Sunday, May 3, 2015

I Am Not Alone

I'm singing a solo in church this morning. It very much runs the risk of being a train wreck. There is girl voice, people. If you know me in real life, you know that I never, ever, do that. I sing like a man. Singing like a man is right in my wheelhouse.  My voice may crack. It could go flat OR sharp OR both, there's really no telling. So I'm setting this particular post to "go live" at 11:00 am. Because if I wait to post it when I get home from church, there is a very good chance the train will have wrecked and I will be attempting to block it from my memory completely.

When I do any type of performance art, be it theatre, voice or modern dance, (completely kidding on that last one. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. I have two left feet and zero rhythm. I mean NO RHYTHM AT ALL. My youngest son had more rhythm at two weeks old than I've ever had in my whole, entire life.) I really want to find a way, a moment or a memory that helps me connect with the piece. I started rehearsing this song with our worship leader back in the fall. It was very out of my comfort zone and I knew it would need a lot of work but I was immediately connected to it.

When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I'm standing in the fire
I will not be overcome

We'd had an emotional year. Everything felt overwhelming, like we were hanging out in deep water, barely keeping our heads up. My cousin's baby had just been stillborn and I sent her a video of Kari Jobe singing this song. I never mentioned that. My cousin delivered her son stillborn in October. When my mom called me with the news I just sat in the middle of my floor, feeling stunned. I couldn't imagine her pain. This song came to my mind and I sent the words to her.

Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

Not long after, I began rehearsing it. I thought of my family and my cousin and the fact that in September we thought I had cancer. It was easy to feel the weight and the truth of the song. The Christmas season came and we tossed this song on the back burner and worked on a Christmas special.

Then January rolled in and my daughter was stillborn.

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

All the way to California, we listened to worship music. It was the only thing we could think to do. I cried for most of the drive. Shook. Sobbed. Whispered the lyrics to songs. Allowed the already written words to become my prayers. Meredith Andrews. Hillsong. Laura Story. Kari Jobe. I thought it possible that I might never be able to stop crying. Never be able to breathe without it hurting. Never be able to sing again...

In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You

I clung to the hope that His light would break through my grief. It simply had to. I would not be overtaken. I would respond for His glory. People would see the joy I have in Him. He goes before me. Always.

Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear
I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

I needed time. I couldn't even listen my way through the song without crying. Slowly though, I found myself crying less. Eventually, I could even sing it without breaking down.

You amaze me
Redeem me

You call me as Your own

No matter what. No matter what we go through, we are His.

You're my strength
You're my defender
You're my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You've always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

It is not easy. Just last night I saw a baby that had to have been about seven weeks old. My arms ached and my heart twisted. I wish it had all played out differently. But there is healing for the soul. He has always been faithful. He is my strength and my refuge.

I'm singing a solo this morning. It has all the potential of being a vocal train wreck. But I am singing for an audience of one. I'm saying, Thank you. I miss my child but I do not cry all the time anymore. You have brought healing to my soul. You have always, always been faithful. Accept this train wreck as a living sacrifice.

Isaiah 43:1b-2
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you."

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