Waiting – it never sounds fun, does it? Whether it is waiting for something pleasurable or that thing you dread, it is hard to be in the in-between. When it comes to the time between discovery of a betrayal and the “what’s next” of all the points thereafter, it can be exhausting – a time when we can barely make it from one day to the next.
I have been in that kind of space for longer than I thought possible. Many days it is more time than I feel I can tolerate. Let’s be honest – waiting is hard, and some days, it sucks!
I find myself doing what I am supposed to do – reading God’s Word, spending time in prayer (at times the latter is more like anxious pleading, to be honest). And those things have been good and helpful. But there is another comfort that has blessed me over the last few years: my Playlist of “Go To” songs for different stages of my journey.
Music is a powerful part of God’s provision for us. We are told in Ephesians 5:19 to speak to one another “in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.” The first nine months or so after discovery of the betrayal, I could not listen to anything other than a gentle mix tape a dear friend made for me. After that, I slowly ventured into childhood hymns and worship songs. Both brought to life scriptural concepts that touched my heart. I began to find great comfort in forming my playlists, each one framing a stage of my journey.
My current playlist is entitled Steadfast. It also happens to be my “Word” for 2018. As of late, I have been coming out from under a feeling of “siege”. My path is now one of endeavoring to press on in my own growth, despite the fact that my circumstances are mostly unchanged. There are four songs that have provided steadfast comfort to me in this stage, and perhaps they will minister to you as well.
I invite you to walk with me through these songs – songs that have met me in that place of “in-between”:
Oh My Soul – by Casting Crowns
The line, “There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know,” strikes at the heart of my battle with fear and anxiety. Either I believe that I can trust my God, or I don’t. I need to come before Him each day, laying my burdens at His feet, confident that He hears me – even when the answers don’t come right away. As the songwriter reminds himself that he is not alone, I too, need to sing to my heart over & over that my God is El Roi – the God who sees me.
Even If – by Mercy Me
I’ve known the story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and the Fiery Furnace since I was a little girl. The focus of sermons and Sunday School lessons was mostly on the fact that the Lord came in the midst of those men and delivered them. However, the depth of their faith is revealed in the statement they make as they stand before the king – that they will stick with their God even if they are not delivered. I struggle to say this some days, but am working to bring my heart in alignment with my will to declare that MY HOPE IS IN GOD. Often my faith feels very small. I have to ask God for the strength to believe. I have to cling to Him. I have to say, as this songwriter does: It is well with my soul.
Do It Again – by Elevation Worship
This song weaves into the lyrics, the title of that beautiful old hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, which declares God's goodness to us. My wait has felt so long, and as this song begins, I too, thought my walls would fall by now. I need to declare to my soul over and over again: Jesus is still enough for me. Just when I am feeling alone, He will allow me to see a message from Him to let me know that He is attending to my heart, sending me what I need to stay the course.
Take Courage – by Bethel Music
I have declared the words of this chorus to my soul, over and over and over again. The word steadfast captured my heart when I heard it sung. This song also references a favorite verse of mine, Isaiah 40:31, which encourages us to Wait on the Lord to renew our Strength.
As I try to wait on God’s timing in my life, being reminded to slow down and breathe is always helpful for my anxious heart. Next, I am reminded to do what David models for us in so many Psalms: despite his circumstances, which he talked about honestly to God, he turns his heart and his voice to praise.
Finally, I need to know that I know, that as Philippians 1:6 says, God, who began a good work in me, will complete it.
I am still in the middle of my story. Though I can feel weary and worn out, and like my progress comes in baby steps, I am growing. God has been faithful to supply what I need at each point along my way. I know my story is not over.
Perhaps these songs will encourage you as they have me. Perhaps they will comfort you during this time of the “in-between” as you work to make it through one day at a time. Perhaps they will spur you on to find your own list as you tune your heart to hear from God. None of us wanted or expected to be on this journey, but He WILL see us through.
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