I’m playing piano in church again.
I feel like there’s probably a more artful way to build up to that statement, but the truth is, I’m just kind of giddy about it. Church music is where I most connect with God, and for a year, that was missing. For a year, I wondered if it was ever coming back.
In this past year, playing any kind of Christian music, even just on Spotify, left me feeling raw, undone. There was rarely comfort in it, only pain. Music, the thing that draws me closer to my faith, was the thing that reminded me of how far I had fallen.
In the absence of music, the condemning voices in my head had free reign.
You forfeited the right to ever stand in front of a congregation when you had an affair.
How can you ever sing about love when you acted in such an unloving manner?
Getting up and playing again is just your way of glossing over your sins.
I’d like to say it was just a whisper, but often it was much, much louder. I hadn’t just committed adultery, I was an adulteress. I couldn’t separate myself from my actions. I was overwhelmed by the shame of what I had done. I believed these words.
But we started attending a church. We had uncomfortable conversations with pastors, both old and new, where reassuring hands clutched the knee of the person who was telling their part of the story, and where forgiveness and acceptance were freely offered. And as hard as it was, we chose to hold to those offerings rather than to the condemnation that we had been clinging to.
We asked, with hopeful expectation, could we play? Could we stand on a stage, this time as husband and wife, and minister? Could we allow music back into our lives, and use the gifts that we have as a means to open up conversations about how redemption is possible?
Now the sounds of church music are in our home. I hear words like “You have covered all my sins” and “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets” more often.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe them. Sometimes the old voices feel more real. Sometimes I wonder if I should even be saying them if I am having trouble believing them.
But the louder I proclaim them, the more these words of Life seep into my soul. They are the right words, and I will believe them.