Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He Loved Us Despite Everything

    So many funny things happened while we were in Carbon County.  Maybe I'll write about those sometime, but right now, I need to tell you about my experience on Sunday morning.
    I put my violin at a playing position.  The theater lights shone bright even when I closed my eyes.  Guitar chords swam around, trying to coax melodies from my soul.
    Was all this real?  Were Cade and I seriously about to play music in a theater that had been turned into a church?  I told the pastor days before I'm so lost and confused; I don't know exactly what I believe.  One day I'm a Christian, one day I'm the biggest hypocrite to ever live.  "I love God, though," I'd said, "more than anything.  And my idea of Heaven is playing music for God, even if just once."  
    I told him all that before Cade said how we weren't cut out to play in church.  "I'm ignostic," Cade had said, holding his guitar case tightly.
    "See?" I'd told the pastor.  "We can't play in church.  That would be like the blind leading the blind."
    He smirked.  "God has a plan for you two.  And I'm not one of those pastors who cards people at the door.  If you're up for it, I really want you two and your mom to play in church Sunday morning.  Will you?"
    Cade surprised me by nodding.  "All right.  We'll be there."   
    And we were.  But it was so much harder for me than I'd expected.  

The fact remains, I left church and my previous beliefs for many reasons.  If you've read Bible Girl and the Bad Boy, you know people gave me an exorcism and that's a big part of the reason I ran away when I was seventeen.  Almost everyone who hears that laughs, but it isn't funny to me, not really.  I try laughing and smiling about it when everyone else does . . . even if, that was one of the scariest moments of my life.  I thought those church people might physically hurt me, so excited to be confronting a "demon"-possessed, rebellious girl.  Every time I tried standing, they pushed me back down saying the "demon" was acting up.
    So this past Sunday, I stood under those searching theater spotlights at church.  My hand shook as I played my violin.  Loud, vibratory notes came out at first, and then that was it, the music sucked me in.  God's love filled me from the inside out as if a shell fell away.  I didn't worry about exorcisms or judgmental church folk I once knew.  Instead, my fingers blurred playing faster and faster all over the strings.  My mom picked up the beats on the drums, our instruments echoing each other as the guitars did the same, swelling and growing more powerful.  I imagined--like I always used to--playing for God.  I could almost picture Him smiling at us, because in that moment we weren't just giving Him an offering, we were the offering, and I no longer worried about being good enough, or kind enough.  I guess I just hoped He'd take me as I am--the real me, who's been trying everything I can to succeed just so He'll love me.
    I tried not crying, the beats from the drums, shook to my core, the pastor's voice sang strong, new words that weren't part of any song--yet--this was our song, created from jungle drums and a violin that wouldn't be tamed.
    I looked at Cade strumming his guitar like crazy, closing his eyes and listening like I had just before.
    That's when I cried, feeling something so strong, no matter what crazy things I've gone through, or the fact that I left God, He's never left me and He always had a plan.
    There we were, even if I turned away for years, running from an exorcism, hiding after Zeke passed away. God was always waiting.

    This is a simple post, but I wanted you to know, no matter what you believe, God loves you.  He loves all of us. 

    I posted this picture yesterday, but I had to again since the guy in the blue is the pastor.  I'm so glad he let us play in church, and loved us despite everything.

    Thank you Andrew and Terri!
    To visit their site, please go HERE

    If you'd like to hear our music, please visit this link.
    Or watch this video:

    Also, one of my favorite romance books is free right now, if you want to check that out go here: Texas Outlaw (Wild Texas Nights, Book 1)


  1. What a moment! Love your honesty! God is great!

  2. Tears are welling up in my eyes! :)

  3. Lovely post and its so great of a building being transformed into a church when all to often we see churches being used as all kinds of things - typically restaurants or, for some unknown and bizarre reason, carpet warehouses.

  4. This beautiful and heartfealt post brought tears to my eyes as well. It is not often that I feel such overwhelming joy and oneness with something much greater than self. I am happy for you.

    Siv Maria's blog, Been there, done that...

  5. Whether you are religious or not, nothing brings people together like music. Especially when you are playing together, it is communication on a different level to spoken language.

  6. A wonderful moment indeed. Conquering you exoriscm fear is a big plus right there hahaha but yeah God is out there, the rest of the mumbo jumbo I ignore though.

  7. That was great Elisa. Sometimes it's easy to forget what's really important in life. Thanks.

  8. Sounds like you had an awesome time in more ways than one. Congrats!

  9. I'm so glad you were able to have such a positive and moving experience. Warms my heart.

  10. A beautiful post!!

  11. Amen Elisa. Thanks for the inspiration. Great concept with the pastor referring to not carding at the door. I can't imagine Jesus doing that either.

    Now of course, after listening to your wonderful Eagles rendition, I am now heading to YouTube for more Eagles. I think my few minutes of free time just got a lot less unproductive. Oh well...

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  13. Music brings people together like nothing else, especially playing it with other people. It is like communicating in a different language. A lovely and moving post.

  14. Great post Elisa, isn't nice to know that no matter what we do, God is always in control? I hope you'll continue to revel in God's word. :)

  15. Sounds like you had an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Dear Elisa, thank you for sharing the transcendent moment of Presence that you experienced this past Sunday. It is like the Blue that I describe in my blog this week. And when this happens we truly know Oneness with all creation and with God (Spirit, Source, Energy, Chi--whatever one choose to call the force that informs the Universe). Listening to your video and reading of your experience I am enthralled by how you become the music you play. You are a force for good in our world. Thank you for sharing the grace that was given to you and for being Music. Peace.

  17. I love my little middle girl.


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  20. People don't leave church because of God. They leave because of people. I'm glad you found some welcoming people and were able to move closer to God again. I'm sure He smiled.

  21. How awesome! I hope that one day, something that I do - possibly for God - will make me have the same reaction as you. In college I was part of a Catholic group and during retreats a few of the leaders gave experiences in which they felt or saw God's or Jesus's presence, making me feel bad because I hadn't had an experience like that. Still haven't, 5 years after becoming Confirmed.

    When I read "Bible Girl" I felt so bad for you with the way your classmates and the kids at your church treated you, especially after you and Cade got married. Talk about hypocritical. I'm glad your crazy life is a bit happier now :)

  22. Elisa, you're so brave. Keep playing> Keep moving people with your gift.