I settled well into my new worship leading position at the church. Things were going well. I loved leading worship, and I knew it was my calling, so it felt both challenging and comfortable at the same time. I still wasn’t making a real community though. I don’t know if I just felt like this suburban group of families wasn’t my people because I was the only young single person not in school, or if I just wasn’t opening up because it wasn’t the Nashville group of friends that I wanted, but either way, I didn’t dig in to community at all. Instead, I rented a small garage apartment in the city, affectionately called The Treehouse, and frequented the trendy coffee shops and bars in my neighborhood on my time off. I quickly made young single friends with the same interests as me, but not one of them was a believer. At least, if they were, they were not walking with the Lord. One such friend was another musician who worked at one of the coffee shops a few blocks from my apartment. He was six years younger than me, a former sniper for the 82nd Airborne division of the Army, and had more adventure and intrigue than was good for one young boy. We were like two lonely train wrecks covered in magnets and quickly became inseparable. Maybe we were just so different that the mystery drew us to each other, but either way, it was bound to be a mess. Before I knew it we were more than just friends.
I feel like this is when I need one of those Save By The Bell time outs, so the narrator can tell me how terrible of an idea this is, but no one stopped me. Mainly, because no one knew. I had no accountability or Christian friends that weren’t just people on the phone, and you can tell them anything you want them to hear.
Isaiah 29:15Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”
I knew the whole time in my head that what I was doing was wrong, but I really didn’t care any more. Things weren’t going the way I had planned. While I was still leading worship and believing in God’s existence, I was ready to take matters into my own hands. And take them into my own hands I did. I became sarcastic and bitter, and hung out with others who were the same way, criticizing everyone who wasn’t as cool as us, eventually practically living with the boy. We were ridiculously jealous of each other, and suspicious that the other was cheating. It’s crazy how quickly the devil just slides right in.
Over the next two years I tried making Christian friends with people I’d met that were at other churches. People that had the kind of community I wanted. I don’t know if it was because they already had their own community, or if they could see through my double life and didn’t really want to be friends with a shady worship leader, but they never reciprocated. I was aching inside. Longing for Christian friendship and community. Was I driving them away? What was wrong with me? Though my life was riddled with sin, I continued to have a daily study time with God. Attempting to seek His will for me, yet unable to give up sin in my life.
Finally, I cracked. The 2 year boyfriend was spending way too much time with another girl for tutoring and I couldn’t handle my jealousy. Though I had no non-religious reason to break up with him, I just said, I can’t do this anymore. It was painful and tearful. It was the longest relationship I’d ever been in, and I knew it meant me being lonely again because I still didn’t have friends, but I was desperate to not live a double life any more. There is no other explanation than The Holy Spirit withing me. There was no strength in me.
In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.