Thursday, August 19, 2010


July 8,2010 is the day that my life - my family's life - changed direction in a way I didn't expect. Chris resigned from the ministry and chose to go into a new profession. (I should've started to blog right away, but our computer had died.)

The Refiner begins to stoke the fire in my life.

I'm generally a 'can-do' person and I'd like to hope that I've grown in my faith life over the past seven years, or so. But I've felt stress, fear, anxiety, and been generally overwhelmed to a depth I can't really put into words. Heart racing, thoughts jumbled, my whole being trembling uncontrolably. I cannot fall asleep or stay asleep. Quiet tears filling my eyes throughout the day...

And sitting in worship after Chris announced his resignation... well, the last four Sundays of his job... I was in mourning, grieving the loss of what I'd know for the past twenty-six years. For me, there is no one who can lead worship like Chris, no one who plays the piano with the heart that he does, no one who I can sing with who can 'breathe' at the piano at the exact same time as I do. It's always been my comfort and joy to sit next to him at the piano, as we lift our voices to offer ourselves to the Lord. I am mourning the loss of that.

I am also completely overwhelmed when I think of life without him at home. His new vocation is to be long-haul trucking. He'll be gone for long periods of time and home for short periods in between.

God has always provided for us. God has always protected us. God has always lead us.

But I can't see any glimpse of God in this at the beginning. The only thing I can see is the peace in Chris's countenance... the sure-ness in his steps. I haven't seen that in years. And it's the glimmer of hope that I cling to. The past month has been as though we are both walking in darkness. Normally, I'd be out front, swiping my arms around trying to feel my way. This time, I'm holding onto Chris, inching along in the darkness. I can't see a thing ahead of us, but he is getting glimpses of light and he's leading us toward the light. It says huge things about our marriage - leadership, trust, responsibility, submission.

To be continued...

This song, by Kathy Troccoli expresses some of my heart:

I've known laughter, days of fun;
Had many hours in the sun,been to many mountains, walked along the ocean shores.
I've seen rainbows fill the sky, counted stars on summer nights.
Oh, so many moments that have filled my soul with joy.

But, it's been the rain, it's been the storms, it's been the days when I've been worn
That I have found You, Lord, that I have found You, Father.
It's in the pain that I have grown; Through all the sorrow I have known.
But, if that's what it takes for You to lead me this far, go ahead and break my heart.

I have felt the winter snow, seen the beauty of a rose, sat by many fires and enjoyed the warmth of friends.
I've known love and it's embrace, have felt the wind against my face, watched the moon at midnight shine upon a sleeping world.

But, it's been the rain, it's been the storms, it's been the days when I've been worn
That I have found You, Lord, that I have found You, Father.
It's in the pain that I have grown; Through all the sorrow I have known.
But, if that's what it takes for You to lead me this far, go ahead and break my heart.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February... it's about time!

Okay, so I'm not the greatest blogger. I can forgive myself for that. I've never been a good 'journaler' either... always wish I had. There are those who would tell me it's never to late to start... right, Jan? My dear college friend, Jan, has journaled since she was a wee lass and has refreshed many of my college-day memories with notes from her diaries. Which, bye the way, are different from journals. Who knew? She does both.

The 'big thing' in our lives at the moment is that Chris's position at our church has been cut back to half-time with no benefits. We've prayed and talked through this issue many, many times - with friends and as a couple - and while I don't understand why the past two positions haven't work out, I'm beginning to see something. I believe that the Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to the spiritual perspective.

Chris deals with depression from time to time - well, so do I... life is hard sometimes - and I do my best to encourage and support him through the rough times. When a husband and father loses his job, it's a hard thing for them and I see his self esteem and confidence waver. That hurts my heart. I've been seeing the last two job 'changes' as a sort of spiritual warfare issue. And I'm beginning to pray for my husband in a whole new way.

I believe that as a worship pastor/director Chris is on the front lines of the spiritual battles every Sunday morning. Don't think for a moment that the Enemy doesn't enter through the front doors of your church! For twenty-five years I have watched Chris develop in his music ministry. He's never been the splashy, one-man-show, performer that some worship leaders act like. He's got amazing talent on the keys and his head is full of musical knowledge. But it's his HEART that has made his ministry what it is. He loves God and he loves to bring the congregation into God's presence. He has always respected the senior pastor's vision and works with them to create a true worship experience. Not merely a program.

The age-old 'worship wars' have been present in the last two churches we've been in (as they have in others, too). And the Enemy LOVES to stir up disunity by having people focus on style, length, drums/no drums, speed, volume, hynms/choruses, contemporary/traditional. Constant complaints wear on a person's outlook and I hate to see Chris get discouraged to the point of wondering if he should choose another line of work. At that point, I feel he's focusing too much on 'man' and not on God's call for his life. He should continue to get on his knees and seek God's face. He should be bathed in prayer each week as he approaches that piano. He should listen to the Holy Spirit's guidance as he plans a path that will lead worshippers directly into the presence of God. Resist the Devil and he will flee. These past two churches have truly needed what Chris has brought to there worship experience. But, largely, the Enemy has won battles in those congregations as they have rejected the experience of true worship and have settled for comfortable, familiar, mere songs inserted within the morning's 'program'. So dead!

I have no desire to sing songs with a dull mind and a dead heart toward God. Oh Lord, soften my heart! Open my eyes to see your glory! Don't let me comfortable within myself! Draw me to yourself and let me see You and then change my heart toward you.

I know that Chris's heart is to serve God and bring honor to Him and to lift up the name of Christ so that others will be drawn to worship Him. I am blessed to be his wife, but I am also greatly blessed to worship under his leadership each Sunday.