I was walking to my own funeral. Seriously. For the past five months.
Sure, my outer exterior displayed a cheerful smile and sweet hello, but I was dying inside. I'm beginning to see that life really is the sum total of our thoughts. If only I could rewind and start off August 2011 on a different brain wavelength. But I can't. So I'm starting 2012 off fresh.
At Passion 2012's opening session, Louie Giglio made a statement that not only instantly caught my attention, but confirmed that Jesus was specifically trying to speak to me, Emily Beth Cummins.
"Is there anything in you that needs to be brought back to life again?"
Well, yes, actually. Everything. Is that a possible answer? At that moment, my attention span went from simply being excited to be at Passion 2012 to full-fledged note taking and soul searching.
"God has come in this moment, this season, and He is intersecting our funeral processions."
Wow. I knew I felt numb inside, but I hadn't really thought of it that way before. I was a walking funeral procession. Inwardly depressed, dark, & dead, while outwardly trying to give condolences to the world by putting on a mask that attempted to scream, "I'm ok!"
"Luke 7:11-14 tells us something about Jesus. Verses 11-14 say, "Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession--a woman's only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, 'Don't cry.' Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, 'Young man, I tell you: Get up.' The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother."I was the procession in the village of Nain. What was dead inside of me? My emotions, my passion, my will to try, to love. I was dead. And I need a Savior to step into the mess of me and say, "Get up."
After Louie finished teaching, he invited us to stand up if we needed Jesus to intersect our funeral processions. For the first time in months, I felt every fiber of my being stand. From my physical body to every breaking emotion running around crazily in my heart, I stood and worshipped a God who is FOR ME and was willing to step into the mess of me. I worshipped that night with every bit of emotion still inside me freshly awakened, feeling the God of the universe saying to the depths of my soul, "Emily, I tell you: Get up."
It's funny how life works. I so often get caught in the trap of thinking it's all about me, when in reality, that's the farthest thing from the truth. There are 27 million people trapped in the bondage of slavery, yet I think life is about me. That thought disgusts me--and it should. After my funeral procession was intersected on the second day of 2012, I began to really listen to what Jesus was saying. And when I began listening, He spoke with clarity and purpose into my life.
This semester has started on a completely different note than how the Fall semester began. I'm on a different brain wavelength. I'm not in the middle of my funeral procession anymore. In fact, I've never felt more alive. It all comes down to one word: Jesus. On my own, I'm a walking funeral procession. But then the God who created the stars in the sky and that crazy, beautiful ocean roaring against the sandy shore, stepped in and intersected my funeral procession, reviving the deepest, darkest places of my heart that I swore no one could ever see.
I'm ready for 2012. I'm ready to immerse myself in God's Story. Alone, I'm dead. With Jesus, I'm ALIVE.