Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For now, peace

Thanks to those of you who have encouraged my heart after reading my last post. It is good to have this place to work my thoughts out and to receive feedback. Thank you!

One of my friends shared this with me, from the old hymn "Be Still My Soul". Here is the song in it's entirety, emphasis added by my friend:

"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-18971.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

(And no, my friend...the irony was not lost on me that you sent me a SONG, when singing is the problem!) :)

One thing she said to me was that we think our hands are open to God...for him to give and take away what He deems fit. But, sometimes our hands are not fully open, and we need to give him the GOOD things too...maybe even the very thing we use to praise Him the most. What my friend said that struck me the most was this: "Yet, to give up what I determine to be GOOD and have it replaced with something from His own fullness? That is what I want!!" Can I get an AMEN????

This morning, I was wide awake at 530. I was not ready to leave the warmth of my cozy bed, so I lay there, talking with God (quietly, though...didn't want to wake Jared!). I asked God lots of questions..."Why is this happening?", "When will You heal me?", "Will I ever be able to sing normally again?", "What is the deal with my jaw?", "When am I going to catch a break?". As I asked, I heard Him answer. "I have searched You, Amanda, and I know you...I knit you together in your mother's womb...you are fearfully and wonderfully made...I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you...trust Me...I will put a new song in your mouth...a hymn of praise to ME". I can't say that I've ever had an experience quite like this before. It was so peaceful, like I was just letting His words roll through my head, over and over. It reminded me of the way a parent soothes a fussy baby...rocking back and forth, patting their back, lulling them to sleep. And He lulled me back to sleep, my heart peaceful and quiet. When I woke up for good awhile later, it almost seemed like it had been a dream.

I am so thankful to have had that this morning. I will still wrestle with uncertainty. I will still grow very frustrated with my pain. But for now, I have peace.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Am I losing my voice?

As you might remember, I injured my jaw in June. For years I've had some issues with my TMJ, lots of popping and clicking. Sometimes it would pop out of place with a yawn, and I'd work it back in right away. Well, on this particular day in June, I yawned, it popped, but I couldn't get it back in place. I tried for hours, off and on, but nothing worked. After talking to my dentist (my former boss), and trying a couple different maneuvers, I went to the ER. The dr. there referred me to an oral surgeon. After a consultation, I decided to forgo the surgery and try a natural approach first. I've been wearing an orthotic appliance for a couple of months, and it's definitely helped with the pain. I have more opening ability, but still cannot open far. It's a huge challenge to eat sometimes, and now there is a new complication. I can't sing. Well, I can sing, but I can't SING.
Those of you that know me well know that singing is a huge part of my life. I have loved music since I was little. I have been part of our church's choir for several years, taking brief breaks when babies were born, and during the darkest parts of my depression. When we started back up again this fall, I was so excited. God had put a new song in my heart after I climbed out of the pit, and I was so thankful to be able to be part of the group that prompts others to worship our amazing God. When God works in your heart like He has in mine, you can't help but want to share it in a meaningful way...music is my avenue of sharing that.
The past few times I've sung, I've noticed more pain. And today it got worse. I ended up having to leave the service after we sang to ice it.
You might be thinking "so what?". But this is very hard for me. I feel like I just got my song back, and now it's possibly being taken away from me again? How long until this dumb jaw of mine is normal again? When will I be able to eat the foods I enjoy, be able to talk normally without an appliance altering my speech, be able to give volume to my speech without added pain?
I've tried so hard to be patient in all of this...but now I'm scared. I do not want to lose my song. I know I can't really LOSE it, but I need to be able to express myself in this way. Sometimes, cranking up the stereo/ipod/etc and singing at the top of my lungs is the only way to do that...fully express the emotion in my heart. I want so badly to know how long this will take. I know God will teach me something through this, but honestly, I'm tired of being taught! :)