Come, Sing It Again!

The pages of my Mother’s writings were scattered throughout her room. The task seemed too daunting, struggling with the heavy emotions that choked my throat, as I tried to gather up the fragments of her life. She had gone to Heaven just days before, and I only had days in which to help my family sort through her remaining possessions for us all to share.

There in folders and envelopes in her drawers lay the half-finished manuscripts of her life story. Three different folders, all with the same title, “This is my Story, This is my Song,” lying barely started, waiting for something unknown to finish them. “Why did she start these three separate times? Why didn’t she even try to write a second chapter?” These were the unanswered questions that lay buried in my own heart as I tucked them away in a bin for safe keeping, waiting for the next 11 years. Until I opened the bin and read her words again this autumn of 2020.

This same autumn that I sat staring at a manuscript left unfinished of my own stories. What did HE expect us to do with these stories, anyway? Why put within us the urge to write when it felt like nothing could be done with those words? I felt my Mother’s questions being passed down to me.

But in the background, I heard a voice gently calling, a song spurring me on to sing along:

Come, Sing It Again!

Come! Sing it again!
The Master called out
from the city's din
But my words were covered
only a choking breath.

Come! Sing it again!
The Master called out
by the water's edge
But my words were soaked
only a muffled sob.

Come! Sing it again!
The Master called out
through the forest glade
But my words were stilled
only a whispered plea.

A choking breath
A muffled sob
A whispered plea

The Master heard all
And once again called
Come! Sing it again!
Joyfully bringing up from
The DEEP, a SONG.

The melody lingered
As the story came forth
A tune from the city,
the water,
the forest
All for His Glory
The song of His
LOVE.

--bg



“He said to His disciples, gather the pieces that are left over, let nothing be wasted.”

John 6:12 NIV

And I heard my Master speaking to me, echoing through the centuries, the same words that He gave to His disciples after His miracle of filling. His Grace is over-full in the breaking. And His instructions are clear, nothing will be wasted in the breaking and the filling when God’s story is written in our lives.

As I held my Mother’s writing in my hands, I realized she lived out her story before us. God caused nothing of her testimony to be wasted. She always told me she could not “carry a tune in a bucket,” and yet she chose the title “This is my Story, This is my Song.” She sang her song as she prayed and loved each of us. Nothing was wasted in the breaking and gathering of the Lord’s grace in her life.

And so, I go forward into this New Year, with a new (old) story to share each month here. And a new #ONEWORD2021 of COME. He has broadened last year’s word of WITH in ways I could not have imagined. He has called me to come with Him now, as He calls me and asks me to call others to come with Him on this journey that together we are facing.

#OneWord 2021 COME

This world is not the same as it was just one year ago. We all have asked ourselves the questions,

Is HE still with us? Am I still with Him?

What follows here today is the Introduction to “Our Story: A Ministry of Abiding.” God willing, I hope to share a new chapter each first week of the month through-out this year, as I listen for His call to come with Him.

But first I would love to pray with you as we face this New Year of 2021:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this beautiful time of year when we rejoice over the coming of Your son, Jesus, to be with us here. We are astounded at the grace that You have over-abundantly given to us. We are overwhelmed at the Glory of Your presence that has shadowed us, even and especially through the trials and dark times of our lives. Will You help us as we face these uncertain times now, to remember that You have always been so faithful to us. Will You help us to gather those pieces left over from the breaking times in our lives? And will You cause us to see the grace of Your presence right there, wasting not one drop of the glories that You have woven into our stories? We praise You for the wondrous love that You have sung over us.

In the name of Your son, Jesus, we pray,

Amen.

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Revelation 22:17 ESV
Introduction to Our Story

The dream was so vivid that 25 years later I can still feel the heat of the sun beating down on my
back:


Our family was traveling in our minivan: our 3 teenage children, my husband, and I, through the
city streets. We drove past vacant lots and buildings in ruin. It was apparent we were in a broken- down, almost abandoned part of the city. We pulled into a parking lot and saw an older teenager
walking across the hot asphalt. My husband stopped the van, and I quickly jumped out before the young man could move away from me. It was a curious way for me to approach a stranger, but it was part of the way our family felt, as we had been traveling to so many new churches with our
drama ministry. I called out to him, “Hello! My name is Bettie! Do you know Jesus?”


He paused and looked at me like I was crazy, but then his face fell, and I could tell he was going
to be honest with me. “Yes, I used to know Jesus. But I am filled with so much bitterness and
hatred that Jesus would never want me now.” I put my arm around him, and began to speak
about the love of Jesus that never ends, that never gives up on us, and then I awoke with such a
deep longing in my heart. It was one of many dreams that lingered in my memory. In fact, one of the drama presentations that we were sharing then came about because of another dream.
But the drama ministry wasn’t the first way that our family had left our comfort zone for Jesus.
No, from the beginning of our married life together, we felt a leading from Jesus that could not
be ignored.


“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take
up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV


As we followed that leading, we moved hundreds of miles away from our family to pursue
ministry training just two weeks after we were married. In my teenage years I was the solid
“church girl,” the one who felt so sure of what ministry and following God would look like. I
knew the “churchy” rules, and I and most of my friends thought that I would follow them, one by one, “bing-bing-bing.” But when God gave me HIS solid Words for my life Scripture, I should
have known that He would shake my view of what Christianity and deep-heart ministry looks
like:


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my
thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV


I began blogging years later in the winter of 2016, writing about my experience of walking with
Jesus through a pathway that had suddenly become filled with chronic illness. This short story is
in response to many who have since asked me to share what it was like for my husband and me
as we followed the Lord on a pathway to see what His ministry looked like. My prayer is that, as you read our story, you might find the same grace that we did, the same mercy that washed our hearts, and the same comfort that kept us looking up to Jesus through every joy, every question, and every struggle.

I am linking with #GraceandTruth #LegacyLinkup

26 thoughts on “Come, Sing It Again!

    1. Oh Mandy, I love reading your writing and Bible Studies too! I am so grateful that we can encourage each other along the way. You and your husband are in my prayers to keep healing and recovering! Love & hugs Dear friend!

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  1. Oh Bettie, your poem, your dream, your analogy of John 6:12 all bring tears to my eyes. And your mom’s “This is my story – this is my song” caused me to pause to listen to and sing in my heart “Blessed Assurance.” Thank you for sharing all this hope-filled encouragement, my friend. Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy, your words bring tears to my eyes too, because I am so thankful for your prayers as I have been preparing to share these words. It has been such a surrender, but such a joy to allow Jesus to sing HIS song through my story, and my mother’s story too. We do have such a Blessed Assurance in Him! I pray blessings over you this New Year dear friend. Hugs and love to you. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, what a precious post! I loved reading both stories – the one about your Mom and the one about you and your husband and that poignant dream! I can’t wait to read more!! Sending love and hugs to you today, dear Bettie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl, thank you for all of your prayers and sharing of your own story too! I am so amazed at the way God weaves us together to keep us looking up to Him. You have pointed to Him, and helped me look up so often! Blessings to you dear sister!

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    1. Dear Ifeoma,
      Thank you so much for all of your prayers for me to be able to share the story that God has given. He truly is our amazing Father who carries us through each day of these stories He is writing in our lives. Blessings and love to you as you continue to share with all of us too, dear sister.

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  3. Oh, dear Bettie, what a privilege to hear your gentle voice relating this early part of the story of your life! How inspirational and encouraging it is to hear how God led you into ministry then and has led you into a different kind of ministry now. I love the beautiful poem and the way you’ve written about your mother’s story and song and how she got to live it out. It seems that her daughter is doing the same, with the added advantage of being able to write it out and share it as well. It’s been a joy to revisit these words, and I look forward to reading more in the weeks ahead. May God continue to pour out His inspiration, creativity and grace, His great strengthening and upholding power as you learn to live well with such depleting chronic illness. Much love, hugs, and prayers. xoxo 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for your ever-present prayers and encouragement for me to continue trusting and sharing what God puts on my heart. Finding my mother’s stories at the same time I was holding onto my own stories was such a healing moment for me. What a blessing to realize that God makes a way for us to share, even when it comes about differently than we would have thought. He surely does bring to us “His great strengthening and upholding power,” and I pray that same blessing over you my dear friend. Love and hugs for you across the many miles! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Amen! May we continue writing and sharing His stories in our lives and leading others to be captured by that same grace that we have tasted. Blessings and love to you this New Year!

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  4. Bettie, so much here, dear friend. Such a beautiful poem and tribute to your mother, it both touched and encouraged me to think of it as she lived her story out before you, it was finished. And YOUR story, likewise so powerful. I love reading your posts, so inspiring, encouraging and thought provoking!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Donna,
      I love those thoughts about my mother’s story: “as she lived her story out before you, it was finished.” Oh, amen. Our Lord truly knows the very moment when it shall be finished for each of us, and then we will be in His presence fully. You have brought beautiful tears to my eyes tonight. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet comments and encouragement. Blessings and prayers for you this New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How wonderful Bettie that in your physical weakness He has made you a light & beacon of hope to the world through your ministry here dear friend.
    Jumping out of the cyberspace van to ask that question to all who visit here in sharing your journey of grace, wrapping your arms of encouragement & love around each!
    Yes, God is still writing your story as you are sharing the legacy of your mother’s!
    Remember you’re always welcome to join me in a cuppa sweet friend, ♥
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Oh, your words have brought tears to my eyes now! I just wrote that to Donna, in reply to her comments, and then as I read yours, the tears flowed again. Yes, He really has kept me “jumping out of the cyberspace van to ask that question” again. It is the longing that is deep in my heart that He has planted there. And He does find such ways to uncover those longings, doesn’t He? I look forward to coming back to visit your sweet site, too, Jennifer. After my long blogging break, I am eager to read again, even at the slower pace that He leads me in. Blessings and love to you dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Amy, thank you so much for reminding me of that beautiful song. I had forgotten it, but it is just so very good! He truly does call out our stories so that we can tell of the “grace that is greater than all our sin.” I am blessed and encouraged by your comments too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Nancy, thank you for your kind comments. Yes she lived out her faith journey for us to see and know. Even in her weaknesses we saw her never letting go of Jesus. I pray the same for my family now

      Liked by 1 person

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