by Meg Brown | May 8, 2020 | Hope for a Church Planter, Truth About Life, Truth about Worship
I sat with a towel twisting my wet hair up on our bed, back in our master, while our worship pastor, our children’s director and my husband sat no more than 10 yards away and I listened to their honest, pure, worship. Tears began to fill behind my eyes and threatened to stream down my face. The words that rang throughout my house were, “You are making all things new…” And yet, as I sat in bed with a fever and a desperation to heal quicker, I knew and loved that my church was still being a church.
In the Confusion
This time with the craziness of Covid-19 has been a whirlwind or as some have referred to as being like the movie, Groundhog’s Day… over and over. Social media has gone RIDICULOUS with people now having free time to spout off their thoughts and ideas about the situation (I’ve seen an immense amount of good come out of our situations) but this morning… I could just be… and listen… and softly sing to my King while no one watched. Honestly, I could barely get the words out. Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to amidst all of this chaos and disorder:
- I’ve found peace where once my heart was jumbled and stressed.
- I’ve been able to breathe, really breathe in, and experience pure joy with my kids daily.
- I’ve been able to dig into Scripture and geek out to the possibilities I find there.
- I’ve been able to worship with no one watching.
- I’ve been able to spend time reaching out to my church family more regularly to ask for or pray for them.
- I’ve watched my kids settle in and just be… without the crazy amount of time constraints they used to have.
- I’ve been able to see all of my church family’s faces via Zoom and laugh with them.
- I’ve watched our church family come together in a tighter knit community to support and love on each other even virtually.
Chaos and the Church
It’s not the same… we can’t meet together collectively. It’s not normal… we aren’t allowed to worship together in the same room anymore. It’s not even similar… we are spending church virtually instead of spending next to flesh and blood. But here’s the thing… we are meeting separately… but we are together in spirit.
We’ve got to let go our our stubbornness… our resentment for how things were handled… our need to want things our way… and move into a time of healing, rest, and thankfulness that we live in a time and age where we can still meet- even if virtually.
I think back to one of the first Sunday’s after Jesus’ death. We find the disciples and Jesus’s followers spread out all over the city of Jerusalem… hiding. Some followers had even left the city and were headed home to Emmaus. But when Jesus finally appears to them in Luke 24, they think he’s a ghost. They can’t even believe he’s back!
The Kingdom they thought was coming… didn’t.
The life they thought Jesus had alluded to- was completely upside down.
I mean- the guy they’d been following around had been preaching of a new Kingdom… and then, whelp, he was killed. And now, they were huddled in a house, just waiting for something and thinking that there was no way this Kingdom was going to happen anymore.
“Then he said to them, “Don’t you remember the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you? I told you that everything written about me would be fulfilled, including all the prophecies from the law of Moses through the Psalms and the writings of the prophets—that they would all find their fulfillment.” He supernaturally unlocked their understanding to receive the revelation of the Scriptures, then said to them, “Everything that has happened fulfills what was prophesied of me. Christ, the Messiah, was destined to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. Now you must go into all the nations and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins so that they will turn to me. Start right here in Jerusalem. For you are my witnesses and have seen for yourselves all that has transpired. And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.”
Here’s what’s crazy about us humans: we think we’re soooo smart. The disciples thought it was all over when their Savior was killed (and who’s to say we wouldn’t have thought the same?) They thought the Kingdom that Jesus preached, would never rise up. And yet, it did.
The Kingdom is happening around us. I’m seeing it in the faces of people who are selflessly dropping off food on our porch so that my husband doesn’t have to scramble to make dinner for all of us after taking care of us all day. I hear it in the voices worshipping from my living room. I receive it from the texts and social media messages that encourage and build me up with promises of prayer and healing. I read about it through the words of my King in scripture. I feel the Kingdom when I pray while weeping when no one is watching. It is all around us. God is with us.. even when we feel like church isn’t normal. The Kingdom is here… do you feel it?
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by Meg Brown | Jun 24, 2014 | Love and Relationships, Truth About Life
Too many times, I have criticized my husband… to friends, family and under my breath (okay, sometimes out loud).
(Why? Okay- confession time. I’m a control freak. I like to keep everything in line… including my husband, children, house, etc. The HUGE problem is… I will never be able to control others and the choices they make.)
Take for example, my 5-year-old son. We had an awesome block party last weekend, and thanks to an amazing block party coordinator (Go Deborah!), the Fayetteville Fire Department came out to check our corner hydrant. Since they had no calls, they were able to stay for burgers, show off the truck, spray cul-de-sac down with water and let kids take turns spraying the huge fire hose. My middle child was in awe of the hose. So much so, he ran directly into its path, full force, and face to the water. Now, if any of you have met my child, he can scream and wail, like the best of them. I was in fact, talking to another mom at the time, until his “well-recognized” scream broke the “normal” block party noises. (See photo.)
My husband (who was across the street) and I both turned to the sound and leapt into action. We picked him up, soaked to the bone, clutching his face and we comforted him. As soon, as his cries had ceased, we both talked to him. “You need to be careful close to the hose. That water is super powerful and hurts when you put your face in it.” He nodded his understanding and within seconds was back in the thick of it, playing his heart out.
Now, I would like to say that he made the right choice in not making his way to the front of the water stream again. But he didn’t. Ten minutes later, another one of his piecing screams disrupted the partygoers and I found myself, once again, holding a soaking wet child.
This is just one example of not being able to control others. As a woman, I find myself wanting not just to control myself and how others view me, but my entire world… that includes my husband, children, extended family, etc. Now, before you start thinking to yourself, “Wow, this girl has got to loosen her grip!” I want you to know… that I tell myself that constantly.
I learned early on, (I was 13, in fact) that I was considered a perfectionist and that I would always struggle with the need to control things around me. Over the past 15 years or so, though, I have learned slowly but surely, how to let that need waste away. I still struggle with it- believe me! When my husband announces that he’s invited several people over to dinner with only a couple of hours to spare, I usually freak for a minute or two. (Not at him, mind you—in my own crazed mind! Ha!) And in the hour, leading up to the group arriving, I do tend to push my “bossiness/control-freakiness” to the limit. (I am working on that!)
During a women’s bible study, (one in fact that I was leading- God has a sense of humor), it pointed to the fact that since Adam and Eve’s sin, we as women would always struggle with “rebelling” against or struggling to control the men in our lives.
Shortly after Adam and Eve told God of their sin, He spoke some truth into their lives that haunts us even today. Genesis 3:16, in the New Living translation says, “Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth.”
(WAIT FOR IT…. IT GETS EVEN BETTER…)
“… And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
“Ouch”. Can you imagine being Eve and hearing those words come out of God’s mouth? I wonder if Eve fully understood the depth to those words. Could she even fathom the generations of women who would struggle not to bitterly suggest to their husbands that they pick up their nasty socks out of the middle of the living room floor? Or that some of us would bicker and fight with our husbands over what jobs they were applying for? Or what job they “needed” to apply for? Could she even determine that some of us would even go as far to say, “I wear the pants in this relationship.” Hmmmm…
Should we be proud of that?
Are we proud of that?
You see, this isn’t even a talk about that horrible word that we all cringe when we hear: SUBMISSION.
This blog post has nothing to do with that.
But it has everything to do with supporting our husbands.
How do we do that without controlling? Believe me, ladies, I have not quite figured this out. But I believe it starts with beginning to think of us as walking alongside our husbands and allowing him to lead our families and us.
It might look like sharing your opinion, but supporting his decision to choose something different. It might look like praying for him, when you see his struggles and the vast amount of choices that he has to make everyday. And it will probably feel a tad bit like you are sitting “shotgun” in the car… just try to not become a back-seat driver…. I will too. ☺