The Blessings of Inconvenience

January 23, 2011

Oh, Little One inside my tummy whose name and face I do not yet know:  I was not prepared for the inconveniences you would bring so soon.  Somewhere, somehow, I expected that the joy of your creation would far overpower any little physical woes like constant nausea, daily headaches, severe fatigue at very inopportune times, and strange cravings for which no explanation can be offered except you.  But I was wrong.  I had planned to make many a radical change to my life when you finally arrived on the outside, but I never expected I would have to change so much about my life when you were still merely on the inside.

But God knew.  And if God knew, it means that God is not surprised.  And if God is not surprised, it means He already has everything taken care of.  And if He already has everything taken care of, then I might as well rest in knowing that everything is happening exactly as it was meant to.

One of the most initially troubling inconveniences was my inability to make it to worship team practices before Sunday services–not once, but twice within 3 weeks.  This was after having practiced during the week, learned new lyrics to new songs, and picked out my wardrobe the night before  to match the team color scheme for that week.  Where did I actually end up those mornings?  In the bed or in the bathroom, or both.

I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to step down for a season, and this at the peak of transition within the team leadership and personal eagerness to do all within my ability and God’s grace to help.  I realized that above all, I simply could not risk being so unpredictably unreliable.  It wasn’t fair to the team, to the church, and it wasn’t fair to my body and the needy, high-maintenance-since-conception baby growing inside of it.  I suspected the only real blessing that would come of this was that my conscience would be appeased and I would simply get more sleep.  But once again, I was wrong.

Within only a couple days of my decision, the strangest things happened:  The first is that I began worshiping in my car again, like I used to worship when I wasn’t constantly thinking, “This is a great song! Now, should we try to do this one at church?  Who would lead it?  Would we need to change the key?  Is there another version that would be better for our particular congregation?…”  None of that.  I simply raised one hand in the car, tears running down my face, singing, “And all You ever wanted, was only me, on my knees, singing ‘Holy! Holy!’  Somehow all that matters now is, You are Holy, Holy.”  And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t care how I sounded, and I didn’t have any other plans for the song except to worship my God to it right then and there.  What a blessing, and a relief, not even knowing that my mind needed a break from constantly planning to serve the Body with all that I enjoyed about worship.  There is definitely a time, place, and need for that, but God knew that I needed to rest it, and just worship Him.

The other amazing thing that happened was this:  I began playing piano again.  Many don’t know that I do, and most would never know if I had quit.  My husband, however, had been very sad, missing the sound of my “usuals” wafting through the house as he goes about his day.  I don’t know exactly when it was that I stopped, but when I stepped down from the worship team, a sudden urge to play for pleasure again swept over me.  Then I realized what had happened.  My typical choice of piano songs are those to which you do not sing.  There are no lyrics–the melody is contained within the piece and the composition stands alone simply as A Piano Song.  Unfortunately, I am not nearly as proficient at playing chord-style worship songs, and in the past year, I have become increasingly discontented with my current skill set, striving to improve my abilities in the style that would most benefit the worship team, whether for playing on Sunday mornings or assisting with choir practice on Tuesday nights.  Though this is a noble goal, sure, I did not realize it had sucked the joy away from simply sitting down at my piano and just playing what I know.  If I played what I knew, I was reminded it was of no use where I wanted to use my “skills.”  If I practiced what I needed to work on, I was reminded that I was not very good at it and needed to practice much more to become so.  And so naturally, I stopped sitting down at the piano.

But yesterday was wonderful.  I played.  And played.  And played.  I played every song I had ever written, every song that no one will ever care that I am able to play.  Every song that no one else has a use for.  And I felt so, so, so much better.  And my husband was happy, too.

We as humans are able to see so very little at one time, and dimly do we see even those things.  I am trying to get better at not striving against the plans of God for my life.  Only He could have diagnosed and cured the problems I didn’t even know I had until the healing had already begun!  What oftentimes looks like a baseball bat swinging towards our heads is really just a skilled Surgeon’s scalpel headed for our souls.  May I grow daily in trusting that the little inconveniences will actually turn out to be blessings that God intended for my good all along.