Sunday I took the boys to worship… nothing new right? Well… this has been an area of struggle for us the last 6 months or so…. ever since Travis started his new job hours.. it has resulted in us not being able to attend worship together as a family, at least not at our church. Travis worked Sunday mornings and that meant no more worshiping together at First Baptist… We found a sweet little church nearby that did have evening worship… and while we had made friendships there and enjoyed our visits… I think a big part of us really missed the church we had grown to love so much. That had such an impact on our lives, it made it hard to consider going elsewhere.
Which is so funny… prior to our move to GA, we were a bit anti-mega church. We found them impersonal and just overwhelming… and while at times it can feel like this… as you get plugged into the church in small groups and areas of service… that once mega church begins to feel so much smaller.
Our 2 years (just about) in the City of Refuge program was life changing for us… and God broke down many areas in our life where we had strongholds and areas we struggled… First Baptist will forever and always been a church that we adore and love… and the Pastor there, Pastor Johnny Hunt is someone my husband and I both greatly adore. We love listening to him preach… as do our children. He is bold and unafraid to preach truth. I love his ability to speak the word of God powerfully with conviction and care, yet not fluff around topics where most shy away from.
So even though Travis cannot attend worship with me there… at least not until he gets sundays off (this happens only a few weeks out of a year right now). I will continue to go when I can with all four boys :) and be blessed by the words I hear and worship we experience.
One song that played this Sunday was the popular “He is Jealous” for me song. It was sung beautifully by Shelley E. Johnson Sunday and for the first time, it spoke to me in a way it never had.
I was always a bit puzzled as to what the song meant. When I would listen to it before the “He is Jealous for me” always stood out… and that was about it. It was a phrase I knew and was familiar with… but I never realized how truth filled and powerful another portion of the song was, until Sunday.
The words read….
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me
There are times in life where things do not make sense.
Where we are facing afflictions and struggle… and during the struggle we don’t understand.
We wonder why…
… and we question Gods timing.
We are unaware in the midst of the storm that God can use these struggles in a way that will bring such glory.
Maybe never in our timing.
Maybe never in a way we would have chosen or saw to make sense.
… but I have seen it and I know I will continue to see God use our affiliations and eclipse them with Glory.
The entire song had new meaning Sunday.
Im thankful for it.
He is not only jealous for us… and our time…
… but he is powerful in the way He moves us in life.
Knowing his affection for us and his love for us is something we need to really focus on during the harder days… and during those storms that dont make sense.
Im so thankful for the ability to worship freely here.
Seeing people beheaded because of their faith… and hearing about those having to hide in dark quarters, closed off just to crack a bible… is so sad to me. We can worship freely here… with loud drugs or simple hymns… we are so blessed!
No church will ever be perfect.
No church will ever have exactly the music we want or love…
… choose to worship where you are.
May it be through old hymns like we sung at our old church… Such as this oldie I found on my youtube of my friend Jenn and I warming up for a song to sing one sunday morning [see below]… The memories I have from our former church are bitter sweet. I remember so clearly days Id sit in worship at that old church in NE NC… and struggle to find joy. Knowing the hate so many poured towards my husband and myself… and sitting in the congregation almost bitter and resentful, not wanting to worship with those who despised us so much over things so little. I was heavy with conviction and question for a long time at our old church. Loving so many yet struggling with hate in my heart as well, for those who were so hurtful. I remember yearning for contemporary worship and a liveliness I did not see where we where at the time… but I also remember a time where God reminded me, it wasn’t about the choir… or the drums and guitar… Worship is so much more than any of that…. it is a heart issue and learning to be content where God has us is part of it.
Today I am thankful for the winds and the journey God is taking us on….
I am excited to see how He will use it in the days to come.