I guess I will just start off by exhaling and saying WOW. Today was a rough Sunday for me. It all started with me waking up with a cranky attitude and not wanting to go to church because of it. Not having my husband around to help share the load of getting myself ready, breakfast ready, and our 2 year old son dressed really takes it's toll sometimes. I had promised a friend that I'd return a couple of borrowed items back to her at church today so I knew I had to keep my word and go whether I felt like it or not. So I sucked it up and got Malachi and myself in the car by 10:07 and off we went.
I walked in just in time to find a seat and set my things down as worship started up. The worship team began to lead us into the song "Happy Day"......let's just pause right there for a moment. I still felt like I was having the worst morning at this point and did not want to start off by singing "oh happy day, happy day, you've washed my sin away, and oh happy day, happy day, I'll never be the same" yet I sang it anyway thinking if I said it enough I'd get out of my funk that I seemed to be in. Just after that, Laura spoke straight to my heart when she had us sit down and listen. She said "I just want to take the time right now to enter into worship the right way, not because we have to but because we want to. So when you're ready to join, join." I have no doubt that little thoughts that enter my mind such as "maybe I just wont go to church today or it doesn't matter" are thoughts from the enemy. The enemy didn't want me to go be a part of the kingdom of God this morning which was very clear as always and I almost gave into it. The times you really want to stay home the most, are the times God really makes you glad you to showed up.
After Laura spoke that over us, she proceeded with the song "Refiners fire" which is the song that James Berteig sang and spoke over me back in 2007 on our Philippines Mission trip during chapel when I was really struggling with some decisions. Every time I hear this song my eyes well up with tears from thinking about that calling that God has on my life. I tried choking back the tears as I continued to quietly sing along until I lost it. I knew by now that God wanted to break down the hard wall I put up before even stepping foot in that building today. He had something big for me to embrace, it was no coincidence that those two songs were awaiting me this morning.
The message was great and gave me some clarity on some things I've been focusing on lately. My heart had been prepared to receive what I needed from the message.. and even better yet what was to come after the message. One of my long time friends who's known me through all of the ups and downs in my life approached me and brought some things to light that needed to be. It was out of complete love and concern for me, not to prove that I was wrong and he/she was right. I was finally in a good mood and didn't know how to chew on it for the first few minutes of our conversation but I kept repeating in my head "I need to have a teachable heart" over and over just as Abe spoke a couple of weeks ago. I decided to truly take to heart what my friend had to say and not get offended because what was spoken, wasn't harmful in anyway. It was encouraging and uplifting and only voiced out of concern so that I wouldn't hurt or offend others. There was no reason I needed to be hard headed and not accept what was said. It was simply TRUTH.
So I got to thinking and realized that my whole life I haven't cared what other people think of me which has brought me success in some areas, but damage to others. I've always loved that I can voice my opinion and be myself without being self-conscious like most people. Little did I realize that as powerful as that can be, it can be just as harmful. All of a sudden it came to me while I was alone with my thoughts that "Me not caring what other people think, is me not caring about other people."
So needless to say, God knew what I needed in order for me to learn something from two amazingly insightful people in my life today. God met my needs in every way possible this morning and I am so glad I didn't stay home. To bring order to my life such as Pastor Jack spoke on, things need to be brought to the surface and dealt with. So thankful to have wonderful people in my life. And for the record, if you pray and ask God to give you a teachable heart, be ready to exercise it. Boy is it not fun!