Praise God for late-night phone conversations.
Last night, I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my dear friends, Marquis. I haven’t seen him in months, and I know the time spent talking with him, even if only briefly, was something I truly needed. We shot the breeze about life and how we were managing our busy schedules. He asked how I was adjusting to life in Austin, and I told him I was taking it one day at a time. Things certainly haven’t been easy, but I wasn’t expecting ease. I told him that I had found really strong community at my new church and through my connections at UT. He told me that he was preparing for some early check-ins in his residence hall, while also getting things ready for his RAs’ return. We can always bond over the woos and woes of working in Residence Life. Man, oh man, it can be exhausting, but the opportunities to pour into students overshadows everything!
Later, he asked me about the tattoo I was hoping to get. I told him that I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted, but that I wanted a simple, yet powerful, statement that reflected my faith. I began to quote a Bethel song that has always resonated with my heart. This song is called “In Over My Head,” and to me, it represents a longing for Jesus in the midst of a turbulent world. When we’ve let all other things pour into our soul, but have forgotten that Jesus is the only One who can truly satisfy, we are left thirsty and unfulfilled. The lyrics below paint a beautifully sharp image:
I have come to this place in my life
I’m full but I’ve not satisfied
This longing to have more of You
And I can feel it my heart is convinced
I’m thirsty my soul can’t be quenched
You already know this but still
Come and do whatever You want to
I’ve seen this verse personified in my life for a while now. I know Jesus is here with me, but many times, I am too afraid to let go and let Him. Let go and let Him. Let go and let Him. Let that sink in, friends. Can you imagine what that is like? I know I’m still trying to get to that place. Sometimes, it feels easier to bask in my guilt, shame, and hopelessness, rather than letting Him cleanse me. I often think about the parts of me I wish I could change and ask, “what would my life be like if my reality were different?” I believe my testimony has power, but it is not absent of sharp thorns. I press into Christian community because it gives me brothers and sisters who will walk with me through everything. However, even with this community, it is important to remember the source from which it flows. ✞
it gets even better.
After the first couple of verses, the song escalates into a refrain that I’ve already tattooed on my heart. It reads:
Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Then you crash over me, and that’s where You want me to be
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head
I told Marquis that I wanted to get the last part of the last line tattooed on my body. Beautifully in over my head. Those five words really do encapsulate the crazy, yet awe-inspiring, journey on which the Lord has taken me. Even in the moments of sheer confusion and loss of faith, Jesus shows up. If it were up to me and my faith, I would be utterly destroyed by the weight of this world. The good news is that Jesus NEVER STOPS PURSUING US. No matter the number of times we wrong Him or question His goodness, He ceases to let us run, unless it is into His arms. And all God’s people said AMEN.
changing the narrative of worship.
In the modern American church, celebratory worship has become increasingly the norm. We raise our hands to the Lord for all of the good things He has done, but sometimes fail to acknowledge our own human depravity and how He is redeeming it. The Christian life is absolutely not always sunshine and roses. If it was, sin wouldn’t be an issue and we really wouldn’t need Jesus to intercede. Our brokenness requires that we fully lean on Christ as our sturdy rock, even in the bleakest of moments. The struggle against sin is a form of worship in itself, and one that should be highlighted frequently. There is plenty to celebrate (because the Lord is always faithful), but sometimes we must walk through the valley before we get to the mountaintop.
I’ll leave you with one last thought.
Something we can feel no matter how much life sucks. Something we can radiate even when we bear the deepest of wounds.
Joy is not transient, it is eternal. It is something that comes from Christ Himself. When we let Him crash over us and wreck the lies spoken to us by the enemy, we experience joy. When we witness a brother or sister give their life to Christ, we experience joy. When we fully believe that our value comes not from superficial treasures or others’ approval, but instead from Jesus, we experience joy in its purest form. Maybe you’re like me, and you need this reminder every single day. We don’t have to fake smiles or pretend that everything is okay. He sees us, and He’s redeeming us, one day at a time. Here’s to being beautifully in over our heads, for there is no other way to live.
Simply Lando ❤