Agnus Dei

I am truly very grateful for your encouragement. I felt loved and prayed for this weekend by friends inside and outside of my computer.  I made it through church Sunday morning without needing to be admitted to the psych floor for observation, so I think that could be considered a success.

I’m not sure if I would file this under “God Has a Sense of Humor, Sometimes I Don’t” or just “Are You Kidding Me?” but I forgot until we were walking  into church that my pastor would be preaching the second sermon in his series, “Are You Happy Now?” I remembered this only when I heard Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” playing on a continuous loop through loud speakers all over the parking lot. I normally like that song, but to be honest, when I heard it this past Sunday morning, I really just wanted to hit Bobby McFerrin in the throat a little…but just for a second.  And it probably would have been more of a figurative hit in the throat than a literal one.  Also when we walked in we were greeted by huge yellow smiley face props everywhere. The ones in the front of the church and on stage were at least the size of small planets. That was…fun.

A few people, several of whom I didn’t even know, asked how my dad was and I sat on my inner sarcastic child who wanted to reply, “Seriously?” or “Great! He’s training for a half-marathon this fall!” and just said, “He’s okay.”  I think that since “okay” can be defined on a sliding scale, I wasn’t being completely dishonest.

It was actually toughest for me to keep it together when I ran into people who love me the most and especially the people who love me most and who I know have been through hurts that I cannot even and don’t want to imagine. I saw a friend right outside the doors of the worship center. Our dads worked together on a church staff when we were young. Eight years ago, her almost three-year-old son walked behind her husband’s car as he was backing out of the driveway and was killed. Kasey has traveled down dark and scary roads. She hugged me and both of our eyes filled with tears. She speaks “broken heart” fluently. I’m not nearly as proficient in the language.

Something special happened during the praise and worship. Let me give you some background information first. Way before my dad was diagnosed with cancer and other things “happened” in my life, I was having trouble with the concept of loving God for Who He is and not just for what He does for me. I even blogged about it a little in a post that is still very eerie for me to read now. I’ve heard speakers encourage listeners to thank God for His attributes in our prayers. Thank him for His holiness, His sovereignty, etc. I’ve tried to do this, but God has blessed me so much that I found it impossible to stay on track.  I’d start out thinking about God’s mercy and end up concentrating on how merciful He’s been to me. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’ve just felt that the reason the John Piper quote (the one I mentioned in the eerie post) completely destroyed me was because I have a very hard time separating Who God is from the way He’s blessed me.

During the worship time on Sunday we sang “Agnus Dei.” You’ve probably heard it. It has been recorded by several artists, including Michael W. Smith and Third Day. I’ll post a video below in case you’re not familiar with the song. When we started singing “Holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty / Worthy is the Lamb / Worthy is the Lamb / You are holy,” a lighbulb went on inside my heart. Regardless of what I don’t understand about the happenings of my family right now, God is holy. Please understand, despite the heartache about my dad’s sickness that I’ve shared here and the other deep hurts we’re experiencing that I can’t share here, I am still unbelievably blessed. But on a day that I didn’t feel particularly “happy,”  on a morning that my heart felt so heavy that I could barely physically stand, I was able to lift my head and hands in praise to a God Who is completely holy and worthy. Maybe for the first time ever, I sang “Alleluia” from my heart instead of my head. It was a sweet moment.

I wasn’t sure I would even blog about it because I’m not sure my words can adequately relay to you what happened, but I wanted you to know that I survived Sunday. I decided to tell you about my “Agnus Dei” experience when I read AnnieBlogs’s post yesterday. You know Annie from Annie Blogs, right? I’m not sure how I found the  AnnieBlogs blog but I’ve been reading it for a few months. I just can’t help but love Annie. She’s a young Georgia girl who moved to Nashville. She’s a writer and I love hearing about what God is doing in her life….and about her adventures in the kitchen. I don’t actually know Annie but she has become precious to me through her blog. Annie’s grandmother recently died and yesterday she wrote about how “Agnus Dei” ministered to her heart at her church on Sunday…her church in Nashville which is hundereds of miles away from my church. When I read her post, I didn’t have a Twilight Zone experience or anything, but I just thought it was special that the same song was blessing both our hearts on Sunday. Thanks, Michael W. Smith.

Today we have an appointment with my dad’s neurosurgeon. I’ll try to update you on the latest news. Thanks again for being my friends and for praying for me. I’ll leave you with a little “Agnus Dei” for your Tuesday.



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17 responses to “Agnus Dei

  1. I’ve always loved that song. i’m so glad you had a special moment with God. I think He was sending you a BIG hug.

    You are still in my prayers…

  2. That song gets me deep in my stomach(y’know what I mean?). This post really spoke to me(hope that does not sound to christianese)but it did….thank you for sharing all of this.

    Those smiley yellow faces and the “don’t worry” song….ay-yi-yi.

  3. I meant “too Christianese” not “to”….okay, that’s all.

  4. Oh how true and how hard it is to understand/realize/believe the fact that God is still God, regardless of how we change or how our circumstances change . . .

  5. Third Day’s version of Agnus Dei stops my heart every time, I love it so much. Mac Powell’s voice gives me chills, and those words speak to a deep part of me that only God knows. I am so glad that God stayed close to you on Sunday. And I know he will throughout whatever comes next. I’m praying it’s good news today.

  6. This song has always sucker punched me. Knocked the wind straight out. Because our God is just way too awesome for words. And “alleluia” is really enough.

    Praying for you.

  7. I had a moment like that our first year here. I was just about to throw in the towel on living here (also known as a mental breakdown…crying for about 4 days straight and just staring at a wall when my kids asked why mommy was crying) when I stepped into church one morning, saw an Iranian couple…very old, visiting and hearing truth for the first time. I literally froze with the realization that He really is in control even when I am falling apart. I am not able to put into words what happened, but it was so real. My trial at that point doesn’t compare with yours, but I did have a moment like that where it is not just in the Bible, but in my heart in a personal way. I love you.

  8. Hope

    I am a lurker from CPQ’s blog. Just wanted to say that song makes me tear up everytime we sing it in church. Thought it was just me.
    Praying for your dad and the whole family.

  9. I know that I don’t have to tell you of all people, how music ministers to my soul…and you don’t have to tell me, of all people, how it ministers to, since this blog is not written only for the Tiffster…I’ll just say…this song among many, makes me check myself…makes me say “Oh yeah, You really ARE what You say You are…”

    I’m so thankful that music can do that for us and I’m thankful that you survived Sunday (and guess what? I have sneaky suspicion that you will survive all the days in front you…you will.)

    Don’t make me quote Gloria Gaynor, now! 😉 Love you.

  10. carpoolqueen

    One of my favorite songs – makes me a hand-raiser for sure every time I hear it.

    I heard Natalie Grant’s “Held” today on the radio and thought of you.

  11. Sitting here…crying…and praising…and thinking of you. Alleluia, indeed.

  12. I dont even know what to say, but I just want to give you a big hug. Thanks for sharing this, so eloquently. Lord bless you.

  13. Oh, my friend. My heart just broke for you when I saw you on Sunday. Know I am here and praying for you. Please call me if you need anything or just to talk. I am here. . .

  14. This was great, Amy. Your old post made me uncomfortable in the best possible way. I’ve been turning it over and over.


  15. God is so amazing, so faithful, and so big. Glad to know you’re able to see that in this nasty trial time, and that you are sharing it with us is all the more precious.


  16. Pingback: 10 on the 10th: Survival Playlist « Snoodlings

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