It was going to be a challenge. It had all the earmarks of being a difficult time. It loomed large in the future hours to come, distant, but not totally daunting. I knew God would be there with me when I arrived at that moment in time.
It was almost a month ago, now, and I have thought about it many times since. God knew what I needed more than I knew myself. He encouraged me and empowered me to complete a very trying assignment.
I had been invited to speak at two different high schools this spring—one in April, one in May. I was to be a part of two "mock" events: the depictions of fatal car accidents involving persons who were intoxicated. These dramatic productions done in stadiums are very realistic and expertly done. Law enforcement agencies and schools partner in bringing tragedy to reality as injured students are rescued from mangled automobiles as giant tools literally cut a car apart. Helicopters airlift students to a nearby hospital. Ambulances, hearses, fire trucks….it is all so very realistic. I liken it to the filming of a tragic movie.
Our son died in such an accident. My presence on the scene has one purpose: to speak to the students when it is all over, telling them of our personal, real- life nightmare. The collective efforts of myself and all the dedicated people involved are hopefully successful in persuading students to make the choice to never drink and drive so that lives might be saved.
I was on my way to the second presentation last month, driving headlong and intentionally into what I believed God wanted me to do. It was quiet in my car, and my thoughts were tuned to the melody and lyrics of a song:
"Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing, give me Your love for humanity, give me your arms for the broken hearted…" (Brandon Heath) Going where I was going, I needed God’s love for humanity.
I decided that I should turn the radio on and perhaps that particular song would be played and I would remember more of the lyrics. I pushed the "on" button on the radio, but that song was not playing. Instead, another familiar song was being sung. A song I normally turn off immediately when I hear it, because it is personally difficult for me to listen to the words. It begins,
"There’s a cross on the side of the road where a mother lost her son. How could she know that the morning he left would be the last time she’d trade with him for a little more time so she could say she loved him one last time and hold him tight? But with life we never know when we’re coming up to the end of the road so what do we do then with tragedy around the bend?" (Superchick)
These lyrics had just been sung prior to my touching of the dial; I knew, however, what I had just missed. Now, the rest of the words continued in the following moments:
"We live, we love, we forgive and never give up…….Get out and do what we were meant to do…"
Next, the song in my mind came on! "Give me Your eyes…. give me a second chance to see the way you see the people all along…." (Brandon Heath)
As I drove, I realized what was happening. The following songs were played, one after another (although I don’t remember the order.)
"I want to live my life for You, Lord. Lord, for You I want to live my life." (Third Day)
(That was the desire of my heart that day, and now, as well.)
"You were here before me, You were waiting on me and You said You’d keep me, never would You leave me. I was made to love and be loved by You…..Daddy, I’m on my way…" (Tobie Mac)
(Last YEAR, when I was going to a meeting on the set of the very first one of these presentations, I felt that God spoke the word, "Daughter" into my mind, assuring me that I was His daughter that day. Now, "Daddy, I’m on my way…"
"Yesterday, it took all that you had
And you’re wondering if you’ll ever get it back
But the whole wide world is waiting for
Waiting for you to step out that door
Come on, and let your life be heard today
You’ve got something to say
If you’re living, if you’re breathing
You’ve got something to say
You know if you’re heart is beating
You’ve got something to say
And no one can say it like you do
God is love and love speaks through
You got it, you got it
You’ve got something to say…
Well your life is the song that you sing
And the whole wide world is listening
Well the answer to the question is
You were created, your life is a gift
And the lights are shining on you today…" (Matthew West)
(I definitely had something to say to the crowd that was my own personal story.)
" I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always
I know the journey seems so long
You feel your walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting" (Jeremy Camp)
With each song that would play, I was more convinced that it was God Himself who was miraculously choosing them and sending me His divine encouragement through the lyrics. Needless to say, I was filled with love and gratitude for the One who loves me, calls me "Daughter," gives me a glimpse of the needs of humanity, encourages me to go out and do what He has willed for me to do, and assures me of my final destination with Him in Heaven where the sting of life will be outweighed by His glorious presence for all of eternity.
My God is an AWESOME GOD!