Saturday, December 5, 2020

Spiritual Journey Thursday, Sharing Our Stories, and #52Stories 47/52: Songs of the Heart

Linda Mitchell is hosting this month's gathering by inviting us to join in reflection.

As I started collecting my thoughts for this post, these comforting words from a hymn came to mind.

"Oh, what songs of the heart We shall sing all the day, When again we assemble at home, When we meet ne'er to part With the blest o'er the way, There no more from our loved ones to roam! When we meet ne'er to part, Oh, what songs of the heart We shall sing in our beautiful home."

"Oh, What Songs of the Heart" 

When our Family History writing group met on Sunday, November 22, I went off topic and wrote about hymns. This post is a collection of my thoughts and hymns as they came to mind in our twenty minute timed writing session.

The first words that popped up were from this hymn I often associate with Thanksgiving. I loved thinking of my writing friends who gather once a month.

"We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own."
The words of hymns live in my heart. And I love that I can recall many of their lyrics from memory. Although during our at-home church during the pandemic, my daughter and son-in-law can attest that I sometimes mix up some of the words and the verse order. No worries - they still comfort my heart!

"I know that my Redeemer lives.

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives, he lives, who once was dead.

He lives, my ever-living Head.

He lives to bless me with his love.

He lives to plead for me above.

He lives my hungry soul to feed.

He lives to bless in time of need."

Throughout my life hymns and scriptures have brought comfort in times of trial, solace in times of need, and praise in times of joy as I walk this journey of life.

"There is sunshine in my soul today,

More glorious and bright

Than glows in any earthly sky,

For Jesus is my light."

The words of this hymn, learned as a child, have resounded in my heart for years. 

 "When sore trials came upon you,

Did you think to pray?

When your soul was full of sorrow,

Balm of Gilead did you borrow

At the gates of day?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!

Prayer will change the night to day.

So, when life gets dark and dreary,

Don’t forget to pray."

Text: Mary A. Pepper Kidder, 1820–1905

The words of this old hymn, sung at my father's funeral, never fail to bring sweet memories.

"I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known."
No matter what challenges life offers, this hymn speaks of our need for the Lord and his willingness to come to our aid. 
 "I need thee ev’ry hour,

Most gracious Lord.

No tender voice like thine

Can peace afford.

I need thee, oh, I need thee;

Ev’ry hour I need thee!

Oh, bless me now, my Savior;

I come to thee!"

Almost three decades ago as my mother fought the ravages of cancer, I heard her singing. I opened her bedroom door, fearful that she might be preparing for her return home at any moment.

"Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See on the portals He's waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me
Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, 'O sinner come home'"
And finally, the words of one of my favorite hymns, which never fail to assure me of the Lord's love and his presence.
"The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?

By day and by night his presence is near.

He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;

This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

The Lord is my light;

He is my joy and my song.

By day and by night

He leads, he leads me along."

I am grateful for the power of music to strengthen my faith and help me face life's difficult times. Please join our family in prayer for my brother and his family. He's been in and out of ICU since his surgery the week before Thanksgiving. He's currently in ICU again. In addition to bearing the burden of being the only person allowed to visit my brother (due to Covid), my sister-in-law faced the death of her own mother this past week and was unable to be with her. I believe in life after this one. I am grateful for my Savior who died so that I can overcome death and have eternal life. I believe in angels. I believe that those who die without loved ones near are attended by angels from the other side. I am grateful for Jesus who is my light, who continually leads me along, and who lives to bless in time of need.

To savor the magic of story, link your post at Sharing Our Stories.

#52Stories is my attempt to write 52 stories from my life during the year 2020. At least one story a week, in no particular order, to remember and document some of the memories and moments of my life.


  1. Ramona, I have long loved so many of these hymns. I could hear them playing as I read the familiar words. Your statement of belief at the end is one of such great power and love - keeping you, your brother, and the family in my prayers.

  2. This was such a beautiful example of faith in all circumstances. I love so many of these hymns, and I'm praying for all of you.

  3. I could feel the emotions in this music as it stands by you during the ups and downs in life. I'm sending thoughts and prayers to you, and your entire family during this very sad time.

  4. Ramona - I wait each week with great anticipation to your posts. They always comfort me. I connect with your lines: "The words of hymns live in my heart. And I love that I can recall many of their lyrics from memory." I listen to a Christian station and find myself singing the songs throughout the day. They bring me so much comfort and strength. Thank you for your ending lines: "I believe in angels. I believe that those who die without loved ones near are attended by angels from the other side. I am grateful for Jesus who is my light, who continually leads me along, and who lives to bless in time of need." They brought me great solace. Your family is in my prayers.

  5. Ramona...YouTube hymns were the only thing that my mom and I could share the last few months. The hymns have rescued me in the nick of time this last year along with scripture. I also believe in heaven... lost my best friend suddenly of a heart attack two weeks ago... the pain, but the elation that we will see each other again. Thank you for posting. XO

  6. The melodies play in my head as I read the words. Thank you for the words of faith. Prayers for your brother and sister-in-law... these are challenging times. The angels and our loving God are present for the many who are alone.

  7. Like Diane, I could hear the melodies, too! I am fond of hymns and enjoyed reading this reflection & collection of hymns.