Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

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Today, in the Ignatian Spirituality Center Friday Prayer Time, we had some things to pray about after hearing music and how it relates to prayer.

Have you ever been encouraged by a song at a difficult moment?

ALL THE TIME! Many times, it is a secular song too. The one above comes to mind. There is a theme to many of these songs that came to mind during this prayer time:

"I Hope You Dance" by LeAnn Womack 

When I had just had enough of the stuff with a partner, I had at a dysfunctional church I had been a part of for several years. I felt sorry for this woman who seemed to be sidelined in the church. I had been overseas and did not know the TROUBLE she had caused. She wanted to lead and no one would let her lead. So I told the leadership that I would take her under my wing. BIG MISTAKE. I should have checked out her background. I should have trusted my discernment when I saw red flags!  

She dropped out of our co-leading halfway through the year and went to the leadership and spun a tale about me. I still, to this day, do not know what she said to them. I did not do one thing to warrant her wrath, but she trashed me big time. 

(I got a big apology from the two leaders after everything was all sifted out.)

This was my liberation song from her clutches. (She ended up having an affair and leaving her husband and two small children a couple of years later. I still have NO IDEA what she told the leadership I supposedly did. I was nothing but KIND to her the whole time we partnered together in leading a study.) 

This is a song of FREEDOM from her. I was able to DANCE after that, and God opened up a wonderful door for investing in women hungry to grow. It was lovely after that. God told me in the shower when it came to that woman, "You have discernment. Use it!" I just let my compassion and compulsion to "help" her get me into such trouble. 

"Wasted" by Carrie Underwood

Again, roped into leading with a person from that church. I finally had enough and left that church after 27 years. This song was a song about liberation too. I had discerned things with this person in the past, but I was told she had "changed" so I took a risk and partnered with her. There were so many "red flags" during our preparation in leadership. The other leader saw them and backed out at the last minute. I just went in hoping that I could love that person enough to make it work. It was a disaster and again, I was slandered to the leadership. She did the same thing to a person after me who also left the church. We left on June 16, 2006, and I celebrate it as my "Liberation Day" every year! 

"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

This was back in the 70s when I allowed myself to be manipulated into a romantic relationship. God kept telling me to leave, but I was in my late teens, and I was "afraid of changing because I built my life around [that person]." I was able to break away on March 17, 1979, and I celebrate that day as my anniversary of "Marriage to the Lord" day! (I had been "engaged" from September 17, 1969, to March 17, 1979, but He had all of me on that day. 

I am not a quitter but in all of those times, it was time to leave. Those three songs were the first that came to mind, but there are COUNTLESS others. 

They are all songs of freedom, and what I have learned is to choose your friends wisely. When someone shows you who they are, believe them! I listen to my discernment and go the other way now. :) 

How is music part of your prayer life?

I really love Pray as You Go because there is always music that helps me enter in, but I have to say that music is not as much a part of my life since I don't help lead worship at church anymore. I would always have those songs in my head the whole week. I have been praying the Psalms since August and have been convinced that I need to be more intentional about music. 

In what ways does God want to communicate with you?

All ways. In silence. In word prayer. Through his word. Through music. 

That was fun to remember how far I have come. 

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