Monday, August 3, 2009
On July 24th (our anniversary), 2009 Rachel had the distinct pleasure of opening up for Sara Groves in Fremont, NE. It was a great night. We so appreciate the journey, the people we meet, the stories we hear, the music, and best of all the worship!
This past year has been an amazing journey of seeing God at work in the life of a weak, flawful, and desperate person.....me. In truth, this has been the case my entire life. The reference to the past year has do with what he is doing more recently and how intensely I see Him working through me at the core of my weaknesses.
I have been playing concerts, leading worship and touring this past year more so than any other year of my life. I remember it well about 14 years ago, hoping and speaking out about these dreams that I now can say in some ways have come to fruition. I am so thankful to the Lord for using me despite myself...it has been an honor and privilage to be welcomed into the bodies of numerous churches across the country, into the homes of people who have hosted us along the way, into the hearts and minds of people as they listen to my songs. I cannot quite express how profound this is for me.
I am compelled to write this note because of what God reminded me of in the last couple of days. I had come home from traveling about a week ago quite exhasuted. Touring, family trips, and keeping up with my 3 precious boys had taken a significant toll on me. I finally was confronting the fact that I was a bit overwhelmed at trying to strike a balance. I also had allowed thoughts and doubts to run wild in my head, with old messages playing like broken records that said "you aren't good enough, who do you think you are?, you do not have what it takes". It easy to just say to yourself..."ok...get it together....take a deep breath" , but yet never really dealing. Right? I've prided myself on having a healthy dose of self doubt, which I believe at times serves as some motivation to improve or press on. But my husband would defiantly argue that this is my enemy as well, often times debilitating me.
I found myself last week for about three days without relief, having flu symptoms, feeling depressed, overwhelmed, doubting my call, keeping a distance from friends and family, and needing some serious renewing of the mind. I remember just saying to God..."I can't try to seek you right now, will you please seek me?" I remembered that I had a CD my sister had given me. I listened to the last track with a short message on "The Nature of God". I listened and just cried as the man recited over and over again that God is good. He explained that God calls us to what is impossible for us..he calls us to walk in the unknown, and in our weakness so that He may be made strong in us. When we dwell in WHO God is, in his goodness, we then can rest in His nature and that He will sustain that which he has called us to do. This message has been a great source of encouragment this week for me.
Later that day I called a friend, and just asked simply for some prayer. Some of the heaviness I had been feeling vanquished. I was grateful for that...yet some still remained. Finally, as we were loading our trailer for a concert in Rochester, MN, minutes before we left I ran into a good friend. (not by chance I now know) I shared with her a bit about my week, and she read to me out of Philippians 1:3. She asked that as we travel I continue on in Phillipians...and as I did, God's word truly was a source of renewal. My heart was drawn to Phillppians 2:5-11 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very NATURE of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
My change of heart was instant when I read this. Christ...who was God, became a weak human being...becoming a servant on our behalf. It is so easy to get caught up in the wieght of expectations that I feel from others, and that I place on myself. But the God of the universe, who is ALL things bright and beautiful, glorious, and magnificent, defied the expectations we placed on him, by wrapping himself in human skin, and coming to us as a servant ...so that we could know him. The glory of God then...really becomes his nature. Good, kind, humble, faithful, patient, loving, and self sacrificing. I was reminded that my call is not about fufilling expectations, but rather being a servant and bringing Christ to people. While I was leading worship last night, I remember just dwelling on the name of "Jesus"'.
The pastor at the church in Rochester told us that 5 people accepted Christ as their Lord and savior last night. Phil. 2:10 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth....and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."