Last weekend we went to David’s Tent – billed as ‘an adventure in worship’, it is basically 3000 or so Christians gathering in a field to worship for 72 hours. There is something very special about it, having been before, I always experience when walking into the big top for the first time, a tangible presence of God, like walking into Him. So, I walked into that atmosphere on Friday evening, ready, prepared but with a slightly distracted mind. 10 mins later I was weeping as I felt God pouring out waves of his love on me. Walking into that atmosphere is like something you have to encounter and get used to, then it becomes ‘normal’ for the weekend – until you have to leave of course, and then there is an almost grief to have to leave it.
On that first evening a word was given (in very American style!) about people having had ‘bummers’ this year. Whilst I don’t think I’d call my back experience a bummer as it’s been a total blessing, as he said it I just felt a total release. Frustration and pain falling away from me.
When I’ve talked or written about how God has been with me in this time of incapacitation I have given glory to God for his presence with me in it all, for his blessing upon me – it has truly felt like a blessing, and for all He has taught me through this. But then I had to come out of that place. A womb-like, fuzzy warm place, full of love and peace, where the stresses of life don’t exist. Emerging from that was tough. I did not want to come out. Why would I? Getting to spend all day every day with God. Not having to think about my responsibilities. It was wonderful, of course I didn’t want to come out! So the last few weeks have been a transition, learning to step back into my actual life and embrace it, rather then heading back inside that warm place.
It’s taken me a while to get my head around it all. As I said recently in a talk, I think this time was a precious gift that I may never have again. And that’s how I have been trying to see it, as a gift. Something that won’t be taken back but just will be seen, used, experienced, differently as time goes on.
So this time at David’s Tent God spoke to me about this season of change and transition that I am in.
I keep using ‘ #PostOp ‘ when tweeting or talking about my back. It’s obviously short for post-operative – post surgery, post having stuff dealt with in your body, post knife, pain and stiches.
And this weekend God showed me that Post Op means so much more than post surgery for me right now. It means:
Post-encounter with Him
Post-God’s operation on my heart – His surgery, His knife, His stitches.
That’s the gift. That His presence with me was not just for that season, to get through, but something that will stay with me. Something that I will continue to learn from, something I will treasure but also know that I carry with me.
We sang the words ‘I am never going back’ one morning (a song by United Pursuit). They just stuck with me. Whatever happens I am never going back to before. Whatever happened in that time with God, has changed me. Just like my surgery, my body will never be as it was before, but neither will my heart or my mind…