New Music Album Speaks to Hope Amid Pain

Post a Comment » Written on October 3rd, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (October 3, 2008) – Rebecca Hoden wasn’t sure if she would survive the hysterectomy that was her fifth surgery in her fight against endometriosis. She had been writing music, but feared that it might never be heard, so she went into the recording studio and laid down rough tracks.

“It was kind of a selfish reason,” Hoden says. She wanted to make sure that others would have the opportunity to hear it.

A year after surviving the surgery, Hoden revisited the music and completed the album she has called “Wait and Hope: Songs of Pain, Grief and Healing.” It was released earlier this year – three years to the day of her surgery.

“Out of my struggle with physical illness and daily pain, I have found the presence of God in every area of my life, in joy and in sorrow,” Hoden says. “Wait and Hope stems from this struggle and this celebration.”

The album is not the only reason that North Park University honored her on Saturday as its Up & Coming Young Alumna of the year, however.

Her struggle with pain has led her to provide hands-on care for others. She has served the poor in Mississippi and now works as a hospice nurse in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.

“All too often, I listen to the call of pain when I am trapped in its fury,” Hoden writes in a recent article for inSpirit, a magazine published by Covenant Women of the Evangelical Covenant Church. “It whispers to me, ‘I will never leave you. You will spend the rest of your life with me. Don’t bother to hope.’ ”

But Hoden has been determined not to succumb to the despair promised by the voice. “My response to these words is anger,” Hoden writes. “ ‘I will fight you,’ I say to the pain. I play the piano with an intensity I did not know I possessed. I work as a hospice nurse to try to prevent someone else from experiencing the agony I know. I do these to shake my fist against this life of pain.”

Hoden has long desired to be able to use her love for music as well as nursing to encourage others. That is why she graduated from North Park in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in music degree and graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

Now as she serves others, she feels privileged to be caring for people in their last days. “I feel I’ve been called to it.”

Hoden’s own experience with pain as well being with others in their suffering has led her to consider questions about healing. “There’s a big difference between healing and curing,” she says. Even as people die or experience pain, they can find healing knowing that they are held in the hands of a loving God who is with them and with whom they will spend eternity.

For more information on Hoden’s CD, see Wait and Hope.

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