Chariot of Sunlight

Storms surrounding me one year ago, I took up the arms declared to me that I had used in years past to run for cover.  Knowing that the sun was fleeting and the clouds were moving in fast, I had no other choice but to breathe deep and take in whatever there was in this life that could help save me.  

The hospital room was bleak, smelled sterile and formed around me faster than I could run from it.  I feared the consequences of asking for help. Did this define me? Was my weakness my downfall? Would this go down in my playlist of life as a weak cry to try to piece it all together?  My life that is. The past, the present, my future pardon I was crying out for. In that moment that I had asked for help, I found myself more lost than I had ever been, completely consumed in a scrapbook of the life I had lived so far.  One that had taken me on a fateful plank that ultimately drove me to the place that required me to be completely broken and bare for the world to see. I was loved and had loved thousands of years deeper than I could had ever imagined, yet was I  lost in the darkness of my own mind? I was chasing the hours and seeking the wind that was passing through my hair like a summer’s eve just venturing through, I had no idea how to recon a life that had brought me to that place. Shaking and alone, I was left at the doorstep of a seemingly closed door that I begged would somehow open in the depths of my despair.  I was asking for help to fill my atmosphere with a kind of air that I could take in where I believed I was enough to breath it into my lungs. But first I had to cry out. I had to be dark enough to seek the light and deep into the finding of my own failures that I could ask for a way to guide me through it all.

The beauty of it all is that I was able to find help.

Running toward life with both arms wide open I found people, places and coping mechanisms that brought me to the place I needed to be.  One year ago, I begged for refuge and I found it. In hope I rose to a place where God found me, He begged me to follow and I did.

For those of you who have followed me on my journey, you’ll recall that one year ago I was admitted to a hospital that changed my life.  A rallying cry of fire burned blazes inside me and a forever light took place that ultimately shone in the form of forgiveness and bounty. Love won and God awoke a part inside me that I never knew existed.  That of peace, surrender and a fight inside myself I didn’t know could forever change me.

One year ago, I sat humbly in that hospital room, celebrating a fade that didn’t occur.  Sadly one that doesn’t reach all who felt as dark as I did. Love was shining on me then, and it is now.  Never give up, never take defeat as a signal inside you that makes you give up hope. No matter what!

A few years back, I wrote a book about overcoming the most impossible of odds to find my way back from the brinks of the deepest kind of tragedy, the loss of two little infant sons.  God was a dismal light in my existence at that time, but nonetheless He was there. I just didn’t see it as brightly as I do now. My faith was weak and my idea of Jesus was confused.  Yet, God was there. In the smallest yet grandest of ways. He brought me through that time and I was able to write about it and publish a book that has touched the lives of many women who have buried babies.  Love is not something to take for granted, it is a gift that exists when we give up our arms against an intrusion that may surface when we find ourselves at the weakness of our circumstances. Love wins. God’s perfection exists when we surrender to Him.

…Which I did last year as I looked around a sterile hospital room that I almost walked out of to run for the door when it all became too real.  I saw the road in front of me and I FREAKED out. I didn’t want to march the path in front of me, put in the work and give up the vices that plagued me and brought me there. Yet somehow I stayed and surrendered to a gift that was being strung in front of me, one that would make me dig deep and go further than I wanted to go.  I knew I had to stay and be kept in a place that had the ability to teach me life saving techniques that would eventually save me. God kept me there that night, I surrendered and became more than I could have ever imagined in the act of giving up what I thought made me strong, yet kept me weak.

On the eve of the anniversary of the night I sought and found hope, I find myself nosologic.  I am thankful, but mostly I am in awe of what God can do if we truly surrender to Him, for today I am a healed woman.

Give up your arms that fight against your inner healing and find peace in knowing that when you surrender to whatever it may be, that you have the chance to not be separated from peace.  You have the right to claim it on you like chariots of sunlight that overtake you after a battle you had no idea that you could fight.

Live in the light and seek the freedom that can be yours.  As it has become mine.

The Music of God

I was raised in an intensely conservative Baptist Church.  Music in my church consisted of the following: Stand. Sing a hymn.  Sit. Pray. Stand. Sing a hymnal that both confused me and intrigued me.

Meeting God at this moment, I can say that I never did.  My voice cracked, the organ played on, my heart was stale and my head heavy with the pressure to sound good was always what played out inside my mind during the music part of my church as a child.  

Two and a half years ago the pursuit of God chased me down and ripped me away from a life of sin and self-loathing. I was met where I was as the Music Pastor sang his heart out. At that time I had no clue what was forming inside me, all I knew was it was an emotional encounter that I had no choice but to surrender to in the form of more tears than an ocean could produce.  

In that encounter, I embraced the Music of God.

The song at the throne overtook me and then Pastor Kevin spoke on the prodigal son leaving me in a place of overwhelming relentless abandon.  I gave my life back to God that night. Through the medium of art, I found my way back home.  

Words of truth filled my being and flowed from me, and at that moment, the song found me in an interlude grabbing me right where I was.  The Holy Spirit took me out of despair and repaired the years of a torn veil that needed to be mended by the ultimate seamstress. And that is just what God has formed my life into.  A reconciliation of my heart and a vision for the glory and service that God begs for me to live in.

As my church surrenders on a weekly basis to a song God has on display for us all to partake in, I find myself often uncomfortable.  Digging back into my childhood memory of song in the church there was no lifting of hands or a relationship at that moment with God existed, I find myself weary to surrender to it all.

I’m not on a level that the other people are on in my church where they quake at the song and dance in the light of surrender.  I can’t bring myself to bellow out to God in the form of physical relentless abandon like the people on stage do. Finding myself polarized by the fear inside me in the surrender of it all, I fall on a silence that makes me weep inside knowing that I really want to reside in that place. Where I don’t care that my eyes rain tears of want and desire for a God bigger than my insecurity where I can lift my hands and kneel at the throne of God.  I tremble at the moment, the movement and the call it has on my life, yet something always holds me back.

This past Sunday something happened.

I can’t even recall the song.  The beat played on, the lights danced with the drums and something majestic took place.  Voices lifted up. Music played on and in that, I found myself in the midst of it all. I couldn’t get caught up in the fear that plagues me surrounding worship; all I was left to do was worship God.

My God, you called me into your light.

The shadows turned to brilliance.

My God’s name was forever lifted high.

The silence on my heart was elevated and all I could do was praise him.

Dance, love, and feel the relentless love of Jesus in my life was all I could focus on.  Not that my hands weren’t lifted, not that I couldn’t let go like the person next to me.  All that was left was the intense desire to run after Him like He pursues me no matter what I do or say.

Today I find myself in the movement that God wants me in.  One where He has gifted me with the ability to truly praise Him in the form of song.  In that I pray someday soon from now I can lift my arms in reckless abandon to Him knowing that is His gift to me from Him.  A rare ability and moment to take in all that He has given me and all that He wants me to encounter in the form of worship that has no boundaries and doesn’t live in a place of calm.  One that calls me to let go of all that holds me back in this life and encourages me to fly free into the eternity He has created for me to live in.

Someday not far from now my hands will lift up as an offering like my heart is to Him.  Until then I know that in the waIt He will continue the everlasting chase He has on my heart and that in itself makes me breathe in His love and causes my lungs to sing.