Dance in the Rain

What I really wanted

Is to dance in the rain

Holding nothing back

Everything to gain

 

But that’s not what happened

As the downpours came

In the midst of the storms

I just crumbled again

 

As I cried out to You

My tears fell like the rain

I stumbled and fell

My heart full of shame

 

But You never leave me there

Crumpled on the floor

 

No, You never leave me there

 

You pick me up

And say you’re OK

You say “Trust Me now,

I’ll never leave you

And I’m right here, 

Child, I’m right here

 

Be still My Child

It’ll be alright

Cause I’ve got you now 

And I’ll hold you tight

 

Give it all to Me

I want everything

I paid the price

To set you free

Let go of the shame

And give Me your pain

I’ll work it out

It’ll be all right

Just wait and see

And leave it to Me

 

Dust yourself off now

And remember you are Mine

You’re never alone

Remember you are Mine

 

Dance like you want to

Praise, come what may 

You’re getting stronger 

You can dance….. 

Dance in the rain.”

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Tears in a Bottle

A few months ago, as many of you know, I was in Nicaragua for about 3 1/2 weeks. Once the team left, I’d been given several very hefty warnings that there things coming my way. I was told that the warnings were coming so that I would not get blindsided.

One of those moments came, unexpectedly, in an unexpected manner – even though I was ‘watching’ for it. I was dealing with this one of the evenings that we have our prayer worship nights at the church. 

I found my ‘resting’ spot for the evening, as the guest worship leader began. I was sort of separate from the others, even though the coffee house is pretty small. I was doing my best to connect to God and not focus on the concern at hand, which was weighing on my heart pretty good. 

At some point, I heard her singing about God collecting our tears in a bottle. Psalm 56:8 (NLT) reads… 

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

I remember thinking.. oh God! I’m so tired of crying… I can’t even imagine how many bottles I’ve overflowed with tears.  

I vaguely remember hearing, or maybe I was just thinking it, that she also sang something about Him pouring them out. Just then I saw what looked like 2 gemstones falling. I remember a service at a former church, where, wow, I was on my knees crying pretty good, and the pastor’s wife saying she saw our tears falling on the carpet like gemstones. 

Suddenly I had a thought. What if, just what if, these bottles of tears He was catching and holding on to, were like His Alabaster Boxes? Precious and valuable to Him. Especially the tears that have been poured out in times of extravagant worship, when all hell has been coming against, and in the natural, worship is the last thing that makes any sense. 

Some of us had been (and continue to be) in many discussions regarding the woman anointing the feet of Jesus and other women who encountered Him. So the story of the alabaster box was a resident concept. There are even two songs that I love regarding the alabaster box… one by Julie Meyer and the other by Cece Winans. Cece tells the story of the woman coming to the feet of Jesus through her eyes. She transports you right there, and you are aware of nearly every step and emotion that she went through, but then also opens the door for you to find your own place in this story.

Julie’s song is a personal one, but one that all can plug into and pour out their alabaster boxes of extravagant worship before Him.

But this night, I guess was one of those nights. I was trying to worship even within a place of deep pain. And that thought about Him having our tears stored up in treasured containers caught my breath. And I thought, and maybe caught a glimpse of Him breaking open these jars of our tears, only they did not pour out as liquid, but as beautiful gems. I thought wow, He treasures our tears and values them as precious? Suddenly my tears in a bottle had new meaning.

And then! I went recently to a women’s conference named Beloved. There was a woman there who sold jewelry. Every piece that she procures, she prays over and attaches a name and a verse. I was looking at them and almost immediately was drawn, like a magnet to one piece. I was one of those rose gold pieces with a double chain. It was box shaped with the main sides of the box clear glass like. And in this container were little gems of a couple of different hues, sparkling in the light. Instantly I saw it as ‘my tears in a bottle’. As I reached for it, I was undone as I saw what she named the piece – ‘Extravagant Worship’ with the alabaster box passage as the scripture from Matthew. 

I was just a mess holding in my hands a tangible representation of what I’d seen in worship. Then, the next day, it was placed in my hands as a gift from a friend. It is a precious gift, not only from a friend, but the One I Love.

God takes our brokenness, and He crafts something beautiful out of it. Usually its something to help another on their journey. We are His Body, and when we are broken, He can take those broken pieces to feed the multitude. The next post after this, will be such an example as I share what my friend posted on another site this morning. I believe there will be many more to be added, so I believe we’re making “Tears in a Bottle” a new series. If you have such a testimony, or an encouraging word that has come out of your own brokenness, give me a shout and we’ll see about sharing it as well! 

As soon I as figure out how to get the photo uploaded, I’ll share my Tears in a Bottle with on this post as well!

My 'Tears in a Bottle'

My ‘Tears in a Bottle’

Repairing the Breach

So the last 17hours have produced yet another life lesson.

I asked someone about something they had, with no malice intended, and yet it turns out, the enemy had a field day. But! What the enemy intends for evil, God will turn around for good. Many will be familiar with Romans 8:28. I particularly like the wording of the NLT translation: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

This was one of those days.

So this friend, unbeknownst to me had been struggling for the last couple of weeks. I did actually pick up on it a bit last week, but was unable to connect to inquire as to what was happening. Then last night I found out. OUCH!

I won’t go into particulars, lets just leave it at this friend said some things that he sincerely wished he could retract.

Now here I am given the choices of how to react, believe, interpret and respond.. or not. This truly had the potential to wreak utter havoc emotionally and even mentally. But, I heard something underlying what was said, that superseded the actual words that were said. I did not understand the reaction that was occurring, but had to assure myself that there was more going on than it appeared. And yet, I wrestled. This was a friend with whom there is great potential for partnership in the upcoming seasons of our lives. This is a friend I trusted and thought I pretty well knew his heart. And this not having been my first dance, there was the element of, oh, there’s got to be more going on than appears. Somewhere between last night and this morning the word breach came to mind.

Anyone familiar with Nehemiah understands about breaches. There’s a verse I was reminded of – Isaiah 58:12; Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Some versions use the phrase repairer of the breach. Suddenly this verse finally made more sense. That is what Nehemiah and the returning exiles of Israel did.

Nehemiah had been told of the condition of the burned gates and broken walls of Jerusalem. He was broken over her condition and was sent by God and his king to do something about it. Walls were a protective measure. In Nicaragua, walls/gates/fences signify ownership. Property that’s walled or fenced in couldn’t be taken. Get the idea?

God has been rebuilding the foundations and the walls and gates of the Church. Much has been in disrepair for a long time. And just as in Nehemiah’s time, the building does not go on uncontested!

We must be on watch for offense. Although the wounds potentially can run deep, they cannot be left to fester. Relationships are destroyed. Connections lost. We can become isolated and more. So, with this in hand, I knew I could not sleep another night on this one, and needed to go repair this breach.

So when I found my friend, interrupting his face time, I asked if we could talk, and told him there was a breach to which he shook his head in agreement. I said I’d come to repair the breach.

God is so beautiful, gentle, loving and faithful. I suddenly couldn’t get a word to form. I’d promised myself I was not going to cry, knowing I would and hoping I wouldn’t, but I could not hold the flood gates closed. What I was not fully prepared for, was what came next.

I had prayed that God had gone before me and was preparing the way. What I didn’t know, was that He’d already been for several days. The 5 min conversation I was nearly afraid of having was a blessing of an hour. It was easy and a beautiful sharing of hearts. Yeah, the brokenness and apology undid me from the git go. Yay, Daddy.

But, the icing on the cake, came a few hours later, when bits and pieces of this conversation and a few others started to paint a new picture. Not only did the enemy not succeed in causing an irreparable breach, but God may very well have released new strategies in accomplishing upcoming goals. WE WIN. All the way around. Yep.

So, to close this one out, if something happens, deal with it, quickly if possible. Don’t let the voices of condemnation or failure tell you who you are not. Don’t let the voices of rejection, judgement, fear or confusion stop you from reaching out. Most of all… GO TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS DIRECTLY. Do not gossip or malign, complain or murmur about the person who hurt you or the situation. (Good counsel from a trusted source for really tough ones for wisdom is the exception!) Even if what happens is through hearsay or malicious gossip, put it on hold, make no judgement or form and opinion; go to the source!!

You may just find, that not only will you be better off on your end, but the other may be in a place of not only needing forgiveness, but restoration. That is a beautifully humbling honor, to be able to be used by God to help restore one’s dignity, honor and confidence, etc. And by the way, this ISN’T just a God thing. It’s just plain the right thing, even if it is God’s way.  🙂  Let us walk in Love towards one another, and ourselves and put satan under our feet in the process. 

Today was a good day. A friendship repaired and I think made even stronger. Revelations and lessons learned and a few more tools for the arsenal. And maybe our Shield of Faith made a bit stronger, thicker and larger.  

How are about you? Are there any breaches in your realm that need some restoring? I know I still have a few. They do not get any easier by putting them off. I’m glad I didn’t wait. Blessings to you as you rebuild the walls!

United, building bridges, together