The Song of a Crushed Spirit

Written by Kimberly Green

Messy Marriage Team Member

My husband and I met during our college years. We shared a Love of Jesus and a Passion for Music, and nothing stirred that passion like communicating with the Lord through Worship.

His favorite verse was Psalm 33:3, “Sing to Him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy.” His guitar is his voiceit is the moans and groans of his heart that words can not express. When he holds that piece of wood, with its strings and cables and electronic effects and creates these amazing sounds …

It’s as though all the pieces of who he is click together and are complete …

And as beautiful as it is, it makes me a bit sad.

When I met my Beloved Spouse, he was a Christ Follower and a Guitar Player. We got married and had some children and now he is, a Christ Follower, a Husband, a Dad, and a Guitar Playerin that order.

He is quite gifted, and that’s not just a statement from a Biased Doting Wife. He was a professional musician and worship leader for several years. But as the expectaions and responsibilities of the “Husband and Dad” got broader and heavier, the “Guitar Player” got pushed waaaaaaaay down the list.

As the new Millenia began, my husband was playing with his music group Mondays, Wednesdays Fridays, Saturday’s, and at our church Thursdays and Sunday mornings, and a neighboring church Sunday nights, fitting in the occasional festival, retreat, or event whenever possible, all while commuting to his 40 hour-a-week 9 to 5 job.

Events in other parts of the country began to become more frequent. We made the decision for him to be a musician full time. Professionally, it was a good decision. Relationally and financially, it was a disaster. He and I were separated for weeks at a time. We each felt isolated, we each were depressed, and we each thought we had the worse end of the deal. I had the support of friends and my church.

His only comfort came in those 90 minutes playing his guitar every night.

As our son was about to be born, he decided to “Hang it Up”hang up the touring, hang up the career, hang up the dream.

Psalm 33 goes on to say in verse 10 that God “frustrates the plans of His people.” It’s easy to throw up our hands, become resentful and quit reading there, but Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

It was time, Godly mentoring, and determination to renew his attitude that began to rebuild my husband’s spirit. 

He would occasionally play guitar in worship. Where once, he would bring God the offering of thanksgiving and joy, now he brought a broken, yet obedient heart.  

The music of grief. Perhaps a sweeter offering.

Even ten years later, when we see live music, it can still hurt. And though I know he would have made the same sacrifice a hundred times, my self- centered nature sometimes makes me feel guilty for the lossunhealthy echos of an “Old Song”a song that allows bitterness to creep in.

Our healing isn’t simply a process of restoration. It’s continuing on the journey, unhindered by bitterness, even better than we were because of our response to the hurt.

Our marriage is strengthened when our New Song is full of crescendos and decrescendos. And as we learn to truly trust the Composer of our Faith, we find that there’s even music in the silences we don’t understandthe sometimes frustrating, but always crucial “rests”.

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  • “There’s even music in the silenced we don’t understand.” I like that. And it’s true. We often have to be completely emptied to be filled again. Blessings!

    • You are so right. It’s so much more than just a stopping point but a place to truly be emptied. I find I am uncomfortable with that feeling of.emptiness and feel like I have to DO something to fix it. I really need to use those opportunities to TRUST God and gain the freedom that comes from walking in that faith

  • This is a hard message, Kimberly. We want our losses to be easily tied up and stored away, but we often have to continue grieving them, even though we know they were good and right.

    I appreciate your attitude and sharing how your marriage is strengthened through it.

  • newlifesteward

    What a beautiful picture of a husband truly loving his wife and family like Christ loves the Church. I appreciate that you and your husband acknowledge the loss even now and allow grief. That is such a healthy perspective.

    Thanks,
    Mary Beth
    newlifesteward.com

    • ” And this is love; that Christ gave his life and died for us” . I recognize how very blessed I am to be married to a man who understands THAT is the ultimate standard for Loving. Not alway easy, but always worth it. Thank You, Mary Beth

  • Thanks for sharing this story of sacrificial love Kimberly. In many ways, this is the heart of marriage, and what makes it such a special relationship. May yours continue to be blessed!

  • Laraj

    Now we only know in part and one day we will know in full…I’m so sorry for the grief your husband is navigating–and you with him. How much he must love you and his family to willingly give up so much. Sounds like someone I know…

  • Kimberly Green

    Lara, I completely LOVE that verse. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Tony

    I just want to know who the skinny guy in the picture is.

    It has been nearly 11 years since I “hung it up.” Since then, I have had the chance to see my wife and kids almost every day… an experience which I would not trade for all the rock and roll in the world.

    And in the meantime, God has always provided opportunities for me to make music with wonderful musicians AND be home in time for dinner. Things tend to work out in the long run. Sometimes the best way to experience the things that bring us joy is to hold them loosely… or even let them go completely.