Have you ever been to see the symphony or some kind of live production where there was an orchestra? The sound of the instruments tuning is a sound that is near to my heart. It brings back fond memories of going to the ballet as a child. There is something so beautiful about that disonent sound of instruments tuning. The slow and steady journey adjusting and aligning with one instrument.
A few months back I heard the Lord ask me to, "Tune my ears." I knew it was special but I didn't really know what He meant. Little did I know, that I would be heading into a season where only His voice could validate and define me. Everyone else became white noise dulling in the background as His steadfast nature began to tell me, "You are chosen by me. You are made right by me. You are called by me, not by men, and nobody can take that away."
This story I am telling isn't new or original, in the church we have leaders. We look to them to make us feel seen, to feel special, to feel known. But is that their job? And if you are a leader, is that what you signed up for? Babysitting everyone else's emotions? I don't really think it is. In fact anytime in my life where I have felt disappointed by leaders (or anyone...) it's because they didn't meet my expectations, and usually they were completely unaware of those expectations to begin with. I have seen more people fall into a bitter existence because of their unmet expectations with their church leaders than I'd like to admit.
I have been hurt, disappointed, overlooked and unknown by my leaders. I was journaling about it with the Lord. If I don't let those hurt feelings out and tell Him how I feel I don't really let myself feel them. Because feeling hurt = "conflict" to me. And as an enneagram type 9, I avoid conflict like the plague. Anything that disrupts my peace is a threat and I will numb myself to it's presense if it is encroching on my comfortable life. (As a side note it takes a level of intentional self awareness to be able to become a whole person. When partnered with the Holy Spirit I think that personality tests can be a really beautiful thing.) So I journal, I listen to music, I cry, I let myself feel the hurt and disappointment.
Today was one of those days where I knew I was feeling hurt. So I began to journal. A few months ago I left my job so I could pursue music. I thought it would be easy to leave my job but my work kept trying to figure out ways for me to stay. But I felt in my heart I had to choose this thing that I wanted with my whole heart. I had to risk. My life revolves around peace and comfort, but I wanted to do something with passion. And when I was faced with job offers and opportunities and a higher wage it was a tough decision. I was reminded of when I was younger. I wanted a dog so bad, and I would beg for a puppy. But the second my parents counter offered with a hamster, I caved. It was not a dog, but it was an animal. I felt like choosing music was like when I asked for a dog, "I want to sing and be a songwriter." and the Lord was saying, "Do you really want this?" So I felt it was necessary to stand my ground, unlike my younger self, and do the thing I said I wanted to. To quit my job and leave all opportunities there for someone else. And let me tell you. I have learned a lot about writing, creativity, and I will post about some of those practicals soon. But I have been learning something much deeper in my heart than I could have ever been prepared for. Because the second I became available, my opportunities that I thought were waiting for me in music..... poof. Gone. And I have sat and watched others around me get those opportunities and run with them like they were made to. "But I was made to too. Right? I mean,"I stepped out, I took a risk. God, I said this is what I wanted and my actions backed it up... Don't you see that?"
What is being grown in me hurts, it hurts so much but I feel the Lord so close. And I am beginning to tune my ears to Him.
- to adjust to the correct or uniform pitch. Like an orchestra.
- Or to adjust to a certain frequency, like on a radio.
- to adjust (an engine) so that a vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently
- to adjust or adapt (something) to a particular purpose.
I'm seeing the word adjust in every definition of tuning. In an orchestra all the instruments tune to one instrument. The oboe. Why? because the oboe is the least affected by the humidity and weather patterns. The oboe isn't affected by external influences. It also has a tone that pierces through the other instruments. So everyone else must tune to the most steadfast instrument.
God knew that in this time where I am out on a ledge that I would need to tune my ears to only the most steadfast voice. To the voice that pierces through every other voice. He knew there would be other voices. Voices of doubt, fear, even truly loving concern. But my ears are being tuned to the one who defines me. I love my leaders, but they don't define me or call me and I will listen to their direction, but I hold it in tension of the voice that pierces through the noise.