Is This Thing On?

I have heard so many responses from people hearing my pain that I feel like I have to say something.

I have had pain in my life.  Not everything has been easy, comfortable, fun.  THANK YOU, GOD!

To my parents (who read this):  you weren’t perfect.  Shocker!  Let me start with you.  Do you know that I watched you having devotions every morning?  In your failures, you sought God, you prayed.  You stayed in pursuit of God, even when you weren’t perfect.  That is a gift.  You read stories to me of Jesus.  You had me practice.  You were faithful, through the storms.  You had me read, a lot.  You made me go to church, to youth group, to missionary meetings, where I could see a real God at work.  Do I wish you would have behaved better?  Yep!  Probably about the same way my kids want me to behave better.

Now for the rest of you:  I get to play music.  I have people from multiple places around the world who listen to me and what I write.  These two things just blow my mind.  Totally unworthy, but there it is.  This past Sunday, I got to watch as 5 and 6 year old children raised their hands in worship.  Tonight, I play bass for our youth group and stand in awe of a God who is changing a generation.  I wouldn’t trade my life, my pain for anything.  GOD IS GOOD!

I share my doubts and struggles because they are voices that have ruled my life for many years.  I share my pain because I know that others are walking with me.  But those voices aren’t the only ones I hear and we are stronger as we walk together.

Please don’t feel bad for me, ever, for what I’ve been through.  Share your stories with me.  I bet we’ll find similarities.

And, I bet, if we look at Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice in our lives, we’ll see what satan meant for evil, God meant for good.

And HE WINS!

Cinderella

Cinderella (2006 film)
Cinderella (2006 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She wakes to the sound of birds outside her window, the dawn just beginning to peak through her window.  She stretches and lays aside the threadbare cloth that is her only blanket and rises from her mat on the floor.  Then she tenses, he is there.  The abuses she bore the night before flood her mind and she reels back from any chance that he would touch her, make contact with her, know that she exists.

“Cinderella.  CINDERELLA!”  The cry comes from the rooms above her and he stirs.

Quickly she slips on her sandals and flies from the room.

“Coming mother!”  She calls, attempting to be quiet, yet loud enough for the person calling to hear her.  she flinches as she hears movement behind her and rushes up the stairs.

“I’ll pay for one more hour.”  She hears him say and everything inside her wilts, crushed beneath a weight that forces her to her knees.

“Take care of him, Cinderella.  Get his money first.  Take care of him and then start cleaning.”

In writing about worship, about God’s presence in our lives and our great need of Him.  Can we remember that others need Him too?  Can we see past our plight of failures, of un-fulfilled dreams, of sorrows and fears and see that we are not alone?

As I consider the coming new year, I want my worship, my life to not just make me feel good for a moment.  My worship is to go beyond me, to affect lives, give hope and promise to not just a few but to many.  Many need it, need it so much.

And the story I shared, this is a reality, made cleaner because the true reality is unprintable, for millions for people around the world.

A challenge, a call to arms.

child abuse
child abuse (Photo credit: Southworth Sailor)

http://secretangelps911.wordpress.com/

http://danabrux.com/2013/12/09/mission-trips-gone-bad-what-were-doing-wrong-and-how-to-get-it-right/