…in mysterious ways.
God’s really been pushing many things on my heart lately.
I’ve always had a hard time communicating with God. My whole life, this “having a talk with God” thing, was always a bunch of church chatter I thought was a metaphor for your conscience, or something that wasn’t of literal substance. I had friends that said they had “talks” with God, and I thought they were insane. I had never experienced that, so, in my naive and arrogant way of thinking, I decided they were not talking like a person with sanity would, and therefore they needed psychological therapy. I continued to think this way my whole life. When I left my childhood church, which was all based off of methods, traditions, hymnals, and Bible stories, I experienced the more ‘contemporary’ style of church. Many times I thought this approach was corny; sort of like the dorky dad trying to “stay cool” so he can still relate to his kids. I ultimately stopped attending church, and ran wild for a few years.
The whole time I was ignoring God, I still felt drawn to him. My instilled Christian values continued to haunt me when I would go against them. I decided to cut ties, and live life the way I wanted to. I wouldn’t have to worry about the guilt. I wouldn’t have to worry…period.
After those decisions played out horribly in my life through my relationships, and my mental state, I tried again. I started to open myself up to God’s sensitivity, and the ties he obviously had on me. When I did this, things started to clear up.
I found a man. A Godly man. A man who had a vision of what God wanted to do in his life, and for others. This intrigued me, and I needed this man. I started attending church and college group with him, and experienced the contemporary atmosphere again. At first I was aloof to it, sort of going so I could be with my boyfriend. After watching some of my friends on fire for God, and watching the amazing things he was providing in their lives, I thought, “Hey, I am missing out on something.”
I started to loosen up slowly: from standing in silence, to singing. From standing with my eyes opened, to praying with my eyes closed. From listening to the message, to studying it and applying it in my life. These subtle and gradual changes made an immense difference, but still I felt I was missing something.
One day, I finally realized what it was so communicate with God. He spoke to me so clearly, and I couldn’t help but do what I thought the ‘crazies’ were doing. I threw my hands in the air and started singing as loud as I could. God had communicated to me through music, the one thing that had been in my entire life.
Since I was little, I was a musician. When I could talk, I was singing. When I was four, I learned how to play piano. When I was old enough to go to camp, I went to one where we created musicals, and I would always get a lead role. When I was old enough to be in band, I learned oboe. When I was in highschool, I was in Wind Ensemble, marching band, Regional Orchestra, church choir, became Drum Major, and still played piano. In college, I was a studio oboist, and continued to play in a Wind Ensemble.
Simultaneously with the time I decided to abandon God, was the same time I abandoned music.
It’s strange to look back on it now. I had never correlated the two. I never would have imagined that the one thing that spoke to me my entire life would be the way God chose to speak to me the first time…or should I say, the first time I chose to listen.
My faith has grown leaps and bounds since then, and still is. It’s such a strange tingling in my soul that is only quenched through Him. He’s everywhere for me now. I see him in every single molecule of by being and my surroundings.
So, as the string to my heart is music, that is how I’m closest to God. When I listen, the notes and harmonies can move me in ways unimaginable. Now that I’ve been given opportunities to lead, the Holy Spirit grips me ten fold. When I look out and see people, worshiping to God, their eyes closed, the hands in the air, tears in their eyes…or even just listening in silence…I feel so ineffably blessed. That God can move me, and His people in such a way that is so uniform, yet so specific to every person in that audience.
God has also surrounded me with people who feel this same conviction. It is something that I am so grateful for. It makes me think that there is something so much bigger than the worship that we experience within the four walls of our church, your church, or your neighbor’s church. It is why I find myself married to a College Pastor. It is why my brother-in-law and my best friend are worship leaders. It is why my network of friends are so diverse and unusual. It is why I have a sense in my heart to lead/co-lead/be a part of worship. I love it, and I am craving to see what God has for in store for our community, the Valley, and the World.