The Sacred Echo is a concept that is relatively new to me. I have been attending my church for 5 and a half years and it has been mentioned in more sermons that I can count. For those who don’t attend my church it is a pretty simple but powerful idea.
According to author Margaret Feinberg, the repetitive nature of a sacred echo gives us confidence that God really is prompting, guiding, or leading. The sacred echo reminds us to pay close attention — something important may be going on here. The sacred echo challenges us to prayerfully consider how God is at work in our life as well as in the lives of those around us. The sacred echo is an invitation to spiritual awakening. When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once. He echoes. He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work. (credit goes to Amazon.com for the description ‘The Sacred Echo’ by Margaret Feinberg)
It all started at the beginning of July when I decided to jump out of a plane. I was crouched in a plane that should have held about 2 people but 6 people were stuffed in it. It was hot and stuffy and all I wanted to do was dive into the air to get out of there so I could breathe fresh air. My instructor had hooked himself to me and asked me if I was ready. He gently reminded me that I don’t need to worry about the big picture, I just needed to do what he was telling me to do when he told me to do it. It was his job to get me safely to my destination. As I was gliding to the ground after a 7,000 foot drop, it occurred to me what a picture that was of the Lord. He sees the big picture while I am called to just take another step and to surrender my control to arrive safely at my destination.
Then a few weeks later, after a difficult conversation with a friend who in a marriage crisis our conversation turned to me. I lamented about some struggles, while trying to down play them because they did not compare to what she was facing. After I was done she simply said “I can hear the fear in your voice and it’s okay, but know that the Lord can free you from that bondage.” She didn’t exactly know what she was doing when she said that, but it sent me into a hard journey of examining of my heart.
I have spent a lot of my life in fear. At times, the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure have influenced me more than I care to admit. In other seasons, the fear of rejections or abandonment have dictated my actions. Fear is a tricky things, it can disguise itself in ways that would never look like fear. It causes me to be guarded, self-sufficient, and fiercely independent. But I am slowly learning the beauty of being fully known because you can’t be fully loved until you are fully known.
A few weeks ago I was in a black hole of Bethel Music on Youtube and I stumbled on this song. It was then reposted by a friend on Facebook. It then was purchased on my credit card and played on repeat any time I was in the car or early in the morning. I sent it to multiple friends because the words were so simple but so powerful for where I am at.
I am a child of God. Such a glorious comfort.
I was sitting in church today, trying to apply the sermon on parenting to how I teach and engage with my students and fear struck me in a way I haven’t previously experienced. My heart started pounding and I was allowing the enemy’s lies become truth to me. I had lost my sight on what was true: I am a child of God and I am no longer a slave to fear. Then I heard a familiar chord and familiar words over the speakers.
“You unravel me, with a melody and surround me with a song of deliverance from my enemies until all my fears are gone. I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God”.
Tear sprung to my eyes. I grabbed (and unintentionally scared) my friend who was sitting next to me, rambled something about the Sacred Echo and continued to cry (harder this time), my body began to shake and I now hold dear this moment with the Lord. I still have some deep rooted fear. It isn’t going to disappear overnight. But leaving church today, I physically felt lighter. I know that the enemy will continue to fight for my heart, and some days it may seem like he wins. But the truth I can hold in my heart is that I am a Child of God. I am surrounded by the arms of the Father. I have been liberated, from my bondage.