March 11, 2011

Plans for Me

I'm linking this to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. This week's prompt: A song with significance.
Three years of trying and two failed intrauterine inseminations had left us empty and cold. We knew God had placed in our hearts a desire to be parents but the plans we thought we had prayerfully laid were not bringing the success we thought we were promised.
We still trusted His ways were higher than ours. We just didn’t know what He was doing exactly and we were confused. We sought His council and decided to stop any further treatment and begin seeking the next path He had for us.
We were grieving and praying and talking and grieving and praying and talking. We were devastated over the children we would never have and, while the thought of adoption is sweet, the reality of it is daunting.  We needed to mourn the natural plans that young couples make before we could embrace God’s plans however better and more wonderful than we could imagine.
Together and separately we were beseeching God to speak, to lead, to guide. But we both felt empty and forgotten. Just as we were despairing the Lord was beginning to work His ways to turn our hearts, to answer our prayers, to direct our paths down a journey that would take us from two to four in less than two years. But we…we didn’t know that yet and we felt lost in the middle of a dark ocean.
 My introspective husband, who grieves so privately and holds me so strongly while I grieve out loud surprised me one day with a very open and tangible expression of his pain. He was preaching on the minor prophets, and this particular week his Bible reading time had landed him in Habakkuk. Specifically Habakkuk 3:17-19.
The passage speaks of a dry and barren time when trees bear no fruit and crops fail. A moment in time when the pens are empty of animals, where no life seems to bloom. An empty, forsaken, dark time. A time like the one we were experiencing. Yet, Habakkuk states, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk talks of a God who is sovereign, who is strong, who makes his people climb heights like deer.
And my gentle husband, who had learned to play the guitar not many months before that, who is not someone to write much, who is not someone to express his heart-felt emotions very easily, this man picked up his guitar and, confronted with the same God of whom Habakkuk spoke so many years ago, wrote a song of praise and trust.
“When all my plans
Seem to fade into the darkness
My hopes and dreams
Washed away by stormy seas.
I can’t see His face
I can’t hear His voice
I feel like giving in
Waiting for his promised peace.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord
I’ll sing a song of my salvation
And I know that He will be my strength
He will come and give me peace
‘Cause He still got plans for me.
He’ll help me dance again
He’ll help me climb this mountain
I’ll run just like the deer
‘Cause I know He’s still right here.”
I wish you could hear the melody. The whole of it is moving and it breaks my heart each time I hear it. But He did. He brought the peace He promised. He gave us back our joy, He helped us dance again, He had plans still
It has been more than five years since that song was written and we have seen the plans that God had for us come to fruition. It was not even a year later that we held Isabel in our arms and just a few months after that we had Noah. But we didn’t know that then. Matt didn’t know that. But he knew that he, like Habakkuk before him, could sing of joy and hope in this God that takes the arid, dry, desolate times of our lives and puts a new song in our mouths, a hymn of praise to our God.


Deborah said...

What a great passage for him to come across! and great song, too, even without hearing the melody. :)

Your story reminds me of one Rosh Hashanah a few years ago, I was sitting in synagogue while we read the story of Hannah praying in the temple for a child (at the beginning of 1 Samuel), and crying because I wanted one too. The following Rosh Hashanah, I was 9 months pregnant and, in fact, gave birth the next day. Things do tend to work out. You just never know.

Unknown said...


Eric and Matt are so much alike. I love love love that he wrote that, I'm sure it was as much for him as it was for you.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love his song! I love that he sang it before he understood what is was rejoicing about.

Gaby said...

It was for him as well, definitely. He still plays it here and there and the coolest thing has been teaching it to a whole worship band and hearing God's faithfulness to us specifically being sung by the Body.
Isn't that just like God? We is so faithtul!

Unknown said...

This is amazing -- on so many levels. I would love for you to link up tonight at SDG at Finding Heaven. I think your post would speak to a lot of hearts. Link opens at 8:30 PM CDT.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Just beautiful, Gaby. It is amazing how things work out, the synchronicities we find along the way, the interconnectedness of All.

Gaby said...

Thanks, Jen. I will do that.
Lori, thank you for stopping by!

Michelle said...

Stopping in from SDG. I have read that passage before but never really focused on the words. What a gift of praise and hope in a time of despair. Thank you for sharing with us. I needed to be reminded of it.

Jodene Shaw said...

This is so rich in faith in the Him. Thank you for sharing. It reads as a prayer for Japan today in my heart.

Visiting from SDG Sisterhood...
love & grace,

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

Wow. This is powerfully written. I really like how you emphasized...when this was written, we didn't know the plans he had yet...that helps when one is still in the dark as to how the Lord is yet to move in our lives. For it seems easy to say on the other side of the darkness -- to rejoice in the Lord's strength -- but it wasn't easy to say in the darkness.

Coming from SDG, too.

We bring a sacrifice of praise. This is a beautiful picture of that. Thanks for sharing.

Diana Trautwein said...

Found this lovely story through SDG - thanks so much for linking in and for telling it so well.

Gaby said...

Thank you all for stopping by, especially if you are here from SDG. It was my first time linking and already I feel in sisterhood.

Michelle DeRusha said...

Such faith, such hope and trust in that verse and in your husband's song. I'm so glad I stopped by here tonight -- thank you for commenting on my post brought me here, and I am grateful!

Kristina said...

Needed that today. Thanks

Jennifer said...

Gaby, it's been too long since I last visited!! What a beautiful post! I would love to hear the melody of that song sometime. His words hit on something I'm still learning--that even when we don't know the end or the answer God has in mind, we can trust Him and that His plans will work for good.

Jen Ferguson said...

Ha! I've actually read this before but didn't remember like I should have. Thank you for sending me this link -- it has opened up a lot more my understanding of this passage.