This past Sunday Mark was talking to me and said, "Have you ever heard the song 'Never Once'? I think it really describes this past year for us." I immediately went to spotify to see if I could find it and play it, because I had asked him a while back if there was a particular song we could put our stamp on as the "2012-2013 Year". He said he didn't really know of any and I only had one or two that kind of did. I forgot about it until that very moment and when I heard this song, I knew he was absolutely right. It's as if Matt Redman took my year and wrote a song about it. I have been playing it non stop since and worshiping the Lord who never once left us. Here are the lyrics :
I just want to break down this entire song and show how perfectly it fits this entire year. Mark and I have finally reached the "mountain top" of getting him through a year of school and me through a year of work. And looking back I can see the hand of God with us the entire process from the fact I even had a job, to helping us through financially when on paper there was NO WAY we should have, to Mark breaking his collar bone at the ONLY TIME he could have broken it and not missed clinicals and been able to hold Owen, those are just a few examples of many more I could recount with you. Now "kneeling on this battleground" of our home and picking up our lives again we can look confidently and say the victory was His and His alone.
My favorite part of this entire song is the bridge that says "Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say 'Never once did we ever walk alone.'" This totally personifies this year. It wasn't easy, in fact it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cannot tell you how many times after dropping off a screaming crying child at daycare and walking away crying myself did I beg and pray for a different way, a way out. How I pleaded with God to help me understand why this was the path we had to follow. How I doubted His love and His sovereignty after Mark broke his collar bone, all to get really no answer (I felt) in reply. This was just something we had to do, and it hurt. There were scars physically and emotionally and boy were there struggles, even inward personal ones all along the way, however there's the refrain. "But with joy our hearts can say." It is with joy now I can proclaim God's goodness, His faithfulness, His love for His children. I can knowingly cry out that "Never once did we ever walk alone!" He didn't leave us to ourselves, He was there in the midst of every tear, doubt, and prayer seeing us through it all. He is ever faithful, and my faith is stronger now because of it.
My eyes are opened now to others who may be going through a rough year themselves. Maybe everything looks ok on the outside, but silently they are wondering how in the world the bills are going to get paid when they are $50 in the hole every month. Perhaps some teacher with young kids just needs you to bring her a meal because she is so tired when she gets home. Perhaps a family could use a gift card out to eat so they can go on a date. Maybe they just need prayer and encouragement that God is in control. I don't know, but I am now more aware. I am thankful for this year, this time of struggle, because I know I have grown. I would never want to go through it again, but I can be singing the praise of He is faithful. Below are links to the music video and the video explaining the inspiration for the song. I hope you'll take the time to check them out and allow this song to bless you as it has me.