“Now I know You” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II} Journal, Prayer, and Songbook

“Now I Know You”

We are always reaching forward and reaching back. It’s hard to be content with so many past memories and future what ifs. Meditative worship lets us stand still and say for this moment: “If it was true then…. if it is going to be true in the future, and it is true now, today.”

Stopping the daily flow to let in the intimacy of God today.

When I sat down this day and the words and melodies of this song came, I could feel the “today-ness,” the immediacy. Like a deep breath that I needed. To stop and savor.

For me, “knowing God” means reflecting on that inch of difference between wishing and believing which changed my life in the last ten years.

People read the scriptures and think, “I wish that was true; I want that to be true of me, for me; I hope that this will happen; I pray that my life will someday show that or that I will experience that someday.” But if you take the Word and say, “Thank you God that You ARE (doing this on my behalf for your glory),” I tell you, miracles will abound.

For example, since God’s Word says He will provide every need for every good work, and Provider is His name, then if we are not experiencing it, it doesn’t mean that He is holding out. It means that He has provided and we must stand firm in believing it and not be convinced otherwise. He will never not provide.  We just give up.

This is the crossing over into, “I Know You.”

Intimacy with God increases our capacity to interpret how to apply the Word, leading us to experience it in this realm. Grasping that inch of difference between hoping and believing, we begin to believe: if the Word says I can tell the mountain to move and it will, then I will.

I did, and it did.

If the Word says, lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, then I will.

I did, and they did.

What the Word says IS true for you now.

Well, if it was that easy, everyone would be provided for, healed, etc. So what then? Wen the Word goes in, immediately, Jesus says (in the master parable–the parable of the sower), the adversary will come try to stir up the dust to get it out. So sometimes there is a kind of spiritual reaction when you decide to stand on the Word of God. Not only is this normal and expected, Jesus describes this as one important aspect in understanding all of his other parables.

That’s pretty major.

This is how an unwavering commitment to the Word helps you overcome–because you are able to say, “I don’t care WHAT trouble comes, I will still say what God says. It is still happening even if I don’t see it now.” And let’s get a little crazy here– “Even if I NEVER SEE IT.”

I don’t know you if you can understand how fundamentally life changing this can be. If I fall down the rabbit hole of examples, I will never come out.

I had seen God’s miraculous provision plenty of times before I got ahold of this understanding, but they always felt like WOW moments, not like expected peaceful moments.  If you have followed my blog over years, you know some of them. And if you read my first Wild Hymn Journal , I tell several more.  But when I began to pray with expectation. Whoa Nelly! I have been criticized, misunderstand and misjudged, but it is ok by me! They got their miracle, didn’t they?! WOO HOOOO! Worth the relational pain!

Most of us know the Jesus-in-the-boat-during-the-storm story. “Wake up, we gonna DIE, Jesus!” He didn’t say, “Don’t worry, guys. I’m here. I got this.”  He rebuked them for their lack of faith and told the storm to be still. Later he told them they would do greater things IN HIS NAME.  In other words, Jesus was thinking, “I’m not going to BE HERE WITH YOU IN EVERY STORM!” I am going to be seated in heaven with the father. YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO SPEAK TO THE WAVES IN MY NAME, like I just did.

Wait. You mean, I am going to look at a wave and say, “Storm be still.” Yes, Joni. You are.  At first in your bathroom where no one will call you crazy and look at you funny. And then in your living room with Zach when your kids are too young to understand.   Then it becomes a way of life.

On a particular night, two friends were over and I had really been praying about how to help them see God as in their corner. They were really struggling with life, and I knew they didn’t have any kind of vibrant relationship or connection to all that God wanted to give them.  The conversation led to the topic and they were wide eyed and as we allowed healing to be an external picture of the beautiful gift of internal salvation. We prayed for his excema to go away and the pain, redness and puffiness went away right before our eyes, and even as they got a miraculous lifesaving phone call and job offer in the following days and gave God all the glory, they told me it made them uncomfortable that I prayed with such authority as if I knew God’s answer already.  “We don’t tell God what to do.”  I know, I said.  I spoke to the waves (metaphorically) in HIS NAME.  I did what he would have done.  WOWZERS!

Pray with me out loud!

Thank You, God! Your WORDS are true for me right now! What you have said in your Word is true for me right now! Show me what you want me to see! Open my eyes and let me believe what You have said! Let me respond in faith to your great grace! If Your Word declares that You have given it to me, then I will agree with Your Word and pray expectantly and know that nothing can take it away from me. Only a liar could try to convince me it is not mine. I don’t care what trouble comes, I will continue to believe Your truth over that lie.  WHAT A WONDERFUL life you have given me to be able to continue to experience Your goodness!

Lyrics to “Now I Know You”:

You loved me through the years of growing up and getting older

Now I know you. 

You loved me all the times when I seemed to never care.

You loved me through it all. I can’t remember all the ways. 

Now I love you. 

Alleluia to the one who loved me, loves me still. 

Alleluia to the one who loved me, loves me still.

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

The Only One

Burdens Away

Comfort

More

Don’t go alone

“The Only One” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II Journal, Prayer, and Songbook}

“The Only One”

“You were the only one who loved me.”

The mid-20s crisis: it’s in the books now–the psychologists know.  When the red carpet of youth runs out, and it’s time to man up.  Your beliefs and values are put to the test. Fore me, it was the year I spent in bed, which became the cocoon of the biggest turning point of my life.

I was in my last year of college, and Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, was a kind of required reading for any coming-of-ager in my circles. I was intrigued by the piece of his roadmap he called the “crisis of faith.” I had no clue I had one waiting around the corner.

The last several months of college I went through a confusing heartbreak, but … you know, that’s life right. Well, then there were those 4 rounds of antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection I couldn’t shake. I was able to continue classes and track practice, but I was on my way down.

My parents had flown to California to see my final track and field competition. I napped HARD for several HOURS in the hotel room before my final race. I was falling apart. I woke up disoriented, and they were like, “Girl, you better get going!” I had no idea is was just an outer manifestation of what was happening in my mind and spirit in that terrible post-college transition into “the real world.”

I went home for a week-long stay before a summer missions assignment leading a traveling worship team.  I was in bed with a flu-like non-flu. Two weeks later, I wasn’t any better and could barely function out of bed. I had to cancel my plans. This wasn’t acting like the flu.

Four weeks later, I was still no better. Low grade fever, cotton ears, cloudy head, debilitating headache and fatigue.

My childhood doc asked me 4 questions and called it depression. My mom and I looked at him like, “huh?” At 6 months, after blood tests and MRIs and CAT scans ruling out Lymes, Mono, etc, they could call it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I did my research. I met all the criteria. Type A, over-achiever, ending a project, in transtion. UGHHHH!

I couldn’t work. I couldn’t function. I stayed in bed. Not sleepy. But unable to get up. The definition of hell for a driven personality. Pain in my head and neck and eyes.

I had hours and days and hours alone in my parents’ house as they both worked.I can still feel the quiet womb of my childhood home. Waiting. Wanting to heal.

The inner dialogue had begun immediately.

How had I allowed pleasing other people to keep me from saying no and listening to my body’s clues that I had reached a limit. It was that simple, right?

So I quested to manage my yesses and nos.

And failed.

It must be deep-seated sin that I must purge–that thing that was killing me… It must be my need to be in the center of things, moving forward, succeeding at something.

Surely this sickness was literally draining that sin out of my like the pus from a wound. I would get better now that I knew what I was dealing with, right? Now that I understood.

But I didn’t get better.

The highest dose of meds they would give me would barely take off the edge of fibromyalga down my shoulders in my back.

Desperate for escape, one I night begged the Lord to let me sleep on the floor of heaven (weird, right? I said desperate.) He DID.

Take me to your secret place… I can’t get there on my own.

I was headed for an encounter with the gospel that I thought I already knew.

All I knew was that if there was an answer man couldn’t give me, I would find it in the scriptures. I read and read and read and read. Alone in bed, between long sessions of sleeping.  Jesus, You are my great physician. Surely you can tell me what’s wrong with me.

He woke me up one night with an an image from physics. A stark vision clear in my mind. I knew it was the Holy Spirit revealing it to me. These 2 vectors that you think are rocket boosting and piggy backing in the same direction are at odds and at a deadlock of stuck power in the middle of your being, He downloaded to my mind.

(1, my natural talents and abilities that had “set me up” in one of those “you can do anything you set your mind to” mindsets. And 2, the empowerment of God supporting me because I was supposedly “on His team.”)

The Spirit of God was revealing to me that I was functioning under an assumption that with all of my natural qualities, and with God behind me, I was bound for success.  I had a double advantage.

But I was dead wrong about it.

Hmmmmm. What was I supposed to do with that?

I didn’t understand. But I knew God was helping me.

I read and read and read the Bible. Putting the pieces together.

I had moments of getting better, then I would be slammed back into bed.

One day at my lowest, I saw that I just didn’t know how to get better.  Nothing was changing, and I was weary, contemplating death.

I reached the conclusion that God was good and I was too sinful to commune with Him in His holy reality. He would have to set me aside, but it would be ok. I was not demolished, because I at least knew I absolutely could not reach sinlessness on my own. He  could set me aside,  and I could still praise him, although I would be in the camp of the condemned.

Y’all this is CRAZY TALK! But do you see where my religious ideas had led me?

That was a somber moment in my bedroom in Denver City. I felt like I finally saw the truth of my life. I was a sinner.

I couldn’t make it through 3 hours without being annoyed at my mother–the one who was TAKING CARE OF ME. I could not watch TV without desiring to be famous “like them.”

I was supposed to travel to Albuquerque to meet a friend and stay with her. I was getting better, and I had the opportunity to look for a job there and possibly stay there with her, but I knew the change was going to be too much for me.

I couldn’t eat. I was too troubled to eat. I was a walking dead man.   When I got to Albuquerque, I spent the weekend in my friend’s bed, sick again. This was ridiculous, y’all.

One particular worship song would bring my spirit peace: it was like a glimpse of light, and it was the only thing that brought me comfort. I played it on repeat over and over.  My mind could not understand the words, but my spirit could. In that song was the message of the gospel, the good news of Jesus that I thought I already knew, the good news that I had grown up hearing in church all my life.  But it was so contrary to the direction and momentum of my life that I could not comprehend It.

“I’m forgiven because You were forsaken.I’m accepted. You were condemned. And I’m alive and well and Your spirit lives within me because You died and rose again.”

The next day, I was pacing an Albuquerque parking lot, and the words poured out of my spirit. Words I remember reading as a 6th grader in my room alone from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit had pierced into my heart for such a time as this.

“If righteousness could be gained through following the law, then Christ died for nothing.”

I found myself saying that over and over, asking myself, asking God, “Then why did Christ die again.”

I really didn’t know.

I had growing up in church, and I literally did not know.

You see it, don’t you–where this is going?!

Everything I was trying to gain–He had already given me. His death in my place set me free from the penalty of sin. He did it for me.

Let me tell you.

My health changed.

My personality changed.

The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.

I had known God’s voice, and as it says in the scriptures, if anyone hears God’s voice, He will lead you to Jesus.

I finally had the joy of my salvation.

He was the only one who told me that I was a sinner. To the outside world, I had done everything right. Straight A student, college athlete, homecoming queen, cheerleader,  student council president, prom queen and on and on…. A million sermons, a million prayers.  The Holy Spirit had to reveal it to me in intimate conversation.

And He was the only one to privately minister to me through the comforting spirit and the scriptures that He had already given me everything I thought I had earned and would have to maintain through my efforts and amazingness.

The burden of my soul, the striving, had made me sick. And I could not heal myself.

At 22, living with my parents with no job, I discovered the beautiful truth of Jesus.

That crisis lasted one year.  I was able to get a teaching job shortly after that and begin that elusive life as a new creation! I had been set free from lies that had completely shut me down.  Only once did that familiar sickness land on my upper shoulders and creep up into my head as a headache. I took the day off of work and lay on the couch and preached to myself quietly in my heart and rested my heart in the truth that everything was going to be ok because I couldn’t mess this up! With Jesus having already declared me righteous by his blood, it was impossible to mess this up.

Most  of the songs on my first album “In the Dark” are about my crossing over from a works-based Christianity to a faith-based one.  I was IN THE DARK! I don’t know if that is a crude way of putting it, but it is a short way of saying what I did above. The song  “Following Your Dreams” from “In the Dark” touches on that experience of being in bed at home, finally hearing the “Word” of salvation.

Praise God! My mother admitted she’d been embarrassed to have her superstar daughter living at home.  Lord knows the town talked.  Apparently, having cut my hair short and living the athlete’s life in college made people talk about me, too…. they have names for these kinds of girls! lol!!  But without my parents’ love and support, I truly do not know what I would have done.

(For those who have followed my music for a long time, the song “Blessed“ from the “About Love” CD  is also partly about my parents during that time.)

PRAYER for you to pray out loud with me!

Lord, You are my great healer, my salvation. Help me understand what you have given me so that I will be out of the limbos of life, wondering, waiting, reaching, striving.

You put all of yourself into Christ, and He put all of Himself into Me! I have received your great salvation! THANK YOU! It is mine.

I call myself loved and made whole and complete through your shed blood on the cross, because that is what you call me.

Lyrics for “The Only One”

You were the only one who was there on the day

when I realized my sin

You were the only one who was there to tell me

You had taken it away

You are my God; I am your familiy

I am Your child; You are my family

You were the only one who could tell I was lost

When I was faking my way

You were the only one who could recreate each part

Perfect in every way

You were the only one who saved me

You were the only who loved me

You are the only one who saves me

You are the only one who loves me

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

Now I know You

Burdens Away

Comfort

More

Don’t go alone

“Burdens Away” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II} Journal, Prayer, and Songbook

 

“Burdens Away”

We made fun of all of our friends (silently, of course). Look at ’em.  Chasin’ the dream. Moving to LA and then moving to Nashville. 

Y’all.

Then we did the SAME THING!

In all honesty, we were going to move to Austin, TX.  I had been a high school  teacher for a few years and was realizing that I was not going to make it long-term as a classroom teacher; I was going to be a statistic of one who doesn’t make it five years.  I either need to get my Master’s degree and teach teachers…which I really thought would be great.  (Or get my masters in curriculum and live the semi-introvert’s dream of writing in a cabin in Colorado for a living.)  Or I could pursue music and ministry.

I remember vividly walking through my house in Sundown, TX.  This is the decision I will look at when I am 50, and I will have to live with what I chose. I chose music.

We had friends in LA who said, “Come out here. We know the places to play; we’ll show you the ropes.”  What difference did it make if we were going eight hours east to get new jobs or 18 hours west?

Let’s go.

It took every penny we had.  Maybe not so wise.

I learned many things in California. Insert that chapter here, but after a year there, an amazing story of miracles got us to Nashville, another story which I will have to skip for now. Maybe Chapter 4 in a book called “Diary of a Failed Rock Star”? Anyone?

But when we got here, Nashville, the Lord showed me that no, I had not arrived. I was at the bottom of a mountain.  My 30s were approaching, and …did I not realize I eventually wanted children.  Just when I was lunging toward deeper action to “work the scene,” I found out I was pregnant. Thus began the slow decline into a mind space in which my goals were out of reach.

It was a looooooooooong seven years of dwindling action toward music, I tell you….

“What happens to a dream deferred?” says Langston Hughes.

Well,  I didn’t know either.  And I hated it. Not knowing.

In that time I had unpacked my mother’s death from brain cancer and Zach’s best friend’s death from cancer. I had learned about healing and had some answers to my questions.  I had grown in my perspective about our financial troubles. I was growing into the truths I needed to understand to be free from the tangles choking my joy.

My life looking nothing like I thought it would on the outside, but I had been changed on the inside.

When I sat down and breathed out Burdens Away in one sitting, it was a TRIUMPH for my spirit.  That I could articulate what was still standing after the life-altering creative drought of motherhood and early marriage had wiped me clean.  The dust was settling and I still had a voice, a prize of what was important to me.

I don’t know if I will ever write another song as important to me as this one.

Lyrics to “Burdens Away”

The world is loud, no one cares what you’re saying

And if they do, honey, nobody cares

They’re too tired from the burdens they’re carrying.

Stop talking and carry some burdens away

I’m a long way from where I was going

And as the days went on I got afraid

But it’s never a bad place for sharing

To be busy and carry some burdens away

No one knows where it’s been or where it’s heading

What with all the freedoms we go and throw away

If there’s no road, there’s a bridge to be building

So we can carry some burdens away

I thought Jesus was mine for the serving
I thought there’s so much to do to “get there”

Til  I found out that He was my servant

And how He carried my burdens away

He’s my friend, now I’m yours for the serving

What he did for me, He’ll do for you, too

So let’s go to the river for washing

So he can carry your burdens away

Oh Jesus, he carried our burdens away

Pray With Me Out Loud

When the world has knocked me down and my assumptions have made a fool of me, Your Word is still with me, Lord.  When my life looks NOTHING like I thought it would, Lord, Your Word is still with me. When everything has vanished, and even the dust settles on emptiness, and Your Word is all I have, it is enough. Your Word is in seed form.  Fire can’t kill it. It is hidden safe under the ground.  It will grow again. Flood can’t kill it. It is hidden safe under the ground.  It will grow again. I put it in my heart. Man can’t steal it.  Rejection can’t diminish it. Fear can’t alter it.  To the degree that I will let it grow in my heart, the imperishable truths of your Word will produce the abundance that You have promised. Everything you have promised is mine if I will receive it and let it grow.

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

Now I know You

The Only One

Burdens Away

Comfort

More

Don’t go alone

“Comfort” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II} Journal, Prayer, and Songbook

Comfort

It comes in different times and different ways–when you are able to let it all go and realize that having God’s love just as you are is THE treasure of life. Someday I’d like to capture it in a picture like this: a yard stick floating in a tub with a few rubber duckies. Measuring how quickly it moves from one side to the other when the measuring itself is floating in the same impracticality of grace.What are we doing?

Sure, let’s learn respect and boundaries. Let’s untangle unhealthy coping patterns and let’s heal, but then …. oh, thee we go….. now our identity is in how healed we are. When we discover another area of weakness, we get afraid again that we are behind, losing. We are bound in the pressure to stay postured, primped, primed, pumped. Gotta keep on that bandwagon, that gym membership, that program. Micromanaging our health down to the Irish butter. We don’t have the energy for all of that. Where do we find more when it’s all just too much to manage on our own. Our friends are tapped out. Our partners are weary from helping us hobble along. I crave the comfort of collapsing into the arms of God just as I am, knowing that it’s going to be okay. But how!? Wait. Why? Really?

Why did He die to exchange His life for yours? The fountain of provision, healing ready for you to take as much as you need.

Falling from grace doesn’t mean you have started sinning again–WHAT?!!! I was dead in my sin! I couldn’t escape sin! It was who I was! I was pulled out of that grave, given a new way of life, a new heart, a free, forgiven way of life! Falling from grace means YOU FORGOT IT WAS FREE! You started striving, thinking you were measuring up or maintaining your forgiven status?

It’s all free.

If it’s all free–

then the only missing piece is

will I receive it

Will I believe it?

So it’s by God’s grace.

And by our faith.

“By grace through faith,” the scripture says.

“What is the work that I must do,” the man asked Jesus. “To believe” he answered.

So if there’s something off, something missing, you aren’t going to get it by digging in, by working harder.

Understand more.

Believe more.

Y’all I’m starting to get that burning feeling in my chest now. My insides start churning.

I don’t have to go to church if I don’t want to. (It benefits me to connect to the Body) but I am not obligated.

I don’t have to measure up.

I don’t have to earn forgiveness.

I don’t have to prove significance.

We walk around in a recalibrating stupor, letting our cells heal from the pressure of those lies sometimes. I remember a particular Lubbock apartment. I swear I was in a daze one week as I realized, I don’t owe anyone anything, and I am perfectly pleasing to God. A week later and I was dancing like a crazy person in my room–my physical body responding to this newfound freedom. (Yeah, why am I telling you that?!)

It’s not like age just automatically matures you, but when you keep encountering the good news of God’s abudandant love, it is real comfort to the bones. I wish it could come through a sermon or a book or a conversation with a friend. Only the holy spirit divides bone and marrow and get up into our business on that cellular level to bring true restoration and change. Getting out of the rut. Getting out of that vortex of depression. Breaking that addiction. All of it is in God’s love. He has a way, a wisdom, a way of saying it to you. A way of getting through to you. You will get it. Seek him for the everything. You will find it.

It’s for you.

I wrote this song in a breath. All at once. I grabbed my phone and recorded it. I could never remember the changes. Never could commit it to memory. It was a moment. So right before we recorded it, I had to grab my phone to remember how to navigate the lanes of thought. Like flames shooting up in response to the elements needed to launch a praise.

Floating in the tub freely, bouncing off the measuring stick with joy. Letting others stress and strain while I grow in praise.

Lyrics to “Comfort”

The comfort is all mine. The comfort is all mine.

It’s free.

That I would work so hard for what is free?!

How could I attain what You have done. Did it all for me!

How could I fall so far, thinking what was mine was mine to earn.

You have freely given it all to me!

The comfort is all mine!

The comfort is all mine!

Pray With Me Out Loud!

Lord, what am I doing? Why am I considering my level by comparison to anyone or anything?! If you say that You give me what I need, then I ask you for what I need for me right now. Not what I should need, not what I wish I needed, not what other people need, what I need. For the answer I need, I will ask you specifically for it and trust that it is in You and You are not holding back on me. You will give the answer! For the provision I need, I ask you specifically for it and trust that it is in you and You are not holding back on me! I will have my provision! For the healing I need, I ask you specifically for it and trust that it is in You and You are not holding back on me! You are my comfort! You are my everything! My life is changed by the gospel right now today because I believe it. You exchanged your life for mine. Your everything for the brokenness that You filled with Yourself at Calvary when you made my Your child and brought me into Your home, your refrigerator, your wallet, your bedroom, your closet. I can walk into You and receive what I need in You. You have comforted me down to the cells in my toes. I praise You because……. there is no other response!

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

Now I know You

Burdens Away

The Only One

Comfort

More

“More” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II} Journal, Prayer, and Songbook

“More”

He was dying of brain cancer at 34. He was Zach’s best friend and an influential person in my life as well.

Now, my mom had also died of brain cancer, so frankly, this wasn’t rocking my world.  Until my simple prayers were tuning into military operations.  The Lord began to urge me through the holy spirit with prayers of healing.  Um, I don’t do this, Lord.  My people don’t pray like this!  My own mom died of brain cancer, and I never prayed for her. I simply felt it was up to God.  What is happening?!  You must be desperate for a prayer warrior if you are nudging ME to pray like this. I don’t do this!

The Lord gave me the same vision each time of going into battle, dragging Rocky back into safety.  The words out of my mouth…. I would sometimes look at Zach and say, “Just let me go. I’m not crazy, I promise!” And twice, during the time I was praying,  we got word that he had gone into a coma and they had brought him back.

I knew that the Lord wanted him healed, and I knew it was a battle.  And I knew prayer had something to do with it, but my theology (my understanding of scriptures) had NO place for these things.

I didn’t take ownership of the battle. I didn’t feel the weight of the outcome. I was learning as  I went.

When Rocky passed away, it stands to reason that there would be confusion left behind.  Why would You prompt me to pray, Lord, if You knew He was going to die.  Why?  Those prayers were not my idea!

It was the first time that Zach and I ever turned off the TV, tuned out the world and craved comfort and intimacy with God in what we didn’t understand.  Before that, we never thought we’d opt for listening to audio sermons over music or the tv.

“Let’s listen to that old gospel preacher I used to listen to on the radio. I think he was in Dallas,” Zach said.  We found him online and discovered he taught on healing.  That’s easy. Let’s listen to that. Within one hour of teaching, we were beginning to understand.  After the second hour, I was in my bathroom looking for something broken that I could pray for on my body.  Healed.  It was just a matter of time before those prayers were happening with Zach in the living room. Healed.  Then with our children. Healed. Then for our friends. Healed.  And eventually strangers. Healed.

You know, I would send audio files to friends and discover they wouldn’t take the time to listen to them, but they would ask me questions and let me relay it in my words all day long.  It seems everyone has a teacher for them, moving them from their point A to point B.  Recently, when I began taking time for my work again after spending 18 months home bound with a newborn, I started working on a book called “Five kinds of healing,” which is maybe the dumbest working title ever, but it’s my turn to pass it on to the people whom I can be their point A to point B person.

You know, if a stranger had knocked on my door and said, “Can I have 20 minutes to tell you what I know about healing. Here, we can stay on the porch.”  I would have listened.  When my mother was dying, I would have listened. I have now been that one to initiate that conversation with many people. And I have never left the conversation without a miracle.  What God achieved on the cross of Calvary is amazing.

Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

You know, we just wanted some comfort. Some clarity. And we wanted Rocky back.  But instead, we began to discover that the Lord had all of that already in His Word. Clear as a bell.  The scriptures I already knew.  I just didn’t know….. “it’s real.”

Pray With Me Out Loud:

Lord, if You are my more-than-enough God, then that means you have the resources for my body to heal.  I don’t just need energy for the day, but I need energy for my cells to be renewed to their original design. If I brought this on myself, then I praise you for your forgiveness.  And you know I don’t change overnight, so I thank you for your unending forgiveness.  Just like my boss has the authority to come in and tell every employee to turn their desks upside down and rearrange the contents therein,  you have the authority to tell my cells to move around.   Yes, the law of sin and death seems to be at work in my body: the laws of [dermatology] explain these [marks on my face.] Yes, “The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ” Your grace came in  though Christ and said, I’m here to give everything needed regardless of what is deserved.  “Cells, let’s return.”  You, Lord, have come and declared freedom to the captive. I am not captive to the laws of [dermatology]. So, in the name of Jesus, cells I have good news fo you! The grace of God has come to this body to fix you and move you back into the right position. Yeah, I know I don’t deserve that, and that’s the grace of God.” I thank you God that you have provided my healing like you provided my forgiveness as a finished work for me to receive by faith–by believing it was offered to me. Just as I am. Today. THANK YOU, LORD! SO BET IT!

Lyrics to More:

You gave me more

When I wanted healing

You gave me all your love

You gave me more

When I wanted support

You gave me all your love

It’s real

It overflows

No one knows how far it goes

How far, how deep

Is your love for me!

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

Now I know You

The Only One

Burdens Away

Comfort

“Go Deep (Don’t go alone)” {All Days Sacred: Wild Hymn II} Journal, Prayer, and Songbook

“Don’t Go Alone”

I tried it. I thought, how can I compile these “songs of the moment” for this project and not allow for there to be a song of the moment during the recording process.  I mean, I’m pushing against the pattern of the air tight hit worship song here, so just go with it, ok?  Could I on the day of recording, the week of recording, just invite a fresh expression in.

This is what came out.

Those opening notes are like a wind chime. Hmmmm.   Close enough! And why not?

What a nutshell this song is of an era. I  could call its essence, “Two Paradigm Shifts that Changed My Life” in my 30s, but let’s be poetic. Er, ok, nevermind. It is what it is. Let’s get nerdy.

Yes, I’m like everyone, loving the Enneagram these days, and I’ve learned a ton from the Myer’s Briggs test and, definitely, the Arno profile straight up saved my marriage a time or two, bit it was the DISC profile that really altered my course personally.  So yeah, call it being a personality test junkie, and yes, let’s consider, they are maybe all just watered down PRACTICAL applications of the lists of spiritual gifts in scripture.

Until this point, I’d  always “used” these tests/tools to understand myself and others in selfish ways of course. Until  the DISC profile.  Something about its simplicity and big picture integration.  I didn’t see this before–that any team will die if all 4 personalities are not present.  It was humbling, and it was the advice I needed there at my late 30s during a time when I felt that all my goals had come to nothing.

To take that advice to heart, though, meant to start over. It was quite painful to break that shell of disappointment and self-protection (and denial!)  To invite people in. To be a team player. See, that’s complicated? I’m not a team player. I am the D in in DISC. The dominant one who says, “I don’t know what you are doing…but I’m moving forward. I don’t need you.  If you won’t go with me; I’ll just have to go it alone.

This didn’t launch me forward. (It did short term, I suppose.)

I was never going to grow into the things I saw in my heart if I could not learn to work on a team and accept the help of others.

This truth had to come slowly. It haunted me and blessed me at the same time. It was one of the ways the Lord convinced me to join a church again and to step out to follow His prompting to lead worship, and to stick it out when leading worship was not as easy as I thought it should be.   I would have quit in a heartbeat before. Or frankly, shied away from the teamwork of it to start with.

Have you ever looked into it?

Sure, the D may be bossy at times, but keeps their eye on the bottom line and is willing to cut corners when needed to get the job done on time. That’s me.

The I is someone who brings fresh blood into a team. They aren’t always clued in to the bottom line, the timelines, and maybe they don’t need to be a project manager, but they know who to call for help. They keep communication flowing into and out of a group, keeping it connected to the real world so that it will not grow stagnant.

The S is the loyal glue who holds the relationships of a group together, sensitive to the push and pull within a team, wanting everyone to get along so that you can see it all through. Sure they aren’t the intense task-focused heroes of the group, but they keep the understanding and love flowing throughout the group. They are the stress barometers alerting you to what will tear the team apart.

The  Cs are the conscientious one who stand back and see the missing details that threaten to cause the whole thing to fall off the rails in 10 years.  They can zero in on what is unsustainable. They may come off as critical, but their advice will save you trouble, keep you out of court and keep the foundation strong for the long haul.

This changed me.  I was going to have to let people into my process, ask for advice. Ask the Joni Nichols Band members if they say this had anything to do with our teamwork troubles. I assume it did! And ouch.

Go deep, but don’t go alone. 

Today I work in  organization and have the opportunity to set up feedback surveys and invite people into conversations early in the process so that everyone’s voice can be heard. Then we all have a chance to sleep on it and breathe and revisit things.  Long before decisions need to be made.  Then once we launch the plan, watch out. That baby is gonna work!

Go deep, but don’t go alone. 

“But all I need is me and Jesus, right?” Well, that is a legitimate way of thinking, especially when you discover Colossians 1 and 2–passages that pulled me out of a sick bed in my 20s, that the fullness of God lives in you bodily. This is intoxicating! But you can really get hardened into this isolating way of thinking: I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED! IT’S ALL IN CHRIST IN ME. I don’t need anybody else!

Well, yes…and no. Yes, you can speak to a mountain and it will move. Yes, you can lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Yes, you can ask of the Lord and He will answer. But what about the answers that He sends through His body on the earth.

Popping the Jesus Bubble means widening your definitions and embracing the meaning of the collective, plural “you” in this isolated scripture. The fullness of Christ dwells in You. Over and over again, I began to discover that the answer that I needed in a crisis came from that weird girl or that strange person that this new acquaintance just told me to call.  In the rubble of disaster, I would pray, and He would nudge me, “Remember when Rick told you to call his father in law.” Well, I started making the phone calls. And you know what I discovered: answers!  This story happened to me ove and over over. He is faithful! I am slow to learn but He is faithful! God always comes through. He is faithful when we are faithless!  In the middle of failure, he showed me over and over.   Confusing stories, confusing memories. He began to sort them out for me one by one. (I’d love to compile them someday in a book called “Popping the Jesus Bubble” or something!)

His answers don’t fall from the sky. They are in  His body, reaching toward me as much as I can comprehend it!

GAME. CHANGER.

Lord, help us!

I am still learning to slow down, to look around and value the different gifts, strengths, and opinions around me.

To go deep, but …not alone.

Pray With Me Out Loud!

Lord, I praise you and thank you that every mountain you have told me to move or climb, if I’m willing, I can move or climb.  Every vision you have placed in my heart for the future will, if i’m willing, come to pass as You say it will to the degree that I can trust your provision and walk in it. You are my provider in every case for every need. Open my eyes and ears and my heart to comprehend that every needed detail has been provided. If I don’t see it, it is not because it isn’t there.  Show me  the answers you sent that I didn’t pick up on. You are faithful. Go back and answer those dead ends I left behind.  You not only give the truth, you can’t not reveal truth when we ask for it, because it is WHO YOU ARE. Thank you for reaching out to me through Your Body! You are faithful. Help me to see them for what they have to give me through you and give me boldness to give back to them.

Lyrics to “Don’t Go Alone”

I found myself on the open road along with all the things that I don’t know.

I reach to You with my entire soul.

You reach for me with Your whole Body though.

I find myself on the open road along with all the things that I don’t know.

I reach to You with my entire soul.

You answer me with Your whole body though.

“Go deep, but don’t go alone.”

You said, “Go deep, but don’t go alone.”

Music Charts:

Click here for Charts for this song and the songs of Wild Hymn II, All Days Sacred

In My Songbook:

I am working on downloadable sheet music.

Make sure you are on my email list to be notified when these are complete!

Read Next:

Now I know You

The Only One

Burdens Away

Comfort

More