I feel like I changed in a week.
Just last week I was writing about guys and dating and this week my heart is in a completely different place. I even feel embarrassed of having touched the subject so publicly. Haha!
I suppose that’s what blogging is about, right? Ultimately, I want my readers to grow with me. I want you to see my ups, my downs, my in betweens… and appreciate that our lives are messy and that it’s okay. Life is full of blessings and challenges wrapped up in one.
I was catching up with a friend today that asked me how quarantine had been for me and my answer was “the areas where things went wrong were just stepping stones to unanticipated blessings.”
The thought of that reminds me that I’m different. I’ve changed. I’ve graduated seasons. Sometimes this happens… that I literally “feel” myself stepping into a new season.
Lately, I’ve heard God speaking into my heart little messages of faith that encourage me and remind me time again that where I am today is enough for celebration… and that tomorrow holds immense promise.
A Car-ride Party
Usually, when I get in the car, I get into a dancing mood. It’s okay, you can laugh at me. Actually, if you ever pull up next to me at a red light, you might just catch a show. I’m either jamming to some reggaeton or salsa on my way to the beach or I’m with my arms raised in worship with no shame of what people in the next car may think.
Recently in one of my car-ride parties I came across a song that had me singing to the very top of my lungs. It came up out of the nowhere. I didn’t look for it. It found me. It was a song led by Joel Houston at Passion 2020 conference in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium back in January of this year.
The house: packed. My friend Google tells me there were roughly 65,000 people in attendance at that conference this year. It sure did look like it was lit!
Back to my car, I repeatedly sang these lyrics:
Don’t let your heart be troubledHold your head up high Don’t fear no evil Fix your eyes on this one truth God is madly in love with you Take courage Hold on Be strong Remember where our help comes from
Tears ran down my cheeks as I felt God’s love surround me in the little bit of intimacy I could have in my car. The thought of all we’ve had to endure this year just playing in my mind. All the fear, all the uncertainty, all the loss… and yet none of it caught God by surprise.
There is a moment in that video where a one minute count-down comes up as sixty five thousand people sing in one voice. When the clock marks 0, an incredible display of fireworks overwhelms the entire stadium enough to have been a show for even those outside. As Joel Houston screams “Happy New Year!” it hits me… as the capital “C”- Church, thousands in that stadium, millions around the world… and not a single soul knew what was coming our way this year.
But He knew. My imagination draws up an image of Jesus being present and whispering: “don’t let your heart be troubled, hold your head up high… don’t fear no evil, fix your eyes on this one truth, I am madly in love with you…”
If We Would Have Known
At Vous Church I serve in the Production Department. A close friend and I lead the Stage Team at one of our campuses which is in charge of back stage, the floor and the flow of the program in general.
Thinking about this blog, I went back into my stories to see if I could find the very last time I served at JDD. I was so happy to have found it!
We didn’t know. We didn’t know it was going to be our last time. I’m sure if we knew… we would have done it differently. Not that we didn’t give it our everything. After all, “excellence is our spirit” is one of our Vous Values.
But we would have gone back for one more hug. We would have said one more I love you. We would have worshipped together with more passion, sang a little bit louder, listened a little bit closer.
On a regular Sunday, I would stop by Dunking Donuts for a cappuccino and get on the turnpike by 7:35am. As I pulled up to Jose de Diego Middle School, I’d thank God for another opportunity to serve and prayed I’d do it with a humble heart. (I would do this, not kidding.)
We would meet with team in the cafeteria at 8:00am and run through PCO. We’d go over all the props we needed for the day and would delegate jobs.
This particular Sunday I was Back Stage Lead. I remember serving with one of my favorites, Xochilt. We actually snapped a picture before team huddle. This pic is what shows up in my stories as a timestamp of the last time we served in person in 2020.
Thinking about all of this has made me appreciate more being a Christian. It gives me hope that even though we would have NEVER imagined that we would have to stop gathering massively, one day we will again.
On that day, I plan on wearing waterproof mascara. I might not even wear makeup at all. Because the challenges of this world through us a curve ball but we have remained strong. We have remained united. We have persevered in our faith.
Yes You Can
I want to tell you this, dear friend: you are not alone and whatever you are facing today, you can overcome.
It does not matter how much loss we have had to face in this time of social distancing. God is not far away from you. You and I may not have been at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in January but even in the stillness of our own room in the middle of March, He was present.
Even though social media, the news, and every “wear a mask” signs on every business door speak fear and uncertainty into our minds, God has one message He keeps speaking into our hearts: “take courage, hold on, be strong… remember where your help comes from.”
I know that there is a chance I may not know you closely, but I want you to know that this blog is for you and that I love you because you are precious to our heavenly Father.
His desire is that you create a life you love and all that you need to accomplish that is already inside of… YOU!
I strongly encourage you to take some time to just watch this video. It won’t disappoint.