Life is Good : Muscial Memories

Blessed Assurance

I attend the early “classic” service at a local Methodist Church where I expected wonderful old hymns of the church, but they sing gospel songs.  This morning’s selections were MY songs!!!!  God intended this service for ME!!!!!  We started with “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.”  Grant and I sang this at our wedding on our knees as a prayer.  We had never practiced it on our knees.  It makes a difference in one’s breath control!

The next congregational song was “Great is Thy Faithfulness. “  Oh, my. . .  We were told Saturday morning, December 13, 2008, our precious 35 year old daughter, Karin, could not survive, and the medical team recommended taking her off life support.  As the equipment was removed, we began singing Christmas carols to her.  Our choir consisted of her husband Steve, her close friend Noelle, their former pastor Vann, then current interim pastor Bill, her father Grant, and me.  We sang for a good hour before pausing and resuming our songs off and on until the end came two and half days later.  If there was one song we sang more than any other, it was “Great is Thy Faithfulness” which also was sung at her funeral.

The senior pastor was away today, so Dan Morris filled the pulpit.  I know nothing about him, but God laid a message on his heart which reached mine.  The title:  “Watching Out for the God Who Watches Out for Us.”   Notes I jotted down to remember for later include:

  • “Seek God’s fingerprints in our lives.”  And “build faith by how God has helped us in the past.  Those are easy to do.  God is so loving and so gracious that, if we are trying to follow him, his direction can be seen in our lives when we look for it.
  • Hebrews 11:6  “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Without faith, it is impossible to have a relationship with God.
  • “God prepares us for our future.  God provides for us before we are aware of our need.”  Now when I look back, I can see ways in which God prepared me for the loss of my daughter.  I certainly can see the provisions God made for her children.  Then enduring and recovering from that grief prepared me for the debacle of a wayward husband of 42 years.  It is all part of God’s plan to make me a better person and a witness to his grand provisions.

The service ended with my favorite gospel song since I was very young – one I want sung at my funeral:  “Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby.

  1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I have come to the realization in recent times, I have a gift for creating my own happiness.  If my husband was unhappy in our marriage, I was not.  I was ecstatically happy for most of the 42 years.  Being a Type A person, I have high standards.  I remember my mother telling me I was too critical; nothing ever met my expectations.  Therefore, I have often pondered Paul’s admonition “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) And now that I am facing difficulties and suffering, Paul’s admonition to Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)  I don’t turn lemons to lemonade immediately.  It does take some concentration/prayer, patience, and faith, but it can be done!

My Sunday morning does not end at the UMC.  Since Christmas, I have been splitting my Sunday morning between the 8:40am UMC service and Greg and Cathi’s second worship service at their Baptist Church.  The Baptist Church is much larger with a greater pool of musicians to draw upon including an orchestra.  Their music is invigorating, challenging, exciting, and professionally executed.  So I joined their choir.  Today was my first day to sing with them.  A fun experience.  During the baptismal service, the pianist played a medley of tunes as soft background including one which brought me to tears.  I wanted to sing “The Spirit Song” by Wimber as my Mother-of-the-Bride speech at Karin’s reception, but feared I could never get through it, so asked my niece to sing in my place:

O let the Son of God enfold you
With His Spirit and His love
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
O let Him have the things that hold you
And His Spirit like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole

Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs

O come and sing this song with gladness
As your hearts are filled with joy
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name
O give Him all your tears and sadness
Give Him all your years of pain
And you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name

The second verse about pain disturbed me for the wedding, yet we all have to expect troubles.  Today those words seared me as Karin did have many years of pain before succumbing to life with Jesus.  This Sunday morning brought many sweet memories and encouragement to press on.  Life is good.


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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One Response to Life is Good : Muscial Memories

  1. Ruth Watts says:

    As I read your blog this morning, I felt envious. I remember the days when I so desperately NEEDED comfort and how the Lord did for me those same wonderful things He did for you on Sunday. What reassurance that He knows exactly where you are and what you need – and that He arranged for the music and preaching to touch you right where you needed it. It is at those times that you realize how deeply you are LOVED by God. Isn’t that a wonderful thought?


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