Our Endless Hallelujah

This word that follows me, courts me, calls me into its existence.
Draws me into its embrace and envelopes me.
I scour my archives.
Surely I’ve written this before, because it has become a recurring theme,
part of who Jesus is making this person into…
Part of every breath.

It’s called {worship}.

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It all started back on that windy hillside as I stood by Isaac’s grave.
The cold wind whipped around me, tore through me,
turning my tears to ice, my heart throbbing with pain that is beyond words.
Dreams shattered, life lies buried in the grave at my toes.

But He gave me a glimpse of what He saw, this God of mine.
The scene from His eyes, a girl all alone at the grave, and His gentle invitation.
To worship from this place of utter loss.
To say yes, when all I hold dear is ripped from my fingers.

I started on this journey that long ago day, to say yes.
To choose to see from His eyes, how this pain is a gift.
An opportunity to become more like Jesus,
and leave a little more of this flesh behind.

I’ve tasted worship in many ways since then.

Like Friday night at Bible School.
After a week of rich teaching, our hearts were blown away at God’s goodness.
My eyes closed and my heart nearly burst with the glory of heaven.
It was so close, this place where all that matters is Jesus
and pouring our hearts out in praise.
I caught a glimpse of the Throne like never before,
where everything fades but Jesus.

We sang a new song that captured my heart…

“When I stand before Your throne,
Dressed in glory not my own,
What a joy I’ll sing of on that day,
No more tears or broken dreams,
Forgotten is the minor key,
Everything as it was meant to be.

And we will worship, worship,
Forever in Your presence we will sing
We will worship, worship
And endless hallelujah to the King…”

But this morning the call to worship is from a much more painful altar.
It’s the altar of pain and loss. Of letting go.

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Excuse me while I have a moment.
Or two.

Or three.

This morning she packs up the last box and stows it in the trailer.
Shuts the door for the last time, closing that chapter –
the house of honeymoon love, bursting with memories and joy –
and moves back home.
To far-away Georgia, back to her parents home.

We stopped by last evening. Down the old jaunt, our old road.
It feels so much like home, so many many years of driving that bumpy old county road,
always passing Marco’s house, and ALWAYS honking, even at eleven at night.
We could picture Marco and Maryann smiling and rolling their eyes, “There go THOSE neighbors!”

I stepped up into the porch. I stood, trying to smile bravely to say goodbye.
But the bravery crumbled as she and I dissolved into tears in a tight embrace.
This beautiful home was now being put, piece by piece, into boxes.
And closed.
We never wanted this season to end. Their story had just begun.
We felt God brooding over their future and ministry.
This was not how we would have written their story.
God, You know how much we needed them. We need her.
How through her gift of worship, of music, we tasted YOU.
Her spirit radiated your beauty. And yet, your story is bigger. Better.
More eternal.

I know she needs to go “home.” Where else but with her family?
But God, how it hurts, because she became ours. Part of us. Part of Marco.
And now we loose her too.

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Tears are my only language. God, how it hurts…

 I look for comfort.
My hands smooth the cream pages and I look through tear blurred eyes,
blinking as the page swims in front of me.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God us with man, He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, or crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

I kissed his perfect little head. Landon boy.
He slept on, in the sweet rest of a child.
Peaceful in the midst of the chaos of packing.
Surrounded by heartache and tears, he made us melt into smiles.
I’ll miss him. Watching him grow, seeing glimpses of his daddy in him,
visiting with his mommy in the nursery.
Seeing his aunts and uncles, and grandpa and grandma
burst with pride as they hold him.
I know Maryann and Landon will come back for visits. I really do.

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Today is full of tears. Of the rawness of the pain.
But I am struck with the reality that this is not the end.
This life is not the last chapter of the story.
I zoom out, remembering that God is still writing.
And this loss is not the final note.

 Tomorrow… So soon we will be gathered, all together again.
All loss and pain forgotten as we worship together before that radiant throne.
Landon in his daddy’s strong arms, Maryann’s tears all turned to jewels,
our shattered hearts to glittering diamonds.

It’s about seeing through Jesus’ eyes.
About choosing to trust Him.
And worshipping from this place of loss, knowing that soon, so soon,
it will be worth it all.
God will dwell among us, and take us in His arms,
and wipe all tears away.

 And on that day, we will
“…Worship, worship,
Forever in Your presence we will sing.
We will worship, worship
An endless hallelujah to the King…”

(-Matt Redmon)

(Photo credits go to the proud aunt Cheryl)

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11 thoughts on “Our Endless Hallelujah

  1. So beautifully drawing our eyes to Jesus, the One for whom life is worth living. May God sustain you in the depths of this pain…as you worship Him.

  2. What a precious and beautiful gift Landon is! Thank you so much for sharing through the raw pain and tears. Thank you for reminding us to look past the present, with a bigger perspective of what God can and is doing through the trials of life. For sharing about the journey the Lord has led you on through these difficult times of worship! How good and faithful our Shepherd is.

  3. This is beautiful. My heart cries with you. No one can take this deep pain away, it just hurts so much. Pray God will carry all of you during this difficult time. You never get over it, Marco will always be a part of your heart….

  4. you have a gift of putting your feelings into words. May God surround you with his peace and grace. It really is all about HIM!!

  5. I don’t imagine anyone reading this without a steady stream of tears. How perfect these words shape perspective. Thank you for this.

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