Well if you reading this are as hungry and occasionally anxious as me, you’re waking up this morning waiting for something great, though maybe only expecting the usual daily round, because we’ve learned that if we don’t expect too much we aren’t as easily disappointed… Wait, have I learned that? And if I have, I’m not living life to the fullest, if we stop expecting great things, if we stop observing and appreciating the little things we may as well be machines. We are made for the experiences in our lives and they are there to make us.
On to the Cornerstone stuff. Cornerstone in 4 parts, Last week was so much… So much.
I thought I knew what I was going to write about today, but as I sit here typing this blog into my little phone as usual the story is taking me in a different direction, anyway….
Cornerstone part 2
I went to the festival this year with many things on my mind, in the forefront was probably the fact that for the first time in 10 years I wouldn’t be running the Jesus Village stage at Cornerstone. It was strange, it was a little bit unexpected how it came about and I didn’t know what to expect of myself. Mostly I worried about the people I was going to disappoint. I worried about the ones who would come looking for it and nothing would be there, no stage, no devotions, no children’s worship, no music, no dinner, no safe place, no drink of water, no place to find someone safe to talk to, no Jesus Village.
I realize that though the structure wasn’t there the people still were but that didn’t entirely soften the blows. Even as I told myself they didn’t need more music at the festival, I knew it wasn’t about music, I also knew that the bands we had weren’t just about the music, that was the point. But without the stage I had no way to give a platform to the ones I knew were sincere, the ones we had raised up, and the ones that serve beside us and deserve some recognition, even if it is just a spot to play at Cornerstone, to them it said something, it meant something and I cried Everytime I had to tell another one of the sweet young (and old) bands that have been a part of my life for years. “I’m sorry I don’t have a place for you to play at Cornerstone.” To me it may just be a festival but to them it was more than that. And if we are going to get down to that, its more to me to, its a part of life, its a family reunion of sorts, its a breath of fresh air and a splash of diversity and sameness, the solace of a like-minded multitude. It’s beautiful. And I appreciate its uniqueness, its perfections and flaws, its humaness. I love the people it brings together. So it was a hard thing for me to face those people without being able to give them everything I had tried to before.
But God was using this like he uses everything that I let Him use to do something good in me. The people I felt like I was disappointing rallied around us and let our family know that they were behind us no matter what. They spent the festival one by one having little moments where I would discover just how much each part of what we do has poured into so many lives, and it was more than encouraging, the word might be fulfilled. Rather than just feeling robbed or like I’ve failed at a part of my life I’ve worked on for so long instead I got to see the fruit, in faces passing, in children, on other stages at the festival, in seminars, in the work God does in each life we touch if we lay “our lives” down in service.
While talking about this year with a friend and explaining that some things have changed, moved aside and I’m determining to focus more on music… She gave me the line that many well meaning good people have tried to forcefully shove down my throat, “Well, if you stop focusing so much on these things with your family and just focus on you, you’ll do really well. It’s time. You deserve it, etc.” I smilingly let her finish the conversation with me only interjecting once to point out that yes sometimes we hide behind things like college, career or ministry, to keep from walking in what God has for us, but what I’m standing here trying to tell you is that the very things you’re saying to me now, is what tore me down and caused me to doubt. Well meaning misinformed people around me trying to save me from what I feel called to, what I have chosen and been chosen for. And where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has called me to be. If He changes that tomorrow so be it. If he calls me to China or Canada or New Zealand good. If he calls me to go live in a city by myself and work at Starbucks and be normal enough to fit into peoples boxes I will. But He hasn’t and sometimes I would appreciate it if people would stop explaining to me why I’m not married. A) I don’t need to be married by tomorrow because there’s no deadline on that for me. B) I’m not marrying someone that doesn’t at least try to understand where I’ve been with God. I can not. I’m not asking that He live the same life, I’m asking that he accept that up till now these differences have been good, they’re what made me and what continues to make me. And I (despite the pain of doubting that for a little while because people don’t understand anything bit what they chose to…) Have finally gotten to a place thru the pain of asking why and how and why and why and why…why didn’t they believe in and undertand where I am, and why you’re allowed to love someone who isn’t ready to love you? Why, am I where I am, is it God or am I crazy? Who am I and why? And God… And God being who He is mercifully and deeply answered those questions, maybe not the love and broken hearted part… But the deep, broken, needy ones. Why am I here, who am I? Why did you call me to this walk, did you call me or did I miss something? Was I wrong to not do the normal things, college, marriage, getting a degree, furthering a career, working at Starbucks so you can get married instead of living by faith with nothing giving everything and not having any grandbabies to show anybody…. Am I Following God? Am I Called? Am I Crazy? Who Am I?
And if I am following Him I suddenly start accepting, if I am like him I won’t look normal, people won’t understand, I won’t always undertand. I won’t always be able to explain it, even to the most understanding, loving people. His ways are not our ways, sacrifice will be our proof, all things work together for the good, He is the intervening distance. God is good and he wants good things for us and He will give them in His ways in His timing, and it won’t always make sense but as His perfect will unfolds externally and internally, as He works the good and the bad and the painful and the ugly and the unfair and the dirty and the disappointments and the hopes and the things, all the things together for our good. We learn to love Him we learn what His love is and we accept ourselves, we accept and embrace who He is in us and what we are without Him. And its all so good and great and complete and I have so much faith in Him. I have so much trust that what we give to Him is always gonna be safe our hearts, our minds, our plans, our fears, the hearts of the persons we love the most and we want the best for, our ambitions, dreams, babies, jobs, career, family, pain, pain, fear, doubt, hurt, life, all of it. As I give it to Him as I sit alone on the floor afraid of letting go. As I stand on a stage, as I walk thru Cornerstone and see God using my family in new ways when the old is missing, as we prayed this year for God to open and close the doors and then he did and I see how its perfect, as I drove thru the festival last week at about 5am with tears on my face and in my throat as I cried out to God to heal me and take my pain. As I cried for what’s over, what’s now and what’s to come. For Cornerstone, for me, for my family, for our ministry, for the people I have to let go of, for the things I cannot cling to, for how transient and flexible and perfect and sure God is and how I want to please Him. All of this.
All of this is me, all of it is God at work in me some of it coincides with Cornerstone some of it overlaps and some of it is years of process just steadily plugging along stomping over Cornerstone like its stomped over everything else that’s just a stepping stone in our life just a stop along the way to where Gods plans take us. There is a part 2 to this particular post that involves hamburgers but we have 3 shows this weekend so that is to be continued.