This week’s topic: Favorite Resources: all of the things – books, music, devotionals, etc. – that keep you close to the Lord, especially in the time of singlehood.
Love, love, love this topic. Why? Because back in the early days of this blog I had a whole series of songs about waiting. You know, those songs that give us hope when all seems bleak, songs that remind us of the goodness of waiting and not rushing God’s plan. Some of my favorite songs from that series are: “The Marriage Prayer” by John and Josee Waller, “‘Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay, and “Not Myself” by John Mayer. In fact, “Not Myself” was the reason I started that series in the first place.
Since I’m a music addict (see that Featured Songs tab at the top of the page for further proof), I’m going to focus this week on the songs that keep me close to God. Feel free to peruse the “Songs About Waiting” series for other great songs, or leave me a comment and suggest other songs that you love (and maybe want to see me write about? *nudge nudge*)! However, lately I’ve been hooked on this song, which I’ve discovered works quite well, regardless of whether you are single or in a relationship, discerning that relationship’s future:
“Restless” by Audrey Assad
My goodness how we struggle in those times of singleness, how restless our hearts are. This song reminds us that we are restless until we rest in Him. Sometimes that reminder is obvious, and sometimes it is a painful reminder of exactly where we are not. There are so many lines in this song that I love, but “You are the keeper of my heart” stands out so much every time I hear it. In our seasons of singleness this song reminds us that He alone is the keeper of our hearts, He knows our struggles, our despair, our impatience, and our desires. He keeps our heart close to His always.
“Oh speak now, for my soul is listening, say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark, the dark. ‘Cause I know You’re more than my salvation, without You I am hopeless, tell me who You are.” In our singleness (really, in our lives) we often forget to simply let God speak. We busy our prayer lives with the thousand intentions people bring to us, and our desires, but we fail to let Him speak…and to let our souls listen to Him. This song reminds us to simply listen to Him, listen for His plans for our life, and listen to Him tell us how much He loves us. We want to hear Him remind us that He has saved us, not only from our sins, but from our despair that our vocation may never be fulfilled. Sometimes our darkness gets so deep that we need Him to remind us that He is more than our salvation, He is our first and truest love.
“Still my heart, hold me close, let me hear a still small voice, let it grow, let it rise, into a shout, into a cry…” We get so wrapped up in the “what if’s”, “What if he never comes?, “What if I screw it up?”, “What if he can’t love me beyond my past?” that we plead for Him to still our hearts. We ask Him to still our hearts because we’ve been everywhere else and know that they are restless until they rest in Him. We want to feel the loving embrace of our Father, we want to hear His still small voice rising into a shout, into a cry of love and mercy in our lives.
“You are the keeper of my heart.” It makes sense that the lyrics that stick out to me in singleness are the same lines that strike me when I’m in a relationship. Just as He is the keeper of my heart when I’m single, He is still the keeper of my heart when I’m in a relationship. He keeps our hearts. He guards our hearts.
“And I’m restless, I’m restless, ’til I rest in You.” In my times of being in a relationship I have found that I am restless when the relationship isn’t where God is calling it to be. Not only are we restless when we aren’t in Him, we are restless when we aren’t in His plan, and deep down we know it. I’ve found that when I’m restless about the relationship and it isn’t bringing a sense of calm and peace to my life, that is not likely where God is calling me. We are restless until we rest in Him…and in His plan.
“Speak now, for my soul is listening…” I’ve often found that I can be really, really good at praying for a relationship, but I’m not always as good when it comes to praying about the relationship – and there is a difference. This lyric opens our hearts to hearing His will not only for our lives, but for the relationships we are in. Speak now, for my soul is listening, Lord, is this the relationship you desire for me?
“Still my heart, hold me close, let me hear a still small voice…” Similar to the lyric above, this line helps people in a relationship quiet their own hearts, crawl into the lap of God and listen for His voice, still and small though it may be. It is easy to get caught up with our own hearts in a relationship, the butterflies and warm fuzzies can easily take over, which is exactly why it is so important for us to ask God to still our hearts so that we can more clearly listen to His, guiding us on His perfect path.