Monday, November 1, 2010

A Girl Who Had the Faith to Move a Mountain

Song of the Week: "Missing Person," Michael W. Smith

Over the last week, Bobby has been scanning all of my mom's old pictures, so that she will have digital copies of  them.  (It's a little side business that he has started.  So, if that sounds like something you would like to have done for your pictures, email me.  He would love to have more customers!)

Along the way, we have come across some great (and not-so-great) pictures!  We have laughed until we practically cried at some of my outfits and my antics!  Here are a few examples:

As I looked at those pictures, a familiar thought began to haunt me.  It's a thought I have had countless times over the last several years.  It's a thought that first began to dawn on me at some point during college.  And, as I looked at those pictures, it was there staring right back at me . . .

I've lost the spark that shows up in so many of those pictures.  

I'm not sure where along the way I lost it.  Was it in middle school when I ceased being exactly who I was and tried to be the person people wanted me to be?  Was it in high school when I realized that people can be really hurtful, even when you haven't done anything to hurt them?  Was it in college when the exhaustion of trying to be good at everything (and not always succeeding) finally set in?  Was it that my desire for control supplanted my desire to follow God's plans for my life with reckless abandon?  Or, was it just the stronghold of unbelief that took my faith captive over time?  The truth is, I don't know.  I don't know where I lost it.

All I know is that I don't have it anymore.  I wasn't always as serious as I am today.  I wasn't always as ridden with doubts as I am today.  I wasn't always as terrified of making mistakes as I am today.  I wasn't always as self-concious and self-absorbed (gag!) as I am today.

You see, the one thing that hasn't changed over the years is "my faith," in a manner of speaking.  Christ drew me to Himself at a very young age, and I have loved him ever since.  Not one day, since the day I opened my heart to Christ, have I ever doubted the reality of my salvation.  And yet, the very thing that has been battered and bruised so savagely over the years is "my faith."  Sadly, the faith that I had as the little girl in those pictures dwarfs the faith that I have today.  I don't mean to imply that I haven't grown in my knowledge of Christ and my intimacy with Him over the years.  I don't mean to undermine the liberating work that He alone has accomplished in me over the last 21 years since I placed my trust in Him.  

I just want my "faith like a child" back!  For heaven's sake . . .  (literally) . . . I WANT IT BACK!

I do not want to be of no use to the Kingdom of God because I am paralyzed by fear and self-doubt.  I do not want to subsist, when I can have life--and life more abundantly!  (John 10:10)

When I was a little girl, I used to read about the people in the Bible who experienced the presence of God through visions and angels--people like Moses, Daniel, Samuel, and Mary.  I was captivated by the way that God spoke to them.  I begged God that one day He would speak to me through a vision or an angel.  And, in my innocent little girl's heart, I truly believed that He would.  (Now, before you get all theological on me, the point is not whether God still speaks like that.  The point is that I believed with all my heart that He would!)  

The day after Bobby and  I were sorting through those pictures, I heard a song that I hadn't heard in years.  It's a song I used to belt from the top of my lungs as a child, never dreaming that it would one day become true of me.  You see, in my house growing up, my sister was the supplier of music.  While I saved up all  my allowance to buy books and baby dolls, she always had the latest collection of cassette tapes and CDs.  Consequently, I mooched off her music.  Mary Ann has always been a huge fan of Michael W. Smith.  I'm pretty sure she has every CD he's ever made.  (...along w/ Celine Dion)  So, as you might guess, I was also a fan of Michael W. Smith.  The song I heard that day was, "Missing Person."  It puts into words everything I feel when I look at those pictures.  

Without further adieu, here are the lyrics to Michael's song, "Missing Person:" 

Another question in me
One for the powers that be
It's got me thrown
And so I put on my poker face
And try to figure it out
This undeniable doubt
A common occurrence
Feeling so out of place
Guarded and cynical now
Can't help but wondering how
My heart evolved into 
The rock beating inside of me
So I reel...such a stoic ordeal
Where's that feeling that I don't feel?

There was a [girl] who had the faith to move a mountain
And like a child [she] would believe without a reason
Without a trace [she] disappeared into the void and
I've been searching for that missing person

Under a lavender moon
So many thoughts consume me
Who dimmed that glowing light
That once burned so bright in me?
Is this a radical phase
A problematical age
That keeps me running
From all that I used to be?
Is there a way to return?
Is there a way to unlearn
That carnal knowledge
That's chipping away at my soul?
I've been gone too long
Will I ever find my way home?

There was a [girl] who had the faith to move a mountain
And like a child [she] would believe without a reason
Without a trace [she] disappeared into the void and
I've been searching for that missing person

[She] used to want to try the straight and narrow
[She] had a fire and [she] could feel it in the marrow
It's been a long time and I haven't seen [her] lately
But I've been searching for that missing person. 

While we were looking at those old pictures, I mentioned to Bobby my fear that I had lost the spark that lights up so many of those childhood pictures.  His response, whether he knew it or not, was exactly the encouragement that I needed to hear.  He said something along the lines of, "I know, babe, but you're getting it back."  I. am. getting. it. back!  You see, I've been searching for that missing person...

"Then [Jesus] said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven."  ~ Matthew 18:3 (NLT)

A Time for Silence

On the off chance that anyone's still checking my blog to see whether I've written anything new, let me first explain my absence from the blog world of late...

As you can see, my last post was in April.  That was right before I started my LAST round of law school exams. (Woohoo! -- I can hardly believe that season of my life is over!)  Immediately after graduation, I began studying full-time for the bar exam.  (Emphasis on full-time!)  Despite the fact that I had been duly warned, I never expected that studying for the bar would be so intense and so boring at the same time.  But, alas, I made it through that, too!  (Praise to God alone!)  Then, after the bar, I had a much-needed month off.  However, during that month, Bobby and I moved into a new rental home.  I literally began packing as soon as I returned home from taking the bar.  Most of my days during my month off were spent unpacking, painting, and recovering from law school and the bar.  So, needless to say, the blog took a back seat to all of that!  

I had planned to start back with the blog full-time once we were settled in our house, but I soon realized that I would have to put blogging on the back burner for the next year due to some responsibilities at work. So, the bad news (for the faithful few who care) is that my blog posts will be intermittent over the next year.  The good news is that I plan to be back full force next year!  I miss blogging!

In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon tells us that, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to be silent and a time to speak."  (Eccl. 3:1, 7b, NIV).  For the most part, the next year will be a time of silence for my blog.  I will still post every now and then, when I desperately need to get something off my chest.  (In fact, after I finish this post, I am about to write another "Song of the Week" post that I have been pondering for some time.)  But, I won't post as regularly as I did when I first started.  So, check back from time to time if you feel so inclined, and other than that, hope to see you next year!