I didn’t grow up in church attending family. My Sundays weren’t centered around a holy growing community. There was no church. There was no steeple. No opening of doors to see all the people. My walk towards Christ was well versed and beautifully written though. All His love stories are. Mine just didn’t happen to have pews and prayer cards while I wore ponytails.
To many church regular attendees, this may prick. Perhaps I’ve already received a few “bless her heart” whispers too. And that’s okay. I completely understand the sadness felt when a child has not had the opportunity to be wrapped in the communicative arms of Jesus every Wednesday and Sunday. It’s important. Church? Yes. Jesus? Most definitely.
I write all of this to shed light on the absoluteness of what it feels like to be an adult finding my Sunday seat as the months roll in and out into years. Specifically with regards to praise during times of worship. Not knowing Christ and finding Him completely in my heart until the age of 22, I am a bit of an easy proof of childlike faith in an adult-sized package.
When the first chord is played or the first note sung, I immediately become transfixed on Him. I lose absolute sight of the people around me or the place in which I am sitting. Very often, my eyes close. My thoughts turn to an impromptu myriad of thank yous followed by a laundry list of the grieving I have within. I smile with my hands as they burst into the air not long after my hips have begun to rock back and forth to the tunes of His love played right before my very soul.
It’s worship. It’s my gift to Him and His back to me. I equate this love affair to a pep rally of sorts. And I am most thankful for the community of people surrounding me in His house, but, if I’m honest, I am not there for them. At least not during this time of praise and song. I am there to love on my Father with all that I am.
I like to think of it as making up for all those incredible times I missed out on as a little girl. Times that I could’a been singing Jesus Loves Me or The B-I-B-L-E. I often wonder why there aren’t others just like me. Not that I am by any means the role model for public worship, because I’m not. I’m just an adult reminding myself in those very moments of praise that “This I Know” and “That’s the book for me.”
Worship is action. It’s art in your purest, most vulnerable way. It’s trusting the One instead of worrying what the ones beside you might think. It’s being authentic with your maker and losing all that you are for the moments you have just with Him in His house pouring out your praise.
For those uncertain or nervous about raising your hand, singing loud or swaying your hips when you so desperately want to, I am here to remind you. Better yet, I hope this post will encourage you that He is worth it. That worship is action. It’s our human artwork we create for Him – not just on Sundays – but each time that we engage in our authentic best with our love for Christ.
Let go of the stigmas.
Let go of the opportunity to play church.
And BE the very church that’s full of people ready to give Him just exactly what He deserves. Glory. Honor. And praise.