“Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to your God to order and provide, In every change, He will remain.
Be still my soul, your God will undertake. To guide the future, as in ages past. Your hope, your mind, your will, let nothing shake. All now mysterious, shall be bright.
Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on, When we shall be, forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone. Sorrows forgot, love’s joy restored.”
Hymns have become very important to me over the last two years. In Denver, I would start my mornings at work with my feet on the desk, the lights off, a cup of coffee, and hymns blasting from the speakers. I was normally the first one who worked on the 3rd floor to get to work, and oh how those mornings refreshed my soul. Singing and relaxing and praising at the same time. I think I would’ve gone crazy some days without hymns. If it had been a rough morning I would spend my lunch break in my office listening to hymns and trying to piece my heart back together. Seeing so much brokenness on a daily basis can start to break you if you let it, and sometimes even when you try to keep the darkness away it will find you. I laughed with clients and I cried with them. Sometimes they would let me into the deepest and most painful parts of their hearts, and though I would try to give some of my own to repair the damage I knew I wasn’t truly fixing anything. Simply living alongside someone and listening to their story, while having them hand you their worn and hurting heart-not to fix or replace, just to validate with love and respect-is not such a simple act after all. I had my heart and soul validated with love and respect in return and I will forever be changed because of it. I also had my heart broken and discouraged, and at both extremes I turned to hymns. I did not grow up at a church that sang a lot of hymns (at least not in the services I attended) so many were new to me. I found ways to express things I was feeling and experiencing by singing words written a long time ago. The world changes, quicker with each year that passes I think, but the Lord is constant.
“Thou changes not, thy compassions they fail not.”
When I’ve been feeling frustrated, irritable, or just…over it, I do my best to turn quickly to hymns and prayer. It centers me and makes me feel whole. I can sit in a room infested with bugs and mice and take a deep breath. It doesn’t make me love the bugs and mice, but it allows me to keep moving forward when I feel that I am utterly stagnant.
The above was written months ago……….The below was written today.
Lately I have not been doing such a good job of turning to the Lord and hymns when I’ve felt broken. I am full of fear and doubt. I try not to think about it and I definitely don’t admit it to other people, but here I am. I’m not exactly sure what all I’m afraid of, but I know I’m scared. I recently moved houses so I don’t feel scared at home anymore, but I have this persistent feeling that something bad is going to happen to me. Do other people get those feelings? I’ve felt like I couldn’t say this out loud to my family or friends at home because I don’t want anyone to worry about me, but it is honestly how I feel and it’s awful. I’ve said on many occasions that I have lived a full and blessed life so if something were to happen to me, it would be okay. But I don’t want something bad to happen to me. I don’t even want to think about it… but I do.
It has been a trying season. I have had a wide variety of health problems since being here, most of which no one knows about, and it’s hard not to get discouraged about things when your body is fighting you. I don’t feel at home in my own body, let alone this country. I am extremely vulnerable at this point in life, and I’m ready to not feel this way. Sometimes I tell myself to “snap out of it” and get back to “normal”, but I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. I know I need to give myself fully to the Lord. I know that. It’s just harder than I imagined.
“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I come. And I hope by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God. He, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood. Ode to grace, how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be. Let Thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal if for Thy courts above.”
This morning my dad texted me, “That illusive place where faith, hope, and trust overcomes stress, doubt, and fear is hard to find and even harder to live in.” He was referring to my remarkable lack of sleep over the last year and turning my brain off at night, but it hit more parts of my soul than he realized. I am living in that place of stress, doubt, and fear. I don’t show it very often, even to myself, but I’m there and I’m hurting.
“Counselor, comforter, keeper, Spirit we long to embrace. You offer hope when our hearts have hopelessly lost our way, oh we’ve hopelessly lost our way. You are the one that we praise, you are the one we adore. You give us healing and grace our hearts always hunger for.”
So there it is. A post I started awhile ago about hymns has turned into external-processing word-vomit. I will listen to hymns for the rest of the afternoon and try to piece together a recovery plan. I cannot live like this anymore, it is so draining-especially when I can’t sleep. Prayers are greatly needed and appreciated, and I thank you in advance for your love and support.
“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings are mine with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy faithfulness. Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I hath needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto Thee.”
Here are some links to a few of my favorite versions of some hymns I love: How Great Thou Art https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HJYZj8PqEY&list=RDT3wSbLa2uGg&index=2 Come Thou Fount https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_HGdRnQ3ro I Need Thee Every Hour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3wSbLa2uGg Be Still My Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f79VVBt6W4A Great Is Thy Faithfulness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3iwZ3Ym2BE&index=7&list=RDT3wSbLa2uGg