I was a hot mess in church today.
It’s been a while. It used to happen almost every Sunday. I would stand there during worship and just move my lips to the words and sob. I was hardly able to utter a sound because my heart was fragile.
It didn’t take much to send me over the edge: songs, verses, flashbacks, memories. One minute I would be fine and the next minute not at all. Sometimes the tears stopped as quickly as they started. Other times, they poured and poured.
It mostly happened on the second pew in church on Sunday’s and on Thursday’s on the couch in my counselor’s office. Both eventually became the safe places where I was able to get in touch with those tender places with Jesus and receive healing.
Church wasn’t always a safe place. For me, it was a place to put up walls and wear a mask.
I would smile, and give my best “all is well with the world look” while my insides were crushing in a million pieces with anger, confusion, guilt and shame.
Jesus helped me tear down the walls of my heart, remove the mask and untangle the mess. Through it all, there were a lot of tears. At times, I wondered if I would ever stop crying.
Eventually, I did.
And then today, on the same second pew the tears came unexpectedly as I sang,
“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!”
I could hear him. My grandpa.
I looked up and could see him singing this song loudly.
He would pick me up every Sunday in his light blue station wagon and take me to church with him. I would look up and smile as I watched him sing hymns about how much he loved the Lord.
It was a glorious memory, and I am so very thankful.
I am thankful for my grandfather’s influence and his willingness to bring me to church every Sunday. I am thankful for his passion to sing hymns of faith and read the Word. I am thankful for his legacy.
I was a hot mess in church today, but these were tears of joy.
I smiled at my kids and sang a little louder.
“When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”