Are you familiar with the term 'afterglowing'? It was a term I heard a lot in the 80's and early 90's, in church settings usually. After a church service or perhaps a Christian concert or even after a particularly good time of fellowship, folks would linger around "after-glowing". If you're unfamiliar with the term, I looked it up and here's a few definitions I thought explained it fairly well or at least might give a good idea of what I mean.
1) (I particularly like this one) The light emitted after removal of a source of energy. ex. the glow of an incandescent metal as it cools.
2) The comfortable feeling following a pleasant experience.
3) A lingering impression of past glory or success.
The reason I mention this is because it's pushing 2am and I can't sleep because I'm still "afterglowing" after this mornings...um, I mean yesterday morning's worship time at church. I keep replaying it in my mind.
I had to lead worship yesterday and if you've followed to any degree my quest to overcome anxiety while leading worship, you understand what I went through trying to get ready for church. I recently told a friend that it's gotten to the point that having to lead ranks right up there with root canal on my fear meter. Pretty bad, right? Lord forgive me.
Well, it started out same as always. Upset stomach from the time the alarm went off, numerous trips to the bathroom (more info than you probably needed, I'm sure. Sorry), minor heart palpitations, etc. But then I got to church. Mind you, since I got up I'd been trying to meditate on various scriptures the Lord has shown me in recent weeks on this topic.
Because of summer internships and vacations, etc. our worship team has been pretty minimal so I knew we wouldn't have a full team. But much to my surprise when I got there I saw we had an extra vocalist that I wasn't expecting and THEN two more unexpected surprises walked through the door - yet another vocalist and one of our drummers. With the exception of our acoustic guitar player, we had a full team! God knows that kind of support goes a long way for me. Then I felt totally blessed in having an extra 30 minutes of practice time and a team that was gracious and willing to hang in there with me for that extra time.
We finished practicing with about 20 minutes or so before the start of service. Any amount of waiting is killer to me. My stomach started acting up again so I whipped out my Bible and started reading my verses and spent some time in prayer.
Then the coolest thing happened. As soon as we started to do our thing I felt the Lord's presence. I had even sensed it during the practice time. The fear was gone, I felt this confidence and a genuine pleasure throughout worship. Please understand I love to sing, I love to worship and I love singing with our worship team. I will sing and worship my God whether I'm on a platform or in a pew or anywhere else for that matter but I'm telling you, I have never experienced to this degree the pure joy in the Lord while leading the worship set like I did this morning. I even messed up a little bit but it was truly not a big deal. It was such a joy and for me, that's a really big deal.
So it's 5 minutes before 2am and I'm still afterglowing and had no one to share it with - except you, of course, out there in the blogosphere.
Well, thanks for staying and reading this. I pray you are blessed with a special sense of His presence today. There's just nothing like it.
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