From the head to the heart, you take me on a journey. Of letting go.. and getting lost in you.
One of my most favorite things about being in college is singing in the college ministry I attend, Basic. When I transferred to UNI, I remember having an overwhelming sense of not belonging anywhere.. Feeling incredibly alone. Feeling like I wasn’t wanted anywhere. When I transferred I moved into an apartment with two girls transferring to UNI too, without realizing that a dorm is one of the central hubs to meeting new people.. I remember only hanging out with the two girls I was rooming with, for what quite honestly was over a year.. I remember feeling so alone, so confined. I remember feeling like I didn’t have a place in the world to just be.
I started going to Basic when I first transferred but didn’t actually meet anyone until a year later.. I would go with one of my roommates, talk to no one new, and continue throughout my week. It was lonely, but I didn’t feel like I knew how to change it.
Until I joined a worship team.
Growing up I went to, and still attend, a cute little traditional church where we sing out of hymn books. We love people super hard, have a Sunday attendance of around 50-60 people, do what we’ve always done, and love Jesus a whole lot. I will always have a special place in my heart for this type of worship, but being a part of a worship team, a place of leading worship through contemporary songs somehow makes my faith come to life. I never knew it was possible to expose the deepest feelings of my heart, my authentic love for God, out loud. I never knew it was possible to pray through song, to be at my most raw state. I never understood the possibility and boundless identity worship can have, until I found a reason to sing.
It’s because of worship, that I know Jesus. It’s because of this type of prayer that I feel like I can communicate with my Father. It was because I joined a team, that I get to have the relationship with God that I do. Worshiping through music, somehow, makes it possible for my head and my heart to connect, to get lost in worship.
This past Monday, our band was getting ready to run through our playlist and our worship leader, Whit, opened worship with some of the most important words I’ve ever heard: She read from a Psalm.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I bear pain[a] in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Whit said, no matter where we’re at – singing, playing the drums, running the lights, in the crowd – we are worship leaders. It’s not about how good your voice sounds, if you’re on or off the stage, heard over the crowd or not. It’s about how you allow yourself to give what you came in the door with, to God. The good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it, to Him.
Then she said, she feels privileged to lead her brothers and sisters in worship. Because she has an opportunity to act as a waiter, bringing the people what they need to get closer to God. She has the privilege of making it possible for people like me, who NEED Jesus, to step into a place of worship to make our faith come to life.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I first started singing at Basic, I had no idea what it meant to worship. I genuinely felt that as long as the spotlight was on me, it was a time to prove to the world that I was worthy. I felt like being on stage meant that I finally meant something to someone.
And I’ll also be the first to admit that this was my sin that kept me back from living a life crowned with joy. Living my sin, kept me from living a life with God. Living a life for myself, in all of my blind brokenness, rather than a life for my Father who gave the world for me. Living a life of approval, seeking love, desperately desiring attention. Desperately trying to understand why I never felt connected at my head to my heart.
What I failed to see, was how little this world needed me, and how much it, myself, needs God.
No one likes admitting their sin. BUT when we shine a light on our brokenness, it makes it a whole lot easier to make our way through the dark. Singing at Basic has been one of the MANY ways God has connected my head to my heart throughout the last couple years of my story. I learn every week to lay my cross as I wait for the crown. I learn to shout to the world, the treasure I have found. I pray that forever, I learn how to better connect my head and my heart. I pray that I can be taken on a journey, every week, of letting go and getting lost in my God.