The guitar that was bigger than me... this post is dedicated to the person who put the money under my pillow in a little town, at a little Bible school, in Southern Ontario so, so many years ago.
You see, I arrived at the little bible school in Southern Ontario with this broken down beginners Yamaha guitar that just wouldn't stay in tune no matter how hard I tried. It made it just a little difficult to lead worship with, so I needed a new guitar but had no money. Honestly, no one around me had any money. So whoever put that money under my pillow (kind of like the grown up tooth fairy) I've had no doubt all these years that it was probably all the money they had. I'm sure it took a step of faith to give this little girl from New Jersey that money, but that's how I found myself with this gorgeous Guild- a 12 string, mahogany top guitar. It was beautiful, and big- too big for me, and it had a really great big sound. A really, really nice sound.
I traveled all over Ontario with that guitar, a whole pack of us leading worship all along the way. There I was singing and strumming songs about a God who was way bigger than us on a guitar way to big for me. We traveled all over Ontario and the States. All the way up to Wiarton, one of the most beautiful places on earth, and down near Ottawa and Toronto and Hamilton. And me, always feeling much smaller and a tad inadequate, especially when I'd compare myself to others. Which was a lesson I was learning not to do back in the day. And so in the middle of a moment of I can't do this panic I would hear that small voice. You know THAT VOICE. That It's ok. Just step out! That's right...Just a little step of faith,don't worry, I'VE GOT THIS voice. And HE did. HE always did.
I'd throw my trust to the wind and that VOICE and would just hit that first chord of that first song and try and forget about myself and remember HE said HE had this. I kind of learned to live on the edge of that scary place of jumping in the middle of things that were way out of my comfort zone and way bigger than me. A little like that guitar.
Fast forward way more years than I'm willing to count and this week I sold that beautiful mahogany, 12 string Guild.
I sold it for plane fare... to hop on a big old plane and head to Africa. Next stop Ethiopia then Rwanda. Places and things that feel much too big for me again. Heck. Getting on a plane is way out of my comfort zone. But again. We take that first small strum or that first small step and trust God with the rest. Trust again that VOICE that says I'VE GOT THIS.
I haven't been playing that beautiful 12 string as much the past few years, I've been hearing a different kind of song and hoping to help other people hear the song God is singing over them. The still small voice that says, I've got this. I'm there for you even if no one else was. The song of the God who sings and rejoices over us with joy and His love. And does it right in the midst of the craziness of life. It's really very similar to what we did for all those years before traipsing around with guitar in hand.
So I'll be hopping on the plane. I did mention that I love to fly,right? Sarcasm folks. I'll be visiting my daughter in Ethiopia and a bunch of teenage girls who have a really special place in my heart.
And then July 5th I will be off to Rwanda to meet my Global Trauma and Recovery Institute class out of Biblical Seminary. We've been studying hard the past two years learning to stand alongside counselors on the ground in countries where trauma and rape and other atrocities- sometimes unspeakable- maybe have become a way of life. Hopefully we've learned to listen too well to their stories and lean in deep to the heart of the God who sings over them too.
The last time I was in Ethiopia I was talking with the precious girls who own my heart, and I realized I needed more training. There is so much trauma in this world we live in and not just globally in the community that I live in too.
So I happened to notice while I was in Ethiopia, losing sleep at night, that one of my favorite, wise professors from Biblical Seminary where I'd hung out for three years, Phil Monroe and Diane Langberg, who are brilliant and so wise and whose writings on abuse and trauma I'd devoured while in school ,were just starting the Global Trauma and Recovery institute out of Biblical. That seemed to be THAT VOICE speaking again and I believe I messaged Phil from Ethiopia and said this is crazy and I am in.
But it still feels way too big for me. There's something I've learned though. Whether its taking that first scary strum or first step onto the airplane,or the crazy idea of planting a church in the middle of Bangor we can take those small crazy steps because we have a God who is there.
So here we go again. I'm off. Jumping in. But I just wanted to dedicate this to the person who put the $600 under my pillow all those years ago. I just wanted you to know all these years later the step you took played a part in every little thing I've done since then. And now it's kind of the gift that keeps on giving. So My favorite guitar tooth fairy, whomever you are, I just wanted to know that you and me-- we, are going to Africa.
Oddly, I wrote this early on a Sunday morning and wouldn't you know taking small steps with a Big God was Jonathan, our pastor's message on Sunday morning. And since he had talked to me about him and I doing some blogging on the Hopesprings website... Here we go.
So my friends I have no idea where this is taking us. The last Pentecostal bone in my body says something's coming. That there's a new challenge ahead. I have no idea what it means. And I don't like it because I want the plan.
But I'm getting older and hopefully a little wiser, and I'm just going to take that first small step. That Woohoo !Yikes! I have no idea what I'm doing and feel totally inadequate, and this is way too big for me first little step. Somehow I still feel like the little girl with the way too big guitar. Does that feeling ever go away?
How about you? What's your step?
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
If you want to know a little more about where I'm going to be. Check out pick a pocket's Facebook page and a new video about the Koshe project and new venture the girls will be taking called Bloom: Addis
Also check out the Global Trauma and Recovery Institute at Biblical Theological Seminary. www.biblical.edu
Thanks for your prayers and for all that you mean in my life!