Romania – Day 2 (first full day)

Wednesday March 1st was our first full day in Romania. We had our first breakfast at AMEC and headed out to get our day started. Our agenda while here is very full but our first morning was spent doing a walking tour of Sibiu. Our guide was Eugene, that was not his real name but he said it was easier if we just called him that. He was so funny and knowledgeable. He shared some incredible history with us regarding Sibiu, the churches, the buildings, the walls, etc. This was a very interesting way to begin our day.

We also went to the exchange for the first time. There are exchanges all over the city. There are lots of folks that work outside of Romania and come home so it’s a convenient way for them to exchange their money. There are travelers as well so this is also a convenience for folks like us that need to obtain Romanian currency. Lucky for us the exchange rate was in our favor however we were cautioned to exchange only what we need as we would not be exchanging back to American currency.

Michael had a surprise for us today – it’s a special holiday! Mărțișor (or Martie in Romanian)! It was fun to walk through the city and see all the people set up to sell pretty things in honor of the holiday. This is a special holiday on March 1st where they are celebrating the arrival of Spring. In celebration of Mărțișor (Martie) you will see red and white strings attached to everything. I read online that the belief is that the person who is wearing this will have a prosperous and healthy year. The ancient Roman new year used to begin on 3/1. The tradition is that the men give the women in their lives gifts with the red and white strings/colors as a semblance of admiration, friendship, and or respect (source: click here).  Eugene told us of his area’s tradition where the women give to the men something they have made by hand. Here’s a video of Eugene sharing with us: (link here)

In this brief couple of hours we saw so much of the city and learned of some amazing details. It was a lot of fun to spend time with Michael & his family in this way. His girls’ personalities were coming out and it was fun to get to know them. We also enjoyed the company of a couple of girls from the church that were there to help translate for us as needed. They were so sweet and friendly! This was a neat way to start connecting with others and learn amazing history about Sibiu. There are too many things to recount but since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are a few thousand words from our first morning in Sibiu:

 

Later that day we had the opportunity to spend more time with Marcel and run through all of our songs. It was becoming very evident at this point that I was getting sicker. I started losing my voice toward the end of What a Beautiful Name – glad I saved the tracks until the end! We finished up practice and then hung out until the ladies began arriving for our ladies fellowship. We spent time eating pizza (or a sandwich on gluten free bread in my case 🙂 ) together and then we gathered in a circle to do introductions and sharing. The Americans went around and introduced ourselves and shared what we do, a little about our families, and if it was our first or 2nd time in Romania. When we got to the Romanian women they also shared casual introductions but they had a paper they were answering questions from and one of the questions was about prayer needs. Some of the women really opened up and shared true prayer needs. It was powerful.

Pray for my husband. Pray for my marriage. Pray that I may know the Lord more. Pray I grow closer to God and grow in my faith. Pray that I am able to buy a home. Pray that I can find a job. Pray that I am healed.

Big prayers – true needs.

It was beautiful.

I was trying to capture the needs on my notes in my phone as fast as they were translating. And then Amie had us paired up with different women with different needs after we prayed for those in need of healing. It was a beautiful time of prayer and fellowship. God was already knitting our hearts together and we’d barely been in the country over 24 hours.

Oh and an incredibly awesome thing that happened tonight – the lady that asked us to pray that her husband would come to know Jesus – well he came later that night and one of our team members led him through the prayer of salvation!! How cool is that? We had just prayed for that very thing earlier in the evening and then it came to pass. What a blessing!

It was late when we gathered back at the AMEC center to debrief and Amie asked me how I was feeling and I totally broke down. I’m talking full-on ugly cry. I was exhausted and SO SICK. My body was so achy and weak. I was so angry – I did not come all this way on faith and prayers to sit in a room sick and broke down – but why hadn’t God miraculously healed me yet? Was I failing Him by giving in and admitting my weakened state? My 9 American sisters gathered around me and prayed over me. The prayers they prayed were as though they had opened up my heart and looked inside – their words matched my fears and my longings. Ugly cry got uglier. I officially could no longer breathe through my nose I had cried so hard but I needed to exhale all of that emotion and weakness. As it turns out, I was totally meant to stay back at AMEC the next day – God had a plan, I just didn’t understand it yet.  (I’ll save the details of that next day for another blog entry.) In the middle of the night, I found myself still weak and sad at my situation so I reached out through my blog for prayers and I know you prayed for me. Thank you my beloved friends and loved ones, and strangers that stumbled upon my weary pleas. I felt your prayers and God certainly met me in my need. He’s good like that. He’ll send you to do His work, remind you that you are there in His strength, allow life to slow you as He desires, and meet your needs as you go to meet those of others. He’s beyond our comprehension and I’m still so grateful to have been a part of this grand plan that was our mission trip to Romania…

More to come…

With love in Christ,

Amy

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Romania – sickness and faith 

Anyone else need healing tonight? I’m the sickest I can remember being in a long time with what must be some sort of intense bronchitis and my lungs feel as though they are on fire and exploding from within with each cough. We have loads of people praying for our team and I’m so grateful. Prayer is powerful! God still heals. His method is not predictable but His purpose is still in all things and circumstances.

Some of my Romanian medicines

I rejoice in the One that makes me well. Even when my eyes can’t see the healing yet, I know it’s coming. And I know it is still well with me because I am His. The waves and wind still know His name. The storm in my body that has attempted to come against His work in and through me will not prevail. My victory is in Him and I will seek His purpose and face as I wait for healing. In prayer just now He spoke to me through this scripture:

 
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. HE gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE in the LORD will renew their strength. They WILL soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:21-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/isa.40.21-31.niv

 
And the songs in my heart as I seek Him in the stillness and prepare to try to rest again are:

-Here, Kari Jobe

-It Is Well, Bethel/DiMarco

-Jesus We Love You/Bethel

-Give Me Faith/Elevation

-Yes & Amen, Housefires

There’s more to share about God’s provision even in this story and I’ll be sure to share those details soon. For now I must rest, I’m certain He’s calling me to it and I’m asking that He allow me to breathe well enough to sleep.

God is still good. He’s still good to me and He’s still the King of this world, the Creator, and my Healer. I worship Him in this broken state because I know that all things work for the good and His glory. (Rom 8:28) I rejoice in the miracles we’ve witnessed while here in Romania and for those that are yet to be seen in the coming days. My God will supply my every need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. I declare and believe He will still accomplish all He has planned and my healing is coming. I have two friends on this trip that are battling some allergy/sinus sounding stuff. I’ve prayed over their bodies and healing again just now from my bed as well as a hedge of protection over my other teammates that they remain healthy and strong as they continue to carry out God’s plans here. If you feel so inclined, please pray that all we spread is love and joy and passion for Jesus – not germs 🤒. And that we are all physically well again soon for those of whom are battling these physical attacks.

With great love and gratitude in Christ,

Amy

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Romania – Night 1

Romania – night 1

Our sweet treats after a delicious, home cooked Romanian meal

We arrived safely in Romania on schedule it’s strange to know we had left our church about 24 hours earlier to begin the journey. I had been up since 4:30 am Monday which means I hadn’t really slept in over 30 hours. Our flights went well, we only had to go through airport security in Atlanta, and the turbulence we experienced on each flight wasn’t too bad at all. I realized by the third flight I hadn’t been scared or worried at all just yet, but that third flight (Munich to Romania) was busting at the seems of that smaller plane – so full. Something about feeling like a tube of sardines makes you wanna remind Jesus that you’re on the plane out of obedience and that you trust Him with your life, but it’d be super cool that this isn’t how it goes down. 😬😏😉😂

Amie & I rejoicing we have landed in Romania!!

Upon arriving at the airport we were greeted by the Gravitt family & Marcel from the church. (Michael, Mihaela, Hannah, & Bianca). They were so welcoming! Michael brought us snacks and bottled water- I even got gluten free cookies!!

My bed

The view from mine & Billie’s room

Our home while here in Sibiu

We got settled quickly into our rooms at AMEC and went to the church for dinner and a meet and greet with some of the members. Michael made us an awesome feast that I can’t remember the Romanian name for but here’s a picture:


And I even got gluten free bread!?!?!?!


I ate 2 plates full & 3 slices of bread. So good!! I spent the night chatting to anyone that would engage me in conversation. It was awesome to be sitting with them, breaking bread, and experiencing fellowship. I can’t believe we are here! I’m sure I’m butchering names, but here’s a try:

Sam and Judy are from the states but are currently living here and helping. Super friendly folks that used to do part time missions but are now planted right here in Sibiu. Judy shared with me about how refreshing and encouraging it is when a team comes over like us. So humbling!

Bianca & Hannah (the Gravitt sisters) were my buddies for the night. Telling me about what I’m eating and laughing along with me about silly things. Sweet girls. 🙂

Flavius & Adina (ah-deen-uh) are a married couple. Adina’s parents make beautiful pottery and that’s how they make their living. From the pictures she showed me, they are so talented! I hope somehow I can buy some to bring home and remember her with and to bless her family.

Marcel is pronounced mahr-chel with a trilled r. He’s a musician in the church and drove us over in a big bus. Super nice guy and I hear he’s super talented! Recently married and some of my friends met him here about 6 years ago so he’s been connected with Michael and the church for a while now. I think we get to meet his wife tomorrow. Yay!

I also met Adrian (ay dree ahn). He’s married (Elaina?) and has a daughter (Sarah) that will turn three in 6 days! I hope to meet them this week. He was very friendly also. We showed each other pictures of our families and I learned a little more about his story. He’s from Romania, born and raised here. He explained that work doesn’t pay a lot here. For example he might make 300.00 a month but then their rent is 200.00 and that only leaves 100 for groceries and fuel and bills and so on. He talked about how you can’t live sustainably that way. For this reason he and his wife moved to Spain for 7 years to live frugally and put money away. In so doing they were able to return to Romania and build a house that they own. No mortgage!! Now they can live and work here without most of their money being consumed for their living space. Adrian also showed me a video of some boys playing a game that seemed like the wii game Just Dance based on their smooth moves 😉. He shared with me that their mom welcomes the help of others. I think he said there were 6 kids all under her “roof”. He said they are very poor. He brought these 2 to his house to play and eat. He had to cut their hair very short when he invited them in he said because “well, you know why. I had to protect my wife and daughter with their long hair, me not so much” as he rubbed his head of very short hair. I understood. He plans to get the other kids over soon for a visit as well. Such generous hospitality and kindness. Taking what God has richly blessed him with and opening it up to love on others. Can we all be more like Adrian? Who is very much living generously for the honor of Jesus? I asked if the children lived in the city or in a village nearby and he said “no, not really, it’s nowhere.” It’s not really in the city but not really in a village. He shared with me how the boys’ home does not have electricity and is not really a house. It’s a shack pieced together with whatever metal scraps and such they can obtain. Dirt floors. Tiny. And he tried to find delicate words to explain their mom’s work, which I understood to be that she sells herself 😭. He said he thinks we will get to visit the children while we are here.

As I continued my conversation with Marcel, Adrian, & Hannah they commented about how smiley I am. I just explained I’m a happy person, haha! Thankful the joy of the Lord was still rising up despite my tired, sleepless state.

I also chatted with Maria. She goes by Boda. She’s so funny and spunky!! 😂 I look forward to getting to know her more. And Chipi and the others!

Well, I need to try to sleep again. It’s 3:45 am and I’m getting up at 6:30 to start my day. If you would, please pray for our team. For health, unity, and that we remain in tune with the Holy Spirit’s direction. We are here for whatever Jesus wants – and that is our desire. Please pray specifically for me. My lungs are burning and it feels like something breaks off the inside of them when I cough deep. This began around our 3rd flight here. I’m supposed to lead worship quite a bit here and I have songs bursting from within!

Okay, I must sleep. If you’ve read this long, thanks for reading my 4 am, grateful thoughts from my first few hours here. ❤
Love in Christ dear friends,

Amy

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An unedited, messy thought dump – things guilt

Warning, this is a sloppy thought dump post where I’m just sharing what’s on my mind at this moment. Grammar po-po and the likes, put down your swords—err red pens. ❤

So I leave for a mission trip in a couple of days… And I’m going from being on cloud 9 to having a really hard time with an intensity that causes me to exude crazy joy and utter grumpiness within seconds of each other. I’m so excited to be going into another place in the world to spread the good news and to love people for the name sake of Jesus Christ! But then there’s a part of me that it’s hard to leave home because I love my family… Speaking of my family – my husband is a worker! He loves to have projects going on to keep him active. I love to see what his creative mind dreams up! And since I’ll be gone for 11 days he’s starting some things to occupy his time. 

His blank canvas

As I prepare to leave the country there are lots of meetings, lots of loose ends to tie up at work and at home in order for me to be gone for almost 2 weeks. As I mentioned, my husband has initiated this renovation project in our hall bath. It’s amazing and it’s something we wanted to do since we bought the house a year ago! I am excited but I have to confess I was a little stressed whenever he said that he was going to start it three days before I leave town. 

Renovation Yard Decor


At first I think I was stressed just because there’s so much already going on and that was just one more thing going on around me but then I realize it’s not really that. 

Not at all. 

The actual issue is that I struggle with feeling ashamed that we are doing a renovation project in my home when I’m about to go and serve some people that their whole entire “house” is the size of my master bathroom. If they even have a home. 😭 We have lived in this new house for a year now and there have been times that I didn’t invite people over because I was ashamed at how pretty and nice and large my house is. What the heck is that? Why do I feel shame for things that I have? 

I come from humble roots and I remember times being so poor that I didn’t know how I was going to eat that day but thankfully I had a program call WIC to provide food to my baby. I didn’t know how I was going to keep my water and electric on and I was desperate just to hold onto the car & the trailer rental that I was barely able to afford. But even on my poorest day – I was still richer than many of the people that I’m going to encounter while I’m in this other country. I’m so overwhelmed with joy & gratitude to go and show them love and serve but also so confused at why I can have such nice things and live in such an amazing country and they can’t/don’t get that opportunity. 

How do I come home to such a nice home and such nice things after facing such poverty? I’m in tears as I write this and I think about the battle that I am already having and then I’m anticipating it as I come home. I genuinely mean this – if God were to tell my husband that he wanted us to move to another country and be missionaries and Justin approached me, I would say a resounding YES! But for whatever reason He’s called us here to the states to live here and has called me to the marketplace to work in corporate America and the serve Him there. And call it blessings, hard work, both or either/or – I’ve worked my tail off to get my graduate level degree and to build my career and Justin has worked hard too and now we make good money. And I feel shame when I have nice things resulting from the fruit of our labor – what is that?

Does anyone else ever struggle with guilt for having nice things? I feel as though we are generous people. We give to ministry, tithe, share with others. But I still feel guilt over my nice car and home and such. God help me to see whatever lesson is here and to move beyond my guilt for my possessions and to focus solely on being present and loving the ones in front of me. Help me to use what I have to invite people in rather than hide it because I’m ashamed that it seems too nice. Help me to love deep and well and get beyond this battle in my mind. 

I’m thankful for you Father. I’m thankful you love me in my broken, messy self. So thankful. I will choose to praise You still, not because of what I have or don’t have. Not because of what I am or am not but because of Who You are. 
In the beautiful words of Ann Voskamp:

“so, the deal is? We aren’t about to let anything steal our thanks today.

We aren’t letting hard times steal our thanks,

We aren’t letting hard sells steal our thanks,

We aren’t letting hard knocks steal our thankfulness.

Because all of us folks down in the trenches know it:

If you let something steal your thanksgiving?

You let something steal your joy,

And if you let something steal your joy?

You let something steal your *strength.*

So in the midst of our Big Things, our Ugly Things, our Hard Things, in the midst of All Things,

We give thanks to God — not because of how we feel but simply because of Who. He. Is.

We’re on it, O Beautiful Lord & Giver of All —

The one thing we must pray to be great at is thanksgiving — because it’s the one thing that makes God great in our lives. “

#TheBrokenWay http://bit.ly/PickUpTheBrokenWay

[ print it out for free here: bit.ly/StickyNotesForYourSoul ]


❤ in Christ,

Amy 

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Saying “I’m fine” When You’re Anything But Fine

(Did you miss part 1? Click here to read I’m not fine.)

Sometimes life is unfair. Things happen that don’t make sense. Our plans get derailed, our dreams seem to fall out of our grasp like grains of sand. We encounter brokenness, loss, and pain. Life as a Christ-follower doesn’t keep you from pain and loss, either. In fact…you are guaranteed you will experience it (John 16:33.)

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But when life is a mess, we are not “fine.” So why is it we say we are fine, when we are not? Personally, I think it can be necessary to respond this way. Some of the reasons I have for this (in no particular order) are:

  • I don’t want to talk about it
  • It’s not a good time or setting to talk about it
  • I have not yet taken it to the Lord in prayer
  • I don’t know how to talk about it because I’m still processing it and feel too overwhelmed
  • I can’t talk about it
  • I have shared this very private thing I am going through with my close prayer partners and do not wish to share it with anyone outside of that circle

Sometimes I’ll say one of the above…but often I find myself just saying “I’m fine” in the moment. What do you do in these situations? Do you respond “I’m fine” also?

There are some things I just don’t want to share beyond a very few people. I have specific friends with whom I openly share my heart and psalm-73-26most tender prayer needs. They are my Hur and Aaron (Exodus 17:11-13) as they hold my arms up in battle through prayer, when my mouth can only exhale broken words and bewildered tears. And I strive to be the same for them. These friends are rare treasures, that you cannot find in everyone. These are the people you have to invest in and pray for, over, and with. God knew from the beginning that it is not good for us to be alone (Gen. 2:18.) Jesus-following friends such as these challenge me in my walk with Christ, help me back on my feet when I’ve fallen, and encourage me in my pursuit of the Lord (Psalm 37:30, Proverbs 27:9, 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:10.)

Still, as important as these people are to me, I am learning that they should never be my
first source or primary place of lament and confession. Not even my husband can be that. There are times that I feel overwhelmed and must lean on the warriors God has blessed me psalm-73-28with and share my brokenness with them. I must be honest and not pretend to be fine when I need their counsel and prayer partnership. But I propose that sometimes I must respond “I’m fine” until I can seek my Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 73:24.) What this may look like in the moment is telling my friend that I can’t talk about it yet, and then making certain I first take it to God in prayer. He’s the safest place to take my prayers and my burdens. His Word reminds me of this: 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 11:28. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 as well as Philippians 4:6-9 I am reminded that I should pray continually and that I should thank Him in all things. We should keep a constant line of prayer open as we face life’s victories and tragedies, and everything in between. If we are not in constant prayer with God, getting to know His character and affection toward us through prayer and reading the Bible, then we cannot give thanks in all things. Without this close understanding of God and connection with Him, we cannot arrive at the place where we can find thanksgiving in sorrow. A close, trusting, Him-first-approach is the place where this kind of thanksgiving is born.

Seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33) He will take care of the rest. And while things are crazy, you’ll only find true peace as you seek Him (Philippians 4:6-7.) I’ve experienced it many times and know it with every fiber of my being. Just test Him by following His guidance in His Word and seeking Him first. You will see the good of the Lord, even when everything still looks gray…

Psalm 73:23-26 NLT

23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.

Psalm 27:13-14

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

In Christ,

Amy

 

As always, I welcome your thoughts. Please share in the comments below. 

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I’m not fine

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Recently a blogging friend wrote about hollow responses to the “how are you” question that we love to ask, but rarely slow to hear the response. I can think of numerous times that I have said “I’m fine” when everything within me is quaking. Not too long ago I found myself in a very broken place. I recall praying as I was driving down the road and shouting at God in full-on ugly cry, “Fight for me! You promised me that you’d fight for me. So fight for me! Please!” I can still feel the emotions as I remember the breaks in my voice and the desperation in my plea.

Exodus 14:14 is hanging on my wall in my home and framed on my desk at work. It’s a cry of my heart and a promise to my spirit from His ancient and Holy Book. I love the promises He has breathed onto the pages, but I also love the raw, honest prayers of lament in the book of Psalms. They resonate with me so much. I’m not afraid to share my anger with God, even when it is at Him. I somehow learned long ago that He’s the best and most safe place to bring my anger, disbelief, disappointment, brokenness – laments. I am currently reading an Advance Reading Copy of Esther Fleece’s book, No More Faking Fine. It’s a raw and honest book where Esther shares some of the darkest moments of her life and how the prayers of lament assisted in her true healing and deepening her relationship with God. I’ve only made it through the first half and already highly recommend you check this book out! (click hereEspecially if you are someone guilty of putting on an “I’m fine” face in front of God and your closest beloved. It’s okay to not be fine.

Sometimes holding on to hope doesn’t really look like holding on at all. Sometimes it looks like you’re face down on the cold tiles of your closet/bathroom as your tears spill beneath you. You play worship music as you try your hardest to battle this broken space with worship but literally no sound can leave your lips. You find yourself soundlessly mouthing the words with tears streaming down your face – and that’s okay. God still hears the worship you have offered. He hears the deep cry of your spirit as His Holy Spirit petitions on your behalf (Romans 8:26.) He is still near in that moment when your arms are outstretched and your face is to the ground. When you are here, it looks something like surrender…or perhaps an expression and admission that you are a mess, and in desperate need of your Savior. (We never stop needing Him.)

No matter how non-graceful it looks, your offering of worship is still received by Him. In

wait-in-expectation

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that moment you’re not alone – you’ve never been alone, His arms are wrapped around you (Psalm 139:7-12; Psalm 91:4; Joshua 1:9.) He draws near to you in the brokenness, the whole time He comforts you (Psalm 34:18.) The one who knows what is to come, is the one that’s with you in the dark (Psalm 139:7-16.) He’s the One that promised and delivers. Our joy will come in the morning (Psalm 30:4-5.) But as the night drags on, allow me to remind you: it’s okay to not be fine. He’s the strength you need anyway. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

In Christ,

Amy

See part 2, Saying I’m Fine When You’re Anything But Fine for my take on when you should respond “I’m fine” – even when you aren’t… Click here.

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I Just Worship

I’m home from a time of worship with several other worship leaders from around our city and my heart is so encouraged and challenged. I’m caught in the middle of gratitude for an amazing opportunity to spend time in prayer and worship and feeling completely inadequate. So I ask myself, where does the inadequacy stem from? I want God to be glorified in my life. I want so badly to not screw up so much that He can’t use what I offer. I overthink, overcommit, overextend and yet I am constantly reminded by Him that He just wants me.

I believe and know that the words I read in the Bible to be true. That He longs for a relationship with me. He’s not satisfied with a mediocre pursuit either. He wants my whole heart, all of it.

Still, I wrestle with the question of why? What do I have to offer? Why would the God who created the universe want anything to do with me? I’m a hot mess – on a good day. I’m not some squeaky clean girl who was raised in church and kept in the building every time the doors were open. I have not forgotten the mess and muck that plagues my past. I’m thankful for it, it has made me who I am today. The bitter has allowed me to judge the sweet. I can taste and see that the Lord is good because I have feasted on the bitterness of a broken way.

But that broken, bitter-sweet way is also what floods my mind when I enter into a time of worship. I’m a worship leader at my church. This means that I (the most unlikely of people) have the unbelievable opportunity to help lead others into His presence and it makes my heart come alive. I love worship. It moves me! Alone in my house or in a small gathering “living room” style or corporately at church – I adore spending time singing to Him. To spend time singing declarations to the One who has redeemed my life out of the pits is medicine to my soul. I pray under my breath when I have this opportunity that He clear my mind and allow me to speak the words with truth. That they won’t simply be lyrics. It’s not just a song. That I grab hold of and immerse myself in reality of His omnipresence. That I allow the reminder of my brokenness to toss me into a moment of gratitude for this scandalous grace that I’ve been given. I pursue this level of intimacy with Him because as a worship leader, I cannot lead our congregation where I myself have not yet gone (great words from my dear friend Sandy.)

Sometimes I lose myself so much in our time of worship that I probably look like a fool. However I push beyond the fear of looking foolish and cling to the presence of my Healer. I pour out songs of love to Him because that is what I was created to do. I bring my offering as though it is He and I alone at that moment because, as my dear sweet friend Sandy once said to me – no one else can give Him my worship. Just like you were created to worship Him with a worship only you can offer – I too bring Him my offering.

Can I nudge you to also pursue Him as though He’s in the room. Sing to Him as though you were laying your physical eyes on Him. What power such a pursuit brings to the worship experience. If we could only glimpse His majesty for a moment, I think we would all fall on our faces. His Word is clear that where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is among us. That He is omnipresent. That there is no height too high or depth too low that He is not near. What a radical change that could bring to our worship if we let that take root. What a powerful moment with Him that can be.

And so…with these thoughts…I just worship.

In Christ,

Amy

a-story-worth-telling-worship-moment

Worship moment during A Story Worth Telling (Fall 2016) ladies event at City Church of Chattanooga – I’m the crazy one on the right trying not to cry…

 

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