Raise and Praise

“Then I will raise just one for as long as I am able!”

This is my anthem and I will tell you why.

Music speaks straight into my soul. It moves me.
It touches me. It affects me.

Which is why I learned as a teenager, that I needed to be intentional about what music I allowed into my life.

For years, I always felt ”stifled” in worship settings, because of a word, or a look, or an attitude of expectations of what was appropriate or not, or the embarrassment I “caused” to be emotional in any way. So I learned to stuff it all in. Be tough. Hold it together. Don’t make anyone uncomfortable.

But…the Lord works. He works anyway. I am not talking about swinging from lights…

I am talking about practicing with Janie Ross and Jeanene Divens in a little
music room at college preparing to sing in chapel, and we would be so moved by the song in our hearts before we ever went on a stage. Oh I would be excited about those songs! We were would have our own little shouting and testifying services in that little room…all by ourselves. What sweet times!!

I am talking about laying in a bed, unable to move or do much on my own, in excruciating pain, and the torments of the dark night raging in my soul….and never letting the piano CD of Jeri Lynn Wilkerson and Jonathan Dickey stop…all night long. If I did doze off to sleep, I was awakened in sheer panic and anxiety and those sweet songs of faith would be there waiting on me. As the melody of the hymns calmed me, I would recite the words of their great truths to remind myself of a God in the night season. And the Lord would give me songs in the night.

I am talking about standing in an invitation in a small, country church and the strains of the reality of home life bearing heavy on my life and singing deeply “All to Jesus, I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.” And choking back the hot tears, hiding my pain, as I sung those words with no abandon…”All….All…All…”

I am talking about being alone in my car and just needing to take a drive to calm the restlessness and fears of the reality of my future, and listening to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir lift my heart in worship, while tears streamed down my
face. The tears flowed more freely now. I did not care. I was allowing myself to be me…to let the tears flow. To let the emotions be exposed.

I am talking about almost every single Sunday at my church as the Lord merges the songs I hear, with His story in my life, and I can no longer, nor do I care, to hold it in.

My arms are too weak to hold them up long, and my left arm not at all, but…as long as I am able, and even if it is just one arm…this girl is raising her hand in thankfulness, in submission, and in honor of my precious Savior and the journey He has carried me through…with the songs, hymns and spiritual songs He uses to speak to my soul.

And as long as He moves in my heart, then I will raise my hand…even if it is just one…for as long as I am able!

5 thoughts on “Raise and Praise

  1. Beautiful work and heartfelt expression! You are amazing and God is doing a wondrous work in and thru you! Many prayers! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Hello, I am trying to find out how to buy the music to “If not” from the funeral last night…I think your sister wrote it?? I do not have social media and couldn’t think of another way to ask you. We want to learn it for church. Thank you so much.


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