Family reunion weekend. Sunday morning and we all follow my cousin to church. My two little kids head to the kids activities and my school kids decide to stay with us.
Like most times visiting a church not your own it’s a little like being a stranger in a foreign land that you’ve read about, you know just enough to get by.
That particular morning there were some songs and styles I was unfamiliar with and then I caught myself singing a phrase I knew…
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
A big knot caught in my throat and it was all I could do not to run away and sob. If you aren’t familiar with this chorus it continues…
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
(Desert Song, Hillsong United)
I couldn’t put my finger on it in the moment, I decided maybe I was just more emotional than usual.
And the knot came back.
It came back because as hard as our journey seemed then, we were still in the depths of the battle. The one where we hope our way out of the dark because we believe in the light. Right then, that weekend, it just felt like we were losing.
Those words…the ones where I declared joy and praise in the midst of an unwon battle…those weren’t honest, they weren’t even close to true.
I had given up. There was no praise or joy or declarations, there was just despair. There we were, hanging on by the thin thread at the end of our rope.
As I write #31Days this year this is where I begin, hopefully not where I end.
Every day I’ll look at the words of hymns and songs and choruses that many know by heart. Yet, I’ve been challenged to ask if the words that cross my lips are the same ones resting in the depths of my heart?
For this song I’m happy to report that I am rejoicing and declaring and hoping. I have not come to this place on my own. There are some women in my life who have come alongside me in my depths of despair and shared.
Shared their own despair only to be followed by tales of hope and new life.
The battle for the grace that is my son is undecided. But I will rejoice and declare in the midst of it knowing fully that suffering is real but HOPE springs eternal.