I miss getting to share at concerts all the details about my songs–where I wrote them, what was going on in my life at the time–and so I’m going to try to do one blog a month that tells the stories, one song at a time.
The first one that I want to do really should be JUST WANT YOU. This song is truly my testimony. Not my “I was six, loved Jesus, and walked down the aisle” testimony, but my ongoing adult testimony. It is the story of learning and re-learning that my life began when I found Him and He never intended me to get caught up in anything but that one fact.
Being a church girl, being in the generation of big youth rallies, being a “helper” at heart, gosh, there has been no end to my ambition “for the Lord.” But how easy, how quickly, can worship and adoration and passion turn from His face and His voice to this all out, you’re a wimp if you can’t hang, die hard occupation with doing “His work” on earth?
Never ever would I say being His hands and feet is wrong, (it is merely second in command), but our eyes have to stay on His face and our ears have to stay tuned to His voice or what we do with our hands and feet may just be us doing. Just doing doing doing. Spinning our wheels, angry at others for not doing, frustrated by lack of results. How many times have I thought I could only focus on one or the other? Either a Martha OR a Mary, etc.
So when Selah was just a baby, I stayed home from church one Sunday morning. I seem to remember it was in July, near or maybe on my salvation birthday. I had been a missionary in Africa before coming home, getting married, and having this first baby…I still struggled with why that commitment to missions didn’t work out for me, why I couldn’t “cut it.” I just broke down before the Lord and told Him I was so tired of waking up every morning feeling like I had failed Him. I told Him, “I quit. I quit trying to be great and do great things for you. I will just be a nobody in Your kingdom. Count me out of that special team, Lord, I will just love you and know You love me, and that’ll be enough. I can’t keep wanting to do more, with you not allowing me to do more. I can’t keep feeling guilty for what I’m not ABLE to accomplish for you. I have nothing to show for myself! So, I give up on this making a difference for You thing. Just take me as I am!”
I feel like the Lord smiled and said, “Good. Finally.” It really did feel good to get all of that out of my system; to really say what I meant and address it. Of course I wasn’t able to look at it as I do now! At the time, I was broken hearted. Ten years of my life, my calling, it felt like I was forsaking it all.
And I was. I was forsaking the blurry vision, the headstrong idea, of what it meant to be a Christian and a servant of the Lord. Finally on that day in July, for the second time, the first for my soul and now for my life, I received GRACE. You have to know how low and empty and lost and unable you are in order to receive grace. There’s simply no other way to get it.
I hadn’t accepted before that day that only God could make a difference in the world. I hadn’t accepted before that day that if I was making a difference, I most likely wouldn’t even know it. I hadn’t accepted before that day that blindly following God step by step with no agenda or hopes of a great resume was truly what He wanted…and even more than that obedience (which He clearly defined to me as different than ministry), He wanted intimacy. Intimacy first, the rest would follow. He wanted me to:
Just. Want. Him.
Like He Just. Wants. Me.
And I learn and re-learn the lesson. He is so good, so gracious. I have to keep learning to fall flat on my face, give up, and then go, “OH!! Right!” I have to keep learning to come back to my first Love, to sing the foolish love songs, to forget about everything else and get lost in His Presence. I like to run! I like to go and do. My heart bleeds for so many people. I will never understand why I am held back from “doing more”…but I can say I am obedient by pursuing intimacy and stillness with Him, and I believe that means that what I am doing will be fruitful. That is of course by faith, because in my natural mind it doesn’t make sense nor does it seem to be enough!
The most important thing I can say here–to myself–to anyone–is that nothing else matters, nothing else is even lasting, if we have lost our first Love. If gazing in His eyes, eating His word, singing Him worship songs sounds dull or a waste of time or only for certain people, we are missing the whole entire point. I’m not saying all of our walk with God is emotional, private, or quiet. I am saying this intimacy is our root and then our life is the stem and branches, leaves and fruit. No root, then there will be nothing else, not for long.
“So after all this time
after all this journey
after all I’ve tried to be
You simplify, clear my mind
of all I could pursue
so I could just want You.”