Before she could sing herself, the triune God sings a song of celebration as sperm collides into egg and the realization of a girl named Rebekah Ashley starts to manifest in the physical realm. Only Creator knows of His creation in this quiet but equally exuberant moment. He puts pen to paper as the poem flows effortlessly at how this (already and not yet) redeemed daughter will reflect His glory. He places a soul deep within and smiles as she, like all other humans, bear His image. The song between the Triune and a fetus with no ears to hear is sufficient and satisfying as Father, Son, and Spirit whisper loves notes of a coming ransom to her exploding cells.
She is pushed out into a world knee deep in sin, but into loving parents’ arms, nonetheless. She belts out her first song, a song of survival, a cry to kick start her lungs in order to breathe on her own. She continues the song of the fresh one for many months as she bellows, begging for milk, dry underpants, and arms to hold her tight. It is the first song God gives her to sing, and though the notes are shrill against the silent night, she does it with ease.
The song of the fresh one gives way to the song of wonder. With parents to encourage, siblings to explore with, animals to tame, and land to conquer, the girl opens her mouth and the wonder notes of childhood spill out. Slippery tadpoles, furry heifers, honeysuckle patches, and a bay horse named Joe all vie for her attention as God’s wonders are all around to woo her to His love. She is safe. She loves adventure. She is the beloved.
The song of wonder stays deep in her diaphragm but later morphs into a song of worship. This triune God who sang over her microscopic frame now beckons her spiritually dead self and gives her faith to believe. Jesus is the way. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the life. She inhales grace and exhales a song of deliverance. She is fully alive! Her joy knows no bounds as she sings a song of reverence to Redeemer. She delights in knowing He is delighted with such adoration. She has found her true voice, and her song is Christ.
Her college days are upon her and she has been gifted with friends, fellow King exalters. She is in a whole choir filled with their own songs to sing and life songs to write, working to bring their voices together in perfect unity and fearless harmony. Her physical song becomes trained, classical, and a part of something bigger than her single soprano voice. Simultaneously, her soul-song is being trained, as well. Through iron-sharpening-iron friendships, gifted theology teachers, and personal bible study, her trust in Jesus grows, exponentially, it seems. The song of discovery captures her voice box during these precious and fleeting years.
The song of discovery leads to an ocean of love and she plunges to its depths after she meets her one and only. She is blown away that someone could love this Ransom-Redeemer as much as she does. She wants to take on his name and together, share Christ’s name. In her husband’s presence, she is known (and still loved,) secure, provided for, and in stitches laughing. Time and time again, he leads her back to Christ, back to reality, and back to the bigger picture. She is captivated by this love-song that flows from her vocal cords to his and then back again.
She sings the song of motherhood five separate times as lines appear on pregnancy sticks. She bows lows, recognizing Creator that gives all good things. When one baby is swept into His presence all too soon, she flushes the physical remains as a part of her own soul swirls away, as well. Each of the four boys captures a part of her that she didn’t even know existed. Her song of motherhood changes from moment to moment. In one instance, she croons a lullaby over her freshly bathed newborn. In another, she roars at potential predators. And in yet another, she cries out a plea of desperation for the Father to bless them coming in, bless them going out, and allow them to be a blessing. It has been the song of motherhood that has allowed her a peek into Father God’s deep and never-failing love over her own life. She does her best to sing the tune of grace over her boys, just as He has sung over her.
On a cold day in February, the Thief steals her song. Her vibrant sister is now shockingly gone. The same God that has captivated her with tadpoles, heifers, and a horse is now wooing her into a barren land where there is nothing but Himself. Still, she isn’t sure she wants to love One that would allow such heartache. So, she pummels her hands into His chest and wrestles with Him into the wee hours of many nights. Her song that was Christ now seems silence against the cacophony of confusion, grief, and doubt. The Tender One keeps her in the wilderness for years, revealing His heartbeat for both her sister and herself. Her song is gradually given back to her. She exits the land singing the song of surrender, knowing now that these notes, too, make up the song of Christ.
All along the way, Good Father gives her things to do that keep her sustained. She feels His pleasure when she studies His Word in depth, looking up Greek and Hebrew. On occasion, she swears she has been transported to Heaven as she sings the Christ-song with her fellow worship team members. When she clicks the shutter button on her Nikon, she gasps, seeing how the girl shows off the glory of God, simply because she is made in His image. As she puts pen to paper, making herself write what swirls deep, she feels known and alive. Creator gives her these things to carry her out of indifference and into new heights of seeing Him more clearly. These creative gifts become her song of delight, an anthem against apathy.
There were specific moments in time when the drumbeat of fear went on a war path to annihilate the song that her Father had given her to sing.
…the cancer diagnosis…the chest X-ray…the brain scan…the unexpected surgery…the concussion…the financial hardship…the wreck…the long walk away from a coffin…the death of a dream…the unanswered prayers…
She never knew just how much encroaching evil God would allow in order to make her more like His Son. In each circumstance, grace is lavish as she is given strength to exchange her garment of despair for a garment of praise. Her song during these moments is that of a warrior, knowing that no matter the outcome, her God is the true Victor.
According to all the stats, she is now at the mid-life mark. Still, she rests in knowing Yahweh alone has numbered her days. Her true citizenship is in Heaven and she longs for the day when she can trade her song of hope for the never-ending song of a faith finally realized. She will join the Captivated Ones as they lift their voices over and over in the song of all songs:
HOLY HOLY HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY
WHO WAS AND IS AND IS TO COME