This is part 2 in a series titled, Wait For You, based off of my album of the same name released in 2005. This collection of original songs was written over a period of 10 years and were glimpses of my story up until that time. To read Part 1, click here.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
I was born to first generation Canadians whose parents had immigrated from war-torn Europe. My grandparents were faithful Christians who had to face huge obstacles as young children with their parents fleeing their homeland. Although one of my grandparents was born in Canada, the other three had become refugees in a new land, far from their own relatives, churches, friends and culture. In this struggle, God blessed them. He provided through their struggles to settle in the new land, make a new life and a new way of living. They farmed, they attended school, and God continued to provide for them. My grandparents grew up, met, married and had children. My parents grew up, met, married, and had children. It was there on the flat plains of a coastal valley that I was born.
I was blessed with an amazing family, a wonderful childhood that I would relive any day, and God gave me a strong faith in Him at an early age. At the age of seven, I believed in Christ as my Savior and by His grace, He gave me a desire and yearning to live for Him alone. I went on from there to share the gospel with school friends, and the more I knew Christ, the more I wanted others to know Him too.
My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace;. Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
We took our first missions trip to Mexico as a family with our church in my early teenage years. This and other experiences like it, drew me deeper into love of Christ, love for His Church and love for cross-cultural mission work. I was thankful for these years lived on the mountaintop of peace and growth. These years were necessary as a firm foundation for the testing and trials that God would later bring into my life to refine me, to break me, and to set me on a course of complete dependence on Christ.
This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
-Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
This foundation was the groundwork God did to prepare the soil of my heart for the roots to grow deep, to be fully anchored to Christ so that my soul would yearn only for the life-giving presence of Himself, my God. It was also the foundation that God would use to bring sanctification, a breaking away from sin, self, and pride. God would teach me what it was to die daily so that He might live His life through me.
“Separation from all known sin is the starting point for sanctification, not the goal… Holiness means something more than the sweeping away of the old leaves of sin: it means the life of Jesus developed in us.” -Lilias Trotter, Parables of the Cross.
I needed those years of growing in grace and knowledge of my Savior, for the life of Jesus to be developed in me. I needed those years that I fell asleep each night, picturing the arms of Jesus hugging me, fully confident that I was saved without a doubt in my mind.
How hopeless the naked wood of a fruit tree would look to us in February if we had never seen the marvel of springtime!
-Lilias Trotter, Parables of the Cross.
I am constantly thankful for that chapter of my life, that springtime of childhood, the gift of faith given by God, and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit as a child. The Lord Jesus was my reality, His shepherding was my constant awareness, and His love for me was my blessed assurance. It was a gift and preparation for the next season of life when my Savior would lead me down from the mountain into the valley and out into a dry and thirsty land.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood
Look for Part 3 of this series coming soon…
The songs Steadfast Constant and King of Glory are the first two songs on my album and describe this first chapter of my life in its recognition of God’s steadfast love for me and my worship of Him. To listen to the songs or purchase the album, please visit my bandcamp page jenniferharris.bandcamp.com.