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As a singer/songwriter, this assignment is at once satisfying and like home to me.  Songs can make us happy, they can trigger nostalgic thoughts and make us ache for yesterday.  In a moment we can be brought back to a specific memory when we hear a song that is reminiscent from that time period, and suddenly all of the emotions we felt at that time are brought back.  Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  The song, “Painting Picture in Egypt” by Sara Groves is one such song for me.  In particular, the poignant lyrics comforted me – so applicable to my situation during such a raw time of hurt in my life – perhaps I was not alone in my struggle?

“I don’t want to leave here – I don’t want to stay; It feels like pinching to me, Either way.
And the places I long for the most are the places where I’ve been – They are calling out to me like a long lost friend.
It’s not about losing faith – it’s not about trust.  It’s all about comfortable – when you move so much.
And the place I was wasn’t perfect, But I had found a way to live; and it wasn’t milk or honey, but then neither is this.

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacks; the future feels so hard and I want to go back.
But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned; those roads were closed off to me – while my back was turned

The past is so tangible – I know it by heart.  Familiar things are never easy to discard.
I was dying for some freedom, but now I hesitate to go; I am caught between the Promise and the things I know.
If it comes to quick, I may not appreciate it.  Is that the reason behind all this time in sand?
And if it comes to quick, I may not recognize it.  Is that the reason behind all this time in sand?”

Betrayal.  Scandal.  Happened to my family?  I listened to that song like it was medication – and it was.

Lying in a hospital bed, hanging onto my life, the doctors were puzzled.  No answers.  After all I had been through, was God going to forsake me now?  No.  He was going to have one of my daughters encourage me and share a song I had not heard before by Jaime Grace, called, “Not Alone”.

“Another sleepless night, She’s looking up and crying out – He’s just a little child.  Can you stop his hurting now?
It’s so quiet, But she hears in the silence

His arms are holding you – His love will see you through.  When you smile and you laugh but you’re fakin’
Cause you don’t know how you’re gonna make it. – You feel so much pain – And you can’t see your way – You’re not alone
You’re not alone

She’s trying to plan ahead, unsure about the time left – can’t let these moments pass, Instead she’ll treasure what she has
And when it’s quiet but she hears in the silence

His arms are holding you – His love will see you through.  When you try not to cry but to take it.
All the stress, and the hurt and heartache.  You may feel pain, But not as great as His name.  You’re not alone.
No you’re not alone – No you’re not alone.”

In that place of uncertainty amidst a lot of bad health news, the Lord gave me strength to rise up out of my hospital bed and make myself walk – make myself try to get better.  Thank God for this song that truly gave me strength and “grit” as my husband said.

The last song that has meant the most to me is difficult to select – it is from a multitude of songs that the Lord has given to me, which I penned.  All of them have meant so much to me, great encouragers of my faith, but perhaps the song, “Reign in Me” has ministered to me and listeners the most.  You can find the song at www.cdbaby.com/cd/dovel if you want to have a listen.  It is my song of surrender, of trusting God with all of my problems and placing my faith and life completely in Him.

“I come before Your holy throne, Lord, my life is not my own. You bought my life with Your sacrifice, now I know I’m not alone.           Reign in me – today.  

Make me whole, make me new, make me more like You.  Change my heart, change my mind, may new grace in You I find – Reign in me.

I bow my knee in humble need, Lord cleanse me of my greed.  I see my sin, help me begin, Lord, plant in me a seed.                     Reign in me – today.

Sometimes I feel I’m going backwards. When You show me what’s really on my heart.  But then You show me this is the path You said we all must take.”

Make me whole, make me new, make me more like You.  Change my heart, change my mind, may new grace in You I find – Reign in me.

Songs to me are the tonic of life.  When I became a Christian in college as a music major at the University of Maryland, suddenly God began to give me songs on the piano.  A brass musician at the time, it was indeed odd to suddenly have the skill to write and sing music.  So I did, and had a concert ministry and radio play for years. I currently serve on my worship team at New Life Community Church and there is truly no greater joy than singing to God.  Music is powerful and each song can impact another soul significantly.  I am grateful for the songs that have touched my life and hope that perhaps the songs that have healed me might heal someone reading this post, too. 

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