From Tracie: Not Going Back To Before

Friday, July 12, 2013

Not Going Back To Before

I remember not understanding why the adults in my life did not listen to new music when I was a kid. There was this cut off that seemed to happen around the time they started having kids. It was so strange to me. How difficult is it to turn on a radio and listen to music?

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.

25 I know that my redeemer lives,
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!
Job 19:25-27

*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.


  1. Ohhh girl... I love this post! :)

    I will say, this is why I love working with the YOUTH in church - you CANT stay behind in times with them :)

    1. :)

      That makes sense. I need to spend more time with teenagers.

  2. I think it's tremendously good for the soul when we deliberately force ourselves to reconnect with the things that once mattered most to us - and still do. Life often gets in the way, and keeps us from realizing why we need to spend the time. These course corrections, of sorts, help us get back on track.

    Thanks, Tracie, for the timely reminder. I needed it especially today!

    1. Yes. I'm glad my words found you on the right day.

      I am feeling much more on track. A week of intentional focus and study has been wonderful.

  3. Great post Tracie...I know what you mean. Sometimes we really do have to shake ourselves in order to get back to what matters most...and what will bring us the most comfort. And strength.-Ashley

    1. Amen. That shaking has made a big difference. Now to keep it up.....!

  4. Thanks for being so honest here, Tracie. My spiritual journey met a huge crisis in my mid-20s and has never really gotten back on track. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the evolution of the spirit life.

    1. You are so very welcome, Shana. I hope you are able to find your way back to that track, heading in the direction that leads to growth and greater peace.

  5. It is challenging to be in the valley. There is always a lesson to learn and healing to come but it sure isn't easy with the waiting and the spiritual blah-ness! I'm in a similar spot myself and, as much as I'm not looking forward working through what He wants to heal, I know at the end of it I will be a stronger person!

    1. You most certainly will be. I'm praying for you!! <3

  6. Oh I so know what you mean and there gets a time when you don't seem to have the time to listen to musice while at home as you are so busy with the kids it just doesn't happen..........

    1. Yep. It is one of those things you have to make time for. Especially keeping up with the new stuff.

  7. I know exactly how u feel. I used to,be passionate about my faith. I loved church sermons and gospel music. Somewhere along the way, it just stopped. If I plan on moving forward,I have to get back to the passion I had in my faith. #SITSsharefest

    1. Yes. I will be praying that you find your way, not only back to that place, but forward to the place you need to be.

  8. Tracie, your writing is always so beautiful and so real. I love that you shared this with us. My faith has evolved and changed so much over my life. I love what you wrote about looking forward. In fact, I just love that word. Forward.

    1. Thank you so much, Stevie. You are so very encouraging to me.

      Forward. It is such a huge thing.

  9. I totally love this post! Because I too got "stuck" a bit in music--90s country will always probably be among my favorite. I find your connection/correlation of music and your spiritual life to be super intriguing-here's to welcoming both in again and moving and growing! :)