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Monday, January 07, 2008
A Daughter Feeling the Delight of God
I first considered myself an Emerging Woman when my husband and I knew we needed to find a new church. It was a long long Summer. Week after week of "Hi, my name is...." We tried it, every flavor of church. Churches that called themselves Emergent. Churches that were United Methodists and very embracing of women. You name it, we tried it. I wanted to give you an update on how God is finding me on my journey.

We've been going to this new church since the end of the Summer. It's a Vineyard church. One of the things that drew me to the Vineyard and made me a pariah at my Baptist church was that when I worship God I get too locked into the tractor beam of loving on Jesus that I cannot be still. I don't realize I'm raising my hands until my hand accidentally touches my husband's chin or something like that. I didn't even realize till it was too late that I had developed a reputation at my church for being "too charismatic". This developed not out of a desire to be "showy" or overly excited or contrived and deliberate like a high school pep rally. It was instead born out of Christ doing a deep work in my heart over a two year period, almost like open heart surgery and the only pain relief was worship. Worship was no longer dessert it was meat and potatoes. It was nourishment and life and breath to me. So when the way I worshipped made me unpopular, I was surprized no shocked that people who had so known my walk with the Lord for years would judge me and dismiss me treating me like some kind of charismatic lunatic. I was disspointed. But it was no contest. Worship my lavish affection upon God or stand still and pretend just so I could get man's approval? Stop breathing oxygen or start breathing helium instead? Yeah. What. Ever. No can do, buddy boy.

So here we are at the Vineyard where it is okay, even desirable for all the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate. In a grounded and nonflaky way. And worship at this church had such an overt hunger for God. I loved it. My husband even pointed out to me when a couple of ladies were gently dancing while they worshipped. I was so so hungry for that. But still shy. Real shy. Shy to move my feet. I had no problem with raising my arms. That felt like giving God a hug. But my feet. I was too afraid to move them. But we started sitting in some seats where I had room to move so my hands would not bump somoene's arm or chin accidentally when I opened my arms wide to embrace God while I sang. But for weeks, when I sang, I would close my eyes and visualize myself as a little girl, standing in a field or meadow with my arms outstretched twirling around with my eyes closed and face to the sun. This image would come to my mind unbidden. I knew it was an inviatation from God. This Sunday, when we sat down, my husband said, "So we're sitting here cause there's twirling room." He's never said that. and when the worship started, at first, I was just along for the ride. Hiding from God. Still cringing from the month I've had. But in my spirit, Jesus kept saying that verse from Song of Solomon, "let me see your face let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely." So I did. I quit holding back and started letting my facial expressions show. I directed my gaze and all my energy in singing to the Lord to love on Him. and I could feel it. Honest to God. I could feel His delight. Like Eric Liddell said, "when I run I feel His pleasure" So I kept going. I raised my hands. More like I let them raise themselves. and again, that vision in my mind of me as a little girl twirling in a field smiling with the sun on my face arms outstretched. I knew God wanted me to do it. So in my mind I'm saying, "God are you sure?" "Yes. Yes." So I said, "Okay. I'll wait for the chorus." Which is so funny. But real. It's like I was a kid standing on the edge of the high dive. Today. I move my feet. Gulp.

So the chorus came. and I did it. I kept my arms outstretched hugging God and I closed my eyes and turned my face up to the sun and I twirled in a slow gentle circle. It. felt. awesome.

I felt all the innocent freedom and joy of a little girl.

After church, I was talking with a friend from homegroup when a lady I've never met walked up to me. She was waiting to talk to me. She said, (she was so shy) she said, "God told me something to tell you. I dont usually do this. Is that okay with you." "Sure. Yes. Go ahead." This shy lady said, "Um God wants you to know that he likes the way you worship. He likes it very much just the way you do it today."

Is THAT AWESOME OR WHAT??

The lady and me were both smiling and crying.
It was awesome.
Thanks for letting me share.

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posted by Sensuous Wife at 10:45 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


10 Comments:


  • At 1/08/2008 06:34:00 AM, Blogger Joel Frederick

    This brought tears of joy to my eyes.

    I play in the worship band at church. One day I caught sight of a woman dancing out of the corner of my eyes. A week or so later, I ran into her after the service and confirmed that was her. My comment brought tears to both of us. "Your dancing was a blessing to me".

    Passionate worship helps draw others into God's presence.

     
  • At 1/08/2008 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    I am so very happy for you...it is your turn to have affirmation like that ;)

     
  • At 1/08/2008 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Robin M.

    In our Quaker meeting's children's program last Sunday, we were learning about different body positions for prayer. Testing the hypothesis that how you sit/kneel/stand/etc. affects how you pray. My co-teacher was a 50 year old birthright Friend, who doesn't usually teach First Day School. He originally agreed to come because he had a bee in his bonnet about people slouching in worship. But he told the children a story about a meeting for worship some years ago.

    Do you know about unprogrammed Quaker worship? Lots of silent waiting, usually a little spontaneous but solemn talking. It's often about as staid as you can get. But it doesn't have to be that way.

    Anyway, one time a young man stood up and gave vocal ministry, "I feel like I should run up and down the room shouting Hallelujah." And then sat down. Because nobody does things like that in Quaker meeting. But a very elderly woman, a lifelong Quaker (a very weighty Friend, we would say), stood up in the silence and said, "I wish our Friend would run up and down shouting Hallelujah if God is asking him to." And she sat down. More silence. And then the young man did just that.

    I've never seen something like that happen. My children were amazed. The six year old told his dad after worship that was what he remembered from First Day School. But the important thing for me is that when we preach that God can and does speak to us, as Quakers and the Vineyard folks do, we have to be willing to follow, even if we are embarrassed about the leadings we get.

    Keep up the good work.

     
  • At 1/08/2008 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Jemila

    Robin, that's a GORGEOUS story! I love it!

     
  • At 1/08/2008 01:32:00 PM, Blogger Sensuous Wife

    Wow, you guys.
    Joel, I'm happy to see those tears of joy in your eyes.

    Jemila, why is it you know exactly what to say?

    Robin M, Wow-sers. (happy slack-jawed look of amazement and delight)
    and how about a yay God for that dear lady who obeyed God and told me what he told her to say??

    As did all of you.

    Blessings and love,
    Sensuous Wife

     
  • At 1/10/2008 06:16:00 AM, Blogger Sue

    Hello! I surfed on in here from ... gee, I can't even remember now - from off someone's blogroll. And here I am, and what a beautiful post to begin wth :)

    Thank you for revealing your heart about how it is for you when you worship Papa. It was really very sweet and beautiful. How lovely for you.

     
  • At 1/10/2008 01:41:00 PM, Blogger Amy

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. What an affirmation of a loving God.

     
  • At 1/11/2008 06:10:00 PM, Blogger Sensuous Wife

    Welcome to Emerging Women, Sue. Your words warm my heart. Which is a lovely thing to happen to you after you reveal your heart. Thank you.

    You're welcome, Amy. Our loving God can be good overwhelming, huh?

     
  • At 1/12/2008 10:25:00 PM, Blogger Happy

    This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. Thank you SO much for sharing it... and Robin, thank you for sharing yours!

    As a worship leader, I've been on a long journey that's only just begun, and one of the things I love most is the variety of religious experience God has allowed me over the years. I've been in one place for what feels like a long time now, but I'm still learning, and not standing as still as I thought I was. (I like to dance too, but Jesus sees a lot more of it in my kitchen than He does in "church"!)

     
  • At 1/19/2008 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Sensuous Wife

    Happy, I just saw your comment today. I dance in my kitchen too! ;)

     

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