I’ve been working through so much stuff these past two weeks; both good and messy, hard and necessary, joyous and exhausting. With each new day I note thoughts that I want to share on this space and that day ends up coming to close without me getting those thoughts expressed onto a physical piece of paper, much less, this blog. The beautiful thing though is that the important stuff, somehow, sticks with you. The important stuff is whispered over and over again into my ears.
I keep hearing…
“Count it all as joy, daughter. Count it ALL as joy”
Last Thursday I got to hear one of my favorite bands play here in Athens. I went with some friends, excited, but rather exhausted from all the week had brought my way. I could feel the heaviness inside me, pushing me…caging me. I knew this concert was going to be good. I thought it would make me feel better, lighter, at ease.
We got there pretty early and I wasn’t really in the mood to mingle. Avoiding many familiar faces, I scooted my way to the side of the venue. Trying to not be too antisocial and pissy I engaged my friend’s boyfriend who was standing near us. The conversation went well for a little bit and then it spoiled, quickly. Some words were said that ended up being what broke me, like my last straw was pulled. Bless that sweet boyfriend though, because he really is a good guy and meant well. I was just fragile, and I broke.
I walked away, not having too many options of where to go. I ran into some other friends, immediately telling them how insensitve that boyfriend had been, wanting them to sympathize, wanting them to tell me it was okay that I was upset and that he was in the wrong. Again, I was broken. I was reaching for something or someone to patch me back up so I could get through the night. I wanted approval for the way I was acting and feeling, I wanted someone to be on my page, to say “ I get it, Katie and I’m right there with ya”
Then I saw my sweet friend Katie. I was excited to see her, we hugged, and then something clicked. We both felt it. We knew that we were sitting in the same boat.
We walked outside of the venue and sat on the benches. We talked, pouring out the junk in our hearts. My heart broke for Katie. I no longer felt alone. I saw that I was not the only one walking through hard stuff just to be able share Jesus with high school girls. I saw how much the Evil one is working against us and attacking the heck out of us just so the power of the Lord inside of us wont reach these girls.
We walked across the street to pray. Sitting on a ledge outside of a closed restaurant we proclaimed the goodness of our God, out loud. And dang, did it feel good!
We walked back into the concert just in time to hear the band we actually came to see. I was healed. The rest of the night felt like worship. The music filled my soul. Having Katie by my side filled my heart.
The band, Judah and The Lion, sang a new song of theirs and it was all about “counting it all as joy”. The main dude, Judah, introduced the song and gave a little background on why he wrote it. He told us he remembered telling his Grandpa about not liking hard and icky stuff in life. Granpa’s response was always, “count it all as joy, son”
Katie and I turned to each other, smiled, and pretty much communicated “YES. THAT’S IT! That is what Jesus is telling us” without saying any words to each other. We hugged, again, and kept listening and dancing like we could stay there forever.
“Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:2-4