Hillsong United's latest album Empires dropped today. Do yourself a huge favor...buy it....Now.
I had pre-ordered so I woke up to an alert this morning on my phone saying it had been downloaded to my phone. Fist bump to God; thank you.
So I spent six hours of windshield time today listening to this album...over...and over...and over. The only song I had heard was "Touch the Sky" and it remains my favorite on the album (so far) along with a song entitled "Here Now (Madness)" which is just breathtaking.
If you have been reading my blog lately you know that I have had a bit of a writing slump the past couple of weeks due to some wrestling happening between me and God which is most definitely a result of some work he is doing in me. The catalyst was a dinner a couple of weeks ago that basically set a timer on something in my life that I was not equipped for....I will write more about that later.
The main point of this post is to say that we can't shy away from the work that God is doing in our lives. Good, deep, precious work. I had a six hour conversation with a young woman this past weekend, and I was stunned again at how the young believe that a Christian walk is a cake walk or should be or they must be doing it wrong if it isn't?!?! That is a lie. The same one that I bought into at that age (and for two decades after that), and it has to stop. I was driving home tonight talking with one of my tribe and we were just speaking deep truths into each other...the battles we are in spiritually....the lies we are rebuking....the promises we are learning to believe...and the whole thing top to bottom, the full breadth and depth of our conversation was just so dang HOPEFUL. Thank you GOD!
That hope-filled coversation literally drove me home.
When we hung up the phone, "Touch the Sky" started playing as I was running to the bathroom and before I could get my hands dry, I was racing to my laptop placing the song on repeat....because of one line..."...I found my life...when I laid it down..." and the tears and laughter that erupted simultaneously from me....
Let me be the first to admit...the past four years have been BRUTAL. When I share the beginnings of my story from four years ago, it starts with the day I hit my knees and then laid flat out on the floor...for a long, long time. So when you hear the line, "I touched the sky when my knees hit the ground," let me be clear...I only can witness in hindsight that I did exactly that on that Sunday afternoon. Sometimes we have to lose our life to find it, and the finding doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. God heals you and reveals to you in the days and years, in the seconds and hours...in his time. He is healing me today...this instance....with the words and truths he sends to me via others. Truths that show me who he is, how he sees me, my purpose, and yes even work we have left to do together.
The past two weeks I have just limped along emotionally and physically unraveled by a simple truth that I am on the cusp of living without a plan...and then that there are promises being revealed to me that are REAL....and that strongholds in my life of doubt, my lack of value, shame, etc. are being not broken, but oblitherated.
If God is real, then what???
The question that has haunts me (in a good way) is still being asked and answered as I lean into a deeper healing than I have ever known. I am 44 years old, and the truth is that I have never, ever, EVER been this healthy - emotionally (or frankly physically). My relationship with God that remains a work-in-process has never been more secure, and I say that humbly as he and I just completed a tiny drought where we didn't talk for several days.....I say that because I recognize and acknowledge him as 100% soverieign in my life. Period. My goal is to operate my life with God as 100% soverign, and that is quite the task. I am just humbled and grateful to be at a place where I can be raw with him, and frankly others, about it. There are more days than not where I question my value, if I am making any progress....but the days where he gives me confirmation that I am on the right path are getting more and more frequent.
The truth is that I really didn't have a life four years ago. I didn't know who I really was or what I really wanted or what I needed...I was a mess. The best thing God ever did was allowing the rug to be yanked out from under me....the truth is I might never have dropped to my knees on my own; I was pretty good as a half-ass Christian. Today...I don't recognize this life of mine on most days...some days (like one that happened this weekend) shock me so that it takes another whole day to recover and wrap my head around it...and then God sends me an angel (like yesterday morning) who holds my hand and says, "I have never (in over 20 years) seen you like this...Amazing." and it is like a kiss from God on my cheek to say, "See baby girl...you are okay...it is okay...we are doing good work...I have you. I. Have. You. Keep going." and I do...somehow, I just keep going...trusting...in a God I can't see, but that I feel all around me, in me...loving me.
The truth is the song is right..."...I found my life the day I laid it down..." and I am simply never going to be the same....and the work continues....and it is hard....and it is worth it. I wouldn't give up the work of my heart and soul for anything...I told someone this weekend, if your relationship with God is off...everything else in your life is going to be a mess. That was certainly true for me, and every day now is about the work of nurturing that relationship with the God who made me, who saved me, and who resides in me. I found my life when I finally laid it at his feet.
The real mystery lies though in the not knowing how my life will unravel...
Life without a plan. Who knew?!?!?!