If you missed part 1, you can start here if you’d like.
Warning: More “real” topics than the usual Braska reports. Notice: Abnormally long post.
The complicating part of this particular assignment is that to do this honestly, it means that I must deal with some things that I’ve generally kept to myself or those who have crossed my path with unfortunate timing. Yet, I don’t want to betray others’ thoughts and feelings irreverently, so I’ll tread carefully. For those of you involved, grant me this bit of healing.
It’s been a very hard year. That’s the understatement of my life…but it is still true. And since I try to live my life reliant on the grace and comfort of God and reflecting the love of Christ, a hard year has been a growing year and one full of reminders of where I stand in the whole scheme of things. I am a musician, a lover of music, and it is integral to my daily life. So as I am hurting and learning, music is deeply entwined in the process. An obvious theme or two will be present in this list and the explanations that I must include, in fairness to what has turned into this cathartic process.
I have learned about forgiveness like I would have never thought necessary or even possible. I have dealt with heartache that very literally brought me to my knees and often into a weeping mess on the floor. And this was before (and after) I gave birth to a beautiful little girl who would have challenge after challenge for me to deal with and watch her deal with. This is not all about Braska and her “issues.” That was just added to the previous pile of baggage. This music and the poignant lyrics have been central to my strength, ability to keep moving forward, and my desire and success in forgiving. I do not hate these trials, for they have taught me more about real life in one year than the 32 before it. Neither do I hate those people involved in the mess. It seems inevitable to me that someday I will have the opportunity to be an encouragement to another who must walk a similar path, and I will do so with the knowledge that it is possible to make it through.
Now to continue the music list…
Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns (Click here for a sound clip.)
I heard this song on the radio in the car one day last summer and I just cried…and cried some more. It was so perfectly worded for the state I was in at that moment on that particular day. (I am a date person, meaning I remember dates…I can remember dates of even minimal interest from 20 years ago as well as great moments and painful ones from more recently, and that’s not always a good thing. I often wish I could forget them, believe me.) But this particular date I was struggling with how long I would have to endure the numbing yet excruciating hurt that I felt inside me. Then I heard it…
I was sure by now, God, you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day
But once again, it’s still raining.
That’s me!! When can I breathe again? Why won’t you fix this?
You are who you are, no matter where I am.
That is true. I know that is true.
Though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.
That's the key... my heart IS torn, but I will still give praise for what I'm gaining from the pain.
I have listened to this song probably 500 times since that day, and every time it serves to remind me of my proper place in the scheme of things…I am to praise Him. He sees the whole plan, I only see part. The flowers that will come from the rain will be more than worth it. It has been believing this fully and reminding myself of it daily that has brought me this far.
I Need You by The Swift (Click here for a sound clip)
I have more trouble explaining this one sufficiently. It’s very personal and means a great deal to me. This is another song that came across my radio last summer on a meaningful day.
My heart is restless in me
My wings are all worn out
I'm walking in the wilderness
And I cannot get out
The lyrics mirror my feelings at that point, and I love that although it starts in pain and sadness, it celebrates the fact that we can soar over the valleys…it’s not that we won’t have valleys to cross, but relying on him to carry us will ensure that we survive those difficult times.
My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end
A downward spiral of despair
That I keep falling in
When I first heard this song, I was in the sadness and despair that it refers to. But I can now say, that even though I have a long way to go to be truly over the ghosts that still haunt me from the worst days, I know what it feels like to soar on his wings when mine are weak.
Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They're all just passing by
It's not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yaweh's lifted me in His own strength
I will get through this. I believe that we will survive and be better for it. I am blessed in so many ways, even with my "feeble wings."