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March 28, 2014

Be still, my soul

Filed under: Chronic illness, History, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 8:56 am

I’ve had the strangest day today. Not in terms of anything remarkable happening — in fact, I was only out of bed for a combined 3 hours — but in the way I’ve felt. It had something to do with this:

Not David Archuleta (though I’m sure he’s perfectly lovely, I think I’ve heard him sing about twice in my life), but the song. I’ve written before about some songs that loom large in my life, but this is the most important one. I think I might have killed myself* a time or two if not for these words, this music that seeped into my soul at just the right moments.

I never turn down an opportunity to listen to this hymn, so when this video came across my newsfeed, I had to click on it. In the process I revisit a thousand moments: I’m on the floor in the bathroom too weak to move; I’m singing to Addison while she cries through her growing pains (she used to request “still my soul” but of course, I thought she was spelling it “steal my soul” and never could figure out who would teach her such a terrible song); I’m at the tragically beautiful funeral of one of the dearest little ones ever to grace the earth. This song simultaneously takes me back to the moments that I was giving up completely and the ones where I decided to never give up.

Each lyric has been important to me in its own time and way, but today it’s this one: “Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake to guide the future as he has the past.” These last several years have been a tumultuous time in my church. And these last several months have been a tumultuous time in my ward. And these last several weeks have been a tumultuous time in my life as I’m trying to figure out how to get out of bed every morning and sit upright for 7 hours a day (and then sleep afterward — it’s currently 2:00 am). But today I feel no fear. My God has delivered me and so many others from much worse than this, and I know He does undertake to guide the future just as He has the past.

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;

With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend

Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.


Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.


*Have I talked about being seriously suicidal on here before? Because I’m going to. There’s no other way to explain my life. (I’ve been a little scared to do it, though I’ve danced around the topic enough that I’m sure most of you have picked up on the subtext.)



  1. Thank you for writing this. One of my mission friends passed away yesterday and it was a little sudden though she was fighting leukemia. I was so angry actually, and sad, and so many things, and woke up this morning thinking about her and my brother in law who also recently passed away from brain cancer. I opened up my email and this is what I saw. Thank you for such a calming message. God does guide the future as He has the past. Sorrow will be forgot, love’s purest joys restored. In every change, He is faithful. We will meet at last. I love this song, thanks for reminding me.

    Comment by Sabrina — March 28, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

  2. That was beautiful. You are one of the bravest people I know. I am very glad to have you in my life

    Comment by kei02003 — March 28, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

  3. Thank you for this much needed message. I love this hymn with all of my heart. It was wonderful to read each line and to be reminded how much He truly loves each of us. I also noticed your last line and I can relate as well. There are so many times when I start to think that if I could just pass on to the next life things would be easier. All of my fears and anguish would disappear. But then I hear hymns like this and I realize that I have a purpose here on Earth and that I need to be patient through whatever Heavenly Father sees fit for me to go through. Thank you for your testimony and for your honesty.

    Comment by Brianna — April 3, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

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