going well, I’m too busy to blog anything. When life slows down I have to catch up here. So many things have happened in the last month and they range from heartbreak to joy – literally. I’m not going to divulge the details and I’ll spare you the grief and sadness that has burdened my heart and soul for the last month. I’ll spare you the details of the ramblings that have overtaken my mind and left me sleepless on many nights. Instead, I’m going to share some of what has picked me up and encouraged me.

This last Sunday night, we (Mt Paran Church of God choir and orchestra) led our first quarterly Night of Worship for 2010 for the church. Since I sing in the choir, I knew full well what songs we were doing and I knew that given my current state, anything could happen in my soul. I was fully prepared to break down during only one song, “Be Everything” which we learned from the writer, Regi Stone, a couple weeks ago during retreat. The words are below. What I was not prepared for, however, was to completely be broken during this service. By song #2, I almost left the choir loft so as to not disrupt others from worshipping because of my weeping. Now, I’ll tell you, I’ve seen people break down in service because of conviction of sin or because God is working in them but it’s never been me – not like this. Also, I like to worship freely, unrestrained, focused on the Lord most high. My favorite songs that we sing are those which come straight from the Word, like “For Thou, O Lord” which is a psalm of David which states “Thou O lord art a shield for me. My glory and the lifter of my head!” Others that I enjoy and feel deeply state: God is my refuge and strength….God is my rock, my fortress…I AM your comfort and relief from your stress….I AM your future… I AM Jehovah Jirah – the Lord that provides for you…I AM your freedom – freedom from pain and hurt and despair. Of course, we sang several songs Sunday night that declared these and I needed it.

I experienced worship Sunday night in a way never have before...and it felt good!

I needed to be reminded that God is there when others hurt me or let me down. Even though I knew and experienced His provisions while in Afghanistan – safety, friendship, etc – I needed to be reminded that the Lord is also there to fill the void that was left when my heart was broken not long ago. I was reminded that unless I fully trust Him to deliver me, to lead and guide me, to PROVIDE for me – not just material things like house and food, but love...companionship…security…did I mention love?

So here's one of the songs that we sang that is very dear to my soul:

Be Everything
by Regi Stone

Be my breath, Be my voice
Be my hands and be my feet.
Be my heart, be my dreams; Lord be everything to me.
I can’t do this on my own, I lay my life before your throne, I will follow you wherever you lead.
If I lose sight of the path, be the road that takes me back.
Lord be everything to me.
Be my will, be my way, be my faith, and be my peace.
Be my rock, be my strength
Lord, be everything to me.

Did you see that part about peace? Did I mention I’ve had trouble sleeping for about a month because of despair and hurt? Peace….that’s what I needed. Peace that I’ve given the problems – the hurt, the relationship, my issues – to the Lord. He is big enough to carry that load and I clearly cannot...otherwise, I’d have no trouble sleeping right?

Be my will. Whoa, that’s a hard one right? I learned something there in the middle of the choir loft Sunday night. You know how the Bible states that if you love the Lord, He’ll give you the desires of your heart? One desire of my heart has been to get married. Yes, I’ve questioned that in the last few months and in doing so, would pull away from my beloved. Yet after a couple days of questioning and making sure, I’d be right back in the game, so to speak. Well, I learned Sunday night that the desires of my heart should line up with the desires of God’s heart first and foremost. That’s not to say that He doesn’t want me to be married but when that desire overshadows my hunger and thirst after righteousness, then it’s not in line with what the Lord wants for me. He created us in His image – not as individuals who alone are just like God but as a couple – man and woman – bringing together the complete picture of His character – strength, love, joy, tenderness, compassion, task oriented drive to succeed and so much more! He wants us to be happy and to be complete here on earth – that’s why the Lord said in Genesis “It is not good for man to be alone.” He knows we need that deep companionship – the love of another human – because He created us IN HIS IMAGE. Yet what we struggle with, or at least what I struggle with sometimes, is first being complete IN HIM and staying focused completely on Him. When I do that, I don’t have to try to be someone I know I am – I just am myself naturally! Specifically, when I’m focused on being who the Lord made me to be, I naturally do all these cute, stupid, fun, romantic things that help maintain a good relationship. When I take my eyes off the Lord and worry or question or get stressed about money or my relationship with my parents or this thing or that, I’m not being myself and that affects me and those around me.

Am I making sense or is this just ramblings from a hyperactive brain?

So you can see where a song like “Be Everything” caused me to be broken. I’ll end with this (no O.T, I’m not posting pictures from the trail work today, I’m sorry). I posted on my Facebook status the other day, “Ouch! Clay pot being re-molded here. Construction zone-- ahead proceed with caution!” That’s where I am, friends. It’s been slow progress to this point but the Lord gave me a book the other night by my favorite author, Max Lucado. It’s called “Facing your Giants.” That’s what I am setting out to do. The book is a study of the boy-king of Israel who was not but a shepherd – much like the boys I saw in Afghanistan tending to the family flocks at 10 and 12 years old. David – the boy that picked up 5 smooth stones from a brook in the presence of thousands of soldiers shaking in their armor at the sight of Goliath. David – the king, a man after God’s own heart…who sinned…who was redeemed and shown the love of God. David faced his giant and now I’m off to face mine...but like David, I am not alone. The Lord, my God…my refuge…my strength…my healer…my Jirah…He is with me.

Voice of Truth
By Casting Crowns

“Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth”