14 November 2010

the singer

If you're like me, you get just a little bit nervous every time someone sings for the first time in front of a large crowd. I worry for them that they might mess up, or forget the words, or miss the notes, and that the audience will not be as graceful or forgiving in their analysis of the performance. So at the beginning, I sometimes spend a good portion of the song praying that they not mess it up--when it's live, pretty much anything can happen.

So this singer starts her song, and it starts out low. I worry that she might not hit all the low notes, or that her words will get lost in the low pitch of her voice. She's not singing very loudly, so I worry that she's not very confident in herself, or her voice, or the choice of song. Her voice is shaky, so I worry that she's getting emotional and at any given second could burst into tears, or run off the stage, or not be able to finish the song in front of the crowd. I'm so nervous for her, because she's been on stage all night and has not yet sung lead on any song, and it seems she has had a shaky beginning.

Then comes the chorus. And she belts out with wild abandonment and perfect pitch a song she was created to sing. And it. is. glorious.

I mean it. I'm worshipping the Lord God Almighty because of how He's revealing Himself to me in her song and it hits me: the chorus is more powerful and more beautiful because of my perception of her beginning.

This shifted my world.

It gave me this wonderful picture of how much glory God gets in our stories--no matter our beginning, no matter other people's perception. It also made me realign my thoughts on perception. Perhaps there was more flaw in my perception of things than flaw in the things (or people) themselves. Powerful stuff.

I'm still working through all of this in my heart, but let this be an encouragement to you and a reminder to me: if you see someone step out in something new, and they seem to be kinda shaky, or they appear to have a rough start--just wait for God to show up in the chorus, because He will (because HE'S GOD) and when He does, it will be the most beautiful song you've ever heard, the clearest picture of a life lived in obedience, and the most powerful witness and worship you may ever experience. Be encouraged! God is working if we can but ask Him to shift our perspective and wait patiently for the best part.


Sometimes, to remember something we know so well that it's slipped into the comfortable recesses of 'everyday,' it takes a fresh perspective to serve as a reminder of something our soul knows deeply. This weekend was one such reminder.

I was walking around the campus of Alabama, which holds childhood memories, graduate school memories, and new ones being formed with Stahler (somehow old enough to be a student) and with Grant as my husband. It is a really wonderful place; it is endeared to me in that rare way that few places ever can be. I was walking around and was acutely aware of the life in it--the young, flirty co-eds on first-dates, blind-dates, great-dates, and horrible ones. There is such a pulse for social interaction, it's not only visible but tangible. It's exciting just being around it. And I wondered why that is--what is it that close proximity brings out in me this joie de vivre?

It's the excitement of not knowing.

So much of these students' lives are unwritten pages--where to go, do, live, be. Where will they work? Who will they marry? Will they have children? Will they live abroad or return to their same small town? Will they change the world? Be the next president? It's all completely unknown as of yet for them. This is exciting.

There is life in not knowing.

The flip side of this, of course, is the unparalleled intimacy, comfort, security, and solace found in knowing--there's life in that too. That kind of biblical knowing that comes only within the covenant of marriage and grows (somehow) beautifully wider and deeper with time. Yes, there's life in that; often time life comes from that--children, healing, growth, maturation, sanctification, wisdom, knowledge, experience. Both are good--and if I had to choose, I would DEFINITELY choose knowing, but we who think we know each other, need the reminder: we don't know everything about each other yet--and we can still surprise ourselves...!!

I think that, in learning more about God, we go through really exciting times of not knowing, really intimate times of knowing, and much in between. Sometimes the knowing hurts. Sometimes the not knowing hurts. Both are good for the soul.

It was just such a wonderful reminder, that as comfortable and safe and intimate and secure and sure we are of each other and ourselves and our marriage, there is so much more that we do not yet know and there is life and excitement in recognizing the ability we have to surprise--our pages are also unwritten...!

02 November 2010

On writing...

I really wish I had more time to write :( but I'm in a wonderfully new season of life that includes a lot more working, scheduling, playing meal-tag with Grant, and planning family nights with all 4 of us (L, G, Evan, and Georgia ;) so the writing gets put on the back burner... for now.

Things are really good, though; just because you haven't heard from me in an embarrassingly long time doesn't mean things aren't good. And just because I don't have endless hours a day to spend in prayer or pouring over commentary learning more about The Text, doesn't mean God's not teaching me--it's a whole new season of growth, different than any other. I love it. God is so good and so faithful.

I'm in a sort of review period with Him, where He's reminding me of all the things I've learned probably in the past 2 or 3 years--discipline, obedience, forgiveness, love, sacrifice without need for justification, generous giving--all topics I feel I've blogged openly about here ;) for those of you who've had the patience to drudge through my writing ;))

He's always doing a new thing--thank the Lord--and He's doing a new thing in me today. I'm having the incredible experience of seeing those around me catch on FIRE with the Love of God and the Knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Honestly, it's just a privilege to be near them as they discover new things about the character of the Lord, walk through the stories of the Old Testament and Acts, stand amazed as God shows up and proves Himself faithful, and humbly present their requests for MORE to God.

My cup runneth over. Amen.