In "Other" Words...Unraveled

“When the trials of life unravel
the fabric of our plans.
When we face the deep confusion
of painful circumstance.
When our feeble strength is broken,
and we stand with empty hands.
That’s when the Father whispers
‘Trust the pattern I have planned.’ “

Lyrics from song, The Weaver

It's amazing to me how music brings back such vivid memories.  I've blogged before about certain songs that seem to almost transport me back in time when I hear or sing them.   It happened again as we have been preparing for this year's Keyboards at Christmas presentation (which was incredibly amazing, by the way! :)).  

"Come, remember what God has done!  
Sent from Heaven His perfect Son!
Now the Spirit of love will raise
A great outpouring of praise!"
~ Claire Cloninger and Gary Rhodes

I'm not sure what year we first sang those words as part of the musical "A Christmas to Remember".   I know we've sung them several times in the intervening years.   My first realization upon singing them this year was that I still had the whole song practically memorized...words, notes, rhythms, the whole thing...which I found ironic, as I was having a hard time with music we had worked on much more recently.   I know that I have a harder time these days learning music than I used to...but it was odd to me that I could remember previously learned music so clearly, when my memory seems to be so faulty these days in so many areas. :)

My second realization was much deeper and more relevant. :)  As we worked on this song, I found myself once again transported back in time.  I could almost hear voices of certain choir members who aren't here anymore, and I felt odd sitting in the "wrong" place in the choir, although it's been years since the move was made.  And I could see my dad, dressed in his red sweater, singing those words with joy on his face.   For just a bit, every time we have rehearsed or sung this song this season,  the years disappeared, and I was for a few minutes back in what seemed like a completely different life.  

And then, almost as a cartoon character on TV who has been floating around in a dream, I suddenly came thumpity-bumping back to earth.  

There are the normal changes...choir members have come and gone, the church carpeting is different, and I have a few more children...and a lot more gray hair...than I did in those days. :)  But when I come thudding back to earth, it is not those changes I notice so much.  The first, and most obvious, thing I notice, is my dad being gone.  How I miss him!   He's been gone 5 years and one week, and while the grieving is much, much less intense than it used to be, this time of year always brings back so many, many memories.  But there are other, less public, changes that hit just as hard if not harder...and in the moments after the "thud", the feeling that descends is truly a feeling that things have completely come unraveled.  

Never in a million years, back when we first sang this song, would I ever have expected our family to experience the things we have experienced in recent years.  Our lives have veered so far from any plans we had in those days, that when I'm taken back to that time it almost seems like I am a totally different person.  If I let myself (and to be honest, I occasionally do), I can put together a pity party fast thinking of "life then" and "life now" and how different things are than what they were "supposed" to be.  

But thankfully, God is working, and those pity parties are fewer and further between than they used to be.  As we've sung "Come, remember what God has done", He has reminded me over and over of the amazing things that He has done ~ of the blessings of His faithfulness, love, goodness, and sovereignty.  He is continually reminding me that the true blessing of Christmas is hope ~ the hope we have in Him through salvation, and the hope that He provides in *all* circumstances that He is working for His glory and our good.   Yes, our  lives are vastly different than we would ever have imagined, but we have seen His glory in ways we would never have imagined as well.   Those glimpses of His glory are worth all the confusion, the painful circumstances, and the broken strength.

Loni selected the above lyrics from "The Weaver" as this week's In "Other" Words quote.  I haven't read her post yet...I wanted to get mine typed out before reading everyone else's...but I know that Loni has been through some serious "unraveling" herself, including her teenage son's death five years ago this month, and her daughter's heart problems.  I am so thankful for her selection of this quote this week.  I have so needed to ponder it in the midst of many memories *stirring* on many fronts, as well as facing another "layer of the onion" being peeled away in an ongoing extended family situation.  

And I am thankful for the ways that God keeps reminding me, through it all, that He is faithful, and sovereign, and all-sufficient.  For the hope He's given even this week in an answer to a 3 1/2 year long prayer.  For the reminders of the blessings I have...a wonderful, Godly husband who spoils me rotten and who has been my rock through it all;  four adorable (I hope Peter doesn't read this...not sure he'd appreciate that!), usually-happy, healthy children;  friends who have become like family (and who get me hooked on Mike and Ikes or make me play multiple pieces of music in 5 sharps...ahem! :-D);  a precious church family we love, with a pastor who is committed to preaching the truth no matter what, and a minister of music who is devoted to excellence and true worship in music.

Most of all, I am thankful for the assured hope of salvation and of His good and perfect plan.  

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;
 and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
~Romans 5: 1-5

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~Jeremiah 29:11

For more thoughts on this quote, please visit Loni at Writing Canvas.  Thanks to her for hosting and for a great quote to think on this week!

1 comment:

Denise said...

Such a lovely post.