Monday, September 3, 2012

Open the Eyes of My Heart

I feel equally drawn to write and to not write about this.

I guess writing about it wins out, but I do so hesitantly because I am unsure if I can fashion the words in the right way.  Also, it is close to being too personal (between me and God) to share.

Many months ago, the preacher's wife at the church where we have been for about 18 months asked me when I was going to start singing on the praise team.  I knew her and her husband in college, in fact we sang together in Chorus.  My response was, when I can make it through the songs without bawling.

See, my eyes have sprung a leak recently, and I can barely make it through an entire song service at church without crying.  A year ago it was so noticeable that I think Ava was getting worried about me. She wasn't used to seeing her mom cry so much, so she often bent over to ask me if I was okay.  And I was okay.  Most of the crying I do because of the songs is joyful.  My heart is so thankful for the grace and love I have experienced, and it has become awakened to the presence of God within me.  The words and melodies of the songs we sing in church touch on that so deeply, I am often moved to tears.  I had no idea how powerfully the music in church could affect me until I became open to it.  Now it's rare for me to sing a song on auto-pilot.

But as time has passed, and my emotions are a bit more stable, I do not cry as often as I did before.  It still happens, just not all the time.  I decided to start practicing with the praise team and use my singing talents in that way.  Yesterday was my second time to be on the praise team (12 people with microphones singing 4 part harmony) and lo and behold it happened.  We were singing "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and I totally lost it.  I was crying like a baby, with mascara running, snot running, right there in front of the entire church.

It took a few minutes to pull myself together and continue singing.  And shortly after that we returned to our seats.  I was feeling embarrassed.  But as I relaxed and thought about it more, I realized that embarrassment is the response I would feel if it were about me- my performance, my appearance, what people think of me, and that isn't what it's about.  That isn't how I live these days.  It's not about me trying to maintain favorable reactions and admiration from the people around me in order to feel good about myself.  I have tapped into God's value system and because of that I am free from trying to control and manage how people react to me and also free from using others to find value for myself.  My embarrassment melted away and I felt at peace.

I have found so much freedom in so many ways because of the work God has done in my heart...this is just one example of it.

And just as I was finishing typing this, I yelled like a crazy woman at my kids.  So, there's still plenty of work to be done.  Believe me, plenty of work to be done.  Just got to keep opening my heart to God and letting his Spirit create something new in me.


Brenda said...

"Open the Eyes of My Heart" among other posts along this line have truly spoken to me. Your sweet spirit and openness about the challenging journey of this life has touched me beyond words. I have been looking at Henri Nouwen's books as I remember you have spoken highly of Nouwen's writings.

God loves you and so do we!!!!

Lauren C. said...

I loved reading this entry. I'm glad you shared it.