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Welcome to week two of my mini-series about transformation -- stories about God’s unique ways of making us more like Him.
I asked several friends about ways the Lord is changing them, and they generously shared their experiences with me.
This week I'd like you to meet my friend, Kandi White.
Kandi has found a new depth in her faith by returning to a tradition from her childhood -- singing hymns. Her story, I’ll admit, is quite convincing.
A few years ago, she and I journeyed together through the book, No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece. The Lord spoke powerfully to us about becoming people of faith by first becoming people of truth.
It's been such a joy to listen to her weekly journals using hymns as her springboard. We celebrate together as she has found freedom to sing, openhearted, about both her pain and her peace.
She has taken me back to the richness of hymns that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I think her words might lead you there, too.
Here’s Kandi’s story of being transformed by hymns:
I have such happy memories of my Mother playing the piano and singing hymns to me and my two brothers as we were falling asleep.
Now as an adult I find myself humming the hymns and pulling out an old hymnal or Googling the lyrics and playing hymns on Spotify, letting the melodies flow over and through me, pondering the words and loving them.
So many of these songs are cries to God in the midst of pain and hard times, and yet these hymn-writers were choosing to praise God and rejoice in God's mercies and grace.
When I don't have my own words, I find a hymn and I claim their words as my own. These songs of the church have influenced and impacted my life and bring me comfort. The hymns sing of heartache, pain, raw emotions and then hope, promise and joy!
They proclaim God's faithfulness and mercies:
"His Eye is on the sparrow, and I KNOW He watches me."
Amazing Grace, how SWEET the sound...
I once was lost, but now I'm found."
"When peace like a river attends my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll,
WHATEVER my lot,
You have taught me to say,
IT IS WELL with my soul."
I encourage you to take time to read the lyrics of these old hymns. Turn on Spotify or Pandora and listen to the classics, or for a newer, contemporary sound, check out: CoffeeHouse Hymns. My two favorites are Selah and Anthony Berger on the piano. They breathe new life into the classics.
If you want to know the backstory of the hymns and their authors, I recommend the book, "Then Sings My Soul" by Robert J. Morgan.
"Praise be to the Lord for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield. My heart TRUSTS in Him and He helps me.
My heart LEAPS for Joy and with my song I praise Him.
The Lord is the strength of His people.
A fortress of salvation for His anointed one."
Pull up a chair and sit still
Psalm 96:1 instructs us to “sing unto the Lord a new song.” I wonder if welcoming an old song into your life today might just give you that new song, as it is doing for Kandi.
Thank you for making space for Kandi in your day. I pray her words will encourage you, as they do me.