My dear wife is on the front lines. Every day she is in the trenches battling this monster that has afflicted our family and stolen our daughter, recently she wrote about the struggle and her thoughts brought me to tears. I share them with you now.
It was MLK day 2023. As a female of Nordic descent, I’ve understood and promoted and sought justice, but I never really felt this day as much as I did this year. As you read this, I beg you to understand my heart. I know there isn’t a REAL comparison here, but I felt one. I know the generations-long suppression is inexpressibly intense, and the duration of the bondage is incomprehensible, but in some ways, I now feel it too.
If you read my husband’s blog A Monster Has Moved In you will know about the fight for my daughter’s life and how she nearly died in the summer of 2022 and how every single day, several hours of every day we do battle with the anorexia that is trying to kill her and at minimum hold her to its evil slavery.
Anorexia holds us in bondage, mostly my fair daughter’s mind, but also the parents who work so hard to appease the beast with acceptable food offerings. The siblings are enslaved as well as they are forced to witness the torment and abuse. When will we ever be free? How long, Oh Lord, we cry? As we beg for mercy, freedom, and rational thoughts, the monster rages on, destroying and depleting the carefully built relational storehouses. It drives us deeper into the darkness of restriction and limitations. Slavery. It is slavery. We are all now enslaved.
The choir I joined in January is practicing toward a tribute to Mahalia Jackson. She had such a powerful voice, which she used so effectively alongside Martin Luther King to declare freedom for her people. Little did I know how much her music would affect me in my current season of life.
Well, I’m tired and so weary, but I must go along…
There will be peace … for me someday
There will be peace for me… Oh Lord, I pray!
Well, the bear will be gentle, and the wolf will be tame; well, the beast from the wild, shall be led by a child,
And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh, yes! There will be peace … for me someday.
There will be peace for me … oh Lord, I pray!
Well, it’s true. I’m tired and oh so very weary in this battle. And yet, I must go along – my child’s life depends on my continuous fight. BUT there will be peace? Really? Some day – yes. There will be peace. I pray for it – I plead with God with all my being – peace – please – this is my plea! Oh Lord, I pray! Is it true that the bear will be gentle and the wolf will be tame? Can the beast within my child be controlled and led by that child someday? Will she ever gain mastery over it? Can she be changed from the creature she is? Can I be changed from the creature I am? Oh yes – someday, along with that peace it can happen – Oh Lord, I pray!
Got my hand on the Plow Wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now
Keep your hand on the plow, Hold on!
Freedom’s name is mighty sweet. One of these days we’re gonna meet.
Keep your hand on the plow. Hold On!
Growing up in a farming community, the plow visual really works for me. I must keep my hand steady on the plow. Do not let up! Wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now – ummm nope – I’d happily trade this battle against the beast, but it’s what I got and it is the plow work that is laid out for me and I cannot quit. I must HOLD ON! Freedom’s name is mighty sweet – I can almost taste it … someday I will meet that freedom. I know it’s not today or tomorrow, but we’re gonna meet one of these days if I can just Hold On.
The choir director pulled me back from my internalizing of the lyrics with the demand to use our mature voices and sing with power. And so I did! I sang on MLK day with all my strength! I declared with all the faith I can muster, with all the hope my voice can hold, that there WILL be peace for me, and we ARE gonna taste freedom’s name someday! And so I will Hold On!
Freedom! This is my cry. Peace? This is my plea.