Last night was acoustic night at SheBrews. It was a chaotic mess of trying to run the coffee maker between songs, getting everything ready so the moment the music ended and the applause started we could flip on all the machines.
It was almost like a dance, but the kind full of awkward, clumsy movements. I spilled the milk and dumped the coffee beans, and this one drink was remade three times.
The routine movements that usually bring me some degree of comfort that night felt frustrating and foreign.
But the moment when one of my talented fellow students would pick up a guitar or step behind the piano everything fell silent.
It was like the whole room was just holding its breath for this beautiful creation to be birthed into existence.
I was reading last night over some old blog posts. The large latte I'd made in an effort to make myself feel better was keeping me awake, and my mind was running restless.
I was reading something I wrote nearly a year ago, and somehow those words I wrote then, in an entirely different phase of my life, spoke to the person I am now.
I imagined myself like those musicians. I don't curve my spine over a guitar, moving my fingers over strings. But I do hunch over my paper with a pen and write the world into order.
I know it hurts to become, to create, to birth this dream.
I feel the weight of it in my hands and they shake.
After the coffee shop had cleared, the drinks had been made, she told me to go sit. I felt a bit like a child entering into a room marked with a no entrance sign as I pulled up a chair and sat down beside the remaining musicians: the boy with the guitar and the girls who sang.
He began to play and they began to sing and I hesitantly added my voice to the song, my heart echoing every word.
I feel like I'm not allowed to say life is hard.
Because it is so good, so sweet, so beautiful.
But it's hard. And my heart is hurting for reasons I don't fully understand and my hands shake so violently I am frequently wrapping them around his to remain steady and I'm poking at the people I care about just to ask them to notice me here and it's the little things that set me off.
Life, in all its sweetness, carries a flavor of bitterness I desperately wish wasn't there.
As I sat before the music that night, letting it unfold before me, I felt a small bit like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.
I was here, sitting before that which was feeding my soul. Before friends and creativity and the sound of the guitar I was spread open.
I've been kind of a weakling recently.
My sweet friends keep telling me how strong I am, but I still have to squint to see it.
When I stand in front of the mirror my reflection is strange and uncomfortable because all this stretching, it's changed me.
I want romance and sunshine, laughter and a good night's sleep and an afternoon to spend cooking and dancing in the kitchen and writing.
Even more than that, I want Him.
I want Him to know I'm willing to be made weak.
I want this weakness, this delicate season of becoming, to bring me closer still to the God who calls me enough.
The song we sing, it's more of my heart's plea. In this crazy, unpredictable time when I'm not even sure if I can trust myself, I sing it and I feel every word.
I need you, oh I need you
Every hour I need you
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God how I need you