My One Word….and my resistance to it

Several weeks ago I shared that I felt I should choose one Word to focus on.  At the time, I really thought that word would be forgiveness.  That would have been easy, actually.

However, it’s been made painfully clear that my word for the year is TRUST.  Do I trust God enough with my life?  With the my family?  Do I trust His call even though…

My husband is a gifted guitarist and worship leader.  He has an uncanny ability to love on the people on his worship team.  To see their potential and encourage their gifts.  He understands the importance of worship, not just in a congregational setting, but in there being peace on the Worship team and being able to truly worship in the intimacy of that stage with those people beside him.  For many years he worked tirelessly on building up the worship team at the church (aka Church #1) where we were members.  Many, many years.  He even interviewed for the possibility of being brought on staff as a Worship Leader, an official title.  They chose to go another route and we were disappointed but he continued on in the work, knowing that he was using his gift as God called him to do.  Eventually, we left that church for a time.  I don’t regret that decision.  I was the one who needed to leave.  There were many issues which I will not get into here.  Most of them were personal.  There were misunderstandings and things said in anger to us and about us that were not true and hurt all the more because of it.  I stand by that decision because we needed to leave in order to come back.  I know it may not make sense, but sometimes things don’t make sense and we just have to ride it out.

We ended up attending two very different churches during that time (aka Church #2 and #3, respectively).  My husband even interviewed for a Worship Leader position at Church #3 and they decided to move in a different direction.  I will say that in each instance, the churches did not hire another person to fill the Worship Leader position.  They hired a staff member for another ministry.  I harbor no hard feelings about those decisions.   I don’t deny I was angry for a time after both pass-overs, but we worked through it – God and I.

Our family continued on living life as we had.  We returned to Church #1 almost two years ago.  It was a surreal experience.  It has taken about two years for us to feel comfortable in it.  It’s amazing how things change and stay the same 🙂

In those two years, my husband was only asked a handful of times to fill in with a Worship Team.  We thought that his time as a worship leader had passed.  A new generation had taken up the mantle.

Enter end of February 2014.  One couple we had met at Church #3 had also moved onto another congregation (aka Church #4).  They were now youth leaders at this church.  Church #4 had recently lost its on staff worship leader and was looking for someone.  They remembered my husband and made contact.  Church #4 asked my husband to come and lead worship the first Sunday in March as a fill in.  Since January they had been having people from around the community come each week.  Apparently, they liked my husband’s leading and the pastor asked him to breakfast the following week – with a job description.  Out of nowhere.  He also asked my husband to lead that following Sunday and yesterday.  No expectations, just quietly seeking and discerning if he is the person they want on staff.  I have been blindsided.  I am angry, I can’t deny it.  Why now?  Why are we being asked to possibly leave Church #1 again?

There were many tears and hotly spoken words yesterday as we fleshed this out and what it means for our family and for our marriage.  It was not pretty.  We did not have a relaxing and rejuvenating Sunday.  All of us just wanted it to end.  I am not proud of my attitude and my reactions.  I want to curl up in a corner and pretend I didn’t act that way or say those things.  That would be easier, hours of Candy Crush and Triple Town and Angry Birds would numb the pain and regret.  Another viewing of The Decoy Bride or a marathon of Dr. Who would remove me from reality.  My feelings are raw and the wounds are open, yet again.

In the midst of all this I am reading A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.  It’s about our Art, the art we are designed to live.  The book is hits deeper than I thought.  I thought it was about me and it will be, but at this moment it is about my husband.  His Art – the work he was created to create is leading people in worship.  It’s his heartbeat.  How can I ask him to deny his Art just because I don’t make friends easily?  Because I know that, despite the best intentions, the friendships I have now at Church #1 will become memories?  Because I know how difficult it is to acclimate to a new church since I’m introverted?

My heart has already begun to pull away from those friendships.  I don’t want to feel that pain.  It would be easier to turn and run, not face it.  I honestly don’t yet know what I will do.  I may yet still turn and run away.

At this moment, there is no certainty.  There has not been a formal “offer” but I can see the way the wind is blowing for now and I’m preparing my heart for it.

I don’t want to trust God in this.  I want to control it, to manipulate it, to force the issue at Church #1, to reject Church #4.  However, it is not my decision.  I must choose to trust my God and my husband with this decision.  I cannot ask him to deny his Art and his calling.

Trust….it could be a hard year.

p.s.  Our next book club book is going to be fiction.  I need a break from the deep, raw, uncovering books of the past two months.

“Virtual” Friendships – for Real?

I make assumptions, do you? 

For some time I’ve had this assumption about virtual communities.  My thoughts went along this line:

“Come on, you can’t possibly have a real relationship with someone you’ve never met.  You don’t really know each other.  How can there be any depth of connection?”

I will admit this assumption was made based on my interaction with Facebook “friends” and I still don’t think Facebook “friends” are really friends, but I was wrong about the virtual community at large, specifically the blogging community. 

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a blogging conference.  The 2:1 Conference was the first of its kind.  A conference designed for Christian homeschooling bloggers.  I went as a representative of one of the sponsors, Classical Conversations.  I left with many ideas planted in my head but mostly I left with the impression that these women are actually friends.  Do they spend their mornings getting their nails done together, going shopping and having coffee?  Of course not!  Some of us are lucky to get a single math problem done, but they are connected throughout the day with each other and they share each others’ sorrows and joys as instructed in scripture.  I found myself wondering how the connections got to be so deep since they were mostly “virtual”. 

Then…a EUREKA moment!  They already had gone through all the surface junk with each other, they didn’t have to pretend with each other and put their best face forward in order to impress one another.  They knew about the bad days and the good days.  They had already spent the time getting to know one another.  You might say that we can present ourselves however we want online and that we can easily be misled by someone and I suppose that is true.  But, the opposite is also true.  These women were real and genuine.  Sort of like not seeing your college roommate for several years and you can just pick up right where you left off. 

Most of these women blog about their daily lives.  The one girl I met recently had suffered a traumatic brain injury by being in a bounce house with her kids.  The internet and this community of homeschool mom bloggers were her lifeline during that time she spent recovering.  They prayed for her, checked in on her (via Twitter) and they loved on her.  When she finally met some of them face to face, you could see her gratefulness.  There is much to be fearful of online and we must be careful, but I realized that these women had genuine relationships with each other.  They were an encouragement to each other like I’ve never seen – even in a local church setting.

Obviously, I’ve changed my mind about blogging for real because I’m following the tips I learned at the conference.  But, I experienced so much more.  I would love to go this year, but I don’t think I can. Maybe next year I can go as a “newbie” blogger in my own right!