Time to Sing

Just one little bird.
 She’s up when the stillness of 5:30 nudges me awake and I struggle to peel back heavy eyelids. She’s up and she sings. I wonder how she can even tell that it’s almost morning. I wonder why she sings yet. I tip-toe to the coffee pot and flick on barely enough lights as to not wake my children, and this is my quiet time and I briefly just wish that one little bird would be quiet.
“It’s not light yet. Shhhh. It’s not light yet.”
I lift my eyes from the worn pages of Isaiah and my gaze falls on Sarah’s notebook, left haphazardly on the table after yesterday’s writing assignment. She wrote that I was brave. That I had courage. But as I sit there in the dark, I think that I am not.
I miss my friends. I know where they are, and that it is better, by far, than suffering and sickness, but I wish they were here. I miss Betty’s smile as I wiped her forehead and the way her weak hand felt in mine, her fingernails hot-pink. I miss the still, quiet hours by her bedside and the way her eyes understood even if her ears did not.  I miss Katherine’s laugh, loud and audacious and when I see her children smile, I see her, and I wish the ending had been different.
And I see Sarah’s words on the paper, “Our sick friend lived with us for a long time and my mom was brave and took care of her. I saw her praying for her and I know that she was loved and cared for. My mom kept her, and she had courage.”
And I cry, because I do not feel courageous. I feel downright defeated sometimes. Maybe courage is not at all about the absence of fear but about obedience even when we are afraid. Courage is trusting when we don’t know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near.  Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that is dos not win because I have known The Lord here. I have known The Lord in the long, dark night.
The little bird sings loud in the dark. And slowly, the sun peaks over the horizon.
At school I ask Joyce what her definition of courage is, and she says, “to have faith.” Maybe that is just it. That we still tremble, but more than that we have faith. That even though we feel uncertain, we press into a God who is so certain, so sure, so steady. He carries us, He lifts our heads. And His unfailing love and comfort becomes our courage and our hope.
It is days later and it is raining. The huge drops pelt our tin roof so hard that we can hardly hear a thing, but as the rain slows, I make out a familiar noise and I laugh. It is the same little bird that cannot contain her song too early in the morning. I wonder where she is and how she can keep singing in this storm. I wonder why she sings. But the rain slows to a trickle and the sun peaks from behind the clouds and suddenly all I can hear is her glorious song.
“To have faith, “I think. And I wonder, does she sing because she knows the sun is coming?
And I want to be just like that little bird.
Hope is a crazy thing, a courageous thing. That little bird, she feels the sun coming, knows with certainty that it will come, even when she can’t quite see it yet.
We live in a world where innocent people suffer and good friends die and stories don’t have the endings we prayed for, and the pain and the hurt, it is everywhere. But the Joy and the Hope that we find in our Savior? It is everywhere, too.  I do not have all the answers; in fact, I don’t have many at all. But this is what I know: God is who He says He is. And in the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn’t.
And I can sing, because I know what is coming. I can hope, because I know Who is coming.
In the dark of the night, I have seen His face, and I have known His promises to be true, and I know the Light is coming.
And I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid. Not a hope that is the absence of pain or heartache or suffering, not optimism disguised as hope that waits for the best-case scenario or happy ending, but a Hope that is the knowledge and full assurance that our Savior is on His way.
It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.
And so in the dark, I will sing.

163 thoughts on “Time to Sing

  1. Katie,
    I was so moved by your blog that I sent it to several of our friends and Missions Committee members at our church. God bless you and we're praying for you and your children.

    John & Brenda


  2. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for the beautiful way you share your heart and your struggles! This is what I needed today… That courage isn't the absence of fear, but trust in God in-spite of it! To lean in harder, knowing it will be hard. Thank you again, God's given you such a gift and I'm grateful you share it!!
    God Bless!!


  3. Katie, know your heart has ached and so longed for different outcomes. I came across this today and decided to share in the hope it could help.


    “here are words you don't use in medicine , such as “cure.” But a remarkable case study in an HIV positive patient treated with black seed extract resulted in a sustained remission, indicating a safe, accessible and affordable alternative to highly toxic antiretroviral HIV drugs may already exist.

    Nigella Sativa, also known as 'black seed,' has been studied for a wide rage of health benefits, but not until recently was it discovered to hold promise as a curative agent against potentially lethal viral infections, including Hepatitis C[i] and now HIV.

    A remarkable case study published in August of this year in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine described an HIV patient who after undergoing treatment with a black seed extract experienced a complete recovery, with no detectable HIV virus or antibodies against HIV in their blood serum, both during and long after the therapy ended.[ii]

    This was a remarkable and unexpected observation, described by the researchers as follows:

    “Nigella sativa had been documented to possess many therapeutic functions in medicine but the least expected is sero-reversion in HIV infection which is very rare despite extensive therapy with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). ” [emphasis added]

    Despite its commonplace use as the standard of care for HIV treatment globally, anti-retroviral therapy remains highly controversial, in part because the adverse health effects of the drug class may outstrip those associated with the HIV infection itself. This is especially true in cases where the infection was treated 'early,' having been discovered through routine blood work in asymptomatic and otherwise still healthy patients. Drug therapy can also produce selective pressure on the HIV virus to mutate and gain resistance, with the net effect that a stronger, more drug-resistant form of HIV is produced in the body at the same time that the drugs have done severe and even irreversible damage to the patient's immune system. Sadly, however, the decline and ultimate death of the patient is rarely if ever attributed to the treatment (and its many iatrogenic effects) but rather to the “disease” itself – a well-known problem in our failed 'war against cancer' where the victim (patient) and the 'the cancer' gets blamed for the incessant failure and even disease-promoting properties of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

    This is all the more reason why the possibility that an ancient healing food like black seed — which the research shows is generally safe, affordable and accessible — can cure HIV is so exciting.


  4. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you Katie! I am 14 years old and I just finished your book. I both cried and laughed as I read about your experiences. My prayer is that God would make me fearless like you and help me get out of my comfort zone to serve people the way you do. Thank you for being my role model and changing my heart!


  5. i can't really believe that i am with my Ex-Husband back after when he broke up with me with 4 kids i thank Dr Atakpo of (dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com) for helping me getting back my man back, My Name is Mrs Rhona Cole i am from England and my man name is Mr Alan Cole, my happiness turn to bitterness,my joy turn to sorrow,my love turn to hate when my husband broke up with me last week,i was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, i was so unthinkable and i could not concentrate any more, i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him broke up with me so that he can be able to get marry to the other lady and this lady i think cast a spell on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helped to get back my man until i went to Westmoreland to see a friend and who was having he same problem with me but she latter got her Husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster in Africa name DR ATAKPO that he help with love spell in getting back lost lover's back and i decided to contacted the same Dr Atakpo and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 24hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me by 9pm in my time and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much Oh My God i was so happy, and today i am happily with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one good family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo of dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that good spell casters still exist and Dr Atakpo is one of the good spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are there and your lover is turning you down, or you have your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore contact the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo on his email: dratakpospelltemple@gmail.com and he will answer you, i am a living testimony and i will continue to testify of his goodness in my family,he turn my family to paradise and today we are all happy together Dr Atakpo i say thank you in one million times thanks Dr.


  6. Hey Katie.
    This is me. Just wanted to say that God has worked expedentually in you and that I've always wanted to be with God's Children, and you have helped me so much with understanding. May God Bless you forever and I pray that one day we'll meet and see each other, with God's perfect plan. Love


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