Thursday, January 19, 2017

Crippling Fears and the Comforting Father

It reminded me of sitting around a campfire. Of mission trips and short-term mission teams. The purity of worship when it is just a guitar and some voices. When everything is stripped down to the minimum and there it is- just me and God. In that purity of sound I felt His presence in a way I have not felt in so long. I was at worship band practice and yet I found myself worshipping. When the chaos and the electrics were stripped away I found the purity of adoration again and peace overwhelmed my soul. 

I will admit to you, my dear reader, that playing the violin in our church's band has been a struggle as of late. I have felt so far from God and yet I am supposed to be leading other people closer to Him. It didn't add up to me. My attitude would quickly become frustrated or annoyed. I could only see the notes, but not the meaning. I struggled because though I loved playing I couldn't feel it- I could not feel the presence of God flowing from me. I wanted to be able to worship but all I could do was play the song. 

But those shifting winds I mentioned in my last post have lately been shifting me closer to my Savior. It is a process but I can feel the light pouring out of me again. It is familiar and welcome after the uncertainty and doubt that have plagued me. In small ways He has been reminding me of His love and His patience, of His joy and His mercy. 

I will tell you, my dear reader, that I struggle deeply with fear. I mostly fear death and it is crippling. I periodically still feel the anxiety I fought so hard against last year and the anxiety due to the fear just scares me more until I almost feel like I will never be at peace again. But as I sang along at our practice tonight I saw lyric after lyric about God overcoming our fears. I breathed those lyrics in like they were the only clean air in the room. Again and again I breathed them in deeply, declaring the words and believing them. He will overcome my fears. Breathe Him in, I tell myself, breathe the fear out. 

Healing is a process and burnout is not easily overcome. This is something I have to remind myself of often. Burnout does not just mean becoming tired of ministry. It is psychological and emotional brokenness. When I first came to terms with my brokenness I didn't know what was wrong, I just knew I was not ok. I would have a great day and find myself in uncontrollable sobs for hours at night. Burnout was like someone had died, as if my soul was grieving all of the pains I had seen in the last three years at once. It was incredibly hard. When I took a step back and let myself process, it all came spiraling downward. And though I have come so far in my healing, I know there is still much of the process to go. 

I believe that the Lord is bringing me back to a place of health, peace, and joy. I believe that He is wrapping me tightly in His comforting arms. 

We sometimes just have to strip away the noise and find the purity of being with Him again. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Shifting Winds

The winds are changing.

I can feel it in the air around me, a quiet hum, a subtle shift.

Where are they leading? I do not know. To what are they turning? I couldn't say. But the sky is calm and the anticipation is palpable.

2016 was a difficult year for me personally, for a multitude of reasons, but 2017 feels different. It isn't idealism or resolutions or jumping on the complain and compare bandwagon. Its an energy in the air, like the clear sky before a storm. I feel it with every sunrise, rainstorm and sunny day. I feel a peace surrounding me that wasn't there last year, telling me that this year is going to bring change- good change, joyful change. I feel God in my spirit as I have not felt Him in a long time.

My words are flowing from my pen again and it feels like the flowers of my life are blooming.

The winds are changing and we stand ready. God show us your way.