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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

how can I keep from singing?

About this time two years ago, I began to snuggle my new baby to sleep with song. We might start with some sweet varieties like "Jesus Loves Me" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", but the last song of the night was always the same. 
I remember those nights so vividly. The nights of being a new, tired mom. And the nights of being a new, tired mom with a very sick little infant. We didn't have answers or understanding to what was happening to our baby boy, and we were filled with fear at what the future might bring for all of us. I remember those nights, snuggling that precious little bundle, contemplating the terrifying "what ifs", and clinging to the only thing I could - my faith. 

And somewhere in those late nights, I began to sing this song to Jake. Or maybe even to myself. I had heard it long before, but only in those sweet moments did I really understand what I was singing. I felt buried the trenches, but I was going to keep singing. I was in the lowest valley, but I would keep singing. 

How Can I Keep From Singing
Robert Wadsworth Lowry

My life flows on an endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the sweet and distant hymn
That hails a new creation.
In every triumph, every trial, 
I hear the music ringing. 
It finds and echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

And when my joys and comforts die
The Lord my Savior liveth.
And when the darkness fathers round
Songs in the night He giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
When to the refuge clinging.
If Christ is Lord of heaven and earth 
How can I keep from singing? 

I lift my eyes; the cloud goes thin.
I see the blue above it.
And day by day this pathway smooths
Since first I learned to love it
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart
A fountain ever springing. 
All things are mine since I am His
How can I keep from singing? 

It's an old Christian hymn. Not one that I grew up with but rather stumbled upon later in life. So beautiful.

And in those deep dark nights in the valley, I clung to those words. I sang them to myself and to Jake, finding peace that God is so much greater that my tiny life. Knowing that He was caring for us. I sang to Him over and over again. Praying to be above my current circumstance and to give Him glory no matter my troubles. Some days were better than others. Some days were filled with doubt and anger. Some days had more faith and thus, more peace. But every night, Jake heard this lullaby, and drifted into a sweet sleep under it's calm. 

Days, weeks, months, even years, have gone by. We endured such a length of hardship and doubt and questions. And it wasn't until a few nights ago, while putting my sweet boy to bed that I fully realized - I was still singing. I wasn't in the valley. I wasn't in the trenches. And I was still singing. 

Here I am two years later with a beautiful, smart, kind and healthy little boy. I'm truly enjoying each day and am so thankful for my humble life. I'm finally in a moment to look back and say "wow, we made it through that". And I'm still singing.

It's no work on my part, but rather a faithful God that carried me through. Through His encouragement and love and kindness, I was able to press on. I had strength beyond myself to hold my head up. I'm so thankful for a merciful, everlasting God that never gives up on us.
Through it all, He kept me singing.

As life changes, I imagine that I'll encounter all kinds of new triumphs and trials as the years pass. I hope none are scary as these last few years with our fears about our sweet boy, but I can't anticipate what's up ahead. I can't plan for each moment. But God has used this season of life to teach me so much.

And the greatest thing that I have learned is that in any change in life, He will keep me singing.

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