I Just Can't Bear to Sing

I haven’t been able to sing a song at church since my dad died. Not one hymn, worship song, nothing has been sung aloud in over 3 years. There were Sundays when I would attempt to sing and tears would flow so fast and heavy that I would nervously wipe them away enough to get to the bathroom and avoid the rest of worship time. I grew to hate this part of church. I would go to the bathroom, pretend the baby needed something, get more water. Anything but having to stand there and bottle my emotions why others praised the lord with their voice. My counselor said once, “really, what’s so bad about singing and crying? Why are you ruling out one thing you love because of your emotions which are in an of themselves no bad. Why not just sing?!” He said. But, I couldn’t and still cant bring myself to that much freedom of self to let my emotions take over when I am there. Its not always about the display of emotions but allowing the emotions to come at all. When they come, they take over all my energy, my crying, my capacity for that moment. They have consumed me and with 5 children, a husband, and a home to care for, having no capacity is not a luxury I have. Or, at least, I don’t think so. My husband and children would gladly care for me and give me space if I stole it away but I know the cost of stepping aside, being less than what is needed, and giving in to those overtaking emotions. Sunday morning is not the place for that for me. Its too much in that space with too much ahead for the day. I wish it could be that way. I wish it could be the place that I am free, can release those pent up emotions, be filled with truth and on my way. That sounds like freedom. That sounds like good therapy coming from worship music. That sounds healthy. That sounds like what my soul is longing for. This Sunday, I thought, I can do this. I will just sing a few lines of the song, not just in my head but out loud. I will participate by singing aloud with everyone else. Sure enough, the tears came. They flooded out of me even unexpectedly to me in the amount. It was no special day, anniversary or I hadn’t had some especially hard time with my dad’s death recently. But, the tears still flowed. That connection to the Lord, the emotion evoked from singing, and the deep sense of God’s control is forced upon me with the truth of the hymns. I am faced with their reality and my dad’s death each time I sing. It makes me miss the man who taught me such truths and who seemed to believe them all so easily. It makes me come face to face with the God we sing about, the God who allowed my dad to die and the God I have to believe is still here to comfort me.

Richmond, VA.