I love to sing. Love to sing. I croon lullabies to soothe minds and tears. I will belt musicals in the car. I will sing Glee duets with my husband and mingle our voice as we have mingled our lives. On Sunday, though, as I stood and sang in worship service, I came to a realization: my voice was made for hymns.
I grew up in the Wesleyan Holiness Church and have sung hymns my entire life and have most of them memorized. I have sung them, played them on the piano and flute, translated them, and written about them for English assignments. My voice was made for the soaring triumphs of hymns like “I Will Praise Him”, the broken need of “Fill My Cup, Lord”, and the deep remembrance of “Man of Sorrows”. My voice was made for hymns and it makes my heart soar to sing them. It reminds me of the lessons I learned of Jesus as a young woman, of sweet moments of God’s comfort and help, moments of brokenness and revelation.
My husband says frequently that one of the things that spurred his love for me was when he took me to his home church for the first time and I knew every hymn that was sung by heart. TO him, it was a reminder that I understood his past, his upbringing, that I knew how much it meant to him. I understood his life, and knew what it would mean for me to be part of it, to share in it.
As a child, the hymn “Jesus Loves Me” was my lullaby, sung and hummed to me by my mother every night. It soothed my soul and my heart at the end of each day. It also was the first song I ever sang to my daughter, becoming her main lullaby as well. I hummed it into the tiny body that laid on my chest, murmured it through exhausted tears, sang it through smiling lips at the sight of a peacefully sleeping infant in my arms.
There are days when I find myself singing hymns while I stand at the sink washing dishes or folding clothes, and I just smile. They are what my voice was made for – for praise and blessings, for intercession and brokenness, for joy and gratitude. Of all the songs I shall ever sing, these will forever remain the closest, for they bolster my heart and my faith through every season of life.