Let that sink in for a moment.
One year ago today I was at Red Rocks Amphitheater with my husband's family watching Chris Tomlin on his Burning Lights tour. I didn't want to be there. I was tired. Nervous. Far from God. I had just been approached a few days prior by a concerned friend who was afraid I was suffering from postpartum depression (I found out a few weeks later she was right). As I sat in Red Rocks watching the people around me, I wondered how many of them felt like I did - like they were pretending. It didn't feel like a place where I could really worship.
My heart was hard. My emotions unmoving. I was uncomfortable and felt out of place. I knew I was loved by God. I knew I loved God. But I wanted to go home. Get into bed. Tomlin opened with "God's Great Dance Floor." I couldn't move. I just stood there. Stood because I "had to." Then "Awake My Soul" played. Most of it washed over me until Lacrae started in with the scripture. Ezekiel's vision of dry bones coming back to life. "Conjure the four winds of breath and breathe!" Suddenly there were the words "Awake! Awake! Awake my soul; God resurrect these bones." And my heart broke. The tears fell. I still cry when I hear "BREATHE!" on that album.
When the next song played I listened, I sang, I prayed "It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way....There's no life apart from You." Then "Indescribable" reminded me of the God I serve and "White Flag" and "Sovereign" helped me pray my surrender. By the end of the concert (Louie Giglio spoke and there were more songs to which I sang my heart out), I knew I wasn't healed, I knew I had a long road to walk, but I knew I wouldn't be alone in the journey. I was reminded of this great and magnificent God I serve. He loves me, sees me, draws me to Him even when I am blank and blocking the world out.
After I had my daughter, I stopped caring about anything. I stopped noticing the world and the people around me. I didn't notice I was doing it, either, because I'm not even sure I noticed myself. I was just trying to survive. But God had me in the palm of His hand. He was watching over me and my husband and my daughter. He kept me from doing anything rash and loved us all through it. Then He gave me a gift. A big, loud, bright, crazy gift. His Holy Spirit sweeping through thousands of His people, burning in my ears, my heart, and my soul.
I am still healing from years of apathy and attempted perfection's scars on my life. But this path of healing I have been on started on May 4, 2013. Three days after a friend said, "Carey, I'm worried about you." God was right there with the words I needed to hear. He was right there with the people I needed. He was right there holding me, and He still is. He led me to my counselor, He flew with me to fish camp in Alaska, He guides my hand as I journal, He urges me to love and serve and see people again. All of these things have been part of the healing journey. God hears my cries and answers my prayers. He knows my fears and cradles me in His everlasting arms. He has led me to teachers and scriptures and conferences and Bible studies and passions I never knew I had.
I am so thankful for this Great Prodigal God who runs to me and embraces me. As we sang this morning in church, "Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful. God, You are faithful." Amen! Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness and breathing life back into these dry bones.