It was a cool October Sunday morning and I was still a little car sick from the long and winding roads that led to the country church. My 10-year-old knees were shaking as the last person stood up to share. I don’t remember what he said, but I know I started to cry. The piano played “Just As I Am” as I stepped out into the aisle and slowly made my way forward. A few Sunday’s later, I was baptized. It seems like this would be a happy memory for me, but it is not.
Even today, when I hear the song, “Just As I Am”, a flood of emotion pours over me. It makes me smile and it breaks my heart into pieces at the same time. I am always amazed at how many memories can be stored within a single song.
Then, 30 years later on September 15, 2013, my 40-year-old knees were shaking as I made my way into the cool water. I was baptized again. He gave me a new memory and this time when I came up for air:
I felt new.
I felt clean.
I felt loved.
I felt safe.
At the end of the service, I stood there with damp hair and wet eyes praising Him to the invitation hymn, “Just As I Am”. Only this time, we sang these lyrics at the bridge:
“I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am”
My healing journey was in progress. My Savior was making me new. He was making all things new. He was teaching me to trust Him with every broken piece of my story.
Just the other day, at our ladies Bible Study for The Mended Heart by Suzanne Eller – we exchanged index cards. On one side there was a personalized scripture prayer and on the other side our actual prayer requests. We all exchanged cards and committed to pray for one another. I did not get to write down my actual prayer request because I was in a hurry – so I wrote something quick on the back of the index card like “help me to focus and listen.”
One of the ladies came up to me afterwards and said she was praying for me and had my name. I said, “Well, there’s more I can add to that prayer request!”
The next morning she texted me this:
“I prayed a blessing ‘over your head’ this morning that you would hear a love song from the Lord today as He sings over you and delights in you may He quiet you with His love.”
The very next morning as I was getting out of the shower, a song on Pandora was playing that I had never heard before. The song that played was “Jesus I Come” by Elevation Worship. The part I heard was “Just as I Am” which is obviously a big deal to me so I googled the lyrics and listened to the entire song standing there in my towel.
Chills, tears and all.
He gave me a new song in a new season. He redeemed the old song “Just As I Am” which is special to me because I stepped out and walked down the church aisle to that song as a child, but it’s also difficult for me and tied to pain.
Today, 32 years later, God gave it back to me – a new song and new memory…filled with hope & redemption.
God laid it on a friend’s heart to pray for a song. I did not ask for that specific request although my heart has longed for it. She not only prayed for me, but she shared it with me. As I stood there in tears listening to this new song, I was reminded of her prayer the day before and I texted her back – “He DID it! I am testifying!”
Pray for each other. Share what you are praying. Rejoice with each other when He answers. Encourage and lift up each other as our hearts are mended – together!
Praise Him in your new season. Praise Him for your new song.
What new song can you praise Him for today?
Linking up with: Jennifer Dukes Lee