Sunday, September 14, 2014

He Met Me

Just yesterday, I sat down in a darkened room reserved for a special event.  The screen was flickering scenes as people quietly filled the seats. I was tired.  Bone tired.  I was lamenting that I had agreed to give the entire day to attend and help with this event.  Everything always seems to pile on top after I make these kind of commitments.  When I scheduled this weeks ago, there were no other things taking place.  Now, I sat here exhausted from too many added on obligations. This one thing I "wanted" to do suddenly seemed a drudgery.  With eyes shut and lungs breathing deeply, I decided to try my best to enjoy the moment.  After all, I did want to be here.

The music began, and I was just a participant.  Me just participating and not leading is becoming a a bit of a luxury these days.  I am usually always planning, practicing, or teaching worship.  I lead worship no less than twice a week at work and some weeks at Church. It is rare to just be a part of the lovely sound that rises from the seats.  I needed be led by someone else in worship.  I needed to just be a voice in the dark, a stranger in the seats.

A voice in the dark.

My mind was racing back to not-so-long-ago when I was just a lone voice in the dark whispering the only words I could muster, "I believe, help my unbelief."  So many times since that moment of tears and heart pouring out, I have only been able to utter the phrase, I believe. I remembered how difficult this year had been for me personally.  The words I had privately penned to God in my journal started reappearing in my mind...
     Maybe, I am writing you God...because I can't seem to say these words aloud at all to human ears.  I am in the grayest space.  The fog is dense and heavy.  There is no clarity, no peace...just gray.  Something in my soul stirs because I remember.  I remember what it used to feel like to really believe.  I remember what resting confident in Your love felt like.  But it has been so long and sparse that I wonder if it was all just some dream.  Was it just youthful idyllic wonder-lust of thinking that there is a God of this universe, and that He cares for the microscopic dot that I inhabit on His planet?  Is it really even real?  I long for it to be real once more.  I crave to remember the certainty.  I wonder at all the sin that I must have allowed for this descending haze to sit upon my very heart.  I question my motives, my very self-worth.  I am most assuredly believing the great deceiver at every turn.  It does get very hard to recognize his artful display of mismatched deceit and war on my very soul. 
     I am the prodigal, the Zaccheus, the woman that is nigh unto a stoning.  I am both Mary and Martha.  I am washing His feet with my tears.  I am Eve eating the fruit.  I am Job's wife..weak minded and earthly.  I am empty.
     How can a Jesus lover be empty?  How can this life of faith I have tried to live be so solitary and empty?  It doesn't add up.  Perhaps I need assistance to climb from this carpet of sludge.  Perhaps it is more than storm and sea that have pressed my belief to a barely recognizable shard of what loveliness once was there.  I don't know what I need. I don't know if I need to know.  I am certain, I am not done asking.  So Jesus...I ache to feel You, to press my heart into Yours and know again the words of scripture that will beautifully recreate me. I want to keep believing.....I have to keep believing.

I knew then that the journey of faith was difficult.  My feelings that day were honest, painful, and real. I had to remind myself often to simply keep believing.

As I worshiped in the moment, I knew it was necessary to visit that place in my heart where a choice is made between belief and unbelief.  When I am faced again and again with my husband's illness, do I believe?  When the grey fog descends on my heart, I have to make that choice...even when my eyes can't see.   When I am tired, my belief must not retreat. My heart has been screaming over and over and over during these weak moments that I do, I do, I do believe. But- God above help my unbelief! I believe in the Almighty God, Provider, Ancient of Days. I believe that His love is deeper than my mind can comprehend.  I believe I have purpose.  I believe that there is more to living that just the marking off of tasks.  I believe that He is true and near.  I believe that He rescued my soul. I believe that even in this moment, in the dark of my little voice rising up to worship, He hears me. He knows me.  He loves me, and I believe. 

In this time of worship, I knew that He had been so tender with my heart.

Just then, the music faded in the auditorium.  I sat in my chair reaffirmed that even this tired moment was ordained, if only to remember and worship.  I flipped open my notes ready to take in the Word.  My heart was prepared...or so I thought.

In the most beautiful and personal moment imaginable, the speaker stated her theme to over 190,000 listening women....

Luke 1:45
Blessed is she who believed..

There are no words to say and no possible way to prepare when the Holy God of all Creation speaks audibly to your very own heart.

Did she really just say that?  Is she really dedicating this entire day to this passage?  Did she read my journal? Tears streaming, heart pounding, soul bursting...This moment is for me.  If only the one girl in this vast sea of faces. 

Much like the scenes of a movie flickering on a screen, the scenes of the past year began playing over my heart.  Painful days of sickness, lonely days of the unknown, exhausting days of pounding out all that had to be done.  Scene after scene in my heart where God kept whispering....believe me, Leah.  Just believe me.

Even when I failed, when I gave up, when I let down.  Even with fists clenched, I remembered whispering my heart to Him.  I could see my little spot on the back porch where I prayed so often.  I could hear my own prayers of the past..."God, I am still here, and I am still trying to believe.  It isn't much, but it is all I have.  I'll keep showing up and hope You do to..."

And now, this moment, this weak and tired moment, where all I could do once again was show up...He met me, and He pressed His heart into mine. This very day, this colossal event that involved women from all over the world,  these words, this scripture...all of this for me.

All those many days I could hear Him asking my heart if I could really believe...even the very words I last penned in this space...the theme so strong of all my recent days.

His question.
My response.
His blessing.

Oh, God I do and forever will... 

                                                                                                           ~B Charmer

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