Worship Reflections 04.26.09

This is a different kind of worship reflection for me.

This week got personal.

stresspoints_logo

We began a four week series of sermons last week called ‘Stress Points’. Topics are: busyness, money, relationships, and more relationships. This week’s topic: financial stress.  

Worship service components
Holy is the Lord (Tomlin)
Blessed Be Your Name (Redman)
readings from Psalm 4 & Psalm 86
Uncreated One (Tomlin)
Drama: a husband and wife in conflict over how to deal with financial issues
Message
Time for response:  Center (Hall)
Prayer for offering
Hallelujah (Bethany Dillon)

While the topic was financial stress, the theme really was trust… integrity… keeping a God-centered perspective.

And this is where it gets personal.

Friday, around noon, my husband was told he was being let go from his job. He has worked about 2 1/2 years as a video producer for a small media company, and has loved both the job and the team he worked with.   This news was a bit of a shock.

He and I had already planned to have lunch together on Friday, so when I arrived downtown to meet him, this consumed our time together. I will never forget that lunch. Strange how news like this re-colors the moments that follow it, as well as the memory of the moments preceding it. I will never forget unsuccessfully attempting to hold back the tears as he told me the details (which are not mine to share, but if you know my husband and want to ask him about it, please do). 

We spent Friday and Saturday trying to absorb this reality.  And preparing for the fact that Sunday was going to be rich with great and difficult things. I had designed a worship service with the idea of trust woven throughout, not knowing that by Sunday the songs and scriptures and prayers would so intensely apply to us personally.  We were going to be surrounded by people who really care about us, and who we would be sharing this news with even while still reeling a bit. And I had to make it through singing these words, from one of my favorite songs by Bethany Dillon:

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me help me to sing ‘Hallelujah’

This was hopefully a valuable, rich worship experience for most people who attended.  It was unusually so for me, as I was fully inhabiting the things we sang about while trying desperately to keep from crying. I’m a crier during worship services anyway… this Sunday I was definitely not set up for success in that regard. :)

We don’t know what the next step will be for us yet, but we know there will be one.  What we sang and read today is what we do believe… God is worth trusting.  We do still stand and worship him, bring honor to Him, regardless of our circumstances.  We do believe that God is in control and will bring good out of these circumstances.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s Monday, and we step into a whole new picture. Neil promised me adventure when we got married.  And here we are.

Check out Fred’s blog for more stories about worship services from all over the country.  
Most of which aren’t personal like this one. :)

22 thoughts on “Worship Reflections 04.26.09

  1. I know I am a little late here, but I have no doubt about the great things in store for him. I couldn’t help but think of Neil as I landed in Phoenix for business this week, after all the stories of the city (and the Christmas tree business) I heard through High School. It was a shock to hear this story. Hope all is well for the Bontrager’s and know that God has great things in store for you guys. The hard part is always the waiting…

  2. Kim-
    You both are in our prayers. It brings up lots of emotions for us! I’m sure Ken will be in contact with Neil. We will be praying that God will direct you both in this time. Believe me there will be ups and downs but you will come out stronger on the other side and God continues to work miracles!

    Tina

  3. Wow! Your set-list is perfect for your situation. My prayers are with you and your family. God is always faithful to provide. He will open doors of opportunity for your husband. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  4. Words are difficult. Know that you are known and loved by God…. and by many of your family and friends. We will be praying.

  5. “but it’s when you hold me that i start unfolding”

    when that is true of our worship, that is truth.

    very sorry for this loss and all the challenges that come with it. i’m praying for you.

    and yet rejoicing at this unfolding, because i know and trust in the Father that loves us both. and in this time, i have no doubt you will be blessed….

  6. Still praying!

    I am so excited to see what God is going to do in and through you guys. Your faithfulness to Him has been proven and he has entrusted you guys with this amazing journey. Far from easy, but full of blessing. I can’t wait for the testimony that comes out of this one!

    Love you guys!

  7. Praying for you guys. I’ve (we’ve) been there too, not all that long ago.

    Those lyrics from Bethany Dillon are so true…give thanks in ALL things. It’s so hard though…but know you’ve got people around the country (and globe) praying.

    Thanks for sharing with us Kim.

  8. Wow! That was beautifully shared. Isn’t God amazing in how He times things so finely. I have been speechless at His infinite wisdom and abundant provision when I least expect to receive either. May He bless you abundantly as you wait on Him.

  9. Wow.. that’s so difficult and so amazing to be authentic in such a public way. I will be praying that God does give you the grace to say Halelujah no matter what’s in front of you. Much easier said than done!
    Thanks for being so real!

  10. God bless you both during these days of uncertainly. It made me cry, just reading this – what else would you expect from this family? We will definitely be praying that God will guide and provide for you.

  11. Great set – we did Blessed Be and Center also. I am always amazed at how I “get” to live the songs that I lead…not just the comfortable ones, but the challenging ones. Praying for you and your husband as you’re refined! Blessings.

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