For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. ~ Romans 8:19-21
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.~ James 5:6-8
Allow me to own up to the readers that I am one of those people who should have been up to altar for prayer the Sunday before last. I wanted to. It wasn’t out of pride that I didn’t. It was out of indecision. I was thinking; analyzing if that was really me. Am I just getting by? Am I avoiding suffering? Am I not taking the steps to possess my life?
On the outside I have. I recently quit my job that had kept me secure, yet was in a toxic environment without fruit. It was a day in, day out kind of thing and I got to the point where I didn’t care about my job. It had become that, just a job. I was honest with myself and them and made that step that it was time to move one.
Having done that, I felt free to move on to wherever. I have spent the past couple of weeks, trying to decide whether to relocate to another state where I could have family and all the support I need or to stay here in Lenoir City. It’s not like this was a 50/50 toss up kind of decision. Hands down, I’d rather be in Florida and had all but decided to move there. I don’t even like Lenoir City (no offense to anyone); I find it depressing and gray. Top that off with being a single parent without family, it really offers nothing.
What I realized last Sunday, though, is that I’m using my circumstances as a means to run away. I recently have allowed my heart’s desires to well up again, but with those heart’s desires comes feelings of longing and the hardship of desire’s unmet. I don’t want to have those feelings. If I move to another state, I don’t have to feel lonely. I would have family for support and protection. I would not have the stress of making every end meet and take care of everything else. If I move to another state, I don’t have to feel the anxiety of providing. If I move, it’s because I am trying to avoid all of the discomfort of my circumstances.
Last Sunday, I realized, I can’t go. I’m free to go. I don’t feel like it would be a Jonah-being-swallowed-by a-whale kind of thing. However, I can’t go. I can’t go because I realized that even though my circumstances here are tough, I belong where I’m at. I have a place at Canvas. I’m right where I need to be.
Here is why. Canvas is a church of reconstruction. There are a lot of broken people, broken families, and broken hearts in that church. I fall in that mix somewhere too. Everything I’ve tried to get and to build myself; my job and my marriage. They have all fallen apart and left me a broken person. There has been so much healing in my life and yet God is telling me that He’s not done. As I was up on stage worshiping with you guys, I realized that it would be premature for me to go. There are so many other churches out there and yet, for now, God has placed me with all of you crazy, awesome people telling me that I fit in. Most of my life, I’ve been put down, beat down, and tore down. Never in my life, until Canvas, have I ever been edified and built up in the way that I have been here. Never in any place or in any setting (or state) have I ever felt that I belong like I have when I’m worshiping with the band, hanging out with you in your homes, or going on a run with you in the mountains.
So no, I wasn’t being honest with you guys or myself. I should have been the first on to walk up there for prayer last Sunday. I need it. It’s time for me to stop doing the superficial actions but to turn this vessel around and face all that’s been chasing me throughout these years that I’ve been tiptoeing out of avoidance; all of these uncomfortable feelings that I don’t’ want to have. I will acknowledge my loneliness. I will acknowledge my fears. I will walk through them. I will suffer and I will trust in God as I do. I will lean on Him. I will lean on you Canvas people. And because of that, I will come to the full realization of the person that God has designed and has a plan for. I will no longer own my life and my faith. I will possess them.
The night I wrote this, I endured nothing but bad dreams and fear as I was in bed. I felt so unprotected and alone. I felt pinned down. I felt like I was sitting in the dark, vulnerable. My heart hurt Sunday morning as I was worshiping because I wanted to feel the light of his face as I have placed myself in trust of Him, but I didn’t feel it. Nick described the rite of passage that the Cherokee once practiced and I couldn’t hold my tears in because that was exactly what I have been going through. I was sitting in the dark. I feel alone given it’s been hard to believe that the Creator of the universe could be intimate enough with me to sit with me during this time and watch over me. The dawn hasn’t come yet, but I will continue to be still and know.