In 2017, I was abruptly met with discouragement. I created a playlist called Hope for My Heart. It was filled with songs of encouragement, songs written out of sorrow, songs laced with hope and the promise of joy. I listened to that playlist for countless hours. I added many more songs as the days and months rolled by.
It was balm for my sleeping heart and truth for my slumber. I chose to believe God though I did not feel awake or alive in spirit.
I would make dinner and listen to the music. I would take a shower and listen to the music. I would fold laundry and listen to the music. And I’d listen to the music on our way to church.
I would share a few songs with my friends and apologize to my husband for playing the music on repeat in our home. Of course, my husband didn’t mind at all.
Toward the end of 2018, I wasn’t listening to the playlist nearly as much, but I still thought of it as my go-to playlist…as it had been for months.
But this January, I turned on Hope for My Heart while doing housework, but instead of sitting in the truth-filled words, I found myself skipping through the songs. They felt heavy and my spirit just wasn’t in that heavy place anymore.
I wanted upbeat songs, songs of heaven, songs of the beautiful life I have in God, songs of an emboldened, celebrating heart & soul. I still love the songs on Hope for My Heart, because these songs sang to my slumbering heart when I could not bring myself to sing or even hope. But I’m not in that discouraging, heavy place right now.
And I’m not sure when my heart woke up, because it just felt like the same thing every day. Choosing God. Listening to songs filled with truth. Living my life. Reminding my slumbering heart that it wouldn’t be asleep forever…even though I could not see the end and I didn’t believe it was coming.
There was no grand moment or epiphany. No mountaintop or firework display. I just turned on a playlist I had loved & needed for so long and realized my heart felt like joy instead. I wanted songs about heaven and victory and celebration.
Turns out life with God is the best life of all. Life with God is life itself. Life with God happened when my heart slumbered and continued when it woke up to God and His wonder.
My heart had been listening for all those hours, days, and months. Even when it felt like I was stuck and going nowhere forever, the truth was sinking in slowly.
Reading God’s Word filled my soul and His love + kindness comforted my spirit. And the truth sunk in. God taught me how to sing and celebrate as I watched the flowers in my Porch Garden grow, then die, then multiply…just like my life. And the truth sunk in. I couldn’t slumber forever. The truth sunk in.
And I was wide awake…finally.
So, I just want to encourage you with this today.
Your heart may be slumbering, but it’s listening. A slumbering heart is powerful and will soak in everything around it. Yes. Yes. Yes. It will listen to every thing you allow near it.
I beg you to put truth near your heart even when the truth feels bland and confusing. I ask you to listen to music woven with God’s hope, peace, and joy, because your heart needs the singing even if you’re not the one doing it. I encourage you to repeat these actions though you feel nothing, sense no change, and can see no end. Your sleeping heart is taking everything in. Absolutely everything.
And then one day, you’ll turn on the music and open God’s Word and realize your heart is wide awake. Your heart is joy again. You’ll wonder to yourself, “When did this happen? When did I stop sleeping?” And you’ll make a new playlist and repeat everything you’ve already been doing for months, but this time? This time you’ll do it wide awake.
As you put truth near your heart, you will feel it skip a beat. As you listen to new music woven with joy, you will laugh and smile…maybe even dance. As you open God’s Word, you will notice how you sit there reading longer. You will be wide awake, because the truth sunk in while you slumbered.
Life with God cannot be wrapped in a box and tied with a perfect bow. There will be long seasons of slumber and many other seasons of wide-awake, celebratory joy. These seasons are interwoven and unexpected. So, just choose God every happy or blurry day. Listen to songs filled with the truth.
Whether slumber or celebration, God will show Himself good and kind. He will comfort you while you sleep and rejoice with you when wide-awake. You’ll begin to see that while life is not always pretty, it is always full of a deep-rooted joy. And that’s some kind of beauty other-worldly and inexplicable.
Well, that is life with God.