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SONGS IN THE NIGHT

I promised to keep this fresh, especially for those of you who have been through The God of All Comfort before, so this is new material.

Even in the storms of life, we can see God’s power and have His peace. I am seeing that happen here — one of our new members, Chris S., who lost her teenage son tragically just a year ago, brought me to tears last week as I am seeing God whispering to her, bringing her songs in the night. And there are others of you too. How thankful I am to God for honoring us here with His presence.

This is one of my favorite photographs, of my dear daughter-in-law Julie with her arms around her daughter Jessa, watching a great storm brooding and building over the waters outside our cottage on Green Bay.

Summers are a special time of God speaking through His creation.From our cabin there’s a long sweet swim to a raft anchored a few football fields out. It belongs to the Reeves, dear generational friends who are like family. Their men do all the work of hauling it out and in each summer, of rescuing, repairing, and returning it to the depths when storms on Green Bay overpower it. Those four foot waves can break the heavy chain to the anchor as if it were a string, carry the six hundred pound raft to shore, and toss it up on the rocks as though it were a child’s inner tube. Sometimes we stand inside the safety of our cabins and watch, in awe of the storm, in awe of the power of God.

It’s work to keep a raft floating on this capricious bay of Lake Michigan, so I am thankful these men do. I’m also thankful that they hospitably urge us to swim to it whenever we like! Swimming in an open bay is a balm to my soul.  Plunging into the water, the cares of life are washed away. I’m weightless and free as a fish, moving and gliding through an underwater world. Calmed by the silence and soothed by the caress of the water slipping over my skin, I’ve had some of my clearest thoughts during this swim and my best conversations with others. So it was this last Fourth of July weekend. My daughter Sally and I had been reading on the dock, the sun warming our shoulders, when she stood up, stretched, and asked, “Ready to swim to the raft?”

As we side-stroked our way through the flat-calm bay, she asked, “Mom, do you really think, as Ann Voskamp does, that all of life is grace?”

“What does she mean by that?”

“That everything, even the really hard things in life, is part of God’s grace.”

I swim, contemplating my response.  Slowly I say, “Yes. I know it doesn’t feel like that when things are shaken. Yet looking back, I can see not only that He was with me through the worst things, but that He taught me what is eternal and what is not.”

Sally is silent. Her world has been shaken more than the worlds of most thirty-somethings.  She plunges under the water and swims. When her blond head emerges, ten yards out, she flips on her back and floats, looking up at the billowing clouds in the deep blue sky. “I can accept that He was with me, and that He brings good out of sorrow …”

“But…”

“I don’t know. Ann Voskamp says a good God plans everything. She quotes Amos: “Does disaster come upon a city unless the Lord has planned it?” (Amos 6:3)

We swim in silence. Hard thoughts. I am remembering a video we watched from Tim Keller’s The Reason for God on suffering. He talked about how a six-year-old may not understand a parent’s reasons for depriving him, and he may truly suffer. Then Keller asked the panel of six articulate people who were not Christians, “Is it possible we are all six-year-olds when it comes to understanding the ways of God?”

I say to my daughter, “Honey – I surely would never attempt to explain the holocaust or your own personal and terrible pain. But I know He is sovereign, and nothing slips through His fingers without Him willing it. I know it was God, and not Satan, that originated the conversation that would shake Job’s world. And at the end of the book of Job, God never gives Job a reason. He simply points to the seas, the stars, and the seasons as evidence that He knows what He is doing… And Job is silenced, broken, repentant. I think it really may be true that we are six-year-olds when it comes to fathoming God.”

She nods, though sorrow is in her eyes. I think of how she screamed when her dad was taking his last breaths, “Daddy – don’t leave me!” How she punched a hole in the wall when he did.

“I know He weeps with you, honey. When He shook Mary of Bethany’s world, even though He knew He was going to bring her brother back to life, He wept with her. He did have a purpose in allowing Lazarus death, but that didn’t mean He didn’t care about the sorrow it caused. Could Keller be right – that we are six-year-olds, at best? Think about how Sadie [her one-year-old] responds when you pull her away from something that could hurt her, like you did last night with the fire.”

We both smile, remembering Sadie’s familiar slow break-down pattern, especially if Sally has uttered a sharp, “No, Sadie!” We know a storm is on the horizon when Sadie’s bottom lip protrudes and trembles, for next her astonished blue eyes will fill with rain, and finally the tempest bursts, releasing heartbroken sobs, shaking her whole body. She really is suffering. In the midst of her pain, however, she is smarter than many of us, for her chubby arms lift to the very one who caused her pain, the one who is so eager to scoop her up and hold her close, who will sway and whisper, “Hush-a-bye my little one. Mommy loves you so.”

We reach the raft, climbing the ladder to lie in the sun, contemplating, as best as six-year-olds are able to do, the profundity of God.

ICE-BREAKER

1. I’d be thankful for your comments on the above discussion between Sally and me — what resonated, what was hard, what was not clear, or what was clear and helpful.

SONGS IN THE NIGHT

2. This is a phrase that occurs more than once in Scripture. Before you look it up, meditate on the phrase. What contrast do you see? What does it mean to you in a spiritual sense?

My absolute favorite commentary on the book of Job is Mike Mason’s The Gospel According to Job.

It’s one I’d recommend buying, reading, underlining, and giving away as a gift. Mason is the one who wrote “The Mystery of Marriage.” He’s a great talent. Read more about his books here: http://mikemasonbooks.com/nonfiction/

It is Elihu in the book of Job who first uses the term “Songs in the Night.”  Though Elihu is one of Job’s “miserable comforters,” there are times when he is right on, when what he says is absolutely true, which makes him all the more perplexing. In commenting on Elihu’s bewildering complexity, Mason says that truly — that is like all of us. We can be full of wisdom and yet capable of the most foolish utterances. A great preacher can one Sunday go off on a tangent and his sermon turns to dust. A wonderful warm-hearted Christian can turn on someone, shocking him with uncharacteristic cruelty. And a miserable comforter can once in a blue moon have a word of comfort. Here Elihu evidences that despite all of his pontificating and finger-pointing, that he has been a man who has at times experienced the gentle Spirit of God, for he says, in Job 35:9-11

Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives songs in the night,
11who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’

In the midst of dark nights of the soul, God gives songs. He lifts our troubled spirits and floods our hearts with praise. Last week so many of you shared wonderful ways, especially looking back, that you saw God with you in the midst of a storm.  He prepared you for a death, sustained you in the midst of an illness, provided for you in the midst of financial devastation. Some of you also shared how the close of Job was ministering to you. But I want you to go further this week — for part of “the song in the night” can be seen in the above verse 11.

3. What can God do for us that He does not do for the beasts of the earth or the birds of the heavens?

4. I want you to think about a recent episode of suffering, even something from the last week or two, and then contemplate what God is teaching you from it. This is, in a sense, “a song in the night.” Let’s not waste our sorrows, even the little ones.

What is it?

Another one who used the term songs in the night was Asaph, the poet, the song-writer of the psalms. Meditate on Psalm 77:1-6. This is especially for those of you who have just joined us who are going through enormous suffering — you’ve lost a child, a spouse…you are so troubled that your soul often refuses, like Asaph says, to be comforted. Here he laments, but then, in the psalm, there is a turn — watch for it.

1 My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;

My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.
Selah.

4 You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
The years of long ago.
6 I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart And my spirit ponders…

5. Meditate on the above.

A. Describe the emotions in the above lament from Asaph.

B. What phrase shows he has insomnia? Whom does he hold accountable?

C. Where do you see a turn in this lament?

D. What does this teach you about the value of the lament?

6. Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. The third chapter in The God of All Comfort is one of my favorites, for God came to me in so many ways when I was writing it. If you have the book, share a few things God taught me about psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. If you do not have the book, read this past post, about my conversion from a hymn snob:

I WAS A HYMN SNOB  – click here to read the post if you haven’t before: Link

A. What did you learn about psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?

B. How did God convict me (Dee) and convert me from being a hymn snob?

C. How does this speak to you?

7. I would love to have each of you find one psalm, hymn, or spiritual song that truly is a “song in the night” to you, that quiets your fretful soul with the truth. List it here — give a link to where we can hear it if possible, or write the lyrics that are particularly meaningful to you. If you are stuck in one genre (just hymns or just spiritual songs) see if you can spread your wings and find something in the other genre — or a great psalm song!

8. Listen to Program 3 on Midday Connection and share what you learned here. David will give you a direct link after the program, but for now, you can hear it Monday noon central time if you go to this: Link

What stood out to you?

9. If you have the resources, listen to Keller’s first sermon on Job from his series, Job: A Path Through Suffering. Here is the link. What did you learn? Click Here The first is “Questions on suffering.”

If you don’t have the money, Elizabeth has a link to great free sermons from Keller on suffering — so listen to one of those and tell us what you learned. Here it is: Link

Three times in the book of Job God comes to Job and gives him “a song in the night.” We’ll be looking at these later, or you may hear about them in one of the above messages. I was familiar with two of them — but the third one astonished me and gave me such comfort. (This is simply to whet your appetite and keep you with us!)

I must tell you I keep thinking about how I am not just like a six-year-old when it comes to suffering, but I am more like my four one-year-old grand-daughters. (Did you know God gave us four songs in the night last summer when all of my daughters and my daughter-in-law had daughters?) Here they are, right after the last one, Julie’s had been born.

So often, like these precious babies, I just can’t comprehend why God does some of the things he does.  One of the things we tried to do unsuccessfully with Mia and Sadie just this month (the now one-year-old daughters of my daughters Anne and Sally) was take them through the park in a burley. (A little trailer like the one at the left hooked to a bike.)

We got off to a rocky start because neither of the babies were crazy about the helmets we put on them. Annie gave this caption to her daughter Mia: “Mom — do I really have to wear this?” In the same way, we wonder often why God restricts us.

Then we exacerbated the experience by putting them together, for they were stealing one another’s pacifiers.

We biked through the woods for a half hour, solid crying — then gave up and turned around for another half hour of crying. Sally kept singing but the babies would not be calmed. I could not help but think of Asaph, who would not be comforted.

Here is a picture of Mia in the helmet, and Sadie looking on in distress.

Two days later, after Anne and Mia had gone back to Nebraska, Sally wanted to try again with Sadie alone.

Another solid hour of crying. What we finally figured out (maybe!) is that Sadie thought Sally was riding away from her and it made her anxious and despondent. Sally was singing the whole time, trying to calm Sadie with “Silent Night,” “Angels Watching over Me,” but Sadie howled until we finally stopped, I held Sadie, and Sally rode the bike without her baby, retrieved the car, and came back for the two of us.

I keep picturing this baby, her sadness, her complete misunderstanding of what was going on, and of how her mother tried to give her a song in the night, but she could not hear it, she could not be comforted.

May we open our hearts and our souls to The God of All Comfort, who longs to comfort us in our distress, if only we will let Him.

He is saying to you: “Hush-a-bye my little one. Your Father loves you.”

10. What is your take-a-way this week?

UPDATE: Here is the link to the “God of All Comfort, Part 3” on Moody Radio: Link

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314 comments

  1. 9. listen to Keller’s first sermon on Job from his series, Job: A Path Through Suffering. What did you learn?

    Suffering and evil is Satan’s idea, he carries it out, but God is in control.

    Satan wanted to expose Job as a fraud, God allows suffering in the lives of his people only to the point that Satan is allowed to defeat himself.

    Suffering without an answer why is the way to see that we love God for himself alone and not for the things you know the suffering will bring.

    I need to embrace living life with the mystery of not knowing why.

    Job holds to the theology of grace, acknowledging that everything he had was on loan from God.

    If you have built your life on the loving of things, losing them will make you madder and madder, sadder and sadder.

    If you build your life on loving God, suffering deepens the source of your joy.
    Satan accomplishes the opposite of what he expects.

    When Satan came accusing Job or comes accusing us to God, there is some truth to it, but God defends us. When Satan told Adam and Eve lies about God, they believed him, we do too. Satan wants us to believe that God doesn’t truly love us, that if we really trust Him He will crush us. Deep down all of us wonder if God really loves us.

  2. 10. What is your take-a-way this week?

    God gave me a huge help listening to Midday Connection. How important lamenting is and how it helps us to process and get from point A to point B, but most of all I need to continually tell my soul the truth.

    Sara’s Lament in “Come Thou Fount” comes to mind on Midday Connection as she said her heart was ‘prone to wander, prone to scorn God’s love for her.’ -this resonated with me. I have noticed it getting stronger that I am longing more than ever to be with Him face to face-yet stuck in this body of being “prone to wander”.

    I thought of the older prodigal son in our studies. It hit me in that He was prone to wander AND He was prone to scold God’s love for him. The older son is what it looks like when my heart grows cold toward God. Yet, He has come into my soul through His Word like a ray of strong luminescent light, and has helped me to see His heart..He has caused me to go another layer deeper and I am starting to care about whether He is grieved or jealous or joyous. I wish it were every day, every minute, every second, but it isn’t and I am still prone to wander-BUT He has drawn me closer in! I rejoice in that.

    Where I am at today is that this leads me to long more for heaven.

    Paul’s words in Philippians 1: 21-24 really resonate with me more now than ever:

    “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body….”

  3. I wanted to remark on my third paragraph but time didn’t allow me to edit. In relation to this week’s study and Midday Connection I think God is putting all the pieces together really since the idol study to prepare me for the storms that lie ahead. By His grace perhaps I will see them from His perspective and while tempted to wander, I will be like Chris and move toward His loving arms instead.

  4. Hello Ladies

    Just a quick hello and wanted to let you know that i pray for you ladies every time you come to my mind.

    Also, nothing regarding the job yet.. i am praying to see what the Lord wants me to do.. whether to stay doing Respite or doing something totally different. I do have a paper route and i am stil doing about 10 hours of respite a week. Also the Lord has been providing diiferent jobs here and there like cleaning my moms hair salon and dog sitting etc..

    Thanks for the prayers

    1. I’ll keep praying, Meg

    2. Praying also Meg

  5. oops–I just realized I downloaded the wrong Job sermon when I went to the Keller link & purchased the “God Only Wise” (very good one though–and I think God wanted me to hear it for other reasons) … I’m getting the “Questions of Suffering” now!

  6. Oh wow. Just listened to the Keller sermon on Questions of Suffering. I say it every time, but this one really is incredible–but hard for me too.

    When suffering comes, we instinctively ask WHY?
    1. AVOID PAT ANSWERS
    There are 2 basic (wrong) responses to suffering. The religious moralist says—why is God punishing me?
    The secular cynic says life is random. The truth is suffering is Satan’s idea. God does not generate suffering, disease, disaster, death. They are forces of darkness we released when we turned away from God. YET, God is in absolute control. He permits, yet limits the evil/ God hates suffering, but He permits it only to the degree it defeats Satan’s purpose. God only allows Satan enough rope to hang himself with his own plans.

    Side note of mine—I recently came across a story (from Focus on the Family) of a girl who at 17 tried to kill herself—laying her body on train tracks…her legs were severed but she survived. She then gave her life to Christ and has an incredible ministry to hurting teens. Satan tried to get her to take her life, but only had enough rope to bring the opposite of what he wanted—she turned to Christ and lives for him now.

    2. EMBRACE LIVING WITHOUT AN ANSWER
    Serve God in such a way that you are not trying to get something out of it. We cannot get the answer to our suffering, if God is to make us who He wants to make us—we have to be willing to serve without getting something from Him. That is how He creates true love between us and Him, free lovers—one who love Jesus for Christ alone. Embrace the mystery—I love that!

    3. ANTICIPATE THE FINAL ANSWER
    If we build our lives on things, people, relationships, then when suffering comes and takes away those things, we will find ourselves without joy.
    But if we build our lives on God, then when suffering comes we will find ourselves drawn deeper into the source of our joy.

    Satan says to God, Job doesn’t love you, he’s using you—but God doesn’t accept it.
    Yet when Satan told Adam and Eve God doesn’t love you, He’s using you, we believe it. And to this day the reason we can’t handle suffering is that we still believe the lie of Satan. We still don’t believe He really loves us. We want proof. The proof? The innocent Body, beaten and naked, dying on the cross, separated from God—FOR US.

    This was a hard sermon, but one of the best yet. It was hard because somewhere I know that even having this study, knowing this truth, I still cling to my loved ones here, and I fear the tragedies so many here on this blog have faced. I want to really build my life on Him, not to avoid suffering, but so that when it does hit, as I know it will again, I will run to Him and find myself deeper in love with the true Source of Love because of it.

    1. Elizabeth, your number 3 is so good, I want to keep it.

  7. 2) Songs in the Night – What does it mean to you in a spiritual sense? It seems when we go through trials night is the worse time when we are lying still and our heart and mind races with so many thoughts. Our fears seems to surface more in the night. The songs are the times God speaks to you and reminds you of His love, reminds us that we are not alone.

    Both of my parents are now gone and both had to be put in hospice before their deaths. To help comfort them when we couldn’t be with them I put CDs on that had all the favorite hymns they had grown to know and love throughout their lives. It is amazing how much these songs could bring comfort, not only to them but to all of us. They reminded us of God’s love for us and truths that we held to. My dad was in a nursing home at this time and it was amazing to see how the hymns drew in some of the other residents and also had an impact on dad’s caretakers. It is amazing how the spiritual hymns seemed to speak to everyone’s heart. It made me think about how my family needed this music to help us through a difficult time but the music was also helping countless other people who were going through their own sufferings.

    3) God has an intimate relationship with us; he doesn’t with the animals. He speaks to us through His Word and through Songs in the Night. The animals don’t have this relationship and don’t receive this personal comfort from God.

    4) My husband had major surgery in December of last year and we are still dealing with paying off some of the expenses that his insurance didn’t cover. I tend to fret over our finances and worry. I think God is trying to teach me to trust him in everything.

    5A) Describe the emotions in the above lament from Asaph: He is fearful has doubts. He wonders if God hears or cares about his cries for help.

    5B) Verse 4 “You kept my eyes from closing” describes his insomnia. You refers to God.

    5C) The turn in the lament occurs when he starts remembering in verses 5 & 6.

    5D)I think the value in the lament is that it makes us be truly honest with God. I don’t think he minds the questions or our cries for help. We want our children to come to us with their troubles and we should listen to their thoughts even when we don’t agree. I think the lament encourages our dialogue with God. First we cry out to him and eventually our soul settles down and He helps us to remember the things He has done for us in the past as it says in this psalm.

    6C) I am short on time so I am only going to answer this part. I wish everyone in churches across America could read your Chapter 3. There are so many churches that have gotten into huge arguments over music. God has created all these different forms of musical worship and each are special in their own way. God is and always will be a God who loves variety (just look at nature). I’m glad he has inspired this variety in all the different songwriters and performers over the milleniums.

    7) My “Song in the Night” is from Ginny Owens: If You Want Me To. I came across this song when I was going through my mom’s illness and her eventual death. It reminded me that this is not my home and that we don’t always understand God’s way. It reminded me that I wasn’t going through this “night” alone.
    Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q8pWgDsv1E

    Dee, as a sidebar thanks for this assignment. I am enjoying listening to the other songs people have provided. It is wonderful!

    10) My take-a-way this week is that until this week I had never spent time pondering about the songs in the night God gives us. It has made me really think about how powerful spiritual music is in our walk of faith. Even though I have experienced its power, I just never really sat down and thought about it. Thanks also for all the wonderful resources you give us each week in this study. They are and will truly help me in my walk! God’s blessings to all.

    1. That was so beautiful, Janice. I didn’t know Ginny Owen’s was blind. What wonderful talent God has given her.

  8. My take away this week was from the weekly broadcast. I was especially moved by the discussion of how songs of lament allow us to process our trials. I have always enjoyed all types of music, but after losing my husband I have been going through a period when I could not listen to music. For a few weeks I did listen, but then the music began to agitate me and seemed to intensify my grief. I still don’t understand this, because all music just made me cry and cry and feel so overcome with sadness. For months I have been sitting in my room in silence, because silence was the only thing I could handle. I tried to listen to the CD that came with Dee’s book, but one listen to “It is well with my soul” and I was overcome with such sadness.

    This week and last week I have been able to listen to some music. I was especially moved by Michael Card’s song and others that you have posted. I loved the way Sara Grose described herself as a ‘wailing women’ and how she felt called to record songs of lament. I can identify with feeling like a wailing woman along this journey.

    My challenge to myself after this week is to accept Sara’s suggestion and find some songs that will allow me to process my grief and minister to my spirit. Just this morning I listened to “Be still my soul” as my morning devotion.

      1. I too, understand Silverlene. I work the afternoon shift and have been having a very difficult time this week doing this study and trying to process all of the feelings that come with listening to the songs then trying to go to work with any type of emotional stability. For a couple of days I couldn’t listen to the songs at all.
        It would have been my niece’s 17th birthday this week please pray for my entire family, we lost her only a couple of months ago and it is still very hard!

  9. I just listened to the 3rd Midday on Moody that you done, Dee and as always touched my heart. Love what you said about music and how it helped you and we can prepare for grief by praying the psalms and learn the laments and great hymns to help us when the storms hit.

  10. That was truly a great sermon. I had a lot of notes. With it fresh in my mind I think my greatest take away is the idea that suffering is what bonds me to God. Having just finished the study on idolatry I remember my angst over how to replace my idols with Jesus. I tried everything. I denied myself and sought Him in the word and prayer but in the end I just had to wait for Him to come to me. And He did but not right away. So if I know that suffering will bring me closer to Him, perhaps I can lean in, knowing that I will get more of Him.

    Lord, please help us as we desire to draw near to You. You know only too well how difficult it is to suffer. You are not a High Priest who has not also suffered. Blessed be Your name. Amen.

  11. My take away for the week is related to that from the sermon. I think I see how lament is a path through suffering to the presence of God.

      1. Praying for wisdom for you in this Ann, and a sweet time with your son.

      2. Lord, it is so hard for us to wait as our children struggle to grasp the truth of who You are and How You are working in their lives. I feel it also as Dee does. We cling to the knowledge that Your love for them is vast as the ocean. I pray for Your complete work in Dee’s son’s life. Help him to see right now more of who You really are and let go of his ideas of who he thinks You should be. Help him to bring the pain of his great losses to You. I pray that he would learn of You through Dee whether by her words or just by her life. As conversation flows in this group of friends, be in the midst of them bringing wisdom and discernment. How we love You Lord and trust You with our children. Amen

      3. covering you in prayer sweet Dee–you will stay on my heart as we go to church–praying for His leasing, His blessing, on this time with your son~much love to you always

  12. My take away from this week;
    I have deepened the conviction that God is omniscient and I am not. That he has reasons and purposes for what happens that I can’t understand, and will not know here on earth.

    I have realized that to be grieving tremendously is not sin, I have had deeper feelings of loss this week, of realizing that he is gone, from our lives for the rest of the days we have on earth, I was at a wedding where the grooms brothers gave emotional toasts and was torn up inside knowing Daniel will always be missing and the loss will remain painful throughout our lives, and yet I have felt happy once or twice this week, I think I am closer to believing that God loves me than I ever have been.

    I have been tormented by thoughts of what suffering is coming next, the portion of the sermon where Keller said that Satan wants us to believe lies about God, that if we really trust him, he will crush us, this helped me to quiet these fears.

  13. Oh and I enjoyed the diversity of the music shared by everyone, I have an ipod, but have only thus far loaded sermons on it, I am ispired to get some music on it now.

    one last song;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4wxxG_GRB0&feature=related

  14. I have found http://www.pandora.com to be an excellent way to have the music I want to hear playing in the background while I do my computer work. It’s free.

  15. I just listened to Midday from last week now.
    My take away this week is:
    God is working in my heart and bringing me to a place where I don’t just know God is there but He is softening my heart to him again. I feel like he is getting through this tough outer layer that I built up to protect myself from the hurt I was experiencing in my losses.
    I needed to hear you talk again about the detachment disorder, because though I recognized it the week before, I needed to hear it again. I am crying out to God to bring healing to my heart.

    Also, the power that the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs have to drive out the evil spirit.
    I am so disapointed in myself. I knew these truths and when I went through a tremendous loss in 1994, it was the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and lamenting that God used to help me get through my loss, trusting him and coming into a deeper relationship with him. I was one who would say, Though the pain I went through was so hard, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because of how God met me during those days, and how it changed my relationship with him. Then 13 years later, when I experienced other losses, I closed my heart to the Lord.
    I contintued to go through all the motions, but with none of the heart. I could not see it.
    This study is helping me open up to the Lord again. I have turned to Him in repentence and I am so happy that he has wooed me back. That is one thing I love about the Lord, he keeps coming after us, he doesn’t give up on us.
    I thank each of you for the input you have given in my life and for the community we have here. I am also thankful that it seems my husband and I are finding community in the church we are attending now.