Be Still, My Soul

stuffed lamb toy

If you’re looking for something upbeat or funny, this is not it. But if you’ve recently shed a few tears and could use a little comfort, or if you are grieving a loss or struggle with depression (as I have), this is for you.

Today is a hard day. Fifteen years ago, we lost our first baby, near the end of the first trimester. Everything seemed to be going well, and I wasn’t prepared for the possibility that it might not end well.

Miscarriage is a very empty loss. There are no fond memories to evoke a smile, no photo albums to cry through, only a gaping hole in your heart and an empty nursery and a thousand questions to be answered only in eternity.

Sadness and anger threatened to overwhelm me. There was a nagging feeling that I had done something wrong, though there was nothing I could have done to change the outcome. And seeing a pregnant woman or a baby was almost more than I could bear.

It’s also a very silent loss. No one knows what to say, and some do not acknowledge it at all. There is no grave to visit, no dates engraved on stone for others to remember. But a parent’s heart remembers…the due date, the day the bleeding began. Each time the tears begin, the Father’s heart understands, and He comforts us as only He can.

I look forward to the day when I will see my first child for the first time. And on that day, every tear will be wiped away.

We had a daughter fourteen months later, and I brought out the baby things that I had packed away. As so often happens in life, there was joy but it was mingled with sorrow. I couldn’t bring myself to give her the little lamb that I bought when I found out I was pregnant the first time. Instead, Lambie sleeps with me.

Today, I remembered, and I cried. I also sat down at the piano and poured out my heart. This song seemed to speak to me today. The haunting melody is Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” and the words were written in 1752 by Katherina von Schlegel. This is not a professional recording, just me and my phone and my slightly out-of-tune piano, along with a few wrong notes and a couple of noisy page turns, so you might want to turn the volume down a bit. The arrangement is by Greg Howlett, and it’s available as a free download here.

Be Still, My Soul

 

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 thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

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.

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.

 

9 thoughts on “Be Still, My Soul

  1. Courtney I’m so sorry for your loss! If I had known about it , l had forgotten. May God comfort you as only he can. You are so precious. Sending prayers your way.i hope you all will come up to visit us when you are up this way. Thought you may have come up whenEmma Caroline was playing with the animals. We love you!

  2. I’m so sorry about your loss , I either wasn’t aware of this or I had forgotten.im sending prayers your way. Praying that God will comfort you as only he can. We love you and hope you will visit us when you’re in the area. I thought you might’ve up this way when I saw the picture of EmmaCaroline with the animals not long ago!will be thinking about you!

  3. Oh, my dear friend, as I read this post and listened to your soulful recording, tears trickled down my cheeks… My heart goes out to you in your sadness… Anniversaries of loss are incredibly painful… Although they surely mean well, friends and acquaintances can hurt us when we’re hurting, and all because they can’t think of what to say, choosing instead to say nothing, which isolates us. Worse, they sometimes say the wrong thing, which makes us feel misunderstood. I, too, have weathered terrible loss in my life…

    I am grateful you have your wonderful gift of music to give expression to your emotions. It is a gift to hear you play. Isn’t it amazing how melodies and lyrics written so long ago can resonate with depth and clarity so many years, even centuries, later? Music is a divine gift…

    I am grateful our paths have crossed. You have added much to my life in the short time I’ve known you, Courtney. Wishing you comfort and peace of heart, today and always. xoxo

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