My junior year of college, there was guy by the name of Rick Pearson (Candi Pearson Shelton's brother) that passed away. Rick had leukemia and was a worship leader at North Point. Hundreds of people would read the blog his sister started to update friends and family on his medical condition. I remember laying on the floor in my room just crying out for healing. I would skip parties and hanging out with people so that I could read people's comments and prayers on his blog. I felt like I was encountering God in raw ways every time I opened it up. At his funeral (which 1,000s attended), they played a song that he had written and put on a children's worship cd. It had been recorded months before they discovered his cancer, and it was life-changing to me. I do not know what tomorrow holds for me. I may find that days ahead are hard for me. But I know that You are great oh Lord. And I know that You are good! Even when I don't understand, even when I can't see your plan, I will never cease to lift up my hands and worship you my God.
The summer I spent in Kenya, I only listened to two songs: Regardless by Jimmy Needham (because that was the only song I had at the time that didn't mention sin or darkness, but only spoke of glorifying God) and Inside Out by Hillsong. God gave me huge revelation while we were having an impromptu worship session one night in Nairobi about the song Inside Out. And from that point forward, some of the lyrics became my deepest heart cry.
The first time I truly encountered God's love was in ministry school. I'd heard the song "How He Loves" hundreds of times, but for some reason, the night Lindy Hale spoke about her dad- this song sunk into every part of me. She had her son Matthew sing a song that her dad wrote for her and used to sing to her, and then Matthew went into the chorus of "How He Loves." I never felt anything so real in my entire life. God showed me parts of Him that I didn't know were there. He told me secrets about my family and about the qualities He put in them, just so I could experience Him on earth. It was an incredible night of weeping and not even being sure I could stand any more of His love. Now I hear that song and just want to soak in His love and go back to the time where I really encountered His love for the first time.
Although there are other songs that have defined seasons for me, this blog is already long so I'll save the rest for another day. God is good all the time.