Amanda Barber

Stories, songs, and thoughts on life.

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24 December 2014

I don’t know how much overlap there is between those who read my blog and those who follow me on Facebook. If there is, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been putting up videos of myself singing Christmas carols every evening for over a week, and I promised last time that I would tell you why.

Well, the short answer is that I wanted to give you something for Christmas, and a video of some sort seemed the best possible way to reach as many of you as possible. The long answer is a bit more complicated and only just came to me in a fuzzy way after I began my Twelve Days of Carols project.

The last couple of years have been difficult for me. Without dwelling too much on details, I can say that I experienced heartache a couple years ago, which seemed to color most everything. Life looked pretty bleak, lonely, and uninspiring. After that happened, I more or less stopped singing. Sure, I sang at church, but I didn’t sing much of my own accord. Where before songs were on my mind and in my mouth just about all the time especially as a teen and in my early twenties, they just weren’t there anymore.

Right now, I feel almost back to normal. Emotionally, that is and however you define “normal”! God has given back the joy of living. And while I doubt anyone completely “gets over” heart pain, mine has to a certain extent scarred over and sunk to the bottom instead of waiting to boil over at the least hint of a memory. I have begun to sing again. At home, in the car, washing dishes, and even at the store (not loudly mind you)! Much of that has been born of self-discipline, but now I do have songs randomly coming to mind often. That’s a nice phenomenon.

As I began to post my Christmas carols last week, I began to ponder. I know that life is a series of testing, trials, and temptations. Some are easier to deal with than others, but it seems that we grow the most through the hardest. God wants us to grow, so it shouldn’t be surprising when hard trials come. I know I need to be prepared for the next round. One of the few constants in life is that they will come. For all I know, I could walk into one next week. Next time, though, I don’t want to stop singing. I want to sing through it, even if my heart is breaking. God deserves to be praised whether I am happy or not. In His mercy, obeying Him through praise is one of the most comforting tools for people in distress. Singing about Him reminds us of who He is and that He keeps His promises to provide for us, never leave us, or forsake us.

So that is my goal for the coming years—to keep singing. As I’ve been putting up my Christmas carols lately, it occurred to me that putting up videos might actually be a practical way of making sure that happens. One a day would be a bit much to sustain, but I may commit to one a week. How does that sound to all of you?

I know that what I’m writing isn’t exactly Christmassy, but in another way it is. What better season to sing than at Christmas time? I hope you will carve out some time during this festive day to gather your family around and sing some Christmas carols. The Incarnation is something to sing about. Sing through the pain, the tears, and the disappointment, because Jesus is here with us. Without His coming there could be no time to look forward to without any pain, tears, or disappointment. Merry Christmas!