We went to church with Don's folks today. It was fantastic. The worship...oh my gosh. It reminded me so much of Eastwood Baptist, back in the early 80's. It was anointed and I wept while I sang-- I have needed a worship time like that in such a bad way. Maybe it's because we were in a different place than normal. Maybe it's because the room was dark and the music was loud and the congregation entered in as a whole (none of this is a commentary on my own church-- I love LOVE my church-- but rather on this blessing the Lord gave us this weekend). I was able to throw my head back and just sing.
And they did Desert Song. That is the song that has brought me such comfort and so many tears all of these weeks. I couldn't believe it. It was the first time I've sung it with other people-- usually I'm in the car or in my classroom with it blasting.
If you live in the Athens, Georgia, area you should check it out: Grace Fellowship.
The Lord is so kind. I've been so hurt...just hurting with Him. Feeling like, okay, there is the pain of this loss, but then also, Lord? Do you love me? My mind always seems to go there first-- I wonder about His love for me. Not His existence (though that has occurred to me, too, but fleetingly-- I know He's real). I don't wonder about His goodness or His love for you or for China. I wonder about how incredibly unloveable I must be.
Oh, self-pity, thy name is SAMANTHA.
And just when I want to completely go under, to totally drown in a pool of total, devastating self-pity, He brings me into a church where the worship is exactly my style. Exactly what I needed. To close my eyes and tell Him, "YOU ARE GOOD. Your lovingkindness is everlasting!"
And then, on Saturday, a book comes in the mail. My friend, and one of my favorite leaders and mentors in YWAM, Paul Hawkins, sent me a little book written by his wife, Peggy. She has suffered from crippling, mind-numbing pain for the last 30+ years-- the kind of pain that makes you shake your head.... It's called "Though He Slay Me" and it was and is the word of the Lord for me. Peggy addresses questions that my heart has been struggling with: If You're good and You love me, then why this unfathomable pain? I want to write more about what she's written and I will after I finish reading the book.
God is so good. And He is paying attention.