To Sing Again

I had to take a few extra deep breaths before hitting “send” on this post. Writing is my way of sorting through life, of discerning what my heart beats for, of sharing the passions that stir my soul, & so much more. I love getting to write here, with you, day in & day out.

But there’s another place my soul goes to breathe, a different kind of writing that stirs my heart & sets it free, a well-worn journal where I put pen to paper & talk with Jesus. Sometimes my words are well-crafted prayers. Other times they feel more like jumbled messes. Sometimes my words are praises. Sometimes they are questions. Those pages are tear-soaked, joy-filled, holy places where I have wrestled and begged and rejoiced. And they have always been a place that only Jesus & I go.

A while ago, I wrote a prayer that’s been floating through my thoughts since. I was, like so many times before, working through a season of tension, of spiritual desert. I knew truth well, but it wasn’t undergirded by the joy I’d known & loved for so long. I just just dry. Empty. My heart was divided — crying out for intimacy with Jesus again, all the while straining to chase sin & selfishness. As the words of this particular prayer echoed in my mind today, Jesus whispered to me. Share them. 

Maybe you sat in an Easter service yesterday & longed to celebrate the truth, hope, & goodness of the resurrection, but instead you felt hollow inside, felt like there was nowhere deeper to reach to find the joy of your salvation. Maybe you’re chasing sin, & even as you stumble through your days, you know there’s a better way to walk through them. Maybe you’re wrestling through the already & the not yet, frustrated that while you have been set free from sin & shame, you have not yet taught your heart to walk in that freedom. Wherever you might find your heart this morning, I pray these words encourage you. If you’re working through what it means to be a sinner washed by endless grace, let me be the first to say, “Me too.” And let me remind you that He is worth teaching our hearts to sing again.

—————

Today, there is tension. 

My soul aches for You. I’ve been drifting away on life’s uncertainties, further & further from Your promises. I know they are still true, but they don’t feel as near — a song that’s vaguely familiar, a tune I can only just hum under my breath. 

My heart is struggling inside my chest, wanting to wriggle free, to go back to old masters. Greed. Lust. Pride. They still call, after all these years. Sometimes, I hear them more loudly than I hear You. I hate the sound of their voices. I hate that they still know my name. 

I am craving You, in intimate, quiet places I used to know well. Places I’ve been scared to enter lately. Scared because it’s been so long that I’m not sure what it will be like. Not sure what I will say to You when I get there. Not sure if I know the way any longer. But in the deepest places of my thirsty soul, I want to go back. I need to. 

And yet, in the same breath, I am craving me, to chase after the fleeting & keep drifting further out into wave after wave of my own desires. I know that it will kill me. Pieces of me still want to go. Pieces I’m not proud of. Pieces that are redeemed but still squirming. Pieces that cannot fathom the depth of grace just yet. 

Here we are, in the dance of already & not yet. You, already risen, already reigning, already advocating for my every fault. Me, already cleansed, already set apart, already free — but not yet complete, not yet victorious over lies that draw me away. 

I am a tangled mess of emotions & hopes & frustrations & shortcomings & prayers. I am easily swayed by how I feel. I am not even sure how I feel.

You are truth. You are not dependent on how I feel. And that is why I will swim to shore when it’s easier to drift away. That is why I’m crawling back for the millionth time. That is why I will teach my heart to sing of You again.

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