Brace yourself, I'm feeling wordy today!
Remember back in May? We had a Mark Schultz concert/fundraiser at our church. The proceeds helped us bring Jenna home, donated a bunch of stuff to her orphanage, and helped the new ministry our church has started, Grace for Orphans. To look back on it now, the entire event and night seems surreal. It is one of my favorite memories of my life thus far. I was surrounded by people I love....so many of whom helped to make the event happen. We stood in the foyer as a group (all the volunteers and some church staff) before we opened the doors that night and held hands in a huge circle (of about 40 people) and prayed. We asked God to use the night to bless the orphans of the world, we prayed specifically for Jenna, and we prayed for the event to reach the people who were about to come through the doors for Him. I cried during that prayer. It was so humbling.
Anyways, God has continued to use Mark Schultz's music to speak to me. My favorite song at the time of the concert was He Is. Unfortunately, it wasn't included in his set that night. I gave him a hard time about it afterwards and he sang a little of it to me then... amazing. Anyways, a few short weeks later when I was in China, I listened to his music on my ipod. That song came on while we were on the drive out to the Great Wall - in very rural China, still sleep deprived from jet lag, completely emotional and scared to death in this country feeling so alone, watching the landscape change out the window as we drove further out of the city; I cried as he sang the words, (and I'm totally cutting in and out of the song the parts that really struck me-but you should go listen to the whole thing yourselves!)
"Father let the world just fade away, let me feel your presence in this place....
Lord I've never been so weary, how I need to know you're near me,
Father let the world just fade away......
even when it feels like there is no one holding me...
be still, my soul, HE IS."
"Father let your holy spirit sing, let it calm this storm inside of me,
As I stand amazed, lift my hands and say He is, He was, He always will be,
He lives, He loves, He's always with me.....
be still, my soul, through every fear, and every doubt, in every tear I shed,
down every road, I'm not alone, no matter WHERE I AM,
HE IS, HE WAS, HE ALWAYS WILL BE...."
Isn't that incredible! Well I hadn't heard the song since coming back home and then when I did, I cried all over again and felt like I was back in China again seeing that same landscape change before my eyes. It sounds delusional, I know.....but I just think it's a little treasure God gave me!
Anyways, now the song that is speaking to me is Mark Schultz's Come Alive. And I DO listen to other artists!
This song is all about (I think, anyways) how God's love can make you truly come alive. But I hear it through the filter of Jenna and all that she has endured, and never experienced in her short 2-year life. I have no idea still, what her personality really is; she is very serious, rarely playful. Usually just sits alone in the living room, not playing with toys but her hands, it's been very hard, and very sad. She still doesn't trust me. Our therapist says she has learned from the adults in her life that adults are not reliable and do not meet her needs, so it's just going to take some time. Maybe a long time....
Anyways, with that filter in mind....read these lyrics....and then better yet, go listen to the song!
Whatever happened to your childlike wonder,
whatever happened to your heart felt faith?
You used to live your life with such a hunger
whatever happened to those days?
Your smile used to tell a beautiful story
But every life will make a few wrong turns
But now you hide your heart,
Afraid that you're too far beyond repair, oh but I am here
So bring your broken heart to me,
lift it up and you will see
that our love can make a heart that's barely beating,
come alive, come alive.
My love is stronger than your weakest moment
My grace is greater than your worst mistakes
No matter where you've been,
I'm waiting at the end of every road
So close your eyes, let me love you,
I'm by your side, let me love you
so close your eyes, let me love you,
I'm by your side...
Bring your broken heart to me
Lift is up and you will see
That our love can make a heart that's barely beating
And even when it all goes wrong
There's no such thing as too far gone
And our love can make a heart that's barely beating
Come alive, Come alive