Thursday, July 31, 2008

heavier things **LONG BLOG**

i woke up this morning with a heavy heart, for some reason. i had strange dreams all night about what our church is going through right now. i thought i'd share a little bit on the personal side of things.

about 10 (yeesh!) years ago, i moved up here from california. i was dating a guy who was not the right one for me and i needed an escape from the situation. enter scott and michelle. scott is my first cousin (my dad and his mom are brother and sister) and since there was such a big age gap, i never was close to him growing up. barely saw him, actually. as a child, when i did see him, he was always so kind...and cool. way coooool. in 1996, my family (my dad is a pastor) took a church in california and moved me there my senior year of high school from nevada. scott and michelle took the positions as youth/associate pastor down there. needless to say, things did not go well with that church and we all lasted a few months there. during that time, i had the wonderful privilege of getting to know scott and michelle, and cambria who was 2 at the time. they stole my heart.

ok fast forward back to 1998...called them up and said, "hey, i need a place to stay for awhile - can i live with you?"...pause..."SURE!" uh....what? sure?! really!?? i couldn't believe they didn't even have to think about it! so, i packed up my belongings and hopped on the amtrak and i was up within a couple of weeks. i climbed off that amtrak with my bags and broken heart right into the arms of the harris'. all i can tell you about the time i stayed with them (which was about 2 years) was that forever sealed me into their family. they taught me so many things - grown up things and responsibility. and how to love myself, and someday, that i would fall in love again when my heart was all healed up. during this time, i met ryan at the church we attended. we became email buddies, and hung out a few times in groups, but i didn't give it much thought. i started dating someone else. then scott and michelle decided to plant The Rock. we sat in their living room with our coffee and i exclaimed, "You're taking me with you!!"...and they did. ryan heard about what was going on, and contacted scott and wanted to be a part (i was still dating the other guy). scott said, "sure!" and ryan was on board. we had many precious meetings in the living rooms of people who shared our dream where ryan had his guitar and would lead intimate times of worship. And God started nudging me...right in the heart. michelle saw it before i did. i always laugh about that. i ditched the other guy and started to talk to ryan. the more we talked, the more it just made sense. he was the one for me. his softspoken-ness, his love for music and God (and the combination of the two), and confidence stole my heart. the big blue eyes didn't hurt either...but i digress. in the late summer of 2000, i moved out of the harris home when ryan and i got married. scott performed our ceremony and it was such a special time.

shortly after ryan and i got married, we took the spot of worship leaders at The Rock. through the last 8 years or so, we've led this ministry. and it has been hard. HARD, i tell you! we've played with really close friends who have left to pursue other things, we've dealt with typical issues that ministry leaders deal with, we've cried, we've pounded the wall with our fists, you name it. but our hearts never changed. this is what God has called us to do. and it is our dream. we love it! through time, our band has whittled down to a faithful few. i want you to know how hard that is for us, yet rewarding in some ways. when i say a faithful few, i mean it. a faithful FEW. i would like to believe that God is doing something. He has stripped us down and we're starting over. we're re-learning what He has for us in this ministry and what we are to do as leaders. it's hard to not be able to fill a schedule with musicians and not be able to do the music/arrangements we would like to do. i'm praying it's temporary. but you know what? i have felt such a great presence of God during our recent worship times. the simple acoustic sets have brought me back to that time, in our living rooms, when we could hear the voices singing and let God move on our hearts. i'm realizing, we don't need all the big stuff - the hype, a zillion guitars, a full drum set, a wall of vocalists. that is such a relief and encouragement to me.

as i've previously blogged, i had a HARD time when the harris' announced they were leaving. i had so many thoughts and emotions to deal with. but in the end, The Rock is our home. people seem surprised when i tell them we're staying. why would we go? where would we go? this is it for us! we're excited for this new season for our church and we wouldn't miss it for the world! we look forward to a new season in our ministry as well. if you're reading this, and you pray, please pray for our church and ryan and i. we want to keep doing music and do it well. we want to meet the needs of the people in our church, yet maintain the vision of the Rock and our hearts. sure, i know, not everyone is always happy, but the feedback i do get is encouraging and supportive. that is what we, and the elders, and well, everyone needs right now!

i can feel my heavy heart lifting as i type. it's going to be okay. thank you for reading my blog today.
Psalm 13:6
"I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."