I could feel my stomach drop as the movers put my guitars down in the sunroom of our new California home. I saw how damaged the hard cases were on my two prized, Taylor guitars. These guitars were never supposed to be on the moving truck, but should've been tucked safely inside of our car. Yet the day the movers showed up to our home in Castle Rock, CO was a day of pure chaos and stress, as the moving fee was changed at the last minute, four times the original quote. We had to be out that day, so there was no choice but to use this company, as we attempted to negotiate the steep price increase. The tension in the air was tangible, and we knew it would be a tough day ahead. We prayed for the best.
After all the stress of moving temporarily subsided, we made it to our new home and ranch in Northern California, awaiting the moving trucks arrival. It took us some time to navigate through all the boxes and furniture that needed reassembled, but I will never forget the painful moment when I opened my guitar cases. My guitars had been treated with contempt and with no regard for value. I pulled my Signature Series Jewel guitar out of the case and saw the giant double cracks down the side of the guitar body. It was totally destroyed. I cried and almost couldn't catch my breath. I opened up the case of my valuable, Koa wood, Taylor k24ce acoustic guitar (which Matt had given me as a gift one year), to see the bottom of the guitar had been smashed and damage was done to the face of the guitar. I was speechless and could only cry.
I felt like I had just been robbed. Like a child, I sat on the floor heart-broken and cried. Maybe even for an hour. As a worship leader most of my adult life, I felt like I had already given up so much. I would no longer be leading worship regularly as we settle into a new church home, and now this?? I felt like the enemy was just laughing at me. At the time, it seemed like he had stolen my "voice". Have you ever felt this way? Where something of such great value to you was lost or stolen? In this COVID-19 season, so many have lost so much. Jobs, loved ones, paychecks, security, confidence of the future, the privilege to attend church, and the list goes on. It's a season where pain, hopelessness and loss are so real to so many.
I truly believe that your story and mine isn't over yet. Let me give you some hope with a personal victory I had in a tough time, when I thought I would never get to play my guitars any time soon, if at all. It had been a challenging financial season for Matt and I, and my guitars sat there broken, for a solid year and a half. I kept praying that God would make a way, and provide finances to fix them. They were irreplaceable to me, as they held so many memories and moments I felt nearer to God. A year and a half later, a gift was presented to me -- an offer to have them repaired, free of charge, by someone who will remain unnamed. That day I cried again, but this time it was tears of joy and gratitude. I was reminded once again that our God in Heaven cares about the small stuff along with the big. He is so good, and so faithful.
Regardless of the tremendous, varying degrees of loss we have faced this season, I believe God is beginning to restore. His word tells us it's His heart to do so.
"To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)
Matt and I pray this verse for each of you. I believe we will look back in a year's time and see the beauty that has come out of this challenging time, and once again praise Him.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, my guitars are now back at my home, repaired and once again beautiful. My voice has been restored. God is good.