Yet I Will Praise You Lord

Music has always been such an important part of my life.  My parents, both very musical, had a lot to do with my love of music.  My dad, a trumpet player from elementary through high school, loves soundtracks and Sousa.  My mom, a choir member, loves pop and adult contemporary music.  So we had a lot of different types of music playing in our home, and cars, all the time.

Music ignites my soul when I’m sad, happy or indifferent. And it isn’t only the melody.  I always listen to the words before deciding whether I like a song or not.  I want to identify with what I’m listening to, so if the melody grabs my attention, I really listen to the lyrics.

At one time, several years ago, I led our church’s worship team.  I subscribed to a Worship Magazine that also had a service where they would send me a CD of new worship music every quarter.  In the spring of 2001, nearly a year after our church had experienced a major fire that temporarily displaced the congregation, I received one of the CDs.  On it was a song that grabbed my attention because I could relate to the lyrics simply by our church’s experience.  But, for some reason, I didn’t introduce it to my team.

Then, 9/11 happened.  The next day my priest asked my husband and I to find a song that would fit with the all the emotions our country was feeling.  I immediately thought of the song I’d heard months before, and Ted and I shared it the following Sunday in church.  The congregation, a mixture of generations, responded with gratitude, complementing the lyrics and how they so beautifully exemplified how people were feeling.

Since then, that song is something I sing when I feel challenged, or down, or angered.  Walking a life of faith isn’t easy.  We are human, so we will confront things in our lives that will challenge that faith.  For me, that was never more profound than the day Dot died.  But my faith had been challenged, and shaken, before, to the point of walking away from it.

After becoming a Christian my senior year in high school, my faith continued to grow.  But then something happened that literally caused me to turn my back on God, the Church, and my faith.  It was after we lost Dot’s twin, then found out Dot had cerebral palsy.  I was so angry with the idea that God would let such profound grief into our lives, that I literally walked away from my faith.  I’d been a faithful servant, and was so disillusioned with the idea that a loving God would be so cruel. So I suspended my belief, stopped praying, refused to open a Bible, had no desire to go to church, and got rid of all my Christian music.  I was done with it all.

Then one day my neighbor, a Buddhist, came by for a cup of coffee.  I was working for Norstrom, and had a rare day off.  Little Dot, a year old, was having a bad day.  My neighbor knocked at the door.  I was still in my pajamas and it was well past noon.  Usually I’d ignore the knock, but for some reason went ahead and answered.  She had an empty mug, a sweet smile, and asked if I had any coffee.  She was out.

I’m so eternally grateful for opening that door and inviting her in.  We spent the next couple of hours talking, even as Dot fussed, and screamed, and fussed some more.  It didn’t seem to bother my visitor at all.  She even held Dot, and sang to her.  I was absolutely enwrapped by this woman.  She was so calm, and kind, and loving.  We talked about our families.  We talked about our neighborhood.  We talked about our pasts.  Then she asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for: “How is your spiritual life?”  Wow.  Didn’t see that one coming.

I was completely honest with her about my apathy towards the whole religious thing.  She listened as I shared how angry I was that a loving God would allow such hurtful things to happen to me and my family.  Never once did she interrupt or interject.  She just listened.  When I finished, she smiled and asked one question: “So, God caused all this to happen to you for what reason?” I was stumped for an answer.  Then she said, “Perhaps these things just happened as a random part of life, not because God made it happen to you.  I would think it is in this part of your life that God would be most helpful.  That your faith would be of utmost importance.”

Needless to say, that was the reboot of my faith.  I brought out the Bible and started reading it again.  I bought worship music and listened to the Christian radio station again.  And I told Ted that I wanted to connect with a church that we both would like.

My faith was somehow different from before.  God became more loving, and compassionate.  I no longer saw him as the instigator of the problems in my life.  Rather, I saw him as hope.  No matter how tough things got, he was there to help me through the darkness into the light.  He was the light.

So when Dot passed, I didn’t get angry with God.  I was grateful for his presence, for being the light in all the darkness.  I was grateful knowing that he had her and her twin in his loving arms, taking care of them until we were reunited.  And it brought me great peace.  It still does.  And that song I’d found years before came back to me, its lyrics reminding me that God is present, especially when we are hurting, and confused, and sad.

I’m grateful for my parents handing down the love of music.  I’m grateful for my church, allowing me to share songs that touch me profoundly. I’m grateful for my long ago neighbor who reminded me what faith should be.  And I’m most grateful for God’s love, grace and forgiveness, especially during the darkest moments of life.  Even in my brokenness, I will praise you Lord.

Yet I Will Praise You

By Andy Park

I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my brokenness
I will praise You Lord
I will praise You Lord my God
Even in my desperation
I will praise You Lord

And I can’t understand
All that You allow
I just can’t see the reason
But my life is in Your hands
And though I cannot see You
I choose to trust You

Even when my heart is torn I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even when I feel deserted I will praise (trust) You Lord
Even in my darkest valley I will praise (trust) You Lord
And when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone
Yet I will praise You Lord

I will trust You Lord my God
Even in my loneliness
I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord my God
Even when I cannot hear You
I will trust You Lord

And I will not forget
That You hung on a cross
Lord You bled and died for me
And if I have to suffer
I know that You’ve been there
And I know that You’re here now

© 1999 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Vineyard Music USA)

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One thought on “Yet I Will Praise You Lord

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  1. Oh Cathy…what a sweet sincere testimony to Gods FAITHFULLNESS. Thank you for sharing it…Thank you for your vulnerability…even though I have not walked your journey, I know you are spot on. I too will PRAISE Him…love the song.

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