Sometimes I just can’t manage to sing the song or even mouth the words.
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,”
No matter how slowly you sing it, or how the tempo is increased, there must be an internal surrender to really mean what you’re singing.
“When sorrows like sea billows roll”
And, sometimes, I’m convicted that I don’t really believe it.
“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
This is when the battle between my feelings and my knowledge of Truth collide.
Feelings can lie to you, they can sway your thoughts like a serpent’s tongue.
Doubt creeps in and questions roll around your mind, with Truth batting them away like a fly swatter in the Georgia summers. But, I’m too weary to fight.
Yet, here I stand, front row pew struggling through my own feelings to sing about the Truth I know.
To be honest, I don’t really want to sing it. I don’t want it to pour over my heart like honey, the words softening the walls I just reinforced to further protect my heart.
Why is it that Sundays, whether we go to church or not, are often times, the hardest days?
We bicker, nit-pick and nag one another. His particular ways of doing things, his inquiries of why I do things the way I do,or the instructions on how to do the things I have done for more than 7 years for him, those things drive me over the edge. The snickering scoff, the roll of the eyes, the shaking of the head, all speak loudly; louder than any apology might.
And, I cry. That weepy, voice creaking cry asking him why I’m not enough just as I am. Why does it matter if the dry washcloths stay hanging across the shower rod? Why do his shoes have to be put in the closet right now? What does it matter the order I mix his sugar, cream and coffee together?
This is my home! This is my bathroom! He is my husband!
Can I be free here? Of all places, can’t I be free at home? Can I be myself around at least him? Without fault? Without feeling not quite good enough? Not doing things just right?
And, the tears won’t stop long enough for me to even put on my makeup.
He sits in silence, unmoving, watching me try to stuff the hurt back down my throat, swallowing it again, shrugging the pain off my shoulders.
“I’m sorry. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
And, the guilt pours in with each drop soaking into my soul, rather than bouncing off my steely exterior. The whispers start in the back of my mind-what if he acts that way because of the injury? what if he can’t help it and you’re yelling at him for it? what a good wife you are showing no grace to your brain injured husband!
So, I’m left not knowing what to do with my hurt, my pain, my frustration, my feelings.
Standing on the first pew, without the song in my heart, much less on my lips.
It’s not until the last verse that I start to mumble the lyrics, growing a little louder, a bit bolder with each note.
“And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,”
My faith. Not my feelings shall be sight.
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.”
At the end of the day and at the beginning of my hurt, my confusion, my frustration and my feelings, there must be faith rooted in Truth, faith in the things unseen, faith that burns through the feelings.
And, I must sing the song as an anthem, so that my feelings can latch back on my faith, digging deeper in this time, spreading it’s roots into the good soil.
And, when Doubt and Comparison begin to swarm again (and they will), Truth and I can swat them away like a fly in the hot Georgia summer.
“It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”