The Music of the Waiting Wife

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They say that music is the language of the soul. Like the Holy Spirit, sometimes it can express what you can’t seem to put into words into a complete emotional journey within a few minutes. A song speaks to you like very few things do, and as a musician music is even more important to me.

Have you ever had a song you hated so much you can never listen to it, and yet the radio seems to love it? Mine was definitely “God’s Not Dead” by Newsboys. After singing it every weekend at kid’s church, coming up with motions, and hearing it play on every single radio station 10 times a day I got sick of it. If I ever hear it again, I shout “NO!” and abruptly change the station, shut the radio off, or leave the room if I have the option.

If you’re on the worship team, you probably have a different song that I bet I can guess which one it is! Everyone for a while was extremely tired of…

Wait for it…

OCEANS!!! It was the go-to song for a couple years at churches, and everyone got tired of it. No one wanted to hear it again. We were all SICK AND TIRED of singing this song that the congregation was starting to get annoyed with as well. So we all stopped playing it for a long time. No one ever wanted to bring it back. Until I felt the leading about a month and a half ago.

I might have mentioned in my last blog that at the beginning of the year we as band missionaries gather together to learn and grow as individuals, teams and a family. Last year it was a cram of information in a school room in a school in San Diego. This year we wanted it to be more intimate, so we sat on couches in the AJM Modesto headquarters and learned but also spent time in worship. We had leaders each evening, but they wanted us to sing out if we had a song laid on our hearts.

The third and final evening session, Pierce shared a section of a book called “Something Needs to Change” by David Platt. It was about a pastor who went to a remote village in Asia and his experience of seeing a whole people left without their daughters who, due to their poverty, would sell them to sex traffickers to feed their family.

The way Platt described everything brought nearly all of us to tears and complete silence. Pierce challenged us after this, as the author did. Something needed to change, and if God called Platt to that place would we be willing to be called somewhere as well? How deep would we go if God actually lead us somewhere?

As we were sitting there, he asked Small Giants to lead us in a song in worship. The whole time, I heard the bridge of Oceans ringing in my head: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

I don’t remember what song they were singing, but I remember waiting. Waiting to sing the song that I knew people might hate, but that they would sing in a completely different way after we had heard the story. It seemed like ages as I waited, heart pounding in my ears as I tried to decide if I actually should sing it. So I asked God for the opportunity, for a pause on the right chord, for silence. And the time came.

I quietly sang, barely even saying the first word because I was so nervous but so sure God had put it on my heart. Slowly everyone joined with me, and when we finished we paused thoughtfully. The words captured exactly what we were all praying in that moment.

I no longer hate that song. Instead, it became a prayer like it was at the beginning. But it holds so much more weight now, because it’s not just about whether I go to this college or that. It’s about whether I trust God to provide for my every need, to be my home while my heart aches for the loss of the one that my husband and I have come to live in and now are losing.

God’s also doing something with Final Greetings. We all feel it, and we’re all a little scared about what’s to come next. Portland was our home base because we had places to stay, but now those have fallen away. I’ve even had to sell my car because we couldn’t afford to keep it or store it. Change is coming on the wind, but it’s too far away for us to see what’s really coming.

It’s unnerving to have had everything go so well the year before, and now to lose the place that our band came to settle in. We’re searching for a new home for our band in the same area, but God has yet to bring one to us. We’re being called to bigger ministries overseas and more music has been written to share, but the funding still isn’t coming in.

It’s easy to trust in God when things are going well, when you have a paycheck and a home and money enough to go to nice meals with friends. It’s not as easy when you don’t have your own bed, car and family around. I’ve found myself scared this year because I know God can provide, but I’m scared He won’t. I’m scared He’ll keep us so dependent on Him that we find what we need two days after we need it. Because that’s what the last few months have been like for Garrett and I.

God has taken care of us, but not in the timing that we expected. We’re left in pain, waiting and trying to choose joy in the trials while holding back tears when people ask how everything’s going because I can’t seem to lie but I also can’t tell the whole truth.

But that’s where this song comes into play for me. I’ve rediscovered it the last couple days, and again, it echoes my heart like none other, especially the first chorus. “Even when my strength is lost, I’ll praise you. Even when I have no song, I’ll praise you. Even when it’s hard to find the words, louder then I’ll sing your praise.”

God knows my heart. He knows I’m willing to go where He calls, and that I won’t quit no matter how hard it is. Like this song says, “I will sing until the miracles comes.”

Garrett & Alissa Larsen

Garrett and Alissa serve as church planters with Unite the Mission, currently near Salt Lake City, UT


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