You Have to Keep Believing

I attended Encounter again last week. This is a special monthly gathering of our Youth in praise and worship before the Blessed Sacrament. I accompanied our Youth Music Minister, Carrie, on vocals, trying to add some harmonies to her beautiful voice. The music was great and moving, but the most inspiring moment for me occurred when we finished one of the songs and took a break. To me, the sudden silence was overwhelming. As I looked around the church, I saw faces of beautiful believers in deep, silent prayer. The spiritual force I felt almost knocked me over. I sat back and reflected on what I was experiencing – what I was feeling.

I knew many of the people in the church. I knew that some of them have been experiencing some rather challenging times in their life. I knew that others were experiencing the deepness of God’s love in new and exciting ways. I also knew that I was only aware of a snapshot of where they were in their lives. But I experienced this overwhelming sense of awe as I felt the Holy Spirit filling His church with hope and love. I wanted to begin writing down my thoughts and feelings, but the time wasn’t right. So I just sat back and experienced the amazing event that God allowed me to participate in.

The song “Restless” written by Audrey Assad and Matt Maher was one of the songs Carrie selected for the evening. It is based on the St. Augustine quote: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” This quote has been a favorite of mine for years and has inspired some of my early writing. You’ll hear it referenced in my song “My Only One.” St. Augustine’s quote speaks to the truth that we will never be fully at rest during our pilgrim journey on earth. It will only be when we meet the Lord face-to-face and share completely in his love that our hearts will be at rest. But that doesn’t keep us from knowing and loving God in our limited capacity while on earth. That doesn’t mean that we cannot believe and trust in the Lord to be with us every step of the journey.

As those of you who follow my blog and my website know, these “Jesus moments” lead me to reflection and prayer, and reflection and prayer leads me to writing songs and poems. This experience is no different. I haven’t completed the work yet, but the thought “Keep believing” has been floating around my brain ever since I attended Encounter. The song I am working on right now is tentatively titled “Keep Believing.” It goes like this:

The sweetest songs we sing
Come from restless hearts believing
The deepest source of prayer
Come from joy and come from grieving

No matter where you are
No matter where you’ve been
Whether swimming in God’s grace, or drowning in sin
You have to keep believing
You have to keep believing

Each day’s a gift from God
Tough sometimes the prize is hidden
But don’t give up the fight
Just embrace the cross you’re given

No matter where you are …

Day after day, never give up, never surrender!
We don’t walk alone; God’s at your side
Our guide and defender!

The sweetest songs we pray …
The deepest source of prayer …
Each day’s a gift from God …
So, don’t give up the fight …

No matter where you are …

I encourage you to reflect on these words. And I invite you to share your thoughts and feelings with me, either via Blog comments or via private e-mail. I’d like to know:

  1. When do you most feel the presence of God in your life?
  2. What helps you know, that even though you may be going through a difficult time in your life, your faith and belief in God is essential to calming your restless heart?

Be at peace and know that you are loved.

Deacon Dan

This Blog Post Copyright Daniel R. Donnelly. All Rights Reserved.

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