And yes, we’re talking Hawk Nelson here. I go through phases of time where I tend to come back to the same handful of songs as I work through life…they change, some fall away, others strike me, and playlists get adjusted accordingly. The only constants on this mental playlist of life that have ever remained since around age 17 have been Ravel’s Bolero, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (the piano score), and an untitled piece that an old friend wrote that we worked on the solo/accompaniment parts and recorded during time we spent together in another church’s music ministry when in high school so I could use it in my performance portfolio. All music lulls me to another place, time, or situation–I marvel at its ability to consume me. Anyway…
Excitement and paralyzing fear coexist rather well in my existence. Something happened a couple days ago and I realized that this type A introvert didn’t create plan B through plan XYZ in something important. (I know, right? I was just as shocked when I realized it too) I was inside and out prepared and ready for plan A, but everything didn’t fall quite into place close to zero hour and I had to adapt. Plan A still went off, just not as anticipated. I didn’t hit meltdown mode, but was still pretty rattled. I didn’t hit the meltdown, but only after panicking did I remember to simply stop, quiet the highways and byways of my brain that were shooting around at a million miles an hour, take a deep breath, and lay it all out for God. Did what occur turn out as I had anticipated? Nope, not even close. Was what occurred meeting the need of those involved? Yep. God intervened. My prayers were answered, not in how I expected it to happen, but in how God wanted to work in the hearts of other specific individuals–not how “I” wanted to work. The whole situation start to finish was never about me–it was about God’s mighty work to transform. Put aside the ego…lesson learned. Prayer answered.
I had another completely unrelated experience this weekend in someone coming to me and asking for forgiveness. A prayer I have been praying eight years for this young woman. I forgave her long ago, it was not a difficult thing on my end, but I did have to put a hard boundary in place long ago because her public actions called my judgment into question by associating with her, and I had to separate myself from our relationship to preserve my integrity. Tough choice. I doubted and questioned that choice for a long, long time…but have always kept it a matter of prayer. God intervened. Eight years has brought change, maturity, and spiritual growth in both of us. I got a glimpse into how God is working on changing her in our encounter, to receive her apology that I honestly never expected with an open mind, and extend to her the grace of forgiveness in return. Will our relationship be restored? Probably not right now, but not out of the realm of possibility in the future. Praise for answered prayers. Continued prayers for how this plays out going forward. Still…initial prayer answered.
Humbling moment. I had to apologize for my actions to a few people I care about last week. I had an overall crummy week and was just not myself at all. I realized that in my self-absorption trying to figure out what my major malfunction was, I potentially harmed them in not engaging in conversations, situations, actions, and outcomes in the standard that I hold myself to…possibly a lofty standard, but it’s what I’m working with, so yeah, go with it. I left an event with a heavy heart after realizing I needed to apologize, and sat in my car, wrote different messages to those couple friends, owned it, and immediately engaged in prayer for which detail is inconsequential to my point. I let them down, but I found it interesting that in a relatively short period of time, situations occurred, conviction hit, and I took the prompted action. Not so much like me…usually I’ve got to dissect it fifty ways to Sunday and weigh every possible outcome of any potential action and move forward with a plan. Nope. Not this time. I ended up being the one being blessed in the two vastly different perspectives of grace extended in return. Prayer answered.
This is how it all comes together. Yes, I’m making you google the lyrics because I’m not going to hammer it out. At the outset of this “project” on holistically bettering myself, I prayed a pretty bold prayer of obedience that I continue to pray today. I fall short…a lot. That’s okay though. When I sat in this very seat on January 23, 2015, and laid it all out, I was dead serious in my commitment to change even though I had no idea in the least what that was going to look like. I was broken, truly at my lowest in mind, body, and spirit. God showed me the first little things to change, areas that I could see change with my human eyes, and now as I keep going forward, there are new and different changes and challenges to face. Some days are harder than others…just because God’s in charge and not hasn’t made everyday smiles and sunshine, but those broken pieces are coming together. Goals identified. Goals undertaken. Goals met. And the cycle repeats. All that dust…all those broken pieces that never quite fit before…are under such extreme pressure in God’s great love to not leave me where I was when I cried out. I’m at a loss for words for the beauty in it all.
God’s strength keeps me praying…the matter of a few minutes, eight years, just a couple of hours, or what I know to be infinite going forward in each that I mentioned above. I can’t do it all alone. I have new eyes on the power of my prayers–His timing, His refining. Joy abounds. Finding those diamonds and smiling at God’s handiwork today.