The Way Out

In my last posting I wrote that I was in an emotional freeze about Abbie’s upcoming surgery. That strategy works well in daylight, but it was impossible to keep the cooling jets on while I slept. The night after we made the decision I woke up with tears on my pillow, having just had vivid, graphic dreams about the surgery. I knew that I should not be defeated by fear, and that we’ve walked this road with God long enough to have sustaining trust. But, the now-thawed emotions were just overwhelming, and I wasn’t sure how to find my way back to a place of peace.

Fortunately, just a few days before, Ray had surprised me with a new iPod after the untimely demise of my last one. So, I went to iTunes to drown my sorrow with praise music. Once I got there I was stumped about what to download. I then recalled one particular song from Jim’s celebration service that I really loved, so I pulled out the program, smiled at his picture and found the song and artist.

“Waters Gone By” by Shawn Lewis was a golden thread that led me to so many other restoring songs. I spent an hour downloading them, and then took off for a long walk with my new music.

“You will lift your head without shame
You will firmly stand with no fear inside.
You will surely forget your troubles and pain,
Recalling them only as waters gone by.”
Instead of my normal route, I felt compelled to go to the beach where I sat on a rock as far out in the water as I could get. Finally, I could cry aloud. When words came, I just said to God, “I can’t stand the thought of making my daughter suffer, even though it’s for her good.” I could feel Him smile and heard, “I know exactly what you mean.”
As the wind began to gust I looked out to a sacred spot near China Walls and was reminded that God always redeems our pain, always. The sunlight reflecting off the tide began at last to penetrate my soul.
My walk home was joyous as I soaked in the greens and blues of the trees, sky and sea. Worship was my way out of fear and dread. So, I am going to just soak myself in music in these next weeks since it can so often reach places that words alone cannot.
Today we scheduled Abbie’s surgery for September 18. We have been trying to minimize talking about it around her, but she is so perceptive. Last night a dear friend was talking to Abbie, who was listening but not all that interested. When Kristin mentioned that her son also sees Dr. O, Abbie flipped her head quickly around to look right at her.
This month will be hectic as we do all the pre-op appointments and preparations. In a way I welcome that so we can stay focused more on what we have to do rather than how we feel. Please just pray for Abbie to get stronger and stronger each day so that she can be in the optimal condition going into the surgery.
As I walked home, listening to my new music, one song summed up my strategy for getting through these next few months. Actually, perhaps it should be my life strategy, if I can remember that I am just as dependent in times of ease as I am in times of distress.

If I Stand”
There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun
And more that shines in the night than just the moon
There’s more than just this fire here that keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger than this room.
There’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiment
And music higher than the songs that I can sing
Stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver of all good things.
So if I stand
Let me stand on the promise
That You’ll pull me through.
And if I can’t
Let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You.
So if I sing
Let me sing for the joy
That has borne in me these songs.
And if I weep
let it be as a man
who is longing for his home.
There’s more that dances on the prairies than the wind.
And more that pulses in the ocean than the tide.
And there’s a love that’s fiercer than the love between friends
And more gentle than a mother’s when her baby’s at her side.
And there’s a loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiment
And a music higher than the songs that I can sing.
Stuff of earth competes for the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver of all good things.
So if I stand
Let me stand on the promise
That You’ll pull me through.
And if I can’t
Let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to you.
And if I sing
Let me sing
for the joy that has borne in me these songs.
And if I weep
let it be as a man
who is longing for his home.
So if I stand, let stand on the promise that You’ll pull me through.
And if I can’t, let me fall on the the grace that first brought me to you.”
—Jars of Clay