Friday, February 23, 2007

Sing a Song, Tell A Love Story

Music is a huge part of my life. Well, huge may be a slight understatement as pretty much every member in my family is in someway musical.

My grandfather led the "hymn singing" in his Nazarene church. He was accompanied by my grandmother on the organ, and my father on the piano.

My father is a gifted musician and arranger (or de-ranger as he likes to call it). My whole life he has been using his love for the Lord and his love of music to lead others in worship. His passion is teaching others how to truly worship the Lord- both in song and in lifestyle.

My mother loves to sing. She says she sounds best when singing behind closed doors. Out of respect for her I won't argue this point at all. :) I'll just say that it was my mother who brought music into my everyday life. Singing silly, nonsense songs, dancing around the house to the oldies, and belting out the sad tunes of country-western she showed me that music is emotional.

My brothers are both very talented musically. My youngest brother, however, is the one carrying on the worship leading torch in the family. He, at the age of 20, is currently interning under the worship leader of a church in Ohio. The boy is gifted y'all. He can pick up an instrument and play it. He can write and compose and sing and do it all. And best of all, he is passionate about worshiping.

And, not to be forgotten, my husband. He's a drummer. And a good one at that. Some may argue that a drummer, who is just a drummer, is not technically a musician. I would say that such a statement does not apply to J. The man knows his stuff, let me tell you.

So, what was my point??

Oh, yes, music is a huge part of my life. It is a huge part of J. and I's life together. Actually, music is what drew us together- not just once, but twice.

I was thinking today about the second time that music drew us together. Mind if I tell the story?

About 2 years before we were married, J.'s dad died very tragically. It was a tough set of circumstance to walk through for all concerned, but it was really difficult for J. After a few weeks of trying to keep everything together we realized that in order for J. to begin to heal we needed to end our relationship.


Walking away from the man I was deeply in love with, while he was going through utter turmoil, well it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

And let me just take a second to say that we are not quitters. This was a last resort for us. And honestly, it turned out to be such a blessing in disguise. God used that time to work wonders in our lives.

But I am getting a head in the story...

About a month after we broke up, my dad came to me with a song he needed me to sing at church. When he told me that the song was I Hope You Dance, I am pretty sure I laughed in his face. Not that it's a bad song mind you, in fact, it is now one of my favorites. However, at the time I was not in the mood for such "sap".

My dad graciously informed me of 2 things; 1) The song went with the sermon (something about hope, I think) and so it had to sung by someone, and 2) In his opinion no one else could sing it with the same conviction that I could. In light of all that had been going on in and around my life at the time, you see.

So, I sat down with the word sheet and looked it over real good. By the time I got to the end I was almost in tears. I realized that if there was anything I could say to J. it would be the words of that song. Word for word it captured my hopes and prayers for him.

Duh, that was exactly my dad's reason for wanting me to sing it. (He's smarter than the average bear!)

For weeks I worked on this song. Doing my best to make it perfect, all the while praying that some how J. would be there to hear it. We had not spoken to each other since the break up and I wasn't sure where he was at in his life. Of course the Lord is good to see through all the small details of His masterful plans. How silly of me to doubt that.

Anyway, the Sunday came for me to sing the song. We have 5 services at our church and so by the time the 4th one rolled around I was nice and warmed up. A line or two into the first verse my mom caught my eye. She was standing in the very back of the sanctuary pointing, every so discreetly, to her left. As I was singing I slowly moved my gaze to look where she was directing me.

There, peering in from the back door, stood J. I almost lost it. I almost broke down right there on the stage. Finally, I had the chance to say to him what I had been dying to tell him. I was able to stand there and sing the words directly to him. Laying my heart all out on the line in front of, oh I don't know, only a couple hundred congregants.

I didn't see J. after the service. I didn't expect to. My purpose for singing the song was not to get back together with J. I was ready to accept whatever the Lord had for each of us, together or apart. I just simply wanted to communicate hope to a man I cared deeply about.

Well, seeing as how we are now married and pregnant, we obviously got back together. Would y'all believe that he called me up the very next night and asked me if I still loved him, 'cuz he still loved me, and would I think about getting back together? (Um, YES I still love you!)

During that time in our lives the Lord showed us both that hope is necessary in all circumstances. No matter how large, or small. And that real hope can only come from faith in the One who has it all under control.

I also realized how truly important music is in my life. It is emotional.

Even sappy songs have their moments.

And, I Hope You Dance, well it was the song we first danced to as Husband and Wife. Seemed only fitting.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance