Petrified to Worship


Being a Christian worship leader has never been more terrifying. I told my pastor what I wanted to do to change up our routine for one week. I got the green light, which should have filled me with joy. I mean, my idea didn’t get shot down which meant my attempts at risky obedience to Jesus could be pursued further. 

But instead, when I found a quiet moment to myself, I closed myself off from family, and had a slightly unfounded panic attack. I am a part of an evangelical church which, in every way, could not be more loving. I have found my home amongst these gloriously redeemed Earth-misfits, and it’s awesome. But we like our comfort, myself first and foremost. We like our routine … For goodness sakes, up until I met my husband, I didn’t know spontaneity could be fun. 

And, as a worship leader, it’s so much more comfortable to give comfort and routine. Four songs, a segue in between, at least one hymn (because it’s a good idea), then a prayer, aaand we’re done. Over and out, Houston. Another week in the books.

However, a month ago, God met me within my silence and seemed to be asking my spirit one very harsh yet loving question: If “my people” — myself included — didn’t have music, would our hearts still worship? Over the weeks as I cautiously pursued His question further, I added questions of my own: 

Is it wrong that I feel reading scripture loses people’s attention during a worship “set” so I don’t do it? What does it say about my heart as a leader that I can’t change things up because I don’t want to rock the boat? What if God’s movement is in rocking the boat amongst people who love each other? What if this entire war is only in my head and I have nothing to fear?

And then, I was hit with the hardest reality of all… worship as a whole (not just the music on Sundays) will not change my life until it becomes my life. Until that happens, I will struggle to “lead” others to a deeper understanding of the joy which comes in loving God in silence, in prayer and praise, and in everything I labor over through the week. 

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He Said Wait?


I don’t always know how to be a human being. Secretly, sometimes I wonder if God rewired me to be a human doing. Doing is so much easier than being. Being takes work. Doing takes… well, it’s just easier. 

In a world of technology, social media, and everything at my finger tips the instant I need it, my quandary doesn’t seem horrendous. 

My success as a writer requires spontaneous writing; which sometimes happens at 3a.m. when the rest of the world is asleep. My presence in the world of communication means staying up on the latest social medias, knowing how to network with writers I barely know and just… Constantly doing something. 

I’m your typical, unmarried millennial in the communication world. I sleep with my iPad and my iPhone nearby. The second my phone alarm goes off in the morning (‘cuz alarm clocks are just too last decade practical), I’m alerted to people half way across the world either asking me to join them in prayer or asking me to consider partnering in some new communication thing. My generation has reinvented the word instantaneous.

Telling myself to wait… Or that my tasks can wait… Feels impossible. 

Instead of telling my task-oriented mind to wait I end up telling God to wait. Actually, no I don’t. I don’t take the time to tell God to wait. I just assume He gets that I have things to do and don’t have time to address Him right now. I’m a human doing, gosh darn it. I don’t have time to do what it takes to be a human being. 

Some of these tasks are things He himself gave me to do, so that means it’s okay to focus on godly things first thing in the morning rather than on God himself… Right? Maybe? No? 

I’m learning that serving the Lord sometimes means putting things on hold just to be with the Lord. He is, after all, the God Supreme over everything. When I decide to actually exist by being with Him rather than doing for Him, He can manage – without me – the things I put on hold. 

It’s okay to wait. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to rest. It’s even okay to simply enjoy the Lord by sitting still with Him for a few moments before doing things for Him. 

Silent Screams 

Whether you want to believe I’m an introvert or not, the one thing I’m not is silent. The command to “wait patiently” infers the command to be quiet and not jump ahead of the Lord. I have yet to experience a moment where that was my first choice.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and he heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)

The idea that I’ve waited patiently for the Lord is a relative statement. Waited? More like asked God to give me what I want and then clean up whatever mess I leave behind. Patiently? What? That’s a… that’s a thing?

The promise that my God has heard my cry has been overwhelmingly seen in my life. He holds the definition of my tears even when I do not. The fact that he inclined to me is proof that he understands that, sometimes, he has to fix the small, inconsequential things within my mind before I’m ever willing (or even able) to wait and be patient.

I put the cart before the horse again recently. I asked God to show up. He took too long. I panicked. I’m not very likable when I panic, by the way. {Insert horribly indecent joke about being female here.} When I went about fixing what I was fairly certain was broken, I could almost hear God mutter, No, Baby Girl. You don’t want to fix that. Stop it. Hold on. You’re heart wants more than your actions will get you. Hold onto Me. Wait for Me. Be silent and wait.

Yesterday as I watched God answer my heart’s cry before I could even understand its need, I almost laughed at the beauty. Despite my shortsighted assumptions, He stepped over what I thought I wanted and gave me what I needed. It hurt like nothing I’ve ever experienced, but within the pain lies the glory of God’s faithfulness.

When Psalms 40 is quoted, often time it is only quoted as an encouragement that God will hear us and we “simply” need to wait patiently. The reality is, that’s not where the Psalms’ deepest beauty is found. The deepest beauty is found when we come to terms with the fact that God inclines to us and hears more than just our prayers. 

He hears our hearts no matter how silently our hearts may be despite the words we shield it with.