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.