Last night I went to Grace Covenant Church for a night of worship. When my friend Brandy invited me I quickly said yes. We were already planning on a girl’s night together and why wouldn’t we go to the event? I didn’t give it much thought, it sounded like a good idea.
Brandy picked me up at 6:15pm and we hit terrible traffic on the way to Huntersville. I joked that we should just get off the highway and go out for ice cream instead. On the way down we diverted ourselves from the torture of stand-still traffic by lamenting over family, kids, husbands, work. You know, the usual girl talk.
Finally, just after 7pm we pulled into the parking lot and rushed into the sanctuary where music and worship had already begun. I quickly began to sing praises, and while family, kids, husbands and work can all cause stress in life, I am so thankful that God has blessed me with all of them. There is so much to be grateful for and I relished in the opportunity to praise God openly and unrestrained.
Coming from a traditional church background, throwing my hands in the air and dancing to Jesus music isn’t exactly comfortable for me. When I was recently talking to my girlfriends about this, one of them commented that when we attend secular concerts don’t we dance and sing loudly and lift up our hands? True. So why are we so shy about doing these acts when we are worshiping God? True.
So last night I let my hands float into the air and punched forward singing very loudly (sorry Brandy) all the words and praises to God. I closed my eyes and heard the voices around me exclaiming God’s glory and righteousness and for just moments I thought I could taste heaven. And I imagined this would be what it is like. Unrestrained. Unapologetic. Unashamed. Open and honest worship. To God. Because He is worthy.
At one point, with both hands raised in the air toward God I had a flash of Eleanor in my mind and the way she lifts her two arms up toward me so I will hold her.
She has no problem reaching out to me because I love her and care for her. She has confidence in my love and knows that I am safe and so she reaches out to me for comfort and protection. In the same way I was reaching out to God last night so I could be lifted into his loving embrace. I want to feel his comfort and protection. The Lord says to come to him as little children. And last night the meaning of that scripture became so real to me. I thought about Eleanor and how dependent she is of me. How she needs me and she loves me. And I wondered if I need and love my Father in heaven just as much?
Being so self-aware and analytical about everything makes it hard to worship. I am always over thinking every single step, move and word. I don’t easily get wrapped up in moments because I am busy scrutinizing the details of it all. Last night I tried hard to let myself just go. To just be wrapped up in the Father’s love and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit. To not over-think how long my arms had been in the air, or how terrible my singing voice was affecting all those around me. I tried to allow myself to give over to the spirit and allow God to work in me and through me. I so badly want the presence of my Lord with me every day and always. And I want to relinquish control over so many details of my life. I want this life to be lived for Jesus. Not for the sake of my own glory, but for His. And last night I was able to taste the sweetness of a life well-lived. A life that brings honor and glory only to Him above. I am so grateful for the experience of worship last night.