“I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience…as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you…Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:3-5a,6-7)
The day after I had moved my belongings out of the home of my marriage, was a Sunday, and I was supposed to be off from singing in the Praise Band at church. But, as it happened, both the worship leader and our other singer had a gig so they weren’t going to be there. Mind you, I had asked for this time off over a month in advance and provided a short explanation why, to the director. He approached me a week or two before that day; he came to me asking if I could please sing since they would both be absent.
I was a bit upset and a lot disappointed but I agreed to do it; I honestly didn’t know how I would have it in me to get up in front of everyone, including my husband who runs the sound board. When my pastor, whom had been away the week prior, found out this was happening, she was not pleased and apologized to me. She was aware of my situation.
The day was upon me. The night before, after I returned to my new place of residence, overly emotional and exhausted, I pulled out my Bible and cried out to my Lord to guide me through His word and give me strength I didn’t have on my own. Ending up in a puddle of tears while, on my face in prayer, I beseeched Him to take me away and replace me with a singing angel the next morning. I’d had to make a similar request, for Him to completely take over my voice on many a Sunday morning since I joined the Praise Band, due to lack of sleep or being upset and empty over the previous months.
My Lord lifted me up from my place on the floor, while showering me with His agape love, and helped me drift off to sleep…
The next morning I begrudgingly got up, ready and drove to the church. I was exhausted but as God’s Word promises, “…there may be weeping in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps 30:5) I was filled with His joy, life and vigor. A weight had been lifted and I was fueled and ready to worship and praise my Lord for all to see. During our time of rehearsal prior to service, the sound guy disappeared. My microphone was not picking up my voice as it normally did, and it was preventing the band from hearing me and causing issues. He didn’t fix it once we started either!
I wonder how it must have seemed to him, to see the wife whom had moved out just the night before up on stage singing her heart out for God – joyfully! I know how it felt for me – liberating. But, it honestly was not me up there, it was my body filed with the Holy Spirit and that is what I prayed God would do for this servant. At one point, I could sense the band getting frustrated that they still weren’t hearing me and I felt myself grab the mic off the stand (I never held the mic, thus why I used that specific microphone) and nearly put it inside my mouth so they could. As I did this, I kid you not, a fire ignited within. The enemy was not winning this morning because my GOD is greater than He who is living in the world. Amen!
This singular incident had such an impact on my healing. I knew I was going to be okay as I walked through and out the other end of this trial; but what God did that morning was show me not only His glory, but his power. He showed up in that room and took control of a time that could have really turned disastrous if I’d hadn’t allowed Him control, rather my emotions to control, what I was doing. He reiterated the verse from 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
In some translations, ‘sound mind’ is replace with ‘self-control’ and in this instance I think it was really both of those things. Why? Because in the past, before God took back my voice completely, anything happening in my personal life would have overcome me and I would have trembled on stage with anxiety. I would have crumbled into tears. Can I please express to you what an amazing gift this is to me, and a tribute to God, that this no longer occurs? It is amazing to compare the woman who tried to control this vs. God who does control it (life), if you allow him.
Every time someone walks up to me after a church service (which is about every week) and thanks me for lending my voice I always point up and say ‘it’s not me up there it’s Him. It is His voice not my own but I thank you for appreciating it and am glad to give him all the glory’. (Sometimes the folks do not seem to get it but I pray eventually they do.) If this is what the life of an open vessel for the Lord resembles once you relinquish complete control of your life…Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)…I’m in, all the way! (Not that I haven’t been sold out for Christ but my goodness, He just keeps taking me higher and higher – Praise Jesus!)
There is a Psalm (Ps 30) that I have printed and stuck to my refrigerator that I’d like to share, as it truly exemplifies how I feel in moments like this. Moments where I have absolutely nothing of myself to give but just by simply asking, He fills me up and uses me despite where I am emotionally, physically or mentally:
“I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7 Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8 I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.
9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”
Thank you Lord Jesus for overcoming that which could debilitate me. For showing up when I need you most but also showing me your glory in those moments as not to claim it for myself. I praise you O Jesus the savior of this broken world and my broken heart, for making me whole and filling so many holes. You are The ALMIGHTY, there is NONE like You, Jesus! Amen.