I will be the first to admit that I hate tradegy. I know that we would count it joy when trials and testings come to us, but I can't say that I have ever really rejoiced during them. In hindsight I can usually see God's hand working, but sometimes He choses to not let us know why things happen in this life.
The song "Life is Hard..." is a song that I sang regularly until I lived through an experience that tested me. I remember when I first began to sing the song. I was at the mall on a Friday night and was supposed to sing for the Sunday morning service. I hadn't really had anything ready, but saw the song "Life is Hard" and remembered that my sister-in-law Tonda recommending that one to me. One of the ladies at our church asked her to sing it, but the range wasn't quite right for her. So, she suggested that I try to get it and sing it. The track I originally bought was only $4.99. I came home and practiced it for Sunday morning and sang it. Everyone came up to me afterwards to thank me for sharing that song. I remember thinking..."what's the big deal? It's just a song." A few years later, my grandmother died. My momma asked me if I would sing "Life is Hard" for the funeral. I told her I would try to. She made a stipulation though...she said, "I don't want you to sing it if you won't be able to sing it later." I told her it shouldn't be a problem. I sang it for the funeral and a few weeks later sang it again for church service. Time went by and a few years ago, God got my attention. I felt my world tear apart. I don't think everyone understood the impact of what was happening. I don't think I even understand it.
It began on a Wednesday morning. I cried most of the day, my friend Kat called on her way home from work, which was a regular thing for her. She could tell something was wrong, and she asked what was going on...I explained to her the situation and asked if she could lead the music service. I wouldn't be at church that night. She told me, "DeeJay, you really need to go, I know you don't feel like going, but you need to be there. I will lead the music if that's what you want, but promise me you will be there." I didn't think I could put on the front that "everything was okay" for an hour or hour and a half. I was barely managing at work. My co-workers I know were praying for me.
Anyway, that night, I went to church...I even led music. I think had I not gone to church that night, I would have slipped out of church all together. I know the first few weeks I was just going through the motions. I was a pretty good actress too, because I remember my pastor telling me that he had no clue that anything was happening. When I had finally told him, he spent a few weeks meeting with me and his wife for me to talk and do some counseling sessions. I was able to work through it, but I realized something ... I wasn't able to make it through the song "Life is Hard." I remember the first time I tried to sing it. I didn't even make it through the first line. I just cried and cried until the music was over...thankfully it was only in my room.
I remember the first time I sang it in public again. I believe God worked things out for me to wear my glasses instead of my contacts, because when I started singing, I realized I couldn't look at anyone. I took my glasses off, and everyone just became a big blur of colors...no recognized faces at all. I did see something white fly across the isle...which was Sara throwing a tissue to Mary because she was crying. I made it through it.
It was so weird to sing the song after I had lived through an experience that crumbled my world to where the only truth there was that God is good...God is always good. He is always there when life throws us the pain and suffering...He's there. When doctors bring us the news that cancer was found...He's there. When news come from loved ones who have passed into eternity to be with Him...He's there! I love the line in the song by Twila Paris "God is in Control"..."There is one thing that has always been true. It holds the world together. God is in control!" God is in control...that is the most blessed thought I can think upon each day, each night, at every moment. I may not understand what's happening, but God doesn't ask me to understand it...He just asked me to trust Him.
I ask that you be praying for me in the next few weeks...I will be attempting to sing "Life is Hard" as it has been requested from one of the ladies in the church. This is a very difficult song for me to sing. In fact, I wasn't for sure if I would be able to sing it, that I had Ben meet me with one night to record it for my parents...as it is a favorite of theirs. With the news of people in my home church as well as news from friends of my family, it's going to be difficult to make it through the song. The one thing I can be sure of ... is that God is in control and in my weakness His strength is perfect.
Until next time...