Gonzalez: Be Still, My Soul (LSB 752)

It’s been a difficult few days. There’s a constant reminder of Mother’s Day approaching. Several friends are posting pregnancy announcements. A close relative just had her first child. And here I am, grieving, waiting, and wondering.  

Last night, I had a dream I was pregnant. I was surrounded by my family as we celebrated the life growing inside of me. It was so vivid and real that when I woke up, I was full of joy. Until I remembered. I remembered that I am not, in fact, pregnant. I remembered the two precious children I had lost. And I sobbed. I couldn’t control my tears as I tried to get ready for church.  

I thought about staying home and sending my husband to church alone. I didn’t think I would be able to hold myself together while I sang praises to this God who didn’t protect my babies. I had several minutes of anger, screaming at God in my head for letting me down so harshly.  

I went to church, though. I didn’t want to let my husband down by staying in bed with my sorrow. I knew if I was home alone, the pain would be so much more unbearable. And I knew the devil was playing a part in trying to keep me away from God’s grace and the Sacraments. So I went, stifling my tears.  

During the sermon, I remembered that this weekend I would be traveling to see my family to celebrate a wedding. What a joyous event, right? Then I realized that the last time I was with my family, I was sharing news of my first pregnancy. I hadn’t seen any of them since.  

I started thinking about the looks I might be given, the questions, or comments that are meant to comfort.

I realized I would be meeting my second cousin, and hear of my cousin’s experience as a brand-new mother, which truly is an amazing gift from God, but causes me pain and sorrow and then guilt because I want to be happy for her. I do. But it’s hard. 

Then, after all of that, Mother’s Day will come, which should be my first Mother’s Day as a mother.  

I tried to focus on the words of the sermon, scribbling notes to distract myself, but the tears came. I knew I needed to distract myself somehow in order to make it through the service, so I started flipping through the hymnal, singing familiar hymns in my head.  

And some might say it was pure happenstance, but I believe the Holy Spirit was guiding my random flipping, as I landing on hymn number 752: Be Still, My Soul.  

Of course, on first reading this hymn, the tears came even faster and harder, but the comfort came. The hope came. It is, after all, under the category of “Hope and Comfort.” 

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

The Lord is on my side. It’s so easy to forget that. It’s so much easier to think He’s deserted me because of what I’m going through. Yet I have to remember that through this thorny, painful, sorrowful way, God is leading me to a joyful end.  

I’ve lately been stuck on Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I have to be patient during this time of affliction. I have to bear my cross patiently and wait while God orders and provides because through it all, He is with me, remaining at my side constantly.  

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

Because of sin, there is death. Dearest friends, my children, are taken from me. I still struggle to greater know God’s love through this. But when I fail to understand God during tragedies (as I always will because I am just a human), I have to look at Jesus and what he did out of love for me.  

Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning 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. 

I do have hope. Even on the darkest days, when I can’t see through my tears, when I don’t care to get out of bed, I have something to look forward to. One day, I will join my Lord in heaven. There I shall remain, without grief or pain, forever. That is the promise to which I cling on mornings when I am constantly reminded of that which I have lost and my tears won’t subside. The hour is fast approaching when I will forever be with the Lord. Come, Lord Jesus.

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