Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why Hope? Part 1

I shared in a previous post how I have special words for each of my children. With each child, the process of discovering their word has been unique. For my second daughter, Jordan, whose word is Peace, it all began with a song. For days on end in the final months of my pregnancy, I would wake up in the morning with only the first line of an old hymn in my mind: When peace like a river attendeth my way...

This is the first line of "It Is Well With My Soul." Now, being slightly cynical, I began to wonder if I was about to attend a funeral since that hymn is often sung at funerals and seems to be sung in church just before something awful happens. But while my head spun worries, my heart was at peace each morning when I would wake singing the first line.

From that song and several other confirmations, we came to understand T2's word as Peace, and even chose the name Jordan because it reminded me of the song - when Peace like a River attendeth my way.

For T4, her word also has it's roots in the beginning of a hymn. After Lia died last November, I found myself often searching for hope. There were many doors of potential hope - the hope of holding Lia again someday in heaven, the hope of being a perfect mom to my other daughters and somehow compensate for Lia's absence, the hope of having another child and placing all my dreams for Lia upon her tiny shoulders. Each time such thoughts came into my mind, this one line of song instantly came to mind as well as if to combat my thoughts: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

We sang that hymn in church this morning. As I sang each line of the song, specifically the first two verses, I saw unfold before me the great confirmation of T4's word:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

It is so great a temptation for my hope to be placed in holding my new little one. I am sure she will have the sweetest frame but no child can bear the weight of their parents sorrow. No little one should be called upon to replace the hope lost in death. And in the dark night when my anxiety can get the better of me, once again my hope cannot be in holding this little one. For as much as I desire her to be healthy and well, that has not been guaranteed to us. The only thing that is mine to hold to is the grace of God - a grace that has proven time and again to sustain me and provide refuge in the storm.

My daughter's word is Hope - but not because she is my hope. Her word is Hope to remind us all of the Hope we have in our Lord - a very present help in time of need (Psalm 46).

At the end of the service today, after thinking about the word Hope and how God often helps me to understand His plans and His purposes through song, He gave me a little surprise. We closed the service singing It Is Well With My Soul.

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