“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.”

Psalm 31:1

I can’t put the experience into words, really. I think this past weekend, though, I was “delivered”.

There was a 24-hour prayer and worship meeting our church hosted, inviting people from across the state to cover our area, state, nation, world in prayer prior to the legislative session.

I watched most of it online, but for the last 3.5 hours, I attended in person, with Little Miss.

It was wholesome, holy worship. I cried. Quite a bit. There was one song in particular that did me in.

I’ve sung these words many times before, but for some reason, this night, it clicked.

When I say, “it clicked”, I mean I truthfully heard and felt a “click” that connected soul to spirit, and scales fell from figurative eyes, allowing me to see and understand what I was saying.

I got choked up. I started to feel a little unsteady on my feet, even. These words that I’ve sung so many times before, finally meant something to me, and helped me to understand something.

It just so happened I had been – unknowingly – carrying the weight of a burden for almost nine years.

Here’s the background.

No doubt, if you’re reading any one of my posts, you know our story. You know how, 16 minutes after midnight on April 10th, 2013, I delivered our daughter, Harlynn, though she was not alive. I felt her kick that morning, I labored all day, and that night, we learned her heart had stopped beating.

I still remember so vividly, as I sat in the bed in the hospital room (room 601, to be exact), I felt the Lord in that room with us, weeping with us. I felt Him so tangibly, I knew He was to my left. He was up near where the head of the bed was, just past my left shoulder. I felt Him in that room. I felt His compassion for us, and I felt him weeping with us. I’m not sure I’ll ever forget it.

For those moments, and for a time afterward, knowing the Lord was in our room, sharing in our heartache, brought me so much comfort. So much peace.

Months later, though – or maybe even weeks – I reflected on that and thought to myself, “But you could have changed this. You could have celebrated with us instead of wept with us. You were the one – the only one – who could have changed this. …and you didn’t.”

And while none of that is untrue, I learned something else Saturday night, singing that song. But before I get to that…

I’ve spent years walking this path of healing. When you lose a child, when you join the horrible club of becoming a bereaved parent, everything changes. I’m talking e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

And while I didn’t lose my faith, while I didn’t stop believing in God, I stopped putting any weight in faith. I felt too burdened to be vulnerable with the Lord. I kept my eyes on the Lord, but from a distance.

One day, a woman called me and asked me to pray, and I was initially irked. I buried my daughter, hadn’t prayed anything more than, “God….why?” for months. Months. And she had the gall, the audacity, to call me and say, “I know you’re a prayer warrior….”

A warrior? I hung up my battle gear the night my daughter died. I was no warrior. I was a don’t-care-anymore-er.

But I prayed with her anyway, and something started to shift.

I started reading my Bible again – the Psalms. Because I felt like if any author in the Bible could get me, it was King David. I once naively thought he must have been bipolar. There were so many emotions, one psalm to the next. Then I lost a child and I understood him with tremendous depth.

I read the Psalms with fervor. And one day, I got to Psalm 139. My mindset started to shift as I wept over that Psalm. For months I had been asking, “God where have you been?” but reading that Psalm I knew, He never left. For months I had been asking, “God, do you care?” and reading that Psalm I knew, He cared before I knew I needed Him to.

And in the years that followed, I began to piece together the beauty I had seen from beneath the ashes. The people the Lord brought into my life. The families I was welcomed into. The support groups I was privileged to facilitate. The events we held. The random encounters out in public. The gifts. I could go on. And on.

I repented for my distance. I began to share with others the good the Lord had done in our grief. I began to minister to others in ways only He was able to instruct me to do. He was alongside me every step of the way, even when I was a ways out.

And yet. There lingered this baggage my heart was carrying. I didn’t even realize I was carrying it, until I went to spend a couple of hours in a prayer and worship meeting. And I was wrecked. In the best kind of way.

The song goes, “You’ve never failed me yet.”

That’s when I heard, felt the “click”. I thought, for these almost nine years, buried somewhere within me and carried all this time… that God had failed.

“This is my confidence. You’ve never failed me yet.”

I repented, for the first time, of pinning failure on God.

My daughter did not die because God failed. When sickness comes, when trials arise, when tragedy strikes – none of that, none of that, is because God failed.

That Saturday night in the church building, I was delivered. In 2 Samuel, David sings a Song of Deliverance. Singing on Saturday night, finally understanding those specific words, I was delivered. From weight, from heartache, from doubt.

I do not serve a God who fails, but who is full of compassion, of peace, of mercy, and of forgiveness. A God of redemption. A God of victory.

Am I still sad my daughter died? Of course. I will always be. Do I look forward to seeing her again in heaven? Of course. I always have.

But now, I know, I will not try to push the Lord aside to get to her. I will fall at His feet in thanksgiving and praise, and when I’m reunited with her, it will be because it’s the time. Not because I brushed past the One who has kept her all this time.

April 10th, 2013, I literally delivered death. January 8th, 2022, the Lord delivered me from a different kind of death. I may have cried in the moment of the Lord setting me free, but I’ll tell you I have done nothing but rejoice in the days since. And wow, does it feel good.

(Bonus: another song, just as powerful, with more boot stomp rhythm.)

3 Replies to “Delivered”

  1. Amen. This awakening from the Lord is nothing short of amazing Val. Song lyrics have often met me in hidden places I need to bring to light with God and His precious Words in the Bible. I’m very happy for you Val. I will say prayers of praise for you and how this will affect your family. 😊🙏

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