How Jesus Became the Center of My Worship

Many years I’ve been writing songs, but only recently have I been sharing them and regularly doing them in worship.  Fall of 2014 I had my first song studio recorded, For Your Glory.  January 2016 it was put on the first IHOP-Atlanta HOUSES, Vol. 1 album. Only after a journey of ditching my pride as a musician, writer, and worship leader was I able to step into song writing with the right heart posture.

I remember an encounter I had with the Lord as a teenager in the house of prayer (shoutout to GHOP).  God spoke to me saying, “Your songs will impact nations and go around the globe. My songs will be sung through you and will leave a legacy like the hymns of old. You will be called one like David.” At such a young age I didn’t know what to do with this and many times discounted that it was even real. Could the Lord speak to me like that? Could I even walk out this word?  But I wrote it down and started to write music. For so long writing was frustrating and hard, and sometimes it still is, but I would write music thinking “I really don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Its so frustrating!”.  But I realized it was frustrating because writing used to be about me.  I would write songs so I could have the next big song out there and that was even my motive for worship! I realized this one day while writing. My thought process was “how would this sound with thousands of people singing it? Will this be a song churches will take around the world? I should change this or that so people will like it better…” and one day I caught myself fantasizing about getting myself on a big stage. I broke myself out of the self glorifying day dream with wide eyes.  What is this?! I thought to myself.  I began to realize how my motive was to give myself glory and not God.

Although I never would have said that then, I realize it fully now, deep down, that was my ultimate goal.  My heart sincerely wanted to glorify God, but deep down my true motive was to make a name for myself.  Upon realizing the darkness thriving within me I began to cry there and then shouting aloud, “I don’t want it!!!! I don’t want it!!!!”. Tears flowed from my eyes and I fell to my face shouting to Jesus to take away my pride and all the ways I had glorified myself instead of Him.

From that day forward I was set on a journey of continually laying down my pride, and even great opportunities for the sake of His glory and not my own.  It was hard and many times I caught myself almost saying yes to things I knew would end in self glorification. I would always ask myself, “What are my motives for saying yes to this opportunity?” and unless the answer ended in me getting ZERO credit then I didn’t say yes.  That’s what hurt the most for me, serving but getting no credit. Not being seen for my works, getting no praise from man.  I found out that I wasn’t satisfied with the Lords delight in me. He wasn’t enough for me and I had found my identity in what people said about me, hinging on the praise of my peers and my leaders. Very, very slowly the Lord worked on me, layer layer exposing my pride, and I eventually stopped writing because I realized I couldn’t write without puffing myself up in the end.

During my internship at IHOP-Atlanta in 2013 the Lord encountered me and I broke. He thundered inside me showing me my identity as a daughter, not a worker.  He exposed the areas of pride and approval I was searching for in people, but he was giving me approval all along and I ignored Him.  I realized nothing else was worth my time than giving glory to Jesus.  That’s when I finally gave Him everything. My life, my works, my time, my reputation, all of it.  I’d do anything and everything for Him even if it meant my name would never be known and my face would never be seen. I even WANTED that. “Lord, hide me! Hide my face! Hide my name!” I remember praying to him one night.  “I don’t want to be known! I don’t want to be seen!” and he replied to me, “this is exactly where I want you.”. Out of that came the first song I’d written in years. My brokenness yielded to the theme of my existence; glorifying Jesus.

“All for your glory I surrender, bend me and break me Abba, I am yours.Come move in power, let your will be done, remove all that hinders loving you,I am yours. Everything I do is for your honor and your glory, all I want is to bring You praise.”

From then on worship changed. Ministry changed. Song writing was 100% different. Songs began to flow from me as if an inward dam had burst. Lyrics flowed as easily as speech, a writers dream! After years of frustrating songs and dead ends, songs flew onto paper with ease. What changed? Glorifying God, and ONLY glorifying God. Music is no longer about my platform but HIS platform.

I now strive to make myself the least so He can be the greatest. I no longer serve so people will praise my many works, but I serve knowing that I’m doing all things for the glory of God.  I write because my heart is full of songs to sing to this beautiful man who continually extends grace, love and mercy to me.  I worship because He is worthy of everything I have to give to Him.  I now see and know there is only one worth praise. Jesus.