Nicole Guttermuth

Nicole Guttermuth

A New Day

By Nicole Guttermuth

I’ve heard Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” many times in my life never knowing the name of the song or the lyrics; I liked the way the song sounded; however, for whatever reason, I never looked it up on Google, YouTube or iTunes until recently.

While I am not entirely ready to share the impetus that prompted me to finally search out the lyrics to this song and to listen to every available version of it on YouTube (K.D. Lang’s live performance during the Juno Awards in Winnipeg, 2005, is by and large my favorite version), I will share the epiphany I have had listening to it over and over again until I have committed each verse to memory.

One line, in particular, resonated with me: “Love is not a victory march; it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”

Before I get another email suggesting I need therapy, give me a moment to try to explain.

Have you ever eaten a chocolate-covered pretzel? Or baked cookies and asked yourself why you would add salt to a recipe that, in the end, is supposed to taste sweet? I don’t necessarily understand the chemistry, biology or whatever branch of science explains this concept, but it is the salt that actually enhances the sweetness.

Translate this to the world of human emotion. Without darkness, we would not appreciate the sunlight. If we never knew pain, we could never fully embrace pleasure. If we never experienced sadness, we couldn’t know joy. And if we have never felt cold and broken, we would never be able to celebrate the warmth of wholeheartedness.

There have been so many instances in the last year when I have felt heartbroken and been on my knees in prayer begging God for healing and relief from the hurt. God provided the mending I needed. More than that, I believe that He gave me the opportunity to be broken-hearted so that I could fully understand what it feels like to be unconditionally loved and blessed beyond what I could ever imagine with the limitations of my human mind.

I’ve made countless mistakes in my life, and I have no doubt that I will make more as I continue to grow in faith, in love, in relationships with my daughters, my mom, my friends. But each valley out of which I’ve had to climb has led me to a place on top of the mountain where I am better prepared for the next chapter of my life.

“I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you/And even though it all went wrong/I’ll stand before the Lord of Song/With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.”

It is because I have endured and been delivered through trials and tribulations in my life that I offer, with complete and total sincerity of heart, a Hallelujah for all of the blessings in my life. For finally knowing what it feels like to be me and to be loved for who I am at this very moment in time. Hallelujah!