Flying Free – Music, Faith and Recovery
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”
Chris Tomlin, I Will Rise
Does anyone really recover from grief? I lost my sister Tracy last July to breast cancer. She was the youngest in our family, and in some ways she was the glue that held us together. Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations were very important to her, so our holiday traditions are based upon what she wanted. She ordered the menus for most of our holiday meals – which is to say, she told us what to cook, because she couldn’t fry an egg. She had the “cleaning” gene that my other sister and I don’t have, so she did most of the cleanup during the holidays, although it usually meant we would lose some dishes, because she scrubbed them so hard with SOS pads before putting them in the dishwasher that some of them broke under the pressure. Tracy led a very quiet life, but it was the life she wanted. She loved going to work, having a job was very important to her. She struggled to work until the very end.
Tracy had a quiet, comforting presence. She had no pretensions, and no ambitions; she simply was who she was. During the time of her last days and on the day she went home to heaven, I had to be strong, for the family and for Tracy, so I didn’t get a chance to really grieve until later on. Most of my grieving was done during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, because they were not the same without her.
We played Chris Tomlin’s song, I Will Rise, at her funeral service. Since then, every time it came on the radio, it provided me with another opportunity to weep and to grieve. The song is comforting because Tomlin sings about what we will be doing in heaven when we arrive there; and now, every time I hear the song, I picture Tracy in heaven, at peace with our Savior.
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
I will rise
Tracy was in a lot of pain towards the end. Now I know she feels no more pain, no more sorrow, no more fear. When I hear I Will Rise, I can picture Tracy arriving at heaven, surprised at the beauty and peace around her. Tracy gave her heart to Jesus a few months before she died, but she didn’t really get a chance to know Him while she was on earth. So I can only imagine her cry of delight when she reached heaven and saw her beautiful eternity ahead of her.
I love music, and I always joke that I hope that my job will be to sing and dance around the throne when I get to heaven. I can’t sing, but I guess God likes my voice since He gave it to me. I can imagine Tracy now singing with the angels:
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
Just as it says in the book of Revelation “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:11-12
Recently when this song came on the radio, I didn’t weep. Instead, joy filled my heart, because I realized that I will be seeing Tracy again. Someday we will both be dancing and singing around the throne of God, singing joyously, with eternal peace in our hearts.
I love you Tracy and I will see you soon. Meanwhile, keep on singing.