Earlier this week, while my family was at still at work, just a little past noon, I ventured out my front door for a walk in my neighborhood. With layers zippered up, ball-cap on & iPhone in tote, I slid on my earphones, turned up the sound & hit ‘repeat’ for one of my very favorite songs… “More” by Matthew West. I’ve actually shared the lyrics to this song in a previous post.
Within minutes I felt my soul being totally overwhelmed by the presence of our Savior. Unknowingly, I began to swing my arms, bounce my legs, sing aloud, bop my head. My eyes closed with hands rising to the Heavens & I suddenly realized the fool I was making of myself. How undignified I must look to anyone who may see!
As I checked my surroundings- a neighborhood full of homes containing windows that could be camouflaging watching eyes, a street with the occasional passing car- embarrassment crept in. Knowing to ignore these rationalizations, I prayed that God may shut off my mind & flip on the switch to my heart. Thankfully, I turned down the thoughts that were fighting to place barriers on my worship; allowing myself to praise unequivocally, without inhibition, reaching out for HIM who is worthy of all praise, regardless of my surroundings, and this time of adoration became beautifully intoxicating. Once I fully shut off my paranoia I felt absolutely exhilarated.
God spoke into my heart while the Holy Spirit moved my body to dance in the street, to play air guitar to the beat until my arms could no longer pump. It was in these moments that I discovered an overwhelming hope filling my soul. And for the first time in 18+ months I could clearly see hope on the horizon. Not that I’ve had no hope in the valley (just read my writings!) but I’m accustomed to having to claw for it every waking second, & even with all the fighting, sometimes hope can still feel impossible to find. Now, as I excitedly feel myself gaining strength & stamina, as pain is becoming more tolerable, & although I’m faaaarrr from being out of the woods, & I’m constantly fighting invisible battles that I work with all my might to conceal from others— I know, I can feel, that there’s an end in sight to this particular season.
Hope is on the horizon.
A start into a new life–with new norms, new struggles, new pain, yet more importantly, new chances at life. All of the fighting and suffering to reclaim MALLORY from disease & dying, are culminating into something breathtaking. Beauty from ashes, remember?
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
At this time, I am believing that my life is worthy of healing. My life is worthy of regaining. My body is worthy of restoration. Spending every waking moment of every day in habitual suffering & debilitating pain, has led me to believe that I’d become unworthy of a life, of healing. I know how precious I am to my Father. I know that He has greatness behind everything He has planned & behind, although excruciating, the battles He allows to happen. And I know how badly He wishes all of us would understand the worth He has placed upon our lives. I don’t have the words to express or even understand what I’m trying to say.
I think I am FINALLY at a point where I can say, “I’m starting to feel BETTER.” I’m noticing real, lasting improvements & I honestly haven’t been able to say that the entire time I’ve been sick (since Oct. 2013) until now. My issues with eating, vitamin deficiencies, & being extremely underweight are not in this category of improvement but I do not wish to go until detail. Please continue to pray for these very important & equally difficult parts of my life.
There are moments when I discover small bursts of energy (enough for a walk, to do something in the kitchen). I had completely forgotten what it felt like to have any ounce of anything to power my cells. Other moments (excluding the morning hours when I wake up feeling I’ve been run over by a truck) I’m reaching a point where my body isn’t entirely overwhelmed by heaviness, extreme fatigue, or completely devoid of strength. And that my friends, is a pleasant & praiseworthy improvement for my life. No wonder I felt like dancing in the street!
Jesus, you are giving me a chance to rediscover life & to rediscover YOU.
See, for me just to leave my house to pick up some of my soups, to go to church, to chill at Tyler’s apartment or for me to want to take a car ride is a big accomplishment. I’m not yet a part of this world again, & I need to make GIANT improvements before reaching that point, but I think I’m on the road to “benchwarmer” status. Before, I was never even on the “team.” In fact, I wouldn’t have even made it to the field for tryouts. At least now I feel as though I’m the last person to make the cut on the practice squad & I can be included from afar, though I’m a season(s) away from entering the game.
Psalm 46:10 “Be STILL and KNOW that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted on the Earth!”
As my walk came to a close I approached my mailbox & stood still for a minute, with arms high in surrender to my Savior, singing out for His glory. Feeling a hush over my body saying, “Be Still” knowing He was right there with me. I shuffled my feet & clapped my hands down the driveway, reaching the front of my home with a complete arm extension. In those moments I could care less about being seen by anyone or anything; I only cared about being seen by my Heavenly Father.
And I know He saw me.
I’m confident that as I smiled at the Heavens, they were grinning right back. It was then that I was reminded of King David dancing in his underwear, acting completely undignified for the purpose of praise. Maybe this was the same feeling that overwhelmed him…the feeling of being mad for The King, of truly giving it ALL.
2 Samuel 6:14-15
“Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”
“I will dance, I will sing
To be mad for my king.
Nothing Lord is hindering
This passion in my soul.
And I’ll become even more
Undignified than this!
Some may say it’s foolishness.
But, I’ll become even more
Undignified than this!
Leave my pride on the side…”
When the Holy Spirit overwhelms your heart, whether during quiet solitary moments, at church in a crowded pew of believers, in the car jamming to the radio, at the office with all of your coworkers, or on a walk through your neighborhood… I challenge you to be PRESENT. To allow Jesus Christ to FILL your soul to the depths. To PRAISE in whatever way your heart is urging. These moments are precious, rare, & way too easy to miss. Keep your eyes fixed on Him, your heart open to His word, & your ears clear for the sound of His voice. Do not become so distracted by the things of this world or the environment that surrounds you, that you miss God standing at your side. May we take a tip from King David & have the courage to become uninhibited in our worship.
Lord God, for you, I’ll become so much more undignified than this.