A former chorus student of mine, from way “back in the day,” posted the lyrics of a song by Matt Maher on Facebook today. One of the lines in the song, “good news worth repeating,” made me reflect on all the news I’ve been hearing lately. Most of it not good news. In fact, really bad news.
I could drown in the hopelessness that news brings.
But I choose not to!
Instead I choose to rise above the bad news and repeat some good news from the last few months of my life:-).
So here goes…..
Good News Worth Repeating #1: That same former chorus student I referenced, Artie is his name, wrote me the most thoughtful and thankful note during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. He shared his memories of me as a very patient teacher (who me?!) with a friendly smile. He remembered being the “chorus student of the quarter” and coming to our home for a celebration meal with two other students. He even remembered we had spaghetti. (Sometimes I can’t even remember what I had for dinner yesterday!) He said “I remember how special I felt and how you made such a big deal out of all of us.” He reminded me that his class was very mischievous, but I managed to help them become better singers. (The patience paid off!)
What really touched me, though, were these words “Thank you for planting the seeds in my life for the love of singing which truly is a gift……I still have that gift of love for singing.” He went on to tell me he is now a worship leader in his church and a principal! He even has his doctorate!! What a blessing to know I touched his life for “good:-).”
Good News Worth Repeating #2: In the midst of stay-at-home orders, I’ve seen families playing together, eating together, and neighbors outside talking together (at a social distance, of course). We now know the names of our neighbors’ four children, and they love to come visit us on our back patio when we are out! I’ve seen people helping others in need and working together to solve problems creatively. Like teachers continuing to teach, even when they can’t physically be with their students. And families staying connected through Zoom. And drive by birthday celebrations! And….I could go on and on. I would call this the “silver lining” in our COVID-19 isolation. Relationships have become our priority!
Good News Worth Repeating #3: I have had enough food to eat. (I hope you have, too.) In fact, too much, as evidenced by a little more “pudge” around my middle. Let’s just say, I’m thankful for “comfort” foods, and leave it at that! Though I might be tempted to complain about having to cook at home more (if you know me well, you know how much I LOVE to eat out!), the Good News is that God has provided for our needs and more!!
Good News Worth Repeating #4: God has replaced my fear of the unknown and uncertainty with PEACE. Several months ago, I can honestly say my fear was crippling. I had trouble sleeping and sometimes imagined I couldn’t breathe well. (That could, possibly, maybe, be a panic attack? Maybe?) I tuned into the news off and on all day to get another dose of “oh, no!” I worried over my adult children in different parts of the country.
THEN, I started praying fervently for God to give me His peace, His presence, His assurance that He would be with me through all the unknowns and the uncertainties. I prayed Psalm 23 again and again as I battled this fear. And when I let go of my need to control the situation, my need to have all the answers, the peace came. God’s peace. He reminded me that He is my anchor. He is my “ever present help in time of need.”
Good News Worth Repeating #5: Lane and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage on June 28! We’ve stuck together, even through all the “togetherness” of COVID-19:-). (That’ll test your marriage! LOL!) Our relationship and marriage is an example of God’s redemptive power, and his ability to bring beauty from ashes. So thankful for this “second chance” at love. Lane is a gift and 5 years together is good news, in fact, great news!
Good News Worth Repeating #6: In the recent turmoil in our country over injustice and racial inequality, God is working to heal hearts and bring needed reform. Healthy and productive conversations are taking place in the midst of the ashes of our country’s brokenness. “If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. God’s people are praying, and God is working!
Good News Worth Repeating #7: God has given me songs to remind me of his goodness, his faithfulness and his blessing to us as His children. Here are 5 song titles that God has used to speak to me these past few months: Way Maker, The Blessing by Kari Jobe, I Speak Jesus from Here Be Lions, The Goodness of God and most recently Alive and Breathing by Matt Maher. I encourage you to add them to your playlist:-). As my former student, Artie, has reminded me, “the love of singing is a gift.” It is a precious gift from God!
And that’s a wrap for my Good News Worth Repeating today. There may be future installments. You never know……
From Alive and Breathing (by Matt Maher)…..
“Joy still comes in the morning
Hope still walks with the hurting
If you’re still alive and breathing
Praise the Lord
Don’t stop dancing and dreaming
There’s still Good News worth repeating
So lift your head and keep singing
Praise the Lord.”