I remember walking through the tall grass tickling at my ankles and nearing the great big tent that was filled with people and one lone woman on the stage. As I pulled the canvas back and snuck my head through I remember being in absolute awe. I would have been somewhere between the age of five and seven I would imagine, and we were in Australia at some missions thing. Amy Grant was the woman on the stage and she was singing, the powerful words and beautiful melodies tickling the ears of the crowds. But what captivated me more was visible emotions on the faces dotted around, the palpable power of the holy spirit stirring in hearts…those that needed to be encouraged, others that needed to be challenged. And I thought to myself how wonderful it would be to be gifted with such a voice and to be able to be part of the tapestry of God to do such a thing. But truth be told I wanted the gift and joy without the stage. I guess in reality I wanted a one on one with God through the music.
As the years ticked by I recall a time I would crank Amy Grant in my bedroom with a hairbrush in my hand and have a moment, just God and I. I gave it my all as if I were giving a performance to the masses. There were realities in my world at that time that were too painful to deal with and I was at a loss as to what to do. But somehow through the lyrics and melodies I could go to a place with God I desperately needed. Even to the point that I would close my eyes and my own lyrics would tumble out as I tried to convey the hurt and need within. Tears would stream down my face and a knot would form in my gut and throat but somehow the power of music and words released were of great help.
At the age of 16 I was living in a tiny town called Featherstone for a few months while my parents started a new role and looked to move the offices of the missions organisation to Auckland. I was meant to be doing correspondence that year but needless to say the year ended with an incomplete because they thought I was being diligent but I prioritised other things. I remember late in the year a lady coming to meet with me from Wellington to check on things for the first time now we were back in NZ and nearby. While I had the packs of schooling on the bed I had Hillsong music cranked and my Bible open and was engrossed in that while I waited instead of school work. She came and rather than school work I shared my testimony and talked about the power of music, of God’s Word and works.
In the years that followed the power of words in music and the Bible became even more apparent. During our rollercoaster years from my first loss and then endo surgery in 2007 to 2013 with what turned out to be our final round of failed IVF I got through by clinging to the comfort and encouragement within words from lyrics and more importantly the Bible. It became a lifeline.
But I love how also in the ups of life and those treasured memories a song will be linked to it. There are countless songs that make me think of early days with my wonderful man, holidays and all kinds of great moments over the past twenty years we’ve been in each others worlds. Or how verses from the Bible are linked to turning points and adventures with my God. Ones I can go back to time and again…enjoying, reflecting and overflowing.
Today as I’ve touched base with some extraordinary women going through their own moments right now I’ve thought of the power of words once again. A truth within a song can draw us to God in a time of despair, bring us comfort or courage in a moment of hardship or better yet remind us of the faithfulness of God as we reflect back on much. And we know the Bible is filled with truth, promises and realities for us to be drawn, grown, lavished on in the ups and downs of life.
As I pray for dear ones facing their own battles I can’t help but be thankful for the power of words and the difference they make. In connecting with them today it inspired me to go to iTunes and see if there is freshness to add to my playlist and there was. As I downloaded and tweaked my play list that is my go to, I was in awe of God.
There is a song Lauren Daigle sings called ‘Here’s my heart’ and the lyrics are –
Cause I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free
You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through
Oh, here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Speak what is true
Also by Mercyme is a song called ‘Hi beautiful’ which I love because not only are the words fitting but it’s even sweeter given that is my mans nickname for me.
And I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the goodness of God. Over the past few weeks I’ve realised a number of things, through the power of words.
Brett and I watched a series that tugged at my heart, and satan tried to take me back to a place of shame, uncertainty and brokenness, slithering in other gunk while at it. But as I’ve addressed those words that could have power if I allowed them and replaced them with what is on God’s heart for me and what is reality and truth I realised just how far I have come.
I never thought the day would come that the pain of abuse, the hurt of people, the anguish of a long journey to parenthood and lacks it highlights would be hazy. There is so much of all that I just can’t quite remember which is amazing to me. I simply love that has happened. As I come alongside others to listen, love from a place of understanding and point them to God I admit there is so much of all that past that has diminished. While there is still understanding there is not that same acute awareness and emotion. In it’s place is a work only God can do. I know who I am as God’s girl and my man’s person. I am content in the past, present and future. I am secure and happy. And as I listen and speak with those in the acuteness I can say with certainty there is power in the truth of God, there is a reality never dreamed of when you cling and wade. How I hope and pray people will be real, will simply share that others may be encouraged, comforted, drawn, grown and challenged. To see the reality with God is palpable and for any who are willing to come and be tended to. Even when life doesn’t get tied in a nice little bow it does not diminish the reality and power.