"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in the secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3
It's been rough in the deep heart spaces for quite sometime and I have felt a bit like God has been asking me to be still, quiet, introspective through much of this season of hard emotional work. I have gone through seasons like this before and it always hurts but I am digging into it because I believe so much more richness of life is up ahead.
I was recalling a season past with Chris last week when God asked me to be quiet during worship. If you know me in person you know I love to sing and lead worship, in fact I met my husband during a worship practice in my early twenties - I love to sing and frequently find myself falling into that role in the Church. It feels easy and I think we all like to feel useful. But I found myself during that season finding my strength and identity too much in that role and so for a time God asked me just to listen.
There was a girl in our Church whom I really liked but she always kind of rubbed me the wrong way with singing. I know this is going to sound horrible to admit but she always sat next to me and would sing at the top of her lungs harmonizing with me and to be honest I didn't think she had a great voice. I know, horrible but stay with me. It would throw me off and distract me from worship and in my heart I had a super bad attitude about it.
One Sunday during this season of silence I sat down during service and this girl was sitting pretty close to me. When the music started I felt it, a strong need to listen and not to sing out in my usual way but to really just listen to Gods people in worship. This girl was loud, it was right there in my ears but I did obey and did my best not to judge. After the service I was anxious to get out of there when an older women with tears streaming down her face stopped me.
"Thank you for using you gifts and singing out this morning so beautifully you helped me enter into worship it is such a gift you give to this place even when you are not up front leading"
Humbling does not even begin to describe that moment for me and I knew that women thought this loud girl was me.
God wracked me with His truth that morning that He will be worshipped in all things regardless of how good or how bad it sounds, how polished or perfect it might be. Weather we are silent or loud He is using us in so many ways far beyond how we think He is using us, our gifts, our offerings. Here I thought He was using me through singing but boy was I wrong.
This week my entire family has had the stomach flu. Kind of my worst nightmare. I have left our house only once in the past eight days and I haven't had much rest or a break. Chris is working so hard to make up for time he missed at both of his jobs. It causes us to argue when we are at the end of our rope and to be honest I am pretty ready to throw in the towel. I was doing my best to clean the kitchen this afternoon and thought that it would be so nice to have a bouquet of flowers on my table to brighten up the space and remind me that a new season is just around the corner. I decided to move a tiny primrose and candle to the table and told myself I would light my lavender candle and try to be thankful. At that moment my Mother in law was at the door with a bouquet of tulips and hug from the outside world (she has been sick too so it was a sacrifice of love).
She stood in the doorway for a half and hour and spoke wisdom and truth over me. She reminded me that God has given me such purpose and hope and although this season feels bleak and quiet He promises to use it and that He will be worshipped all I have to do is be faithful to say yes and walk the road He has laid out before me not assuming what or how but trusting Him.
So I got out my camera and rounded up some beauty in the ways I know how. I still have some sick kids and more on my plate than seems humanly possible but in a small way God refreshed my spirit this afternoon and whispered hope that when my back is against the wall it forces me out of my comfort zone into the light of more of myself than I thought possible. And I wanted to encourage you too if you are reading and feeling like what you have to offer seems like less than enough or God is asking you to do something that doesn't feel comfortable or safe...you're dead wrong my friends, He's getting the glory out of each step you take. And even though I have been a little quiet in this space and on other forms of social media I am here walking right along side you and know we can do this thing!