Monday, May 6, 2013

Make 'em Laugh


How do you get a great photo with a comedian?  Let him give his knee a little pop!
(Oh, and do you notice how muscular my right forearm is looking?  Man Arms, I tell you!)
(Part of my Journey to Charis: Evidences of God's Grace)


On Saturday, I took the 101 south, with my family, to go see Tim Hawkins perform live.  I met up with my friend, Ruth, and her entire family (including her 7 kids... yes, 7, she is amazing!)  I have known Ruth since childhood... we have had many, many laughs together!  I had no idea this one would be so powerful though.

I talked about this concert (Can I call it that? Tim's an amazing musician, too, so I say yes.)  with Patrick, and he didn't seem overly excited to go.  Don't get me wrong, he thinks Tim is hilarious, but he wasn't so sure about driving about 2 hours to get there.  But for some reason, I really felt like we needed to be there... it was just one of those things that I couldn't let go.

Tim walked out on stage, doing some weird sight gags, and I literally laughed non-stop for two hours.  I'm not talking little chuckles, either.  I am talking belly laughs, laughing until I was coughing, and laughing so hard my cheeks hurt.  Patrick was laughing so hard he was crying, and Ruth was giggling behind me to no end.  It was uproarious laughter.  It was the exact opposite of an ugly cry (which I had just last week, by the way).

I haven't laughed this hard in years.  It changed something in me.  It was as if God lifted a burden from my heart and lightened my entire being.  I began to catch another glimpse of who I know I am inside, and it felt really amazing. 

Ok, I have to confess something.  You know how I said I laughed for two hours straight?  Well, that isn't entirely true.  There was a window of about 8 minutes when Tim got really serious and started talking about burnout in the church.  I stopped laughing and tears welled up in my eyes, because he was speaking to me.  I don't know that I've ever mentioned church burnout here.  You see, I want to love the church, and I don't want to come off as a church basher, but to be honest with you, burnout is a big part of my story.  There are many components, but burnout is at least part of the puzzle.

I also didn't want to mention it, because it makes me feel weak and ashamed.  I thought that my husband and I were doing all we could do to minister to people, to be good leaders, to put others before ourselves, but the truth is, I was in way over my head.  As in drowning.  Lonely and overwhelmed, I didn't know what to do or where to go, until my mind and body gave out on me.  I used to teach Bible studies, and now I struggle to sit through a sermon... it's a very humbling and painful thing.

God has taught me many things through the dark and broken places I have walked and I am thankful for those times.  Saturday night, I couldn't help but be even more thankful that He was breaking chains and filling me with laughter.  At one point, Tim said that he used to try and "get laughs," but now he sees it is more important to "give laughs" to others.  To feel some of that restoration, and to have it be so tangible, was an amazing gift from God through Tim.  To sit in a church building full of so much joy was, to me, nothing short of a miracle.

"A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22


Today I'm keeping my heart and eyes open to truly enjoy more of God's joy in my everyday.

Has God given you any unexpected joy lately?



6 comments:

Ruth Markham victoria said...

This was beautifully written!!! And I completely understand and know how you fell about burn out! I believe many of us hide it for the very same reason. Praise the Lord we serve a God who loves & rejuvenates us!!! Thank you for being so bold to share it!!

Sandy said...

Oh, yes! My unexpected joy came right here, right now, through your words.

May God continue to surprise you with joy as you advance along His path of healing in body, mind, soul and spirit.

I'm thrilled that you had this amazing and fun evening with your family and friends.

♥♥♥♥

Cassi Brightforest said...

Wonderful post. I love Tim Hawkins. And so understand the burnout

Denise said...

" i began to catch another glimpse of who i know i am inside." yes. yes. i love when the Spirit reminds us of who we really are...it's like breathing clean air instead of toxic.

loved how you described tim as giving laughs instead of getting laughs.
makes me think of worship leading... and that we are actually lead worshipers and not worship leaders.
how can i apply this to other areas in my life?

and i'm so glad you are getting a good dose of Joy. i want that for you, dear friend.

Heather said...

It's true what they say "laughter is the best medicine!"

I love what you said about Tim when he said that he used to try to get laughs, but now it is more important to give laughs. I think any real, honest leader or speaker knows how to give to others and know that what they are doing is not for themselves for for their audience.

p.s. glad you are blogging again :)

Susan said...

You are blogging!!! YAY!!!
I am all about seeing your happy SMILING face my friend.
Great shot.

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