Friday, August 2, 2013

"Finding Beauty in Every Season" (The Story Behind my Current Blog Title)

This summer, God has reignited within me a passion for worshiping Him.
In June, I went on a whim and ordered a set of guitar strings on Amazon.  A couple years ago, my dad brought home an acoustic guitar that he picked up at a garage sale, but since I had been away for college, it had just been sitting in my room collecting dust. I had always wanted to learn how to play guitar, so why not, I thought. When I tried to replace the strings on my guitar for the first time, I ended up winding the very first string too tightly, and it snapped on me. Talk about discouraging! How was I supposed to learn how to play when I couldn't even get the strings on correctly?! That night, I set the guitar back down on the wall it had been resting on and walked away. 
The thought of learning how to play guitar never escaped me though, so I picked it up a couple days after and was determined to figure out how to string it and learn a few chords. Fast forward, I got all the strings on correctly (thanks to YouTube!) and needless to say, it has been a great joy learning how to play. I almost forgot how much I truly enjoy singing praises to Him, all the while reminding my own soul of His unwavering faithfulness. I’ve realized how much I have missed Him. I am learning how to make worship my first response to both hardships and blessings. God is teaching me that He is worthy of my affection even when my feelings try to convince me otherwise.
During my sophomore year of high school, a pastor came to speak at our Christian Club and gave a word to whomever he felt the Lord was leading him to do so. I remember him pointing to me and saying, “You. You cry sometimes during worship, don’t you?” Baffled, brace-faced, 15-year-old-me slowly nodded then looked down. “Never stop worshiping. God wants you to know that He hears you and loves it when you worship Him. Never stop.” I had no words. Back then, I would worship in my closet and pray for my family’s salvation. Sometimes I would cry in the overwhelming presence of God. And God used that man to encourage little adolescent me that day. As I’m learning to press in all over again, I often think of that encounter. To think that the God of the Universe delights in the praises of His people is beyond me.
For the past two and a half years, I have felt “spiritually dry” in my walk with God. And to be very honest, I’ve absolutely hated it. I hated that my relationship with God did not immediately skyrocket after deciding to attend a Christian university. (Because that’s what’s supposed to happen, right?) I hated that there were times that I felt more distant from God than ever. I hated not feeling His presence like I used to. I hated that I still struggled with sin. I kept telling myself and telling God that I was content with the season He had placed me in, but I was lying, both to myself and to the God who already knew the deepest facets of my being.
Contentment has been a huge thing for me. I’m trying to figure out how to be okay with the spiritual dryness, to find beauty in the midst of it. I’m learning to be kinder to myself, and I’m allowing myself room for mistakes. I’m coming to terms with the reality that it’s fine to not have my entire life mapped out. And perhaps, most importantly, I’m learning to love God more fully in the process. 

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