It was, without doubt, the worst day of my life. It surpassed the day I found out I had an incurable illness, it surpassed the day my mom had to have gallbladder surgery, and it surpassed the day my dad told us he had stage 3 cancer. It was a Saturday, and it was the day my dad left. Not just for a quick trip, or even an extended one – no, he permanently walked out the door.
Just a few weeks prior, we were all shocked when he announced that he was resigning from his position as pastor and divorcing my mom. Not a single member of the congregation saw it coming. Unfortunately, neither did any of his four kids, or his wife. Everything I had ever known to be my reality was forever changed.
This new chapter of my life challenged one of the deepest truths that I have always held dear: God is deserving of worship no matter what is going on in my life. Worship is about Him, not me. And because of this truth, when I think back to the day that my dad left, I can’t help smiling. You see, it was the worst day of my life, but it was also the first time I fully understood the impact of worship.
After my father hugged each of his children, and then my mom, he walked out the door for the last time. Our bodies trembled, tears streamed down all of our cheeks, we clung to each other. We were desperately broken. Then a soft voice whispered in my heart, “Invite Me in.”
The Lord was beckoning me to worship even in the prison of my devastation. When words had left me and my soul ached, I had to make a decision whether or not to uphold what I had always believed. I solemnly lifted my head began to sing. “Holy Spirit, You are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory, Lord, is what our hearts long for… to be overcome by Your presence, Lord.” My family began to lift their voices in accompaniment to my own, the tears still streaming, hands still trembling. We sounded awful as our voices warbled through our tear-thickened throats, but still, I felt an undeniable shift in the atmosphere.
The King, the Comforter, the Prince of Peace had just stepped into our living room.
As we sang, the tears stopped flowing and our voices grew stronger. When the first song came to an end, I began to sing a more upbeat tune, “I’ve got the joy of the Lord falling fresh on me, I’ve got the joy of the Lord, delivering me.” Once again, the voices of my siblings and mom joined in. Before long, we were smiling as the joy of the Lord flooded the room.
On a day that the enemy meant to be the devastation and ruin of my family, God’s peace and love filtered in through the darkness and brought us into a place without fear: the serene presence of His perfect love. Because we wouldn’t let the enemy silence us, because we were bold enough to worship our God who is deserving no matter what, we were comforted in His arms.
It was the hardest day of my life, but it showed me what is truly in my heart. I’m forever changed because of a day that should have destroyed me, and instead grounded me. No matter what goes on in my life, I will always remember that day and what it taught me. This I believe: God deserves my worship no matter my circumstance, and He always responds.