The one prayer I said when I resuscitated my blog this year was that I did not just want to write for the sake of writing. It was that whatever topic I wrote about would have an impact on my targeted audience. This became more serious for me when I got the sense that through worship, God would bring me out of some situations that I would then in turn share with that audience.
Since then, every post written has been from my own personal experiences in worship. My own worship encounters so to speak. It is like experiencing exactly what I am going to post about prior to even getting the topic. I am getting to the point where I do not fret anymore on what I’m going to write; I just wait for it to come. Here goes…
The Devil tried it!
This past weekend? Phew! I cannot even begin to explain it. When the bible talks about the enemy prowling around like a lion, it is no joke! That talk about guarding your heart is no joke. Guarding the heart is not an overnight thing; it does not just happen. You must be intentional! Sorry, I digressed but you get the point.
I would be leading worship for Sunday 7/21 and naturally, I was preparing and going over the songs to determine how the set list was going to come together in a medley and I was struggling. The songs were just not connecting or resonating with me. If you know me, I like to have a theme to my worship sessions and at that particular time, it just was not coming together, I did not have a theme. Instead, there was just this heaviness in my spirit.
This continued into the rehearsal time, even the band was struggling that I had to tell them to just rehearse ‘Goodness of God’ by Bethel because that was the only song that had slowly started to connect with me. I remember @timi.manuel going on his knees when the band started to play this song.
If you are a worship leader reading this, know that your set list will always express what you are feeling. Anyway, on my drive home I started to meditate on the goodness of God and how He saved me from multiple fatal accidents in the last 3 weeks and I couldn’t help but marvel at His goodness towards me and voila my theme came!
However, on Saturday I was lying down in bed trying to take a nap when all of a sudden all these thoughts of failure start flooding my mind! I heard ‘what have you done with your life?’ For someone who has been in four concerts since March? I shared the stage with Nathaniel Bassey! I even started a business and my husband and I invested in a movie! What have I done with my life?’ What? Maybe it was the 107 degree weather we were having that day?
The Mind can be nasty!
Thoughts are so powerful in that they can creep up on you without you even realizing it. You are sitting down, minding your business and all of a sudden, you start to feel like a failure. How did that happen? I still do not understand it. Lying there and getting jostled by that question did a number on me and by the time I caught myself, I had been wallowing for at least 3 hours in my bedroom! The only thing I had not added were ugly tears.
Anyway, once I realized it, this came to my mind – I had in fact been busy since October 2018! I had been heavily involved with five concerts so I could say I am tired and do need a down time. Somehow, in my mind, my ‘down time’ is me failing because I am not doing anything that looked like I was working.
Now, why in the world would I feel this way? See that thing about your mind playing tricks on you is true, only thing was it was having a field day and I just let it. How can I be starting the second of half of the year already in a rut? No way!
Talk to your mind!
So, I began to talk to myself! Try it! It is very liberating. First thing I did was put up a WhatsApp status that said – ‘your downtime is not ‘wallow/self-pity’ or even kick your butt time. It is the ‘what’s next for me?’ time. It is not the ‘I am going to drive myself crazy with things I cannot control’ time. It is the ‘Lord, I am going to partner with you on the next journey, so let’s go!’ Then I listed the things I had in fact done and added more on my vision board.
Worship on Steroids
Fast forward to Sunday service and the worship time was like ‘Gladys on steroids’ because I could feel myself ‘going in’ and guess what, that heaviness I was feeling on Saturday lifted after my rehearsal on Sunday morning and that’s when I remembered what God had told me during one of my personal moments with Him.
That as I worshipped, He would bring me through some things and when I led worship, people in that same struggle would get their release. In hindsight, I realize the heaviness I was feeling was not really mine, it was for people in the congregation coming into church on Sunday and because I had worshipped through it, they got their release.
Then A Word came…
This week is my church (Agape House) Annual retreat. It is going to be phenomenal and as I was sitting at my desk, I heard the words Leaps and Bounds. I looked it up and saw that phrase is defined as progress that is made quickly and in big strides, rather than slowly and steadily.
It implies that the normal steps of progression were bypassed; and that growth instead leaped over certain stages and moved ahead more quickly than normal. Another description says ‘moving forward in surprisingly large and rapid steps.’ Synonyms include Quantum leap, sudden progress, abrupt change, giant strides, big jump, and radical change.
It is no coincidence that I got this word because in recent times, I had come to terms with certain things that I am now intentional about constantly reminding myself of
1. I am not on anyone’s clock.
2. I am not running a race with anyone.
3. There is only one Gladys and she is not in competition with anyone.
4. It may look like I started late but God is never late and because I am starting now; ‘now’ is when I’m supposed to be doing this.
5. I am intentional about determining what noise is so I can kill it, not reduce the volume – KILL THE NOISE! I realize that some advice is noise… you may think you are getting good advice but it may just be adding volume to the noise in your life.
I am now aware this word came because I needed to be reminded of the goodness of God. This week, this old song bubbled up in my spirit. Count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the lord has done. Learn to count your blessings, God is not done with you yet and you should not be done with you either!
Let me come back to the ‘what have you done with your life?’ question. I have done a few things; in fact, this is not the timid Gladys of 2018, this is the bold and revived worshipper, the minstrel, psalmist, recording artist getting ready to do some amazing things for God. Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard!
Worship and Prophecy work hand in hand
As a worship leader, the prophetic is a gift I do not joke with because I understand prophecies speak the mind of God. By now, you know how big I am on song lyrics! Therefore, I receive that word by faith! My second half of year will be in “leaps and bounds”, rapid progress in Jesus name and I prophesy that over you my friends.
Here are two of the songs from my set list on Sunday. My theme was on the goodness of God so my songs all expressed this. This one thing will always have me on my knees worshipping at the feet of Jesus, any time, and any day!
Thanks for visiting and I will talk to you, later! In addition; please comment, like and most importantly – share with a friend(s) and follow on @worshipwithgladys on IG! Someone needs to hear this!
Photo by Varun Gaba on Unsplash