Have you ever had a memory that becomes a revelation that smacks you right in the face, because even though you’ve been looking for it for a while, it then hits you unexpectedly?
Well, I had that moment recently. Mine came with a little help from Lisa Bevere’s book Without Rival. She was talking about relationships and how they often will disappoint you, despite the fact that we often put so much stock in them.
“We can trust God with our safety and believe that he will bring forth the promise on our lives even when those closest – even our own husbands – let us down.”
When I read that I had my “Aha!” moment.
You see, about 2 years ago I was standing in worship, at church, when I heard God say to me, “would you still worship me like this if it was just the two of us?”
My instant reaction was, “of course!” And I pictured myself in that same room; hands outstretched praising him but it was just him and I in the room. No musicians, no other people, nothing. But that’s what I thought he meant by worshipping alone.
Little did I know that’s not what he meant at all.
That question was asked of me right before my car accident. So, I was still dealing with chronic pain but not to the extent that I have been. At that time I was still in a position of more positivity, joy, hope and faith.
Flash forward a few months later and I am lying in a bed unable to participate in life because of the injuries I sustained and the problems it was causing me to live life normally from day to day. I was unable to attend church any more and I slowly watched my hope and faith dwindle away.
It was then when I heard that same question asked of me. And I laid there thinking that I didn’t know how to worship him in the same way, lying in a bed. My hope was gone. My joy was gone. Everything I ever believed about healing seemed shot to hell. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to worship him, like I was accustomed to.
After a time comparison started to creep in… I knew of other people that were in worse shape then me and they could worship with such reckless abandon, I was ashamed that I could not do the same. So, I just pushed myself further from even trying to find the answer of how to worship where I was at because I compared myself to others and thinking I would never measure up.
That was the winter of 2016.
I have thought of that same question again and again over the last year and a half but never dwelt on it much because I was still in comparison mode and walking in a lot of shame. Which was holding me back from truth and reality.
One thing that I have learned a lot in the last year was that my faith was mostly based on what other people told me and what I experienced at the time. And even though I’ve held onto some core values and a few key things there wasn’t much of my faith that was just me and God. Things we had battled out together, that we discovered together seemed lost and muddled in what was everyone else’s, not mine. And so when push came to shove I had nothing real to hold onto because it was always someone else’s idea of God.
So, I’ve realized that I depend on people to give me direction or even, at times, tell me what to do and think. Since, I have realized that this is what I have been doing all along and know that it isn’t right. Still, there has still been this thing inside me that has thought that maybe if I find a significant other he will help steer me or teach me how to get back to a good relationship with God. I know, silly but it’s the truth.
But then I read that passage which was followed up with a revelation smack in the face. This whole time, THIS WHOLE TIME, I have been having other people tell me what to think and feel about God but not fully doing those things for myself, always seeking someone else to tell me what to do about him. I keep putting myself in this nasty cycle. Afraid that if I think and feel for myself that I will be wrong. And God was asking me if I could just stand in worship with just him, no one else, no other voices, no other distractions just him and I, one-on-one in each other’s presence.
I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. It took me two years to fully grasp what he was asking. He wanted just me and my heart. Not a bunch of other people in the mix. But I kept throwing them and their answers in there because I thought that was the right thing to do. All along he just wanted me.
How simple and yet beautiful is that. To worship him alone, is to worship him alone.
I’m not saying outside influences are all bad, but I am saying when it comes down to it there are only two people in the relationship that truly matter. Always seek advice. But always know when it’s time to be with just the one.
Danny Silk talks about the circles of influence and that at the core circle it should just be you and God. Well, I have been putting everyone else in that circle with God, that I think has all the right answers. Oh goodness… What have I been doing?!
There has been this weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders ever since I realized I’ve been depending on others to think and make decisions for me and inserting them into my relationship. And even though I knew I could before, I finally feel like I actually can make my own decisions and have my own relationship. I know that moving forward it is him and I figuring things out and discovering how to be in relationship, just the two of us.
And now, when someone else gives advice, I hear a sermon or read a book I don’t have to take everything at face value. I can sit back a moment and ask God what he thinks and figure out what that looks like with our relationship. Everyone is getting back into their proper places when it comes to influencing me.
I am far from figuring everything out and I will never pretend to know the answers. All I know is that this is where I need to be in my life. I feel like I am rediscovering a lost relationship after a really bad break up. But I am excited for the journey.