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."
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.
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."
"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.
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known."
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.
Calling for you and for me
See on the portals He's waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, 'O sinner come home'"
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.
#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.