The countdown is on! Last year, I signed up for the Summer session of Bethel's online school, WorshipU. I went in to it very purposed and determined that I would pick up some skills to help improve and expand upon my songwriting, worship leading, and keyboard playing. While that did in fact happen, a process began in my heart that I didn't even realize I needed. A complete value shift began in my life:
People are more important than a final product
Process is more important than the destination
Heart is more important than talent
Obedience is more important than determination
Rest is more important than striving to achieve
Authenticity is more important than the appearance of perfection
Releasing outcomes is more important than controlling them
To put it a simpler way: more Jesus and His ways and less Carrie and her ways.
Going in to last Summer, I felt like I was at the top of my game. I had it all together. Success was being had. New ground was being exposed. Everything was ripe with possibility.
On the surface anyway.
It wasn't so much that I was willfully living in a skewed mindset. I didn't desire to be an overachieving, overly busy, driven, perfectionist bent on success no matter the cost. It was just sort of who I was at the time.
But God, in His mercy, and through a series of very calculated events, began to strip all that away. A transformation began that is ongoing. So when the opportunity presented itself to attend Bethel's Worship School in July of this year, live and in person, I knew in my heart that I had to be there. It wasn't even really a choice. It was like a command: Go. To. California.
This was back in November-ish. In the months that have transpired, it has become more clear in my mind than ever that God goes before us and prepares the way.
I don't just "want" to go to worship school now.
I NEED to. I HAVE to.
I went back and forth last November about whether or not we should make the long trip to Redding. but it was clear to me that it wasn't even really a choice. Sort of like when I, as a Mom, ask my kids to pick up their toys off the bedroom floor that I just cleaned previously. Yes, there is still an option to back out, but it's in the best interest of all involved to just obey. I couldn't even explain it to my husband Jarrod. I just said, I have to go to this and I don't fully understand why. And he, being awesome, said, ok then. We will.
I am expecting huge, huge, huge things. I feel an emptiness and hunger at this point in my life- more than ever before. And I think there is good reason for that. I am about to be filled.
So here we come, Redding. God has undeniably provided for us to not only allow us to go on the trip, but to go on the trip well. Everything is paid for. We have a sweet Sprinter Van travel machine that we bought that we're currently converting into a camper van of sorts for the trip out and back (it's our modern day Conestoga Wagon). Our kids (ages 2, 5, and 7) are excited for great adventures with their Dad (and Grandparents during week 2) during the day when I am in class. We are all excited. We are all dreaming. We are all preparing our hearts.
I don't even know what to expect. I just know that God told me to go. So we're going. So far, the timing and the provision have been absolutely stunning. I expect nothing less for the weeks that I am there, encountering His presence, receiving healing, and being transformed more and more into who He is calling me to be. And who knows...maybe I'll even pick up some skills for songwriting, worship leading, and keyboards while I'm there :)
What is God calling you to today?