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Thoughts from a Musician's Heart

"Breath of Heaven, Hold Me Together"

This has been an amazing, challenging and blessed year! I am so thankful to teach voice at two terrific schools: Westminster Choir College and Cairn University. Over the summer, when my position changed at one school and there was uncertainty at the other, I struggled with the future. I am grateful that the Lord continues to provide abundantly more than I ask for me and my husband, Steven.

One morning, as I was preparing to teach online, I was rushing around, taking care of normal morning tasks. As I ran upstairs with my breakfast shake in hand, my heart began to beat wildly out of control, more than I had ever experienced before. I slowly walked down the stairs and said, “Honey, I think that I’m having a heart attack!” My father died of a heart attack when he was only 49, so I’m hyper-sensitive about my heart. Steven calmly had me sit down and just try to breathe. As the symptoms passed, I realized that I had just experienced my first panic attack. So many thoughts and troubles bombarded my mind. I was feeling behind with repertoire assignments for new students, job insecurity, a world in turmoil, and also dealing with menopause, the physical changes that come with it, deep grief at not being able to have children of our own… on and on! I felt like my body was shutting down. After crying hysterically, I slowly began calming down. Always the singer, I even felt guilty for sobbing so hard since it makes it difficult to sing and teach! I exclaimed to Steven, “Well, now I know what some of my students go through.” I have always felt that while I’m “assigned” particular students, the Lord actually gives me the students that He wants me to teach (and to be taught by them).

The truth is that we are all guilty and broken. I sometimes allow false guilt to creep into my mind, an evil that tries to overcome me. I began reading Psalm 51:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions…. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence…. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation.”

Steven encouraged me to rest, to pray and meditate on scripture, a hymn or worship song. “Breath of Heaven” kept coming to mind, a beautiful song about Mary as she learns that she is to be the Mother of Jesus.

Breath of Heaven

Hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of Heaven.

Breath of Heaven

Lighten my darkness

Pour over me Your holiness

For you are holy

Breath of Heaven.

The Lord God is the only one who can redeem and restore all of those broken pieces in our lives. He can take our brokenness and fit us, mold us and refine us into His beautiful creation. When will we learn to fully receive the grace and mercy He abundantly gives? We are constant works in process. Slowly may we learn to wholly accept His love that He lavishes upon us. Soli Deo Gloria! May you and yours have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


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