I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Broken Tune from Within.

I don’t know if it’s only for today, but I’m ready again…….

Life can bring so much sorrow. Even in my own life, I’ve faced things I know I’m not alone in, but still…..too tragic for any person to live through. But in 2007 (which still seems like yesterday, yet fifty years all at once…..it’s such a paradox) when we lost my amazing Momma, it just changed me. Of course, it would…..absolutely. A daughter losing her mother affects her for the rest of her life. Whether one had a good relationship, or a bad one with their mom, losing a mother affects you. That’s the difference between that, and all the other pieces of grief I’ve been dealt…..so many of them can be fixed. They can be mended. They can be redeemed. Circumstances can get better. There is hope that things will get better. There’s hope that people will change. But death is final……in death, there’s only hope for what comes after this life. That is why losing her was so pivotal.

I miss how she always wanted to hear me sing. It’s such an odd thing to be talking about, I know. Music is such a special thing, no matter your faith, culture, age, sex, etc. It moves us. When she spoke of how much she liked hearing me sing, it just….I don’t know. It stirred something. It made me feel like I had something to offer. More than that, something to offer her, the one who brought me into this world.

Since she’s been gone the “song” in me hasn’t been around much. I’ve belted out a tune here or there in church, but it wasn’t the same. Oddly enough, some of the times I cry the heaviest, most bitter tears, are when we sing songs in church about “when we all get to heaven”. Because I don’t just want to see her THERE, I want to see her HERE. So many times, I’ve just stood silently, holding back tears of frustration, brokenness, bitterness, anger, sadness, sorrow……and I know God “gets” that. I’ve written for years about how He is big enough to handle that. If He’s big enough to give me breath, He’s certainly big enough to catch my tears….and even shed some with me.

I know she *still* loves to hear me sing. And even though I may not sound like Adele, Mariah, or Christina…….I sound like my Momma’s daughter. And that’s how I want to sound. Because that is who I am.

For today, for some reason, I’m ready to sing again.

In more ways than one.

I don’t know what that will look like. I don’t know if it will last even more than today. But I’m ready again. I’m not even sure why. For years now, my heart has been aching, yearning, crying, and mourning…for so many different reasons. And some of that will never change. But I am so overwhelmed with the desire to sing again that I feel as though when I do...I won’t be able to handle the words and the tunes that will escape my lips, and my broken heart.

“Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:1-2

Jesus, My Husband, My Daddy, Our Son

There are a few men in my life that I love and respect the most.....Jesus, my husband, my Daddy, and our son.

Why? They have always loved me. They have always encouraged me to be myself. They accept me. They never objectify me. They never try to "put me in my place". (And yes, I mention myself quite a bit here....because I can only speak for myself on this matter, on how the main guys in my life treat me.)

Allow me to be more specific.

Jesus welcomed women! He entered into humanity through a woman.
He loved, accepted, and (I believe) respected them, in an age when it was unacceptable to do so. Women were the ones who stuck by his side until the end. (I will NEVER forget when my husband pointed that out....it has been lodged in my heart since then, thanks Love!)

My Daddy loves his girls. He spent years working hard, alongside my Momma, to raise us as best as they could. He and my Momma always told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. Daddy always saw me as a beautiful girl, and encouraged me in my dreams...he still does.

My husband. He is a reminder everyday of God's love for me. He supports me, loves me, is loyal to me, and in doing all those things....he reminds me of my worth. In an age when it's very (disgustingly) common for men to use the Bible and religion to silence their wives, and to "make them submit"....my husband has decided to instead live out those handful of verses in Ephesians. He simply loves me, day in and day out, as Christ does His Bride. He lays down his life for me, and puts my own interests ahead of his own (and I try with all I am to do the exact same for him). Instead of finding very select Bible verses to tell me how I "ought to be behaving"....he just keeps on loving me. That speaks volumes to me.

Our son. He loves me day in, and day out...as only a son can do. We are raising him to celebrate the differences between girls and boys. We are raising him to honor every human. I cringe to think that society may STILL be oppressing women when he is older. I hope we instill a "pro-life" attitude within him....that EVERY life is sacred, beginning to end. No excuses.

So while some people choose to bicker back and forth about what women can and can't do, how we should behave, when we should speak or be silent, how we should dress, etc, etc..... I'm just going to let you keep fighting. You can have it. I won't try to change your minds. You've already got them made up, and I'm quite sure you won't listen to me.....I am merely a woman.

(A woman created in His image...just as you were.)

But while you're fighting, demanding, oppressing, and trying to define me....

I will simply keep doing the good things I love to do. While you continue to tear down, I'm just going to keep trying to build up. I will keep working, everyday, to answer your oppression with love and grace.

I will remember that Christ defines me. And as you keep fighting your battles....I will remember that the war has been won. I will remember Jesus, my husband, my Daddy, and our son.

They are the ones who remind me how valuable I am.

They remind me that there are still a few good men.