Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He Leads Me

It was the spring break of my senior year.  I was 17 and sitting in one of the piano rooms at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when I first heard this song.  My mentor (one of them) who was also my high school Physics teacher had invited me to fly to Texas with her.  She was a Baylor graduate and wanted me to make the Waco/Fort Worth rounds with her to see some old friends.  Getting to spend a week with one of the people I admired the most, I was out of my mind with excitement.  The whole trip was filled with her pouring her mature faith into my baby one, but that was life with Jill-- wherever you might be.  I remember when she began to play the piano in the small white practice room, my heart stilled.  The words of the hymn "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" were slightly familiar, but the music Jill had written for the song made the prose come alive.  It was spring 1988 and just four years later, she sang it in our wedding.  I hardly ever get to see her now-- this thousand miles between here and Georgia-- but when I do, I do my best to find a piano and ask her to fill the room with music.  
I was 17 that afternoon at Baylor, and now, I am a couple of days from 40.  As I have watched women I love and admire turn 40 (50, 60 and so on) over the years, I do agree- age is a number.  You never FEEL the image you have placed on a certain age.  In raw honesty, we may LOOK it, but we don’t necessarily feel it-- at least at 40 we don’t....... yet.  I have nothing new or fresh to share about aging, but it does make you think, reflect, or maybe just sit in unbelief.  Just like the question we ask from our front row seats of watching our children grow, where did all the time go?  Forty years?  Yow.  For me, in 2010, I need to answer that.  Because, yes, it’s gone, but how remiss I would be not to remember His divine thread woven through these forty years.
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
No doubt, He has led me all the way. I see His hand, his PERFECT hand, all over the steps of my life.  The implications are enormous.  Too big.  Too intertwined for me to cover in any detail.  Here are the thoughts I am having-- the wonderful parents He gave to me, having the kind of big brother every little sister wants (selective memory comes into play after forty years), the town my parents chose for our family, my home- down to the room my Mom chose for me which fostered my need for solitude, having a "salt of the earth" best friend in high school, my loving church family, my teachers, my schools, my friends, my wise mentors, the college I chose, where I lived, my degree, how I chose to spend my summers which evenutally led me to Jeff, Jeff’s choice of seminary, our move to Texas, the homes God gave us, our neighbors, a church plant in our teensy living room, our different seasons of friends, how He brought our children to us, our churches, Tarrant NET, our decision to homeschool-- some of this was expected, very normal, very safe, but other parts hit us like a kick ball..... in the head ..... from behind.  The key is, though, it was from God’s hand- or foot.  His hand can’t deliver anything other than His best.  In the past, I have argued about it being good, but it didn’t change anything.  It just was.  I learned it’s just best to let it all settle in its new place for awhile and then you begin to see it.  The design--His best and His beauty.  Truly, what have I to ask beside?
All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.
I don’t think I ever knew any significant “trial” until I learned in my late 20’s I couldn’t get pregnant.  I’ve written plenty about that, but the bottom line is I praise God for it.  I don’t grieve that I’ve never been pregnant.  I grieve the possibility of missing these two..... words fail me here..... “rare and beautiful treasures” I have BECAUSE of my “trial”.  Some trial.  He sustained my weary steps at every turn into the face of pregnant friends and strangers.  He cheered me after every horrific newspaper article about an abandoned baby or some crazed woman who took out her problems on her children.  And at every weak moment of waiting, He fed me with the Living Bread.  Right or wrong, I’ve never been quite as “parched” as I was then and He was FAITHFUL to be “gushing” whenever I was in need of a good soaking.  In January 2002 and in October 2004, I was able to hold in my arms the “spring of joy” He had for me.  From the quote I love so much, sorrows had come to stretch out space for His kind of joy. 

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way
This last verse always causes a little catch in my spirit, which then becomes a catch in my throat.... and I can’t sing it.  And if I remember correctly, neither can Jill.  Unless Jesus comes back, I am sure I will have more to say about this last verse in 40 more years.  How precious and what a comfort.  What a provision for me, this sinful yet redeemed person.  It’s written so beautifully that nothing more can be said except just repeating it, “When my spirit clothed immortal, Wings its flight to realms of day, This my song through endless ages:  JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY.”  
So be it.


Alyssa said...

I want it to be your birthday every day so that I can get more of these thoughts out of you! Love hearing what you've learned and how He's led you.

Sarah said...

Amazing journey you have been LED on...
I think I had a denim dress just like that at Moody. I especially love the photos of you with your babies :)

TJ Wilson said...

My goodness, K, just beautiful. Astounded you could put that much to words. Selective memory - love that!