You probably wouldn’t know it from the long list of “first’s” that occur when you’re getting to know someone, but I struggle with shame. Most of the time it masks itself as fear and dances with me in pride. It takes captive my confidence and masquerades around as kindness. Fear and shame have been the mud beneath my journey for as long as I can remember. You know, being sticky enough where I can’t keep moving, but if I do move, leaving a mess I won’t forget?
One of my best friends asked me to contribute to this Broken Crayon’s story and surprisingly, without any hesitation, I said yes. Now if you know Toni, founder of this whole thing, you’d most likely jump into anything for her because if she asks of you it’s because she deeply cares for you. When I responded about the details she told me she needed me to write on worship. At first, I kinda chuckled because I was on a list with actual musicians, church leaders, communicators, etc. I asked her if I could sleep on it when in reality I just wanted time to find a path to change my mind. I caught myself in the grip of insecurity. “Am I a bad Christian if the topic of worship didn’t instantly excite me?” Hello, shame. “What if I can’t think of anything good to say and I let her down. I’m not even a writer.” Hi, fear.
The next morning I woke up a little anxious about what to do and as usual went to the corner of my sofa to journal. (I try to sneak that into my mornings to get quiet with myself and my Savior.) As I opened the pages of a devotional I am currently revisiting, I found myself pondering how this routine even started. Hunting for my answer I landed on old words written around this exact time a couple of years ago. Through all of my doodles, prayers, random ideas and half baked thoughts God whispered to me in memory, using my very own words. “Last night I sang myself to sleep again Lord. I desperately want my focus on you to calm these feelings. Is that even a thing?” HELLO!
The all caps hello made me laugh, it was so dramatic.
I sat there quietly with a smile and goosebumps. I remembered the season like it was yesterday. Mumbling words and humming melodies through tears just to get through a night. That’s when the light bulb went off. Worship is what saved me and it’s what saves me, still.
It was walking into church and seeing hands raised in reverence that made me wonder who Jesus was. It was sitting in a hallway as students chose silence and bibles over girl talk and boys that showed me how awe could be found in quiet time. It was a song heard in brokenness, yet sang with such delight that brought me to the feet of Jesus to surrender my life. It was my small group of girls who taught me to write verses on my mirror to see God before I saw myself. It was a child’s raspy voice still singing “glory to god” in hospital rooms. Its the sound of women singing together on one accord. It is opening your hands in prayer as a posture of openness. It is the friends who lovingly tell me to look up instead of look around. It’s the playlist in the car when you need that night time drive. It’s in the corner of your couch when you process with Jesus cuddled in a blanket. It’s the deep breath that quiets the mind when you look at the trees in adoration while you’re walking your pup. I mean my list could go on...
Worship is the moments when we choose to focus on Him over anything else. It’s the celebration and the crying out. It’s intimate, it’s awestruck and it’s good.
What I did in the moment to remember the things I’ve just written about despite my insecurity was worship God. What I try to do each morning or each night as a way to quiet my mind and refuel my soul is worship God. What I have to do each day to overcome thoughts of shame and moments of fear is worship God. What I was doing that night in the depths of my brokenness was worship God and those words are still so true...
So ladies, even in the mud you’re walking through, what does worship look like for you today? Ask yourself where worship for you began or maybe where it could start? You’d be surprised at how the simple act of thinking about worship actually postures you for it.
Praying big. Luh y’all, Em
Emily is no stranger to the Broken Crayons story. She is an Atlanta based event designer, creative director, and friend. Emily has a unique ability to make even the smallest of details matter which brings beauty out of any space and out of any person. She believes in working inwardly to unearth our mess so we can live out our greatest potential as humans. She spends most of her time loving her puppy Chance and watching too many episodes of Friends. She would love to connect with you further on Instagram @emilyncrawford.