Be Still, My Soul
In the fall of 1961 my sister, Freda, was on a bus to Briercrest Bible Institute, at Caronport, SK for her third and final winter there. She was reading Psalm 46. Verses 1 and 10 stood out for her: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” “Be still and know that I am God.”
We’ll let her tell the story.
“As I read I had a very strong impression that something difficult would happen during this school year. For a while I pondered what that might be. Then that impression gradually faded away and I never thought of it again till it actually happened. This was purely God’s compassionate grace. He did not want me to worry about it ahead of time and thus spoil my time at school. At the same time He wanted me to know, when the time came, that He was in control and knew all about it before it happened.
When Christmas vacation time came I asked for permission to leave school a few days early because Mom was in the hospital and I felt I was needed at home. She was at home when I arrived.
On Christmas day, towards evening, Mom got so sick that she had to be taken back to the hospital. Dad carried her out to the car. She never came home again.
On Dec. 29 my Bible reading before bedtime was from Psalm 42. Verses 7 and 8 made a strong impression on me: “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me…..” Was there “night” ahead? I lay awake for some time and wondered if this had to do with Mom. On Dec. 30, while I was standing at the stove making New Year’s fritters, Dad came up from the basement and spoke three words to me, “Mom has cancer.” Dad had known this since June when Mom had her gall bladder removed. That surgery revealed cancer on her liver. Dad had kept this all to himself till this day.
Now I knew that this was the “difficult” thing that God had prepared me for on the bus. Mom passed away on Jan. 29, 1962. This meant that I would not be returning to Briercrest to finish the last term and graduate because there were still five younger boys at home, with the youngest being nine years old. During the days following the funeral I listened to a radio program called “The Quiet Hour”, which came on quite early in the morning. The theme song that they started out with each time was “Be Still, My Soul”. I made sure I was up in time because I just had to hear that song every morning. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me, to give me assurance and comfort and to keep me going.”
Freda sacrificed a lot to take the place of mom in many ways. It has earned her the respect and appreciation of all her 8 brothers.