I hung up the phone completely frustrated. A rhetorical question poked at me as I scrubbed my frustration into the rim of the stained coffee mug: “Who was that?” I’ve known my friend my entire life, yet the person I was talking to on the phone sounded like a stranger. The disagreements since March of last year have been more than my “I hate conflict” heart can handle. I’ve been unfollowed, called out, and shamed (publically and behind breaths). I’ve had relationships strained and doors slammed. But here, today, when I hear a familiar voice speaking foreign words, I am absolutely devastated. I don’t know how I can bear one more thing breaking in my life.
But the breaking keeps coming.
Just last night, my six-year-old daughter sobbed uncontrollably in my lap. Her body shook. What started out as mocking her brother turned into screaming on the floor. She broke. Through gulping for air, she told me how her feelings were hurt and how much she missed her friends. I held her tightly. I sang over her softly. Nothing relaxes a soul like a familiar song. She fell asleep with tears drying on her chin.
I wanted to explain to my little girl that I understand what it’s like to lose people. I wanted to list, name after name, the people I miss too. I miss the way things used to be when we didn’t just talk about politics, masks, and the governor. I spend most days mildly annoyed. World circumstances have put me on edge. I am always prepped for a potential argument. I wanted to tell her that I understand, that I want to scream, cry, and kick on the floor too. Instead, I sang.
The breaking keeps coming.
From COVID, racial tensions, school shutdowns, and the election — each one a punch in the gut, each one breaking our relationships.
I want to pull the blanket back to a safer time. I don’t want my daughter to hurt. I want peace to mend all the pieces of my fractured friendships. My temptation is to fix it, stop the bleeding, relieve the pain. I want to read an article that can make it all better. If I just scroll a little more, an answer will come.
But the breaking keeps coming.
Just when think it’s done, it isn’t. Maybe after the holidays, when the kids go back to school, or the vaccine is released, then the breaking will stop. But the breaking will only stop when God allows it. The breaking comes like an avalanche sprinting down a mountain, unstoppable. This breaking is of God.
God is working in our world through the unbearable hard. He has pulled back the sheet of denial, ungodliness, and self-righteousness. He has done this in the world and inside of me. I’ve seen sin in me. I’ve seen it in others. I’ve seen it in the church. Perhaps it was always there, but now it’s been revealed. The invisible has been made visible. We’ve been broken and cracked open like an egg with the yolk oozing everywhere. I am tempted to close my eyes, bear down, and just get through this. But if I do, I miss what all the breaking means. It means healing, and I want to heal more than I want anything. I want to be whole, pure, and right on the inside.
So when the breaking comes, I let it. I ask God for eyes to see my sin, a voice to confess it, and a heart that is willing to bend into the character of Christ. I cry as my daughter did with a stream of tears. One thing that helps me endure this season of suffering is worship.
I sing. I sing loud the songs of Jesus. I don’t belt out a tune to drown out my feelings, but as a way to feel my feelings with Christ. I sing louder to remind my own soul that Jesus is stronger, safer, and nearer in the breaking than ever before. God is about my healing — our healing. The breaking isn’t to destroy us but to help us. We worship as a way to see through the dark and remember God is still on the throne. The music from my mouth mirrors the longings of my heart. These songs are my anthem. I will sing in the shower, in my car, while I do my daily chores.
When the world is fragile, I will sing.
When relationships split and the church splinters, I will sing.
When I’m spiraling out of control, I will sing even louder.
Songs keep my heart fixed on truth. Like a brace, singing keeps my broken heart safe in one place. Everything that’s cracked must be held still like a cast holds a snapped bone. So I sing over and over again. I sing out of tune and almost obnoxiously. I sing quietly just like I did over my daughter. I am breaking, but I’m also being healed.
Leave a Comment
THIS IS ME!!!!
you aren’t alone!
Brenda Scott says
I loved this…it gave me a new perspective on all that is happening. I AM doing one thing right…I sing, whistle, hum ALL the time, as it keeps me from thinking negative thoughts, which seem to invade my head most of the time. Thank you for this!♥️
Singing with you!
Janet Kostrewa says
What a raw but beautiful message.Your words said all that has built up in my soul for a year.Thank you
You are welcome, Janet!
Beth Williams says
I agree that God is uncovering & revealing the world’s sins. He’s showing us how bad we’ve gotten & wooing us back to Himself. Often in the midst of trials & tribulations worship is all we can do. I remember putting dad back into geriatric psych hospital for second time. Didn’t want to deal with it again. Took my computer to dining room tuned to Stephen C. Chapman music. Just sang & danced in the kitchen. Northing more just pure worship. Sometimes we need reminders that God is still on the throne & in control. Singing or dancing to good Christian music can help heal our brokenness & see through the dark of night.
Singing and dancing in the kitchen! I’ve done the same!
Such a powerful message. It speaks right to my core. Thank you.
Bev Rihtarchik says
Everything that is happening in our world has been prophesied, so we really shouldn’t be surprised. I believe, however, that we’ve had it so good for so long that this perpetual pause in the middle of miserable is really getting to us. It’s as if God is shaking the whole earth to see if any good remains. Are there any faithful followers out there? We can’t put our hopes in outcomes, results, or circumstances. It is clear that our only hope lies in Jesus Christ. If we have Christ and our salvation, then we have every reason to sing. He has promised glorious life for us and He always makes good on His promises.
Thank you for sharing, Bev!
So perfect and speaks directly to me thank you!!
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with this article! It is EXACTLY where I am and what I needed this morning!
I’m so glad it resonated, Brenda!
Brenda M Russell says
Thank you for this platform to read and learn from others. I know that 2020 and the residuals from 2020 can be thought of as long lasting. But I pray that the grownups will hold on to their personal integrity, spiritual strength and guidance. Although I don’t always have the answer for many questions, I ask God to remind me that only He can give me His peace of mind.
My body has been bruised and in pain more than usual because I fell outside of my house and some kind ladies had to help me get up. I prayed for God to send me help and He did, praise the Lord!
I know we as Christians are supposed to take one day at a time. But, I am guilty of wanting to know way ahead of time what my day, week and month will be like. It’s asking for
worry if we think we have to know the future. Only God knows our future. Our part is to trust and obey.
Have a great day. God bless everyone. Stay focused and be safe.
Brenda! Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful comment! I was so encouraged by your words.
connie ker says
Music is definitely a healer and we will be singing in Heaven according to the Bible. I miss the church choirs this year who always made Christmas more beautiful. So we have 2 singers in our church service behind a plastic shield, and the people vary from week to week. The praise band is 6 ‘ apart and a distance away from the congregation. But the missing component of watching online is the fellowship. I feel like your daughter and miss my friends too. All ages are exhausted from the isolation and confinement, and I have become introverted to survive. I can’t complain though, but the golden years have become rusty this past year.
Darlene Aldrich says
This moved me to tears. It is exactly how I feel. Thank you for the reminder to sing!
We must keep on singing. WIth you, friend.
Jan Russell says
Thank you for this, some days are so hard.
Becki Elkins Woodsmall says
Your article is so timely. Do you know that the straw that breaks the camels back, yea, that little straw just happened to me last night and as I sit locked in my bedroom trying to will away the world God sent you to me! I honestly don’t know how much more I can take but I do know that God is holding me even if I shatter into 1 million pieces. Thank you so much for putting into words what I feel!
I’m so glad it resonated with you!
Thank you for putting into words how I’ve been feeling. Have to wonder if we’re living in the same state.
I’m in California!
Such beautiful words! Worship music is the only thing that keeps me grounded, and feeling Christ moving in my life. I am so thankful for stations like KLove, and a local Christian station here in Kansas City, Life 88.5. I have a 40 minute commute to work every day, and I CRANK up the tunes and sing my heart out! I truly believe God is working in this mess of a world we have right now, and I love the say “The Blessing is in the Breaking!”
Thank you for this timely message!
Amen! Blessings in the breaking.
Janet Williams says
Thank you Anjuli. What a beautiful message today. Worship music opens my heart far and wide. It brings tears, head nodding in agreement and relatable understanding of the singers’ journey. When my husband and I found the church, The Well Christian Fellowship, which would become our forever home, I broke into a flood of tears the minute Daniel the worship leader opened his voice to sing and I still do to this day….as a matter of fact I did yesterday! Thank you God for kleenex….lol.
I am so grateful I can turn on the music of my heart at home, in my car.. anywhere I am where God comes by my side to sing.
Love and Blessings sisters \0/
You are welcome, Janet!
KAREN M PURKEY says
God has raised up a prophetess in you this morning! Only you have also
experienced and walked where we have journeyed this past year. It takes
a broken heart to understand and share the message of Jesus.
Thank you for your raw, vulnerable sharing.
I, too, am hurting. I had a knee replacement 5 weeks ago. Everything went
well with the surgery. Unfortunately, I have had a severe allergic skin reaction
to the glue that was used to close the incision. The skin covering my knee is
is inflamed, peeling, and has dead skin over the scar. Each day I watch to see
what will happen next. The skin is so taut over the knee that it is difficult to bend
the knee. My surgeon and wound nurse have never seen this complication.
In the midst of all this, a wonderful group of women called me at 7:30pm every evening
for 4 weeks. We are all members of Threshold Choir who usually sing at the bedside of
people who are dying. One woman each evening sang songs to me over the cell phone
for 20-30 minutes. As she sang, my body relaxed, the pain decreased, and God allowed
me to be in a cocoon of love and singing. Yes, singing has kept me from totally crashing
and being in despair. The love they shared during these moments restored me in unimaginable
We sing to the Lord, we sing to our children, we sing to others who are hurting, we sing
to the broken hearted, we sing to ourselves.
Thank you for seeing an even broader understanding of why we sing.
Blessings and singing to all of you dear women,
Your words are a gift. It has been an incredibly hard year. One we won’t ever forget. We are bonded by Christ. Singing can always unite us. Worship is the way back home.
Becky Keife says
Friend, this is so raw and beautiful and all of us. Thank you for helping me see the gift in the breaking. It reminds me that Christ came to save the lost, the sick, the broken. May these times allow mankind to see their need for a Savior. May it begin with me.
Wow! How can you write exactly what I am feeling? This message was for me and God knew that I needed it at just this time. The breaking and the splintering of everything familiar is some days too much to handle………..BUT GOD………..He is always there and He will never leave or forsake me. I too, love worship music. I remember a few months ago, I found my favorite songs on YouTube, put my headphones on and belted the words out with my own (very off key) singing. It felt good. I need to do that again. Thank you for your honesty.
Thank you, Tracy!
I’m so grateful God used my words to encourage you.
Anjuli, your column holds some of the most commonsense points I have read during all the panic, lies, and helpless feeling. God didn’t send this virus, the wickedness and greed of man did.
But, as in the days of the Old Testament, it must have grieved the Lord profoundly to witness how far we have strayed from His commandments, His truths.
The rot started, I firmly believe, when we cravenly caved and allowed the Lord’s Prayer to be banned from daily recital in schools.
We’ve gone downhill from there. As you point out in your column, only when we realise that God, and God only, can save this world, then we’ll be on the road to recovery, free from the dangers both of coronavirus in whatever shape and of World government.
Bless you all, have a joy-filled week.
Kathy Francescon says
I agree with you, Elizabeth! These days everything has to be so politically correct and that has meant taking God out of everything! Our nation will fall, unless we turn back to God. This post today resonates with all of us…I pray constantly asking God for forgiveness for my fear about our country, the pandemic, and all the evil that seems to be closing in on all of us daily, sometimes even hourly. I am so very thankful for having these devotionals to not feel so alone…as I read all of the comments from everyone today, my heart prayed and hurt for all of you. “To everything their is a season,” and at least I know there are some wonderful God fearing ladies out their I can lean into for understanding. Praise God for all His Glory and Lovingkindness and for friends we may never meet, but yet, we can still share our hearts with. Blessings to everyone who is on this website today sharing!
Thank you for your uplifting comment!
This article has really hit home with me. I hate not being able to travel, visit other places, and see friends or eat out with them. I live in a northern state, having become homeless in 2014. Currently, I stay with friends in a rural area and thank God everyday for a roof over my head, heat, and a place to call home if only for a short time. I tried to explain to a friend who is overly concerned about the political state of the nation that the bottom line in all of this is, “Where are you with God?” I believe in the truest sense of the word this question is more important than what is occurring in our nation and around the globe. Thank you for reminding us about song. It really does help.
Have a good day, Mary! Keep singing 🙂
Ladies, How many of you grew up singing “Jesus Loves Me”? Well, HE still does! Start singing Jesus loves — put your name there & sing it over & over to remind you He truly does! Since I have health issues, I often have MRI & other tests, which are awful so I sing to me while having the tests done. Jesus gives His strength! God bless each of you!
Nancy Ruegg says
JUST what we needed to hear and put into practice: Sing! The mind can’t focus on two things at once. (Just try counting and reciting the ABC’s at the same time.) If we’re singing, we won’t be worrying or scaring ourselves with “what-ifs.” Thank you, Anjuli, for a most meaningful post!
I love hearing this! Thank you, Nancy!
Nancy Kavanagh says
Singing is lifting our voices to God in praise and worship.
flatpack kitchens says
I go to see every day a few web pages and information sites to read articles,
except this website gives feature based
Great read thank you
I can SO relate to this one! It reminds me of the song Raise a Hallelujah! I will watch the darkness flee, Fear you’ve lost your hold on me! Then *Sing a little louder* Many times during all of this upheaval and even before this, the music and lyrics have driven the darkness from my soul and I find I am able to cope! God has so graciously given me songs in the night, in the morning and in the afternoon! Thank you for sharing your heart! I am singing louder and louder and letting those Praises roar!
MarlaLee Martin says
Beautifully said AND felt ✝️
Fractured friendships. One of the greatest pains. Bible verses giving advice, encouragement and exhortation on how to restore relationships, yet the broken is the norm. I know in my head that the only friendship to be truly relied on is with Jesus, yet my heart longs for better here and grieves the lost. Singing praise and worship refocuses on Who is most important and heals the hurt – a little.
Yes!!! I vividly remember driving alone to my 20 week ultrasound in March or April (no one was allowed to come in with me because of covid) and everything felt shaky and scary being pregnant at the start of the pandemic. It was all overwhelming and even made me feel like I couldn’t get a deep breath. So, I turned up “Raise a Hallelujah” as loud as I could and it was almost like I could physically feel the fear and anxious feelings dissipate and disappear in the car.
Thank-you! Needed that…
I love this. Your words are so poignant during this upside down time. May we all draw closer to God who truly sees us.
Love ya friend,
My pastor taught a lot about God’s will and God being in control since the pandemic started. This week he taught from Esther and taught about suffering. He said something that relates to this blog post. He said that suffering teaches how weak we are in our flesh. Suffering shows things as they truly are. Our lives are so fragile, everything we have can be taken away in an instant. There is no certainty other than hope. A hope for deliverance and glory in heaven.
It’s a strange thing, that suffering will typically bring grief, but that it later could bring freedom. Freedom in knowing we don’t have to hold on so tightly to things that we think we can control. And that letting go could bring ultimate joy. It’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from the pandemic and I think you are speaking about it here.
J Harper says
Just what I needed this morning. I feel I’m losing more and more people either through death, isolation, or civil/political differences. Close friends disappear when they discover my views or different than theirs. All this anger and hurt and arrogance is permeating the church, and it is difficult to find one where I can truly belong. I fear this will not soon be over. I feel so alone. I know the path – look at my own faults instead of others, practice gratitude, live one day at a time, serve others, and trust God. But, some days it’s not easy – so unknown.
Dawn Wood says
Right there with you Anjuli! Love you dear one! (((hugs)))
K Ann Guinn says
Beautifully expressed. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping us to process our grief and pain through worship. Yes, we are all breaking but thanks for the reminder that we are healing as well.
Lynn Bosley says
I feel your pain. We all are waiting for resilience. We are going through pruning as a tree for growth in variable ways. Through our crisis times experiencing loss of loved ones, and having two adult children with disabilities. For my son’s accessment referred to as Autism, Social Emotional was more than I could bare having symptoms at 32 years of age. My daughter age 41 has health issues also. It doesn’t help whe I am to be comforted by this well intended statement as follows…God doesn’t put more on you than you can stand.. We are not promised that we will be trial free..but we have promises from God’s word that gives all of us strength through our hurts. Thank you for reaching out and continually demonstrating joy beyond measures.