With Thankfulness for the Song

Since Jim’s death, music has brought me great comfort. I listened to CeCe Winans sing “Goodness of God” over and over, distilling the truth of God’s faithfulness. I watched Jim’s celebration of life service repeatedly, listening to my son and daughter-in-law sing “How Great Thou Art,” my son play “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” on the cello, and the quartet sing “I Bowed on My Knees.” Those songs helped me navigate the early days of shock and grief.

Music has always been an important part of my life, but in these days of grief and adjustment, internal songs have kept me going.

Following are reflections on the song:


Many have asked me how I could return to singing in the choir a week after Jim’s death. I can sing because the song in my heart wasn’t stilled with the loss of my husband.

When I was 17, our minister of music at the time asked me to join the “adult” choir. I’ve been a choir member ever since. Jim and I had some of our first conversations in choir, and after rehearsal on January 16, 1980, Jim asked me for our first date. We had music in common, a thread that ran seamlessly through our lives, and later, the lives of our children and grandchildren.


Each spring, I’m always inspired by the return of birdsong, songs less enthusiastic during the winter. This year, birdsong seemed to come earlier. In the weeks following Jim’s January death, I often heard birdsong in the wee hours of the morning, when I was wide awake, reliving events surrounding Jim’s death, and floating on good memories. I believe God sent that singing bird to remind me of his presence and comfort.

Many years ago, I cross-stitched a saying for my mother, “If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.” That saying has new meaning for me now, a reminder to live fully, and expectantly, in this new, greening season of life. I am confident the singing bird will come and stay.


Do you hold a song in your heart? Like the green bough, hearts must be receptive to the song.

Often a song the choir sang the previous Sunday stays in my mind all week. Interestingly, the song that imbeds itself in my heart is the one that was new, or my least favorite. Why? Because I worked harder to learn it.

Often, our heartsongs are born from the hard things in life—from grief, hardship, illness, or mental or emotional wounding. As you traverse life difficulties, don’t lose your song. Keep your heart open and receptive for what God is doing in, and through, a hard life season.

When forward motion feels impossible, listen for the whisper of your heartsong. Turn up the volume until that song permeates your soul and refreshes your spirit. Trust God for what is new and next and give thanks for the song.

“Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20 AMP).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.


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