And one last thing – a few days ago, as I was listening to an old sermon of my dad’s, he said something about how the Word mentions faith, hope, and love – obviously the most important being love. But what stood out to me was how hope is put in with faith and love. Hope in this life is very important. When we lose hope, we lose joy and a lot more. I can attest to that as I’d lost hope. I’ve been afraid to get it back as I’ve been afraid of being disappointed again. But I can now say that I got my hope back yesterday, and I plan on keeping it for good. If not for my sake, then at least for my boys’ sake as I want them to grow up with hope, dreams, and confidence that their God will not disappoint.
There’s something funny about worship that brings out the heart of me. Like only in worship am I free to fall on my face and pour out my heart before my God. Only in that time and place can He reach me. When I was a single girl living on my own, my bedroom floor was the place where I could lie on my face and pour out my heart and my tears. Now as a busy mom, I rarely get worship time, let alone face on the floor time. However, I’m realizing that I’ve got to start making time for face time in His presence.
Yesterday morning, we woke up late and were rushing to church. Ryder was not doing one thing that we asked him to do, so by the time we got ourselves, two boys, all our cleaning supplies, and the double stroller into the car, we were all a bit stressed. I tend to be the yeller in the family, and unfortunately, all my frustration spilled out in the car. My three guys just sat quietly while I exploded. By the time we got to church, we were all silent, and I was embarrassed and sad that I consistently act like an idiot with a temper. Mark had to run the video camera, so he rushed Ezzy into the nursery while I unwrapped a crying toddler from my body and handed him over to his teacher. I then found the first open seat in the back of the sanctuary and tried to get my heart right for the worship that was already in progress. A few minutes later, the songs changed from praise to worship and the lyrics were something about laying our heart out before God with nothing hidden. It hit me like a ton of bricks . . .
I’ve been closed off to the Lord, to my husband, to my family, to my friends, etc. for a while now. I have one or two friends that I trust with most everything, and my family knows me well enough to know when I need to talk or not talk. So I’m able to let out what I want and need to process with those people. But for the most part, I’ve been closed. Not willing to open, not willing to talk, not trusting anyone to actually just hear me. And I mean hear me in the sense that I’ve just needed to talk and not get answers, advice, or input. I just need to let it out. And I haven’t done that recently. I haven’t done in to the extent that I’ve needed as I haven’t wanted to hear what someone might say.
So when the worship song started, I knew God was asking me to open up and let Him see what’s been hidden. Yes, He already sees it, but I needed to bring it before Him. I needed to let Him in. And this sounds ridiculous, but I’m just telling you how it is. I knew that when I opened up, it was going to be one ugly mess. I wanted to run out behind the church and open it up in private. But I felt this urge to do it at the altar before my God as if I was there in front of Him. I kept thinking oh Lord, how many times has this church seen me be a wreck? How they must think that I’m such a slow idiot who never gets it? How many times must I embarrass myself? How does the pastor’s daughter not get it? Yet my desire to honor Him was stronger than my pride. So up to the altar I went. And it was ugly. I cried out days of anger, frustration, hurt, disappointment, hardship, and weariness. I wept before my God and poured it all out. And while I was up there sobbing, someone knelt with me and sobbed with me. I never opened my eyes, and the person didn’t say a word. I knew it was a woman, because she cried like I did. She then kissed me on the back before getting up, and it was just what I needed. Two others then came behind me and said things that I also needed to hear, and then finally someone else came and just knelt with me. None of them said Mic, get a grip! No one said anything that was condemning, negative, or without understanding. They just offered words of encouragement, understanding, and love. But most importantly, they joined me. And I later found out that the person who came and wept with me was my mom – the one who probably has known the most about what I’ve struggled with. Yet in her motherly wisdom, she knew that only God knows how to speak what I need to hear.
Throughout the rest of the service as I sat in my seat and just listened, I felt God put His healing balm on my heart. I listened as others shared things that I needed to hear. I received words of encouragement that were so spot on for both Mark and me. And most importantly, I heard the Lord say that He has not forgotten. He is asking me to be faithful even though it seems like nothing has happened, nothing is happening, and nothing may happen. My dreams are dried up, shriveled, barely holding on, and most days I feel like He’s given my calling to someone else. I’ve felt like I’ve watched everyone else move forward while I continually rotate my tires and never move. I’ve felt like life has been work, work, work with no enjoyment, no joy, no dreams fulfilled. It’s just been hardship after hardship. Yet after yesterday, I’ve realized that He’s asking Mark and me to keep holding on to our dreams, to our vision, and to walk in faith that they will be fulfilled. Yesterday the Lord showed me how to simply receive; that’s been the hardest thing for me to grasp. Yet I got the understanding of it. The Lord spoke to me about my children and encouraged me in how to raise my “strong willed” one. It’s like after I poured it all out before Him, He then cleared out the mess, reorganized the pieces, and showed me a new picture. He showed me if I do this, He’ll do this. If I continue with this and this, He’ll answer with this. I felt like a toddler receiving simple instruction to make life a bit less frustrating. And how grateful I am for that. 🙂
I still have more crying to get out as I feel like I only just opened up the water flow, but my relationship with Him is back in alignment. The Lover of my soul is back in the spot of being my First Love and my Confidant. And my load is lighter than it has been for months . . . 🙂 It was well worth my pride to get my heart out on the altar of my God. Today’s been a new day, and for that, I’m thankful.