As is par for the course lately, I have so many thoughts flooding my mind today. Trying to find work that allows me to stay home with my kids, trying not to feel overcome with anxiety, especially with regard to Little Man's surgery coming up the end of this week, trying to figure out how to perform my own financial miracles, trying not to wonder about the "what ifs" of life as we know it currently and focus solely on the "right nows".
I'm exhausting myself. Even as I sit still, I let my mind race, contemplating everything I have absolutely no control over, and I become completely worn out. Breathless, even, at times. Choked by the worry of it all.
This past Saturday, I once again had the privilege of emceeing the women's ministry fall kick-off event at church. There is something about being up in front of people with a microphone and an itinerary that gives me a rush, and I love, love, love it. Public speaking is feared more than death by the majority of the population, yet here I am volunteering to do it, and enjoying every second. I don't count myself a funny person, but hearing people laugh at my lame attempts at jokes gives me a thrill I can't quite explain. I was telling my husband just the other day, there is one time - one time - I remember being witty enough to deserve a laugh. Sit down a second, readers, this is a lengthy aside. I was about 16 years old, and we were getting ready to go to church one Sunday morning. Dad came down the hallway with no shirt on, to fetch something from the hall closet. I jokingly made a remark about how he couldn't rightly go to church half undressed and he quipped, "I'm going like this. I'm going to do my Samson impersonation." I laughed and said, "You'll bring the house down." Ba dum dum!! Get it?! My dad laughed heartily and said, "That was a good one, Val!" and he was excited - because I am not often quick on my feet with funny remarks. He knows this. I know this. So that one time, some 17 years ago, I made a funny. Go me. Anyway, back to Saturday. The theme, and the message, were centered around resting in God. Resting. Not fretting, not being anxious, not nailing down a plan....but resting. Psalm 62:5 was the theme verse and reads, "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." It was a powerful morning, a powerful message, I was so inspired, and two days later, here I sit - overwhelmed.
A few nights ago as I was rocking Little Man to sleep, I began to sing whatever hymns came to mind. I tend to sing the same ones over and over, but one popped into mind I hadn't sung in quite some time. As I sang to my son, the power of the words struck me. I found I was singing a sermon to myself. I sing this song nearly every day now - not only to soothe the cries of my infant son, but to reassure myself of the hope I have and the promises I can cling to.
When I started singing it, I could only remember the first verse. Believe me, the first verse is powerful enough in its own right. When I went to an old hymnal this morning to look up the other verses, I felt a wave of powerful reassurance rush over me. I nearly welled up with both joyful relief and sheer conviction, for seeing the words speak directly to my heart. Yes, Lord. This song....this is you. This is you, carrying me. I need only to be still.
Be Still My Soul
Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
Do you see? Do you see how when you take even a moment in the whirl of this insane life, to sit and be still in His presence, He leads you to reassurance you wouldn't otherwise notice? The very words of a hymn a few hundred years old, speaks to me clearly and truly this very day. This very moment. I'm still in the midst of grief. I'm definitely in the midst of change. He will - he has - remain(ed) faithful. He will provide, He will bring beauty from chaos. He will. All I need is to be still. All I need is to find rest in Him.
So as I prepare for Little Man's surgery this week, as I do the best I can with the little I've got in making sure my family is taken care of, and as I put one foot in front of the other having no idea where my steps will take me, I will keep my soul still.