Monday, January 17, 2005

Valley song reflections

Jars of Clay “Valley Song” just started playing on my computer as I was surfing the Net, trying to get some work done for my new Engineering class that I’m teaching this semester. Powerful song, makes me cry each time that I hear it; even more now, I’ve always loved it. Just the other day, on the snowing drive to work, I was thinking I should download it from I-Tunes so that I could listen to it more. Then, in the mail that night, a package from Chaya and Brian came. I hit the button to play it, bumped the skip buttons some how and guess what the first song to play was? Yup, the Valley song. I just started to cry there in the living room, in front of the stereo. The only one around at the time was Anna, Abby was sleeping. Anna just looked at me with a sort of look of confusion or something, her lip starting to quiver in empathy or fear. She is a very sensitive child. I told her that it was ok, and that Daddy was just sad. Then she did the unexpected… She fell onto my shoulder wrapping her little arms around my back and gave me a hug. She hugged me longer than I can ever remember her embracing me before, and right there, in the middle of the living room, with my 18 month old girl hugging me, I cried a bit more. It was a cry of confusion, a cry of hardship in this journey, a “I wish I could take it all away” cry. It was a cry of me wanting her so much to just be ok in the midst of thinking about possibilities that I just can’t think about right now. Most of all though, it was a cry of hope, of me letting everything that was burdening me go and letting God take the load.

That’s a spiritual moment right there, I time that I won’t soon forget; being comforted by your little girl, by God, by song, and at the same time knowing that it’s going to be ok and passing the knowledge on to Anna with a hug.

One of the lyrics of the Valley Song that give me great hope and comfort, and hopefully will you too, is the following:

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to you

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut

And though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down

Thanks again to everyone for all of your reflections, comments, support and prayers!


Anonymous said...


There are times when we can't explain God's plans for us. Your reflection of the Valley song and Anna's hug is one of those. Just know that she wants to take away your hurt and she only knows to hug you and hold you tight, just like God is doing with all of you, especially Abby. Jars of Clay write some great music with words that really make us reflect. You are not alone in your journey right know. There are lots and lots of people praying for Abby, as well as the rest of your family. Just remember that God is walking with you every step of the way. Sometimes its hard to remember this, but your faith is really strong.

Even though I don't post many comments I am checking this site daily. It's really a small world out there with the internet. Our church family is keeping Abby in their prayers too.

Sheila (Stiles) Koster

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

It's your cousin Linda writing from freezing CT. It's amazing how people draw comfort and strength through words set to music. Where would we be without the words, without the release music brings, without all those we love to bring comfort and joy and those long, long hugs? You and yours have all these things which I know will make all the difference.

So we're glad to hear you're staying strong and feeling the love. Peter's daughter will be with us this weekend, celebrating turning 15 on Thursday, and, hey, we *still* have to have Annie's mac & cheese well stocked (though not the bunny type). In her case, it's "soul food" for midterms. Not to sound like the infamous Martha, but Annie's IS a good thing. All of you should be eating it. ; )

On Sunday we lost a cousin in Danville (on my mother's side of the family). I don't know if your mother ever met my cousin Brenda. She was disabled in a car accident a few years ago and died in her sleep over the newspaper Sun. afternoon. I wasn't able to go down but many calls have kept me in touch there, though leaving me to catch up here for several days at once.

We are thinking of you every day, though, and know all will be well.

Every good wish,

Anonymous said...

Mark and Tiffany,
I was just wondering if Abby has had another bone marrow test? I thought you had said that they would do another one since she was higher then 5% last time. If they did how did it come out?

I also just wanted to tell you guys that you have been instrumental in helping me to reevalute my relationship with God. As scary as it can be to walk with God through these tough circumstances I would rather do that then not walk with him at all. I will continue to pray for you guys and for strength and comfort during this time. Thanks for sharing your heart you are inspiring many.

Susan Brewer