When I have no words………..

During the last 8 years I have had a pretty large helping of pride, at times, pride in the fact that I have coped in the face of tough circumstances, that I have held down and done well in my career, at the same time as being a single parent and studying for exams. I not suggesting it isn’t important to believe in ourselves but for me there have been moments when it has led to self reliance and maybe at times some arrogance and judgment.

Only a few months ago a few people in my life were struggling and I will ashamedly admit that inside I reacted strongly feeling that if I could cope then surely they could – I have subsequently said my sorrys!! Then suddenly without warning the ground beneath me shifted and due to various circumstances, some out of my control, others not, I felt overwhelmed and had to say I couldn’t keep going and had to stop for a bit. It was so hard to make that decision and has felt like real failure – I am a coper, I am made of stronger stuff, I always keep going – I have beaten myself up repeatedly, partly because I knew me stopping for a bit impacted on lots of other people (who have been incredibly kind, gracious and loving) but I think I almost had to get to that place, that place of weakness and vulnerability, for God to get my attention, to show me my ways were not always the best ways and my plans not always the best plans.

Sometimes I run out of words, I don’t know how or what to pray or how to articulate what I am thinking or feeling and this time has been one of those times. Often during those times it is other people’s words, usually through song, that fill my heart with hope, that I cling onto and which help to move me forward.

Over the last few months pride, expectations, failure and fear are the mixture of feelings that have been consuming me and I have struggled to know how to talk to God or others and fully explain what is going on. In the midst of this there has been two songs that I have played over and over again which have reassured my heart, set hope in my soul and reminded me of the promise that this too will pass.

The first song I was introduced to at the thanksgiving service of a very precious lady in January. Betty was 86 when she died having lived her life so well. Betty was very special to me even though our paths had only crossed in the last few years of her life but she showed me such kindness and wisdom that just seeing her across the room made my day happier. One of the songs we sang that day was a song called Sovereign Over Us (Aaron Keyes).

“There is strength within the sorrow

There is beauty in our tears

Your meet us in our mourning

With a love that casts our fear

 

You are working in our waiting,

Sanctifying us

When beyond our understanding

You’re teaching us to trust

 

Your plans are still to prosper, you have not forgotten us

You are with us in the fire and the flood

You’re faithful forever, perfect in love

You are sovereign over us

 

Even what the enemy means for evil

You turn it for our good

You turn it for our good and for your glory

You’re working for our good

You’re working for our good and for your glory.”

The other song that has been really key for me is “My Lighthouse” by The Rend Collective:

“In my wrestling and in my doubts

In my great failures you don’t walk out

Your great love will lead me through

You are the peace in my troubled sea

You are the peace in my troubled sea

 

In my silence, you won’t let go

In my questions, your truth will hold

 

My lighthouse, my lighthouse

Shining in the darkness I will follow you

My lighthouse, my lighthouse

I will trust the promise

You will carry me safe to shore

 

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings

With each morning I will rise and sing

My God’s love will lead me through.”

I so grateful that other people are willing to make themselves vulnerable, to use their giftings and pour their hearts into writing these words which have given me (and no doubt many others) strength and hope.

I guess some reading this may not believe the same things I do and may be of the view that the God thing is a crutch but for me it is a crutch (as well as being many other things) and I do not apologise for saying that – I could not get through the tougher times without knowing that there is a God whose plans and purposes are bigger and better than mine, who gives me a hope that is not only eternal but also for the here and now, that he has not forgotten me, that in his presence there is no fear, and that if I let him he can turn all things for my good.

So right now I feel pretty vulnerable and a little scared about what the future looks like but I know that God can and will turn it all around for my good, that there is hope for the future and he will carry me safe to shore.

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