Restore My Soul
In the mid eighties I was an instructor and the director of music at a Christian academy in Michigan. I enjoyed a close relationship with the students there and often held their confidence as they came to me with personal issues in addition to concerns about their education. I was disturbed by the fact that these Christian young boys and girls were often involved in things that were unhealthy, unsafe and that would lead them to scars and consequences for the rest of their lives: drugs, alcohol, pre-marital sex, etc. I was even more disturbed by the fact that though the students often turned to me for counsel, it appeared that I was unable to influence them to change their behavior. I found myself battling depression as a result, deeply worried and concerned about them when they seemed to have no concern for themselves.
In November of one year, feeling the need to remove myself from the classroom, I went to Ft. Worth, TX, planning also to attend the annual Lectureship at Southwestern Christian College. However, my spirit was so low that I was not up to doing so during the day and only mustered up the strength to do attend at night.
I was staying at the house of a friend and was left alone during the day. As a result, I did as I often would do, found solace at the piano. Before I began playing I began praying – “restore my spirit Lord, I need restored. My heart is weary please help me dear Lord”. As I continued to plead with God, I began to just play music to what I was saying to Him. I felt that it would be hard for me to go back to my students in the same emotional and spiritual condition that I was in because I was so discouraged and I asked that He “revive my fire” and “renew the courage” that I formerly had, to keep teaching in the face of my discouragement.
After I had prayed and written that prayer to God, He answered my prayer in a most unique way. That night I went to the school (SwCC) and ran into a former student that I had while teaching there. He gave me an envelope that was marked “personal and confidential”. I hugged him with no response and put it into my purse but would not open it for fear that he was having a special problem and I was just too emotionally weak at that time to help him. I returned to the home where I was staying and retired for the night, but as I was falling asleep recalled the letter that was in my purse. I got it out and it read something to the following:
Sister Rose: I don’t know if you realize just what you meant to the students when you were here at Southwestern. I know we never acted like we appreciated you or that we listened to you. But you made an impression in my life and I want you to know it. I love you and hope that this check will serve as just a small token of my appreciation for who you are and what you do. (He enclosed a check for $40.00)
I laid in bed thinking about the goodness and miracle-working power of God; for the very thing that had taken my spirit away (students) He used to restore it. That student died a young and early death and never knew of the song or the rejuvenation of my heart and spirit that he inspired.