Here I am

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come...the hymn lilts through my consciousness, floating in the pool last night alone, surrounded by the flurry of 7 hilarious roommates, during the morning devotional. I sit down alone to play on the grand piano, and I am soothed from the chaos. Surrounded by these women - high-achieving, goal-oriented, passionate, God-fearing women - feels once again like coming home.

Here is a place where Holiness and love coexist in one congruent flow from one voice to another. The rebels and the righteous, the loud and the quiet, the new friends and old friends - all band together silent, captured by the words. We are word people, a group of writers, and we hang on every one.

We meet other wounded souls, and share our stories of pain and joy through suffering. We talk churches and theology and social media. I find, once again, that I am not alone. In the velvety night, everyone in pj's, we eat chocolate and talk about the world. The strobe of a picture booth and the giddy laughter of friends echoes all the way through the thick walls of our hotel room.

This is a gathering place, an entire nation of Christian bloggers meeting together to encourage, listen, share, and grow. I hear this morning a different take on presenting the Gospel and my brain explodes into fireworks of connections suddenly made because of a single sentence. Every unsaved soul is saved already, and they just need to hear it and believe it. Not "do you want to be saved", but "you are saved already. Can you accept it?"

I struggle with the uniquely female torment over outfits and my reddened bald head, feeling like I look old, frumpy. Like I can't fit in with these women of beauty. Yet their arms are open and I call it for what it is, that old tormentor trying to whisper doubt into my ear. For He has made me beautifully and wonderfully. Even on a small blog such as this, He has given me a message. It is a message about finding joy in small moments, savoring life, fighting for it, grieving losses. It doesn't matter if that message is for a few hundred or thousand readers, like those who visit my small space on the internet, or the tens of thousands and millions the powerhouse bloggers attract.

God is good, all the time - and He's showing up here in big ways through the sistership of shared faith and vision, passion and talent. I am reveling in His pleasure as I watch each interaction, join in the community and the conversation of these women. Praise God that He works through we who are broken to bring His gospel where He's called us to share it.

lord i have a heavy burden
of all i've seen and know
it's more than i can handle
but your word is burning like a fire
shut up in my bones
and i can’t let it go

and when i'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
i think of paul and silas in the prison yard
i hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

and when the Saints go marching in
i want to be one of them

lord it's all that i can't carry a
nd cannot leave behind it all
can overwhelm me
but when i think of all who've gone before
and lived a faithful life
their courage compels me

and when i'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
i think of paul and silas in the prison yard
i hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

i see the shepherd moses in the pharaohs court
i hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord
i see the long quiet walk along the underground railroad
i see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
i see the young missionary and the angry spear
i see his family returning with no trace of fear
i see the long hard shadows of calcutta nights
i see the sister standing by the dying man’s side
i see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
i see the man with a passion come kicking down that door

i see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
i see the world on his shoulders and my easy load
~When the Saints, Sara Groves~