Tune me up, Lord.
Bring every part of my being into harmony with your heart and mind.
Play your beautiful music through me to express your love,
drawing others into your heart.
May I, in tune with you, speak healing to the hurting,
proclaim release to the captives,
open the eyes of the blind.
Enable me always to live in harmony with your will and purpose.
Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful privilege of being your instrument.
“Tune Me Up” is my current prayer, many years after God rescued me from my mess. Before I tell you about the rescue, I feel I need to tell you how I got in the mess. This will make God’s mercy more clear.
I’d been a Christian since childhood, when I heard Jesus whisper in my ear, saying, “I want to be personal to you, too. Do you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” I didn’t know if this was real or imagined, but I said “yes.” The next Sunday I noticed a difference that convinced me the encounter was real. For the first time, I could understand the sermon and was actually interested in it. It was like a light had been turned on in my soul. Thereafter, I loved Jesus and studied the Bible, trying to live according to his will.
After Nurses’ Training, I married and was usually happy with two beautiful adopted children. Finally, after eleven years, I became pregnant and was thrilled when our youngest son was born.
However, within a year, the depressions began. I’d had some short term depression before that, but this time it often felt like I was under demonic oppression. My husband was also depressed for five years, and I finally concluded (whether right or wrong) that he was depressed because he didn’t want to be married to me.
In addition to the depression, although I didn’t know it at the time, I had mercury toxicity. I didn’t get a diagnosis or treatment until a dozen years later. I also had a mood disorder (probably all my life) called cyclothymia, but this wasn’t diagnosed until 2015. Looking back now, I realize that the many varied yet subtle and confusing, symptoms of these might put a strain on any marriage.
This poem shows a bit of my spiritual struggle:
“Lord, give me clear sailing,” is what I often cry
when I feel the fog’s so thick I’d really rather die.
Then, just for a moment, He’ll cause the fog to lift.
And He says, “My grace, sufficient, is the greater gift.
“When at last, you’ve stood the test,” He gently lets me know,
“you’ll receive the crown of life. The trials help you grow.”
With this poem, God, in his mercy, gave me a way to hold on a while longer.
He also gave me a song. (Which felt like Jesus Singing to Me):
Let me sing a song to you; let me know if you are feeling blue.
Brush those tears away. Lift your eyes and pray.
I will be your friend, love you to the end. For I came to save you from the tyranny of sin.
Give your heart to me. Life abundantly is what I will give you
when you trust in me to set you free.
I will wipe away your tears; perfect love will cast out all your fears.
Yes, I gave my life, just to end your strife.
When you come to me gold is what I see. I know you are precious and I want you to be mine.
Clouded now by sin, dirt and dross within. Yield to my refining.
When the trials are done, how you will shine.
I see now that God, in his mercy, was trying to teach me to trust him, and to keep me from falling into the messy pit by this song. I did love the song and appreciated God speaking to my heart. But a year later, when I knew our marriage was over, I yelled at God in my heart, “Where’s the abundant life you promised me in John 10:10?” I felt God had abandoned me, so I quit trusting Him. When I got out of tune with God in this way, I soon fell into the “pit,” the messy situation.
(See https://judithvanderwege.com/2015/09/patches-of-fog/ for an article about depression.)
To be continued: