It has been a week and a half since we lost our dear sister, Olivia. This campus is definitely a different place all around. The Union family is coming together and pressing on thanks to the wisdom of our wonderful outgoing president, David Dockery, as well as a team of wise leaders in administration. Dr. Todd Brady and Dr. Mathews have been the best spiritual advisers, for me, in this process.
There are a few things that have gotten me through this very challenging time. The first thing is hymns. Never have I been more appreciative of hymns that in this last week. My parents gave me a book for my birthday last year called Then Sings My Soul. This book, published by Thomas Nelson, has the stories behind a large number of hymns that give the singer a different perspective when singing it. I have read it every day since last Wednesday. I’ve listed hymns that have been most helpful to me lately and included links to the lyrics so you can read them.
- Day by Day
- Abide with Me
- Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- He Keeps Me Singing (pay attention to the third verse)
- His Strength is Perfect
When I encounter trials, being around other people is vital for my well-being. I cannot stand being lonely. Alone, yes; lonely, no. I have spent so much time with my music major family. This includes professors as well. We have all experienced this trial together and this is the time we need each other most. I have also spent time with Karessa. Even though she isn’t experiencing this directly, she has been so great to call on when I needed her. This was especially true when we got the new information last Saturday night. She was right there to hug me and even pray over me without my asking for it. My church family has been quite a rock for me too. They have prayed for me and encouraged me when I needed it. I am so thankful for all these people.
The Word of God has been the most important encouragement tool for me. It has been amazing to see Facebook flooded with Scripture that has been just perfect for the times we are going through. Here are several verses that I have come back to over and over again. Maybe they will be beneficial to you as well.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” –Psalm 34:17-18
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” –Hebrews 4:14-16
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” –Romans 8:26-27
“For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon You, for You answer me.” –Psalm 86:5-7
“You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records?” –Psalm 56:8