Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Come Awake. Rise. Shine.

This being somewhat a continued story from the previous post, I gave it a similar title. I felt, however, that this information or section, if you will, deserved its own space. Thus, I must tell you more of the awakening story.

So, if you've been keeping up with my posts, you may have heard mention of my feeling somewhat spiritually stagnant. Christ followers have times like these. It is not exactly the same for everyone, but it is certainly common. So, if you are there--feeling blah in you spirituality--be patient, be quiet, but listen and wait for "the voice" to say, "Awake!"

I love how music touches more than just the ears and the mind, but deep into the emotions, into the soul of a person. Even when I had no energy to read God's word or little time or energy to talk to God in any kind of decent prayer life, music written by His servants, sung by more of His servants could reach right into my tough heart and get the blood pumping again.

If you've ever read "Hinds Feet on High Places," you can understand with the love of God in your heart comes both overwhelming pleasure and pain. It is the thorn placed in the heart of Much Afraid. As she experienced stronger love, the stronger beats of her heart gave way to a more severe piercing feeling from the thorn placed there. I experienced this mix and wealth of emotion each time my lips and heart began to sing these "hymns", these songs of the church. My lips were joining together with my sudo brothers and sisters. They were singing and connecting my heart and mind to memories that were comforting and familial as I uttered notes and words that were so familiar. The new songs with their message, not new but refreshed, washed over my spirit as the only words I would allow God to speak to me in my time of healing, adjustment, and restoration.

And isn't it funny how we tend to resist the very things we need. I can tell you why I resisted, or maybe avoided. It was the piercing of the thorn. I chose, in that time, to forgo the overwhelming love in order to avoided the pain that came with it. You see, as I stand before God, I am absolutely vulnerable, undeniably transparant. With that, not only He, but I can see what's really in there. I was not afraid of His response. I have always known Him to love, show grace, and mercy. I was afraid of what I would have to do in response to what I would find. Sort of an ignorance is bliss type thing.

Typical how when you allow a trickle of it to begin to seep into your life, the floodgates rip down the walls you put up to hide behind, and there is no turning back! This is me now...neck deep in Christ's floodwaters. Even funnier is this illustration, considering all that took place previously. Truly, the irony was unintentional. To continue metaphorically, I intend to lift my feet from the sodden ground and allow God's current to transport me into the center of His will. In the waters of Katrina, I was working ever so determinedly to trek through step by step, as if in denial that the waters were all around me. I was dependent on my own strength. I couldn't just pick up my feet and float along with the current, because I didn't trust the one in charge, me.

Literally now, I am excited about the future as it is unfolding in front of me one step at a time. My husband and I are realigning ourselves and our lives, and instead of trying to figure it all out ourselves and get all our ducks in a row before we take another step, we are praying, and listening, and obeying God no matter how ridiculous the instruction seems, not matter if we can see the plan or not. We are reingaging our life and those people that are in it. I have finally felt a burden to pray for my neighbor and his family. I have a desire to learn again, to read, and challenge myself. I have been able to hear from God pretty clearly and it is beautiful!

This new journey has just begun. I didn't want it. I wasn't expecting it. In fact, I think the tragedy of Katrina sent me into a coma, and after months of words not getting through, His voice finally said, "Arise."