in my moments of fear, through every pain, every tear

I grew up in a giant Baptist church, and the minister of music was fond of doing Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir songs as the “special music”. Now, if you don’t know the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, they are a 300+ voice choir in, um, Brooklyn, Grammy-winning, but also a bunch of people with stories–stories of how God rescued them from drug addiction or abusive relationships or just flat out rescued them.

So one of their songs is one that permanently embedded itself in my brain, called “He’s Been Faithful”. It’s a little cheesy, in that Christian-radio-your-grandma-listens-to kind of way, which is why I think I dismissed it for a long time. Here, I’ll let you listen:

I heard it for the first time in years at (I think) a friend’s parent’s funeral a few years ago. And now that I’m older and a little more weathered, I think I get it.

When my heart looked away
The many times I could not pray
Still, my God, He was faithful to me

I’ve been dwelling on the fidelity of God to His people lately, partly because my church is about to start a sermon series on Hebrews and that’s a big theme of that book, but also because I have so often been faithless. And yet I can trace through my life’s trajectory, and the trajectory of my family’s life, that God has never, ever left us alone. Never. He may have been awfully quiet at times, but He didn’t leave.

He’s been faithful, faithful to me
Looking back, His love and mercies I see

A couple of weeks ago at community group, I expressed how I was frustrated with the fact that I still haven’t found a library job, three years out, and that my life just did not seem to be going the way I wanted it to. And my friend prayed for me, and as he was praying I straight up told God, “I don’t get why You’re doing this to me.”

And His answer was, “It’s not because I don’t love you.”

In my heart I have questioned
Even failed to believe
But He’s been faithful, faithful to me

And I can look around my life and see the friendships made, the gospel seeds planted and watered, prayers answered. Long healing. A marriage built on the promise of God, the promise between the two, our promise to help them remember. A church that’s lasted for almost nine years now. An adoption to be finalized this week. And for some, loneliness. Darkness. Fear. Doubt. Grief. But miraculously, also hope and faith. He is faithful in the good, but He does not abandon us during the bad. It’s not because He doesn’t love us.

He stays. He cannot forsake His own. Trust that, even though you may not feel it. This is about more than how you feel (though that’s not wholly unimportant).

on being a grown-up.

I’ve been pondering a quote from C.S. Lewis–I don’t recall it exactly, but it’s something to the effect of, “When I became a man, I put away childish things–including the desire to seem very grown-up.”

My generation–and no one more so than myself–tends to say things like “I don’t even feel like an adult” or “If I just reach such and such a life point, I’ll be an adult.” Well, the truth of the matter is, people, we are adults, even if we’re still single or we’re living with our parents or we don’t own a house yet or we don’t have kids or if, quite frankly, we still kind of want to be in college.

I wonder if it wouldn’t help with our maturity—my maturity–if we shed this idea that adulthood looks a certain way and took up the responsibilities and rootedness that it actually entails. If we are in Christ, our groundedness is in Him and what He has called us to being, and even if we happen to be in certain circumstances, He has given us the task of living as His people. And that takes work, it takes pain, and it also bears fruit.

Of course, this doesn’t, on the other hand, mean that I have to stop reading Harry Potter. That ain’t ever going to happen, folks.

Return of the Thursday 13!

This week: Thirteen careers you have ever seriously considered.

1. Professor of English literature. (Baylor people, if you know who Dr. Wood is, I wanted to be the lady version of Dr. Wood. Who knows, I may still do it.)
2. Professor of practical theology.
3. Journalist.
4. Playwright/screenwriter.
5. Bookstore owner.
6. Bartender.
7. DJ.
8. Radio show host.
9. Oh, yeah, librarian…
10. So I have these two friends in Austin who run a ministry for college and graduate students. I don’t know what their job title is, but that job.
11. Stage actor.
12. Stage manager.
13. Touring musician.