Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Celebrating Change

Today was a fantastic day.

Work was good, I went to the theatre with friends, and discovered that more than one person reads my blog. Absolutely fantastic.

I was talking with my mom last night (who, incidentally, says that my new favorite word is 'fantastic') about life, worship team, and sharing Sunday. If you weren't at the 5pm service, allow me to share the Scriptures from Isaiah that God put on my heart:

Isaiah 42: 5-9

This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
"I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."

Isaiah 43:19

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

I shared in service that God had put these passages on my heart at the beginning of 2007, with a conviction that I was in for a year of big changes. But I also shared that the changes I expected, or wished for, were not the changes I experienced. Reflecting on the second verse in chapter 43, I realized that God knew the areas of desert and wilderness in my life better than I did. He knew where I needed to be pushed and prodded into making the changes that would bring life to my soul.

Change has never been easy for me. When I was younger, I had a lot of fear that manifested in a need to control situations. Prime example: family road trips. The only way I could handle leaving the stability of home was to have my parents provide me with a map and a detailed itinerary. I learned at a very young age how to calculate time based on distance and speed (of course, I hated story problems later in life). I would watch the road signs, compare to the itinerary, and try to predict exactly when we would arrive at our destination. No flexibility in my travel plans.

Nowadays I realize that change can be good, and that sometimes you can have a good time even when you don't know what you're doing. Take this worship leading I've been attempting the past couple of months. While I have been a singer in church since I was 13, I have never led a team of musicians before. It's a difficult thing to do. As one of my fellow leaders put it, the musicians speak a different language of keys and capos that I only slightly understand. My six months of piano lessons when I was ten years old don't really equip me to handle the job of running a worship team. So I've kind of been flying by the seat of my pants here.

But you know what? It's been awesome. Scary? Yes. Nerve-wracking? Yes. Requiring an extensive amount of prayer by myself and and my wonderful friends who have been subjected to my panic attacks? Yes. But intensely wonderful when it all comes together. Our worship team is so talented and understanding that despite my failings we have had some great worship that has reminded me why I love worship team and has also confirmed my sense of calling as a worship leader. The joy of being up on stage and looking down at a sanctuary full of people worshipping God is beyond description. While I may not be chosen to lead the 5pm team permanently, I'm ever so grateful for this opportunity to grow and be blessed by the people I serve with.

This chance to lead worship was just one of the big unexpected changes of 2007. I've blogged a bit about the job change (which is still fantastic; not only did I earn my first big bonus this month, but also a trip to Vegas). There are tons of little changes and insights and areas of growth in my life that I am grateful for. God has definitely been blessing me. So I start 2008 with the expectation of more change, but with no fear.

Well, maybe just a little.

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