Walking alone on a street in Augusta, a twelve-year-old girl made her way to and from the Methodist church near her home.  Clutching her Bible and purse, she comforted herself on the lonely walk by singing the hymn, Abide With Me.

For such a young girl, she carried a great deal of sadness.  Her family situation seemed to contain relentless tragic events.  From the divorce of her parents, to her mother’s alcoholism, to money issues, and even greater heartaches, terrible hurts landed on the small, but sturdy shoulders of this young girl.

When Other Helpers Fail and Comforts Flee

Through all of that, however, she somehow made her way to church—seeking a God she barely knew to find comforts for burdens she couldn’t understand or carry.

Piercing through the sorrow and pain, this hymn grew to have increasing meaning for her, and served as a companion for her in her lonely walk, as well as other dark times that would follow.

PianoAbide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

The little girl grew to live an amazing life.  Now 80, she can reflect over how God indeed continues to Abide With Her.  While her many years contain heartache and loss, she can also see great provision and joys.

Six children, 17 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and along with her husband of nearly 60 years, a combined family total of more than 250 years of marriage—with no divorces.

The girl who tightly clung to her purse and Bible while walking alone to church has a lengthy list girls, women, boys, and men who she continues to inspire, strengthen, and love.

This hymn is the soundtrack of her life, and each time I play it, I play it for the precious young girl making her way to church believing that He does indeed abide with us.

I know her well.  She grew up to be my mother.