That Song

Recently, I was reminded of a song.  The lyrics are poignant, the melody is beautiful, and the message is powerful.  All the elements of a great song are present, but I always cringe when I hear the opening measures.  The problem is that the song makes me ugly cry every single time I hear it.  Let’s take a tour of God’s faithfulness in my life, as narrated by Chris Rice in Untitled Hymn.

I was saved at church camp as a fourth grader.  I was one of those kids that gripped the back of the pew in front of me while the verses of “Just As I Am” passed by, never having the guts to go forward in Big Church.  Church camp took away the stress of admitting my sin and my need for Jesus in front of a bunch of dressed-up adults, and He met me there in a big room full of sweaty kids.  A friend congratulated me on my big decision with a package of peanut M&Ms, and I’ve never looked back.

Weak and wounded sinner

Lost and left to die

O, raise your head for love is passing by

Come to Jesus

Come to Jesus

Come to Jesus and live

Before I invited Jesus into my heart, I used to stand in my backyard and worry about whether I’d go to Heaven when I died.  I knew about Jesus, I just didn’t know Him as my Savior.  After that night at camp, I had no such doubts about where I would end up.  What a joy to know that I was irrevocably His, no matter what stupid mistakes I made or what trouble I got into.  Salvation doesn’t make you immune to pain or trouble… not even close.  It does, however, tell you the end of your story.  Jesus took care of all our mistakes, all our sin.  He promises eternal life for those who accept His gift.  Period.

Now your burden’s lifted

And carried far away

And precious blood has washed away the stain

So sing to Jesus

Sing to Jesus

Sing to Jesus and live

Looking back, doesn’t childhood seem simple?  Heck, in the light of eternity, even high school seems simple.  I made mistakes like everyone else, did idiotic things like everyone else.  It’s a wonder I survived.  Through all of that, God was faithful to provide what I needed.  Of course, He didn’t provide it all at once (which would have been more comfortable – I’m a control freak, after all), but little by little.  His Word is a lamp unto your feet, not a floodlight.  Sometimes, wouldn’t you just love a floodlight?  I would, but then I guess I wouldn’t need faith.

And like a new born baby

Don’t be afraid to crawl

And remember when you walk sometimes we fall

So fall on Jesus

Fall on Jesus

Fall on Jesus and live

Adulthood.  Parenthood.  Here’s where things get rough.  I struggled after my mom died.  It was painful to praise the God who had taken her away.  I prayed that He would restore the joy of my salvation, and He did… eventually.  Almost two years passed before I could really sing to Him with joy in my heart again.  Just as I was getting back on my feet, my best friend moved away.  Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with BRCA and my world was turned upside down.

Sometimes the way is lonely

And steep and filled with pain

So if your sky is dark and pours the rain

Then cry to Jesus

Cry to Jesus

Cry to Jesus and live

Looking back on the years of my life, there is so much joy.  I had an idyllic, secure childhood in a strong family with incredible parents.  I have a happy marriage to a great guy that I love.  My children are healthy, happy, and hilarious (most of the time).  I love my work.  My friends are great.  My church is amazing.  I have so much to thank God for.

Ohh, and when the love spills over

And music fills the night

And when you can’t contain your joy inside

Then dance for Jesus

Dance for Jesus

Dance for Jesus and live

Here comes the money verse… the ugly cry.  It’s meant to be joyful (and it is), but it makes me think of a picture taken of my mom the day before she died.  She had used up every last bit of the body she’d been given.  For a long time, I hated that picture.  I wanted to destroy it, because I thought I’d never be able to remember her as whole and healthy again.  It took a while, but those memories came back.  When I think of her now, she is healthy and strong.  I don’t worry anymore that she was scared or in pain those last few months, because she isn’t worried about that anymore.  When I prayed for God to heal her, He did it His way.  He chose to heal her in Heaven by ditching that old, worn out body and giving her a brand new one that will never fail her.  I can hear her laughing… can you?

And with your final heartbeat

Kiss the world goodbye

Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side

And fly to Jesus

Fly to Jesus

Fly to Jesus and live

There’s that ugly cry…

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