It’s Sunday morning. I enter worship waiting expectantly.
I love worship in music. I literally wither away when I am not singing. It is through singing that my heart is able to commune with my heavenly Father. In my life, He has used music in countless ways to encourage, heal and mend. I know when I enter that God will speak to me. I just am not always prepared for what He wants my heart to learn.
For the last month, my heart has been squeezed. It’s like a ball of tightly wound up emotions trying to unravel. Worship gives voice to those emotions. And I have been continually struck with awestruck wonder and heartache in the last month.
Awestruck wonder because of the simple childlike question of, “Why?” Why did Christ choose me out of my family? Why did He choose to protect my heart from leaving Him, even when I wanted to? Why has He pursued and protected me? Why me? He has not kept me from all things, but two times He has miraculously intervened to thwart death on my behalf. He has protected my heart from becoming hardened towards Him, though Satan wanted a far different outcome. He protected me from my dysfunctional and abusive past and gave me wisdom to see how to prevent repeating the generational cycle.
And heartache because in the midst of my wonder at His grace, my heart still aches because it is in this world and I must find a way to reconcile my heart to the reality it refuses to accept. I have no family. My parents are living in willful sin and rebellion against God. They don’t think that they need to repent, yet they parade around as the Pharisees did believing that their motives and acts of service will somehow fool either themselves or others of their lack of genuine faith. I have never been able to experience reconciliation with them, though I have tried a thousand times (and that would not be an exaggeration!). Christ chose me, yes. But I had to leave my family behind in order to follow Him. Like Lot's wife, I was looking back on "the former life" yearning for a family I would never have. It was an idol. And I had to forsake them so that I could devote my heart to the Savior of it.
Sunday brought a constant flow of tears. Being encouraged to remember His love for me, makes me cry. How can I need anything else? But yet my heart yearns for the warmth of family and is continually reminded how very desperately I miss my Grandma.
I sang the honor of the One who plucked me out of mire, shame and misery and saved me. And my mind was lost in prayer as I poured out this song, remembering how Jesus Himself visited me the night I was going to die. And I couldn’t get the image of Him sitting there by the gates of heaven telling me it wasn’t time for me to go home yet.
Living He loved me, Dying He saved me,
Buried He carried my sin far away, Rising He justified…
Justified. That word, though I fully understand its theological applications, makes my heart yearn for justice of my own. And wondering, “When will it come, Lord?” Then my heart is taken back to thankfulness that I did not receive the justice that I deserved.
Thankfulness and heartache. Reverence and wanting justice. Love and hurt. Relationship and loneliness. These are the themes that are within my heart in the past month.