Summer of 2009 I found myself sitting in my apartment bawling and belting out the words to MercyMe's song "Bring the Rain". I didn't even understand why.
Let me back up a little. I had heard this song before at a church service a while ago...nothing then seemed to hit a special chord with me. Then, that summer rolled around and I heard it again on 107.1 while I was driving....something was different this time...tears started rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably....when I got home I knew I had to get a hold of that song and listen to it again. I just felt this need and desire to hear it again. And as I listened to it over and over, singing along, resonating with these words in a way I could not comprehend, and praising God, the rain was definitely falling. Down my face.
What is going on?! For those of you that know me well...you know I don't cry that easily. Not because I am hard-hearted or anything like that, I've just always found it hard to cry (in front of others). For example, no matter how much I felt like crying at a movie, somehow the tears just never seemed to flow easily. It was actually always kind of frustrating and embarrassing to me. Thankfully, as I am growing up, I am growing out of whatever reason it was that I found it hard to cry in front of others. But STILL. This was something I had never experienced before...this strong urge to bawl my eyes out. And although some of you may be thinking "well, Hannah...it's not THAT strange because you WERE alone...there wasn't anyone around you to make you feel embarrassed". Well, in a sense that's true, but in fact I was very much NOT alone. The very reason I was experiencing this tide of emotion was because of someone's presence. His very strong presence.
Here are the lyrics of the song. I want you to read through them before I go on to further explain my story. In bold are the words that really tugged at my heartstrings when I listened to them.
"I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty"
--Bring the Rain by MercyMe
Wanna know what was in store for me within 2010?
Just a few months later in September my sister found out the baby she was carrying would be born with a cleft lip. With that came many uncertainties of what other health issues he may have or what his future may hold. In February Sully was born. I received a terrifying call from my mom that they were having to do an emergency c-section because of a prolapsed cord and they were hoping to get him out in time. Thankfully, everything ended up being ok. However, since then, the poor little guy and his family have gone through so much. He had a severe cleft lip and pallatte. They were told he only had 20% vision. He started having seizures. Parts of his brain are underdeveloped. He was throwing up all of the time, which resulted in many months later having a Nissen Wrap procedure done (where they wrap part of the stomach around the esophagus making it so that he can never throw up again). This is just the start folks.
My grandpa passed away. He was the first person that I've been close to that has died.
Eric's grandma passed away. Also one of the first people he's been closest to that's passed away.
Some close friends of both Eric and my sister-in-law were killed.
We found out that my mother-in-law had breast cancer.
Wow. Do you think God was preparing me, or what? I did not understand then why I had felt His presence so much during that song and why those words seemed to touch me so deeply. Looking back now I can see why. I understand why I was brought to tears when I heard and sang the lyrics "bring me anything that brings you glory".
I know some of you may be wondering....how can any of those awful things bring God glory?
Well...what if I told you that the amazing faith of my sister and brother-in-law through their experiences with Sully have given many people encouragement and renewed faith? Sully himself has shown God's miraculous love and has brought so much joy to our lives.
Or that the death of my grandpa brought family relationships together, allowed us to have deep conversations with him before he went to be with the Lord, and allowed us to have other God-glorifying conversations with various people?
Or that the death of Eric's grandma also brought family together, and gave Eric's dad a beautiful opportunity to share the love of God to everyone at her funeral?
Or that one of Eric and my sister-in-law's friends that passed away was an AMAZING man filled with God's love and that over 1,000 people attended his funeral and people came to know the Lord through even his obituary?
Or that my mother-in-law has been able to experience God's love more deeply through the emotional and physical pain of cancer?
And that's not even all of the glory that came with the rain. :)
2010 has proven to be one of the most trial-filled years in my life thus far. But through it all, because of the presence and deep love of my sweet Savior, I have been able to say with joy and peace (and tear-filled eyes), "Jesus bring the rain".
P.S. Do you have any stories to share of God's love, grace, glory, presence, etc? Please share--we would love to hear!!