January 30, 2011

Reminders From the Valley - Rising to the Challenge

A very powerful way the Lord ministers to my heart is through music. I have always loved music. My parents both have a great love for it and instilled that love in their children. No matter what is happening in my life or my mood, the Lord puts a song in my heart. These times were no different. What is so amazing to me is that the God created music for HIS glory and honor. Yet, He allows it to be used for our blessing, encouragement, and yes, comfort. Allen's folks gave us a CD several years ago from a family of Christian performers. On it there is a song that I had never heard before. Last June I was listening to this CD on my iPod while I went about my work. That time I heard it in a way I had never heard it before.

"Whatever It Takes"

by The Knight Family

There's a voice calling me,
from an old rugged tree
And it whispers, "Draw closer to me."
Leave this world far behind,
There are new heights to climb,
and a new place in me you will find.

Take the dearest thing to me,
if that's how it must be,
to draw closer to thee,
Let the disappointments come,
lonely days without the sun,
and through sorrow,
more like you I'll become.

I'll trade sunshine for rain,
comfort for pain,
that's what I'd be willing to do, Lord
for whatever it takes,
for my will to break,
that's what I'd be willing to do.

Take my houses and lands,
Change my dreams and my plans,
for I'm placing my whole life in your hands,
and if you call me today,
to my home far away,
then I'll walk ,
and your will obey.

I'll trade sunshine for rain
comfort for pain
that's what I'd be willing to do, Lord
for whatever it takes
for my will to break
that's what I'll be willing to do

whatever it takes
to draw closer to you, Lord
that's what I'd be willing to do
whatever it takes to be more like you
that's what I'd be willing to do...
that's what I'd be willing to do.

So here I was, standing on a mountain top in early June. My children were happy and healthy. My husband, with whom I share a mutual adoration, was content and working in a job he loved. Financially we had reached a place where we could afford to pay a little more toward our mortgage each month and take a vacation each fall. For the first time in a long time my extended family were all speaking to each other (with the exception of my mother) a dream that Allen and I had hoped and prayed for since our marriage. We were expecting a new baby (the 7th since doctors had told us we couldn't have another baby). My sister was coming to stay for the summer. Even the weather was as perfect as it could be.

And as I went about my work and listened to the lyrics of this song, it hit me so hard. Was it true? Would I be willing to trade anything for the blessing of drawing closer to my God and being more like sweet Jesus? It was easy to say at this high point in my life, but what if I had to give up the dearest thing to me? Would I still be willing to say, "It's yours, Father. I will follow." There and then, in front of my washing machine, I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to make this true in my heart. To challenge me and make me truly follow Him with all I am and all I have to give back.

Within a few short weeks, He did just that. Sometime in the haze that followed my miscarriage and the breakdown in our family, I realized that the Lord was answering my prayer by allowing two of the dearest things in the world to be taken from me so that I could be more like Him.

All I had to do was rise to the challenge.


  1. So true are those words...world we be willing?

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Laundry can be such a blessing at least I think so. I do some of my best praying, and thinking while doing laundry.

    On a side note, I am typing up the Trifle dessert recipe you wanted. It should be up in the next couple days.

    Have a Blessed Sunday,