Looking back at 2019

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

The song Defender by Rita Springer ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. makes me cry.

It started last January when I was in church and I heard the song for the first time. The song interested me because it’s pretty brutal at first, talking about the head of my enemy and all that. Basically how God has already won every battle. Like, geez Christians — cool it with the violence. Then it went on with, “Your love becomes my greatest defense” and my heart became a little mushyyyy and I was like, “Aw, God…. yeah, your love really IS my greatest defense.”

I stood there, nodding along instead of singing like I usually do because I wasn’t familiar with the song yet. Then the chorus was sung.

All I did” was praise, …worship, …bow down, …stay still.

First things first: Jesus really is my salvation. To the core of my being and despite every argument I have with God, I can’t fathom existing in a life that pretends He doesn’t exist and has a meaningful presence in my daily life. He. Is. Everything.

But this song cracks me up because when I first heard it, I was looking back at 2018. I’d just celebrated a year sober, I had moved out of sober living, but I was completely and utterly aimless and frankly kind of depressed.

But all the things! All the miracles. All the battles won! In 2018 I was just barely learning how to stay still. I was only just beginning to praise. I could only fathom bowing down. There I was, trying to worship and taking all the credit. But God came through for me, anyway.

Then 2019 had some rough patches. More aimlessness. More stuckness. More what-the-fuckness, honestly.

I’m nothing if not loyal.

Today’s society and culture is one that doesn’t really favor that. Especially when it comes to supernatural beings that people supposedly cannot see. People turn in their gods with whatever the latest celebrity or scholar says, and they smug-shrug and say with all their confidence that it’s cute I believe in a god but you know, “that’s not really for me.”

Well, ok. Thanks for making God out to be like, an option, or something.

I can stand here and tell you I don’t need air. I don’t believe in air and yeah, “science” but oh who cares, man-made and all that. Show me some air and then maybe I’ll tell you that’s in my lungs keeping me alive. But hey, if that works for you… go on. Keep calling it “air” that is giving you life, it’s cute.

Sounds ridiculous, right?

So when I heard this song again this Sunday, ughhhdhhdhdimtotallynotcryingasitypethisseriouslyyyyyyyNO,ItotallyAM.

Like I was saying, so I heard it this Sunday and I was just so overwhelmed by the love that protected me all last year. When I really was so damn lost and overwhelmed, I did the only thing I could do and that praise God because I know He is good, worship God because He is the only one worthy of my worship, literally bowed down every morning during three awful months when I cried every other day and just begged God for a clearer answer and please make it soon… and all those times I stayed still.

For an alcoholic, for someone with a spirit as restless and irritable as mine, it’s so easy to give up. To give in. To get up and walk out. That is everything I have done my entire life. Staying still has never been an option I’d consider choosing. Last year, I did. I can see now so clearly (that I broke down sobbing for the rest of the song at church) the fruit of doing so. The fruit of faithfulness and works. The risks I took that I didn’t want to. The steps I made to things I wasn’t sure I wanted. The faith I had when I wasn’t sure why.

Now, as I sing that song at full lung capacity, I can feel how good and holy God is. What a miracle He’s even given me the opportunity to bow down.

What a gift it is to stay still.

The way everything turned out is completely different than what I’d expected. And oh, it’s just soooooo much better!!!!!

Now what sweet miracles and detours do we have in store this year, my Heavenly Defender? Whatever it is, here I am.

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