I vowed to never be that lame when I grew up. I would always keep up with new music, go to church every time the doors were open, spend time with my friends. Marriage and kids were not going to slow me down. (I also had a lot of opinions and plans for adopting teenagers, which have yet to play out in my life.)
Now I get it. The music thing especially. When I look at Spotify, all of my Christian music stops in the early 2000's, and most of my favorites are from the 90's. I have become that person with the old music, and no burning desire to find anything new.
I love my old bands. It feels overwhelming to try to get into music now (anything new I listen to is found on playlists that Megan creates for me). I love Third Day, but the bus album will always be my favorite. I want the Caedmon's Call of 1995 to play in a coffee house or bar. I miss Rich Mullins. Those are my glory years of music. (That sentence makes me feel older than any words I have ever written.) I am too tired, and too jaded, to spend time trying to find something new.
Just like my musical life stopped growing, my spiritual life did, too.
Not all at once.
Not when I stopped buying new cds (this is not really about the music).
Not when I had a kid (in no way am I blaming this situation on motherhood).
Slowly, bit by bit, my spiritual life has fallen stagnant.
When I stopped going to church regularly.
When my Bible sat on the chair, dust-covered and unread.
When my prayers became rote and hurried; something to get through quickly before a meal, and once again before bed.
This is not to say that I never read my Bible or pray deeply - I do. Just not the way I once did. Not with the same daily passion. If my spiritual life was a tree, it seems to have morphed from an oak into some sort of dwarf varietal. There are still spurts of growth, but not what there once was.
This is my year of action, but I feel like I moved into a valley* and sat still.
I find myself longing for those old years. I want that kind of spiritual growth again. I long to be the person I was in so many ways, but I am not that person any longer. Too much has changed - around me, and in me.
I am someone new, crying out, "I believe, help my unbelief."
This is not the first time I have been in this place. There was a time when I pleaded with God to take me back to something old. I begged Him to restore things to the way they were before, as if before was a place. Before hurt. Before pain. Before change. Before confusion crept in. I lay on the floor for hours asking God to take me back to Before.
He said no.
In one of those undeniable moments of clarity, I understood. He would never take me back to that old place. He expected more of me. He wanted to give me more. Going back would mean moving backward, and I was supposed to be moving forward. Forward. New places. New growth. New revelation. It wasn't a throwing out of the old, but a building upon.
There was peace in that. Pain, but peace.
I understood I was not supposed to run after those old things - even though they were good, and special, and real. I was supposed to move forward to new things and new growth.
There would be good, and special, and real things in my future, but I would never reach those things if I spent all my time looking back.
So here I am. In this place of longing. Again. Feeling that check in my spirit that reminds me not to reach behind, but to look forward. Step forward.
I needed to tell someone, so I am telling you. It is time to move. It is time to stir up those waters. It is time to grow that tree. It is time to dust off the Bible, and open the pages. It is time to get on my knees. It is time to immerse myself in Jesus. It is time to let the fires of passion burn hot. I want the more that God has for me, and I will no longer accept the less that I provide for myself.
Please join me. This spiritual life was not meant to be lived alone.
I don't really know if this song is old or new. I think it is old-ish, but that is not the point. It spoke to my heart this morning, and I want to share it with you.
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
*I read We Don’t Lie Down in the Valley on SheLoves Magazine earlier this week, and the message spoke to exactly where I am right now.