21 November 2019

"Sometimes by Step"

Somehow, almost accidentally, Rich Mullins songs have ended up becoming the soundtrack to important milestones in my life together with Angel.

It started in his old Ford in 2009, when we were headed out on a shopping errand together, and he popped in a mix CD that began playing "If I Stand." 

It was instantly one of those "You too? I thought I was the only one." moments that C. S. Lewis talks about. I don't know how a California boy who grew up Catholic a decade ahead of a Michigan girl who grew up in Asia both happened to become fans of the same artist who passed away over a decade before we met and wasn't exactly crazy popular in 2009...but it happened. And "If I Stand" became the song that we consider "ours," one that we played during our wedding.

Years later, when I had a miscarriage, Mullins' "Hold Me Jesus" became the hymn that I clung to on a daily basis.

When Cyrus was born, we dedicated "Let Mercy Lead" to him, as it truly fits what we hope for his future and life.

A month or so before Glenn was born, I was having a physically very tough day. It was getting near the end of the day, which had begun with the usual homeschool routine with the big kids, and now I was finally making dinner, Cyrus was wandering around getting into things he wasn't supposed to be getting into, and I began to get discouraged with how rough I was feeling, I brought to mind the picture of "putting one foot in front of the other." I didn't have to think about how I was going to make it all the way through till the end of pregnancy and recovery again, I just had to think about the very next step.

And as I thought, I realized how very much that theme had been a characteristic of this pregnancy, how ever since early on when we discovered, much to our surprise, that his little heart was still beating, and we were told bluntly, "There's no way to guarantee anything, at this point we'd call it a 'threatened miscarriage.'" 

All I knew at that time was that I was indeed still pregnant, and all I could do was count each day, each little 'step' further along on the journey. The journey never really got easy, but it wasn't cut short and taken away from me, and for that I cannot be thankful enough.

And then the song "Sometimes by Step" came to mind and I knew I'd stumbled upon my song for Glenn.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes the night was beautiful
Sometimes the sky was so far away
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close
You could touch it but your heart would break
Sometimes the morning came too soon
Sometimes the day could be so hot
There was so much work left to do
But so much You'd already done
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days
Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that, no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Now, in the wee hours of the morning as I take my steps around the house, holding close a tiny boy who doesn't yet grasp the idea of sleeping without cuddles, I sing this to him, and think about all the days when I wondered if we'd ever make it this far together.

Sometimes this walk comes just one small step at a time, and that's all we can manage...and we can't quite even manage those little steps but for the grace of God. And that's enough.
Brita Long said...

Oh, this is all so beautiful. I love when moments can be marked by songs.

Also, I know that song. I started reading the lyrics and found myself singing them. It's a song I know from church camp, many years ago.

Michelle said...

How absolutely beautiful. Your story of Glenn gives me so much hope. I’ve felt similarly this pregnancy...just one day at a time. One hour at a time. Lots and lots of prayer. I saw on IG that your recovery has been much better and I’m SO glad. I had been wondering. Mine was nowhere near as difficult as yours was, but mine was still pretty terrible and it’s been a fear of mine this time as well.

Anonymous said...

Your story is so encouraging. I'm 15 weeks into my pregnancy - the first out of four pregnancies that has made it to the second trimester. All we can do is take it day by day, but it's so hard to keep the worries in check. I, too, have found certain songs to be comforting and hope-inspiring. Music is so powerful in speaking to our emotions. - Beth

Elizabeth said...

So lovely! My husband and I both like Michael Card from way back before we met. Thanks for reminding me about Rich Mullins, I knew the chorus to "step by step" but hadn't heard the verses in a while.

Callie said...

This is so sweet! How cool to have one artist that has been so meaningful in so many different life circumstances.