Desert of Solitude

Song & Verse: Nothing to Hold On To & Abba by Leon Timbo

This weekend I finally spent some quality time within my congregation. I’ve been streaming, skipping, traveling, and visiting – generally not all there. Not all anywhere. This whole year, I’ve been scrambled. Doing too much. All over the place. Not able to write, or journal for that matter. Not even settled or centered enough to edit my Desert of Solitude manuscript.

Yesterday I was determined to sit in the morning and afternoon service. I was equally determined to spend time editing my manuscript after the services. I did both. It felt like a productive day. The end of the first service turned into a spontaneous prayer meeting. Needed it. Needed it all. I prayed. I released. I sang. I wrote. I hit repeat. Picked up groceries on the way home. Cooked myself a meal. Slept like a baby. Woke up on time. Got to work around the time I should (can’t fix everything in one day!).

After lunch today, I put on YouTube at my desk. Sometimes I let the gospel and praise songs play randomly. I’m able to listen through my phone headset, so not to obvious. Except, occasionally, when I give myself away with raised hands, humming, laughs (in place of shouts), verbal amens and hallelujahs. When Nothing to Hold On To came on today, I had to pause. It halted me in my seat. I stopped swaying and listened intently. I’m certain I’ve heard it before, even though it sounded brand new to my ears. It could’ve been the voice. I wasn’t familiar with Leon Timbo’s voice. The lyrics and the voice reached deep into me. There was clutch at my heart and no immediate release. I had to write it down before it ended: Leon Timbo, Lean Not on My Own Understanding. Then I headed to the Ladies room.

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I give it all to You, God
Trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me

I want to be beautiful.

That thought spun around my mind and the tears began to flow. They’re still flowing as I write. Life used to be so beautiful. So very lovely and full of hope. Endless possibilities. But I got stuck in a miasma of nothingness. Emptiness. Futility. Routine that bears no good fruit; only bitterness and resentment. What beauty can come from such an existence?

Yet those were the words that cracked open my heart today and released the dam of tears.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

One of my edits last night read: “There are certainly those who are content to dump their trash into my ears, mind and life, but those same people choose not to share any measure of their joy or happiness with me. By and large, people have only chosen to sow their darkness into me, even as I attempted to sow my light into their lives. I now have the knowledge, understanding and strength to reject all such offerings.”

There’s nothing I hold on to, ‘cause I’m holding on to You.

When editing another piece titled, “For those who demand everything and give nothing freely,” I was led to add words from Luke 6:27-36. What I wrote on my draft was, He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, as your Father is merciful. This here is why my heart was in a vice grip in the ladies room. I had more to release. I hadn’t let go. I was holding on to nothing while begging for everything – for life. Fixated on the darkness, while searching for my joy and light.

I think that’s part of the reason the first line hooked me, I lean not on my own understanding. I’ve been caught in a loop and unable to see beyond the current cycle.

There’s nothing I hold on to
I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

Nothing I Hold On To

Nothing I Hold On To
Written by Will Reagan and United Pursuit
Performed by Leon Timbo

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven
I give it all to You
God trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me (3x)

There’s nothing I hold on to (4x)

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven (2x)

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open (2x)

Abba

Abba
Written by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser
Performed by Leon Timbo

You’re more real than the ground I’m standing on
You’re more real than the wind in my lungs
Your thoughts define me, You’re inside me
You’re my reality
Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you

You’re closer than the skin on my bones
You’re closer than the song on my tongue
Your thoughts define me, You’re inside me
You’re my reality

Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you
Abba, I belong to you
Abba

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