Last night, the ladies of our church gathered for a night of worship. I was thrilled our church women’s ministry put this evening together and was happy to lend a helping hand with a friend setting up the drinks and food for the evening.
I arrived early, in time for prayer before setup. I sat down in the group of women not sure what I was expecting for the evening for myself. I sat and listened as various requests were made and felt led to ask God to breathe life into the ladies walking through the door, that their heaviness would be lifted, spirits renewed. The time of prayer shortly concluded and we were off to the rest of our duties before the start.
I walked into the main sanctuary just after worship begun, once I had finished setting up the food and drink table, and the site took my breath away. All these women gathered together in the name of Jesus freely worshipping Him. It was a beautiful site.
As I sat in awe of the sound of all the voices joining together in unison, I started to notice my own heart softening as tears began forming in the corners of my eyes.
My eyes closed, I felt the Lord prompting my heart as we sang a song with the lyrics of the tagline that said this:
“You give and take away, You give and take away.
My heart will chose to say, Lord, blessed be your name.”
The tears started coming a little more freely as I thought back to the past two years and how drastically different life appeared to be from the life I thought I would be living. I thought back to each event, every trauma I have witnessed, every curveball thrown my way, the heap of emotions laying just below the surface, desperately begging to break free.
I didn’t expect to come in and feel this way. I definitely desired to meet with God in that place that night, but I don’t think I fully expected to have moments spent working through the emotions.
I sat in silence, crying out to God deep within my soul as I begged for Him to heal the brokenness I have been living with for so long. I very much wanted to break free and have seen progress towards the freedom in Christ I long for, in more recent days as I recognize my humanness and inability to walk through the hard seasons of life without God.
As I sat through a couple of songs, I realized that earlier that night I had asked God to breathe life into the hearts of the ladies that were coming through those doors, to renew their spirits and I didn’t doubt for one minute that He would do that for every single lady who walked through those doors. But I somehow I did not expect the same for myself.
I have sat in the trauma and pain and numbness of pushing down my experiences and emotions due to sheer survival that I found myself in a place unconsciously in my own heart that believed my emotions were too big for God. My head knowledge tells me that’s not the truth, but somehow in the fight to survive, I put the truth out of my head and walked in numbing out the pain as a way to make it easier to cope.
I knew in that moment that God wanted to meet me exactly where I was at, in all the brokenness, with all the tears, carrying my heart in His hands in the most tender way as possible. He is not surprised by any of emotions nor any of my thoughts.
I continued to search my heart as I sat there in stillness, the music cutting through my very core, breaking up the coldness that has been blanketing my heart for so long.
Did I not believe God’s word to be true, that when He says “Come to me, ALL of you who are weary and burdened,” in Matthew 11:28. He clearly says all. I am included in that all. I believed it for others, but somehow I was missing the part of including my own self in the all.
I, too, can bring my mess, my hurt, my heart, things that are seemingly impossible to fix and lay them down at the feet of Jesus and trust Him with it all. Not because of me, but because He says He will give rest because He is God.
I left last night feeling emotional and full. Thankful and exhausted. But most importantly, with the realization I could have an expectant heart too.
I woke up this morning feeling a renewed spirit, something I haven’t experienced much lately. I know there is so much to work through, so much pain, but I also know that none of it is beyond God’s reach. He will carry the weight of the burdens I face, He will be my source of strength and hope, He will bring me through, He will heal my brokenness.