Saturday, January 7, 2012
It was June of 2005. I stood in a sea of attendees at a conference to equip church worship leaders. The conference had been a mix of new insights and powerful encouragement, as well as painful moments of feeling isolated and alone, having only recently received the diagnosis for the baby I was still carrying. I smiled when people congratulated me on my bulging belly and wished with all my heart my feelings about the future were only filled with hope.
I stood in the last conference session on the final day when the words floated out to me and I was undone.
I was sure by now,
that you would have reached down and wiped our tears away
stepped in and saved the day
but once again, I say "Amen," and its still raining.
As the thunder rolls,
I gently hear you whisper through the rain, "I am with you."
And as your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.
For the first time, I had a way to worship IN and THROUGH my pain and not in spite of my broken heart. As the music played I felt free to run to God with my sorrow over Elizabeth's diagnosis and let him meet me where I fell. Matt and I listened to that song dozens of times in the next days and months and it was a lifeline between God and me during some of the darkest moments of my life.
Songs which enable me to express my full range of grief, sorrow and despair in the safety of surrender to a loving and sovereign God.
They remain an integral part of my worship to this day and I am indebted to the artists who have shared their personal struggles through music and lyrics, giving us language for the days when there simply are no words.
I know some of you have walked your own painful journeys. These are a few of the songs that have rescued me from despair time and time again. All are available on iTunes and many can be viewed on YouTube. If you have favorites of your own, we'd be so grateful if you would leave a comment and share.
Praise You In This Storm ~ Casting Crowns
When the Tears Fall ~ Newsboys
Lord I Run to You ~ Tommy Walker
Desert Song ~ Hillsong United
Blessed Be Your Name ~ Matt Redman
Part the Waters/I Need The Every Hour ~ Selah
Show Me Your Face ~ Brian Johnson
Gratitude ~ Nichole Nordeman
I Bless Your Name ~ Selah
Held ~ Natalie Grant
All My Praise ~ Selah
Your Hands ~ JJ Heller
You Are Sovereign Here ~ Stephen Miller