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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Years ago, as a student at Elon, I became... well, I still don't know the best word for it. "Active", "associated", "affiliated with", "hung around"...

Well like I said, I still don't know.

It was InterVarsity Christian Fellowship that I became a part of, in whatever insignificant capacity. Truth be known, that was a strange period in my life and there are times when I'm not exactly sure what was going on. Maybe I shouldn't look too hard for answers there?

I do know that it was my friends in IV who were the ones who helped me most to break free from years of guilt, shame and regret and to at last come into a real relationship with God. It was something that looking back, I realize that I had always wanted it but for one reason or another felt inadequate and unworthy. God used them and worked through them to show me a peace and a joy that I had never known before, or even knew could be.

The years since have in too many ways, not been kind. I'm sure some would say all of this could have been better, that I could have gained more, if I had not tried so much to serve God since then. And I will be the very first to admit: I have fallen and failed many more times than I have succeeded.

To serve Him is a choice that once made, I truly could never, ever turn my back on. Despite all the loss I've suffered, regardless of the situations I've gone through, no matter the hell of mental illness that I have had to endure... though all of that and so much more, I can not and would not want to go back to the person I was before at last finding Christ.

Why am I writing all of this?

There was a song that the praise team at IV used to play, one of many that we all sang to. Most of those songs wound up recorded on tape and several years ago I used my copy to make MP3s of them. I now have the entire collection of tracks on my iPad and iPod. Even after all this time, Elon IV's praise and worship songs are something I turn to when I need encouragement.

This song, from the time I first remember hearing it I thought it was the most beautiful, hope-filled, most inspiring of the entire set of songs that they used.

And in recent days and weeks, months even, it has become a song that I have especially clung to. When I was in a behavioral health center in December for extreme depression, I would sing this to myself late at night, asking God to please grant a peaceful rest.

It is a song that has come to mean more to me than I can possibly convey with words. The best I can muster is that it is a precious link to happier times, a comfort today, and a beautiful hint at things still to come.

I don't know who wrote this song. Maybe someone out there does and will tell me. I would love to know.

Lately I've used my iPad to play the "album" very softly as I go to sleep. It helps to quiet my mind, turn it over to God and let Him grant that rest. And this is the one I love listening to the most.

Maybe there is someone out there who, even if it's just the lyrics, they can find a measure of peace and assurance too...

We Will Fly

I want to sing something beautiful
To Jesus, Lord of my life
To give an offering of my heart
In a song that he’s never before

And then we will fly,
The Lord Jesus and I
And all my fears will fade into the night
And my praise will ring
As up to the heavens I sing
Of the love of God through Jesus Christ
Oh that the love that dwells in my heart
Would emerge from me undefiled
To go forth in purity, touching those I see
With the sweetness of the presence of Christ