On to my 2nd post of the night...the one I actually sat down to originally write! My earlier post just sort of happened as I started typing. :)
Though I've been more happy, content, full of overflowing joy the last few months, it has also been a time of struggle. The last few weeks have been hard. It's almost as if there have been two parts of me fighting it out on the inside.
The one side that has been more happy and at peace than I've ever experienced. Embracing love at a greater depth than I ever dreamed possible. True contentment. Real gratitude. Inspired. Hopeful. Growing spiritually in ways I didn't expect. Fulfilled. Living on purpose.
The other side has been confusion. Heartache. Struggles that I didn't anticipate. Loss. Physical battles. Spiritual battles. Spiritual warfare. Needing discernment.
Fortunately the joy has been so overflowing that it has helped me hold it together through some very trying situations. Despite stress and heartache, my focus has remained fixed on Christ and I've felt His guidance and closeness like never before.
Yet, the battles have left their wounds. There have been days of brokenness. Days and moments that have taken my breath away.
Due to some unexpected circumstances, I've found myself feeling the loss of Daddy in a very deep way. In some aspects, that loss has felt the heaviest it has since the beginning. Circumstances that have proven that life goes on even when we aren't ready. Circumstances that have left me having to deal with some of the emotions that I had to bury in order to survive. Circumstances leaving me with the need and desire to just talk to him and hear his wisdom and "unique" take on life. Circumstances of uncertainty that I've just felt the need to feel life as normal. Not life in mode of "before" and "after". My kids have needed him in new ways. It's been hard.
This morning at church, God met me and found a way to reach in to some of those deep hurting places. Though the sermon was fantastic and will probably lead to future posts because of the conviction it left in my own heart, it was the worship that grabbed me.
Anyone that knows me well, knows that I thrive on music. It has the ability to reach my heart in ways that "words" can't. It has the power to instantly change my thinking, reach my heart, and put me in the presence of Christ quicker than anything else. It's even meant so much lately that I've finally reignited my passion for playing the piano. (Which has trickled down to all three of my children!)
This morning, we sang a song that immediately makes me think of Dad. He loved the song. There are stories of how it touched his heart. It's a song that we sang on our last morning that we were able to worship together as a family.
Though I have loved the song for a couple of years, it took on a much different meaning for me. It reminds of my Daddy, of the last time together in church and those priceless memories and emotions it evokes (both painful and BEAUTIFUL).
Ever since Dad's battle, "Mighty to Save", has meant something totally different. All I can think about is the lines that became our "anthem" for healing: "He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave." During those weeks of his fighting cancer, we were praying that Daddy would beat the "death sentence" of a poor prognosis. We were believing in healing. I saw those words as powerful in regards to believing that healing on earth was possible. Later, once healing came in the heavenly form, it became a constant reminder of how Jesus conquered the grave himself and because of that He has conquered it for us allowing us to have a reunion someday. Oh, what a day!
Because of the way I identify with that song, I had lost the other powerful meanings in the lyrics. Video with Lyrics: Mighty To Save (Hillsong United) Today, for the first time, I was able to embrace the song as a whole and truly worship in it's entire capacity. It's such an incredible song with such depth. Though much of it touched my heart on a deep level, the part about how He moves mountains struck a deep cord. I immediately began to think of the mountains He HAS moved in my life. Things I didn't believe possible.
I was also reminded of the powerful, beautiful words:
"So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender."
Those reached me because that is what I've been experiencing in my own heart lately. A renewed passion for Him. A desire to be filled by Him like never before. Yet that desire also comes with fears and reminders of failures. We've been actively committing to a new level of serving him. Surrender.
This morning was just powerful for me because I was able to embrace the song as a whole and let it reach my heart in a deeper capacity.
As we finished singing "Mighty To Save" and my heart was wrapping around it's meaning, the first few notes of the next song began to be played and I INSTANTLY knew what it was.
Because the first song had already moved my heart so much, this one did as well. For the first time, it became less about the loss in my heart of my hero and the celebration of his victory and I was able to embrace the entire song.
My chains ARE gone. I HAVE been set free. I have been ransomed. His grace IS amazing.
God KNOWS the struggles that we have been facing. He knows the depth of our hearts. He knows our fears, our desires, and our secret pain. He knows the sins that each of us individually fight. He knows when we are discouraged. He knows when we are ready to step out in a new level of faith.
Plain and simple: He knows me better than I know myself.
He knew today that I needed to reconnect to Him in a more powerful way. He knew the messages me heart needed to hear. He provided.
He reached in and reminded me of the mountains he has moved and the chains He has broken. He reached me. Oh, how He reached me. He gave me some much need encouragement to stay on some paths we are on. He reminded me that He is in control. He just reminded me of who I am in Him and how that as we continue to seek Him, we WILL find Him in powerful new ways. He reminded me that He has been with me through some amazing highs and very deep lows and everywhere in between. He will continue to walk with us through some uncertain times we are facing. He will provide answers to questions we are asking as long as we continue to look to Him. Oh, how He reached me today. Broke some chains and moved some mountains in my heart!