I've mentioned several times in recent weeks that the Lord has been bringing songs to my heart as I've pressed in to pray for our Mei Mei. It was much the same in our journey to Li'l Empress. There are just songs that connect with my spirit in powerful ways and give me a platform from which to pray. I could never narrow the list down to "just" five when I was waiting for Li'l Empress but I did highlight many of the most meaningful songs in this post and again in this one. To this day, each of those songs brings me right back to the very moments that I keyed in on them - they remain weapons in the praying hands of this momma even now.
This journey to Mei Mei has similarly been shaped. The emerging theme of understanding and accepting HIS unconditional and unfailing love has been both humbling and empowering. Turning my understanding into prayers over my daughter has definitely eased the pain and the myopic focus of the wait for her to join our family. I'm excited to share these songs with you all - maybe when you hear one of them, you'll join me in praying for our girl?
Home by Phillip Phillips - From the moment I first heard this song on the American Idol stage, I knew it was going to be one that resonated with the nation. But I also knew that it was going to be a really important song to me while I waited for Mei Mei. I love this kid's style anyway, but man, oh man! The first couple times I played it on my iPod, I could barely see through my tears. I usually get really annoyed by "saturation" in pop-culture music but this one does.not.get.old. for me. It just keeps me trudging forward, focused on my mission to get Mei Mei "HOME!"
Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture AND by Newsboys - This is the song that led me to Mei Mei's life verse. The first couple times I heard it, on the Newsboys album, I found myself singing it over and over and when I was home, I'd just keep repeating it on the iPod. Then I got the Jesus Culture cd for Christmas and that whole cd became my soundtrack of January's season of prayer and fasting with our church. I soaked in these words like a sponge, praying for my own emerging understanding of His love and commissioning angel ministry to anoint my daughter's spirit with the sense of deep and unfailing love.
On a side note, in the bridge of this song, the words are "You make all things work together for my good." In the interest of being totally honest, I struggled with those words A.LOT. during this delay we've been working through. I didn't want to sing the words because they didn't "feel" true. I couldn't figure out how this whole thing was going to work to ANYONE's good. But as I was praying through it one afternoon, the Lord reminded me that while it's good and right to be singing these words out as a praise for the prior experiences of His good thus far in my life, it is also imperative that I speak them out as a declaration of truth over the current and coming circumstances I face. That I speak them as a statement of faith in His ability to continue to work all things for my good. And you know what? I don't yet understand what good has or will (or honestly could!) come out of getting to our girl six to 8 weeks later than the original time line. But I don't have to. I just have to trust that His Word is true and He is working it out. Simply cuz He says He is. That's your freebie for the day. You can thank me later.
Kicking and Screaming by Third Day - this is the acoustic version and I just love it!!! But it's no secret to those that know me that I love me some Third Day. A day can hardly go wrong when you've got Mac Powell and friends crooning you through it! This song is from their recent Miracle album and upon first listen, I felt like it was a great word picture for how I was feeling about my girl. Even before we got the news of this paperwork tangle, when we were (not so patiently!) waiting for our very delayed Letter of Approval, this song was resonating with me. I was fighting for my girl and gearing up for whatever I had to do to get her home. Heh. I had no idea that the fight was about to kick into high gear just a few days later. Now, as I listen to it and the mission for my girl has unfolded more and more, I hear it from Jesus' own heart. This is how much HE loves her. And He's already been fighting for her since the day she was created. I can't even tell you how that makes my heart soar!!!!
Your Love Is Like a River also by Third Day - also from the Miracle album. This song has been a point of healing and refreshment for me for many weeks now. This acoustic version is new to me - I actually prefer the studio version on the album but I love that they did this right out on the streets of Atlanta. Proclaiming HIS Word and letting it take flight over the city. This song has soothed my ruffled feathers while acting as a beacon to point me to HIS purposes and HIS plans for this season of the journey. When I've felt wrangled and roughed up by the "process" or misunderstood by those around me, this song has lifted my eyes to the hills and reminded me that my help comes from HIM. Special thanks to my sister-in-law for the Christmas gift, despite my brother's disdain for my taste in music. What does he know anyway?
How Great Thou Art - the version by Carrie Underwood is on my iPod but I'm sharing the live version of her singing it with Vince Gill. It cannot be compared to any.other. live version. Any.Where. Seriously, it's simply amazing. This old hymn of adoration reminds me daily that I must decrease that He can increase in me and through me. I've always loved this hymn but in this season of my life, the comfort I derive from being reminded that it's not about me is astounding.
Similarly, Great Is Thy Faithfulness is a stand-by in my faith walk. I am sharing this version just because I love this guy's voice and heart of worship. No matter who is singing it, the anchor it provides for my heart to worship my God has stood up well in the long journey to Mei Mei. I fully expect that this and "How Great Thou Art" will again be the lullabies my baby girl hears as I rock her to sleep each night. It was and is perfect for settling the wounded and weary heart, isn't it?
These are only a few of the songs that are running on the playlist of my heart as we inch closer and closer to our girl. The Lord has always ministered to me through music, whether it's worship tunes, old hymns, or pop songs one can hear on the radio. And I'm soaking it all in that I might be full to overflow onto the little sponge of Mei Mei's heart when we finally get to hold her in our arms!