For Those Moments When You are Hiding in the Bathroom Stall…

It’s been 41 months. I can’t even count them using my fingers and toes… there aren’t enough appendages to add the total. In all that time my less than 1 percent story seems to have gotten lost in the midst of His whole. She calls on a Monday and by Sunday morning I’m standing – terrified before a gathering of women and men. I’ve gotta lead us with this voice and sing something and praise Him. And I’m afraid.

My heart skips beats and I think I might never come out of the bathroom stall.  I’m shaking – because my vocal cords are rusty and my well of tears runs deep, easily overflowing and my heart has barely been mended from the cuts, burns and hurt.

The truth is I thought He would never let me lead worship again… because of how things had swirled weird in my past. When they wanted to use my gifts and abilities to push people off platforms and out church doors – and I walked away. When God said, “Enough!” and they shouted, “Foul!” I laid on that bathroom floor broken, thinking: it would never be redeemed. How could He ever use the weak, rusty, broken, on the mend, terrified… you fill in the blank.

How it all came to be was so weird and so Him because NOT one person in that room had ever really heard me sing, or lead or pray…. But HIM. He knew.

So I stood up on a little stage at the end of a great gathering of mothers who write and serve and love and and homeschool. I get to lead us in song. I get to sing before the throne. And these voices they follow right along and we praise His name and I’m literally coming undone.

Then I ask the altos to sing it out as we sing that old, old song “It is Well with My Soul”… and they hold the notes. Whoever said that hymns were dead and irrelevant doesn’t understand the workings of the Holy Spirit. And for a moment as the harmony soars I think for sure I am going to fall right off that stage.

This, my friends, is worship. A shaky, rusty voice – weak. weak. weak. And a great big God who knows what He has given and why.

The well of tears they overflow and I feel like me again.

And the whole way home I’m singing, “Let the REDEEMED of the LORD say so… I’m redeemed. I’m redeemed. Praise the Lord.”





Thank you to Precepts Ministries for sponsoring my ticket through The Homeschool Village… and giving me a chance to learn more about homeschooling and blogging and God. Check out the 2to1 conference….

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  1. Catherine says:

    You will never be able to understand how much that worship healed my soul. When we sang “It is Well” it began to be made well inside my heart. Would you consider posting the words to the last song you sang? I would love to hear those words again. Thank you for your willingness to serve.

    • J. K. says:

      Thank you, Catherine.
      He Is With You lyrics sung by Mandisa :)
      There’s a time to live
      And a time to die
      There’s a time to laugh
      And a time to cry
      There’s a time for war
      And a time for peace
      There’s a hand to hold
      In the worst of these
      In the worst of these

      He is with you when your faith is dead
      And you can’t even get out of bed
      Or your husband doesn’t kiss you anymore
      He is with you when your baby’s gone
      And your house is still and your heart’s a stone
      Cryin’ God, what’d you do that for?
      He is with you

      There’s a time for yes
      And a time for no
      There’s a time to be angry
      And a time to let it go
      There’s a time to run
      And a time to face it
      There is love to see you
      Through all of this

      He is with you in the conference room
      When the world is coming down on you
      And your wife and kids don’t know you anymore
      And he is with you in the ICU
      When the doctors don’t know what to do
      And it scares you to the core
      He is with you

      We may weep for a time
      But joy will come in the morning
      The morning light

      He is with you when your kids are grown
      When there’s too much space and you feel alone
      And you’re worried if you got it right or wrong
      Yes he is with you when you’ve given up
      On ever finding your true love
      Someone who feels like home
      He is with you

      When nothing else is left
      And you take you final breath
      He is with you

    • J. K. says:

      I love you too! Someday you are going to say to me – remember when you asked for prayer and God released a flood in response?

  2. Lisa W. says:

    I’m so thankful you came out of the bathroom. Your willingness to stand up front and do what He asked you to was a blessing to my heart that you may not ever understand.

    • J. K. says:

      To be honest Cheryl was coming to find me so I imagine they would have gotten me out of there eventually :) I am glad you were blessed. It was a great weekend.

    • J. K. says:

      I am so glad you came… and decided to sit with us. Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart and your creativity. You are beautiful!

  3. Lena (@luvmycrzylife) says:

    Thank you for being obedient to God. He used you to bring so many of us to Him in teary eyed praise and worship. You have a beautiful heart and did a beautiful job. I’m honored to have hugged your neck, my new friend in Christ.

  4. Mary Lou Dungan says:

    Jessica, I am so glad to hear that you were asked again to lead worship. God is using you in ways that you can’t even imagine. I was also glad to hear that you were able to get away for a little bit to learn and grow. You are an amazing woman and mother and wife. May God coninue to bless you and your family, as you have blessed the women at that conference, and me as a neighbor and friend.

    • J. K. says:

      Love you, Mary Lou! You have always been gracious to my heart, tender and kind. It was good to just sing. You would have loved it. :)

  5. Joy says:

    I still get teary eyed thinking about Sunday morning. God was there. Yes, the Holy Spirit was among us. You, my friend, did an AMAZING job. You have a gift! You use it for God’s glory! Keep using it!! I can’t wait to worship God with you again. Keep singing!! Thank you for obeying God and coming out of the bathroom!!

  6. Marci says:

    Thank you friend for being obedient and for letting God use you! What a sweet Sunday morning! Can’t wait to see you again :)

    • J. K. says:

      I had so much fun with you! To laugh that hard should be illegal. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to visit together. :)

  7. Rachel @ finding joy says:

    It is well with my soul.
    Words that balm, even today. You are such a beautiful example of the love of Jesus – in the way you sing and express his truth through song. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
    Forever blessed, my dear friend.

    • J. K. says:

      Thank you, Rachel. It was such a wonderful weekend. You did a fabulous job. I can’t get that boat out of my head.

  8. Cheryl Pitt says:

    I had NO idea the story behind all this – or why we met at the bathroom door! I am so honored you graced us with your beautiful voice. You did such a fabulous job and God was glorified – half the room was in tears, we could feel His presence. Your love for Him was shining during worship. I am so grateful you were there.

  9. Tabitha (a.k.a. Penny) says:

    “Incredible” doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of being in a room with like-minded women and praising our Father. I no longer felt like an oddball. Thank you for being a servant.

  10. Rebecca@MomSeriously says:

    You ministered to me, dear one! When you looked at me and sang those words–and when you said, “You got it right”–that was exactly what I needed to hear. I did come home to an empty house and way too much space! It’s so hard when it seems like all of a sudden there is no one around anymore. But the answer is always worship. It is. An attitude of worship and just focusing on Him. Thank you for taking us to His throne Sunday morning. I’m so glad He connected us, Jessica! (And lest anyone get the wrong idea–all my kids still live at home! My boys are away for a baseball trip and my daughter was at her church, so my house was devoid of children when I got home. My husband loves this season of life, LOL, but I miss my kids!)

  11. judy spradley says:

    Jeremiah 30:17
    But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’

    Much love to a fellow outcast. Much hope because of the redemptive nature of our great God. He makes everything new. Much joy shared with you, dear friend.

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