I grew up in a Christian home and it seemed like I was in church every time the doors were open. My sister and I were raised by loving parents and never went through a ‘rebellious phase”. And, from what I can remember, life was pretty good.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I started to realize how hard it really can be to have hope. My aunt had twin baby boys born prematurely, Justin and Jordan. Justin passed away not long after he was born, before most of my family could meet him. Jordan came home with a breathing machine for support until he could start breathing on his own. My aunt would bring Jordan over to my parent’s house every day and I would look forward to playing with him before I had to get my homework done. One day, I got home and Jordan wasn’t there. My mom told me that he was having some complications with his breathing machine and had to be rushed to the hospital. A few hours later, we found out that he had passed away. This was the first time I had experienced that type of pain; the type of pain that numbs you. Shortly after, my family lost my aunt from cancer and then my grandmother. I felt trapped in my emotions.
I needed vision.
After college, I worked as a Resident Director at my Christ-centered alma mater. I got to oversee a dormitory with 118 women and I loved every minute of it. I also got to serve as the Director of Diversity Student Programming. I was pretty confident that I was going to work my way up the ladder and eventually retire from my university.
The summer before my third year as a Resident Director, our university went through a major transition and we had an entirely new administration. It felt like the carpet was pulled from beneath me and I wasn’t sure how to fall. I failed to mention, that while I was working at my alma mater, I was also working part time as a College and Discipleship Pastor at my church. This is important to mention because the new administration made their doctrinal beliefs very clear: Women couldn’t be pastors.
I needed vision.
“The hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision‘ has its origins almost fifteen hundred years ago in Ireland. We believe that it was written by the sixth century Irish poet, Dallán Forgaill, also known as St. Dallán. Monks chanted his poetry, and someone much later used it as the basis for this hymn.
We believe that St. Dallán lost his sight, which inspired the first line, “Be Thou our vision.’ Legend has it that he recovered his sight after writing a poem praising St. Colomba.
The hymn is a prayer—a prayer that Christ will be our vision—our best thought—our presence—our light”
Prayerfully, I’ll have an opportunity to elaborate on the stories I shared above in the future. However, I wanted to share those stories because they remind me of the pivotal moments in my life when Jesus stepped in and became my vision.
The older I get, the more I realize that God uses the hard stuff to push us to Him. He uses the heartache to refocus our eyes and to bring our attention to what He sees. And He’s so good at seeing the beauty in everything.
hear, hear my lamentations;
Timely is the cry of woe
of this miserable wretch.
O heart of my heart,
whate’er befall me,
O ruler of all,
be thou my vision.”