Well here I am again staring at the cursor and feeling it in my bones, it's time to write.
I just got done playing my guitar for a little bit. Most people don't know this about me, but I have played the guitar for 17 years now (WHAT?!), and I love to sing and play piano and I was kinda a huge happy band nerd in high school. Music is something that has always brought peace and joy to me and it's the number one way in which God connects with me.
I've been thinking of trying to join our church's worship team, but there's one thing that keeps stopping me. It's that I cannot make it through some songs without tears pooling in my eyes and my voice cracking. This is so interesting to me because I'm in a place spiritually where things have been thrown in the air and some are on their way back down while others have been obliterated on the ground. Some theologians or spiritual people call it deconstruction. It feels closer to destruction because I didn't slowly take my faith apart and examine it, it all just crumbled slowly around me. I always thought that if something like this happened I wouldn't survive it, but I've been okay. I've been okay because for the five years before this happened I'd been praying a very simple prayer to God and it was, "I surrender, I'm yours, do what you want." So I trust that while God may not be who I thought he was, he certainly is still who he has always been. The rubble that is airborne isn't God, it was what I'd been handed over time by people who thought they knew who God was. Among the airborne debris and smashed pieces on the ground, though, there are piers of truth that remain solid, I know they can be trusted. The explosion felt like a supernatural experience - as if God said, "come with me, trust me, leave what you know behind."
So I have.
I've had conversations with people who used to mentor me, people who I used to mentor, people who used to be my peers in bible studies and d-groups and all sorts of church experiences and they seem concerned that I've lost my way. This reaction is confusing to me, but I understand it. My experience doesn't match up with theirs or doesn't match up with what we've been sold that our experiences will look like. It's been hard to realize that my experiencing God in a new way has driven a wedge in some friendships. I'm still sorting through how I feel about that. Mostly sad and disappointed, and also trying to continue to pray that simple prayer that gives me a peace. "I surrender. I'm yours. Do what you want."
Whew. Deep breath.
Back to music.
It's confusing to me that these songs that have meant so much to me over the years still mean so much, sometimes even more than they meant before this process began. It's not all songs - but there are some that crumble me from within. After thinking about it and examining the words of the songs that have this effect I've realized that there are themes in them or prayers within them that I've prayed over time that resonate so strongly with those piers of truth that it shakes my soul. Here are some of the lines:
"I reach out and you find me in the dust; you say no amount of untruth can separate us." (Simple Gospel, United Pursuit)
"Spirit lead me where my faith is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you will call me" (as if you need the title but it's Oceans by Hillsong and honestly if everyone who sang this song would live it, including me, we wouldn't have any problems in the world)
"Heaven taunts the hearts of men / We can feel it from within / The beauty of it all / The mystery / The swelling of a voice / A rising sea" (Vapor, Gungor - really this whole song slays me, it's so beautiful and full of genuine praise and awe)
"There is a strength that rises up in me, to know that you've been here before me; a strength beyond what I can see, Jesus your love, Jesus your love" (Jesus Your Love, Kristene DiMarco)
I cannot sing these lines in these songs without tears running down my cheeks. God finds us in the dust, calls us out on scary waters, is a great mystery and beauty and goes before us into unknowns we're called to enter.
If you are in a space of wondering what happened to the faith you knew, or maybe you've lost it completely or maybe you just can't feel God anymore - find a simple prayer that resonates in your being and pray it daily, and ask to be shown the piers of truth you can depend on. You are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone. Most of us are more uncertain than certain, a lot of people are just afraid to admit their uncertainty. It's okay, you're okay.