— CLOUDY NAMANNY —
I can’t sing at all, and I can’t keep a steady beat, but God has given me a great love for music. I would say my passion for music began when I started band in fifth grade. Over the years my love has grown. I did not grow up listening to Christian music but have come to value its impact on my daily life. I have a playlist for different times in my adult life, and in many ways you can trace my journey through these songs.
Life was pretty hard for me (in my mind): I was married, had three very young kids, a full-time job, and was trying to live a life for God. That was the problem — I was trying to do it. If the choice to trust Jesus as my Savior wasn’t done quite right, then I was going to work extra hard to look good and do good works. I went to church, graduated from a Christian college, and was teaching at a Christian school. That's the picture of a good Christian. Right? God brought me to a place in my life where I couldn’t do anything more. My life was a mess and needed Him. I needed a Savior. After coming to the complete understanding that I could do nothing, I accepted Jesus' death on the cross for me as full payment for my sins. Nothing could be added to what He did for me. I now knew I was a child of God. Truly, I was a child of the one true God. Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West became one of the most powerful songs in my life. I have to admit it isn’t my favorite music, but the words were just what I needed. Another song that I love with the same message is Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship.
I didn’t know how important this would become just a couple of years later. My husband had been home from work with a bad back and not feeling well. When we got home, there was something very wrong, and I decided to take him to the hospital. I packed up my three kids (10, 8, 8 at the time) in the car and walked my husband to the car. On our way to the car, he collapsed. At that moment, I learned what it really meant to cry out to God, and in my arms, he went to be with his Savior for eternity. Over the next days and months, music became more important than ever. I knew what the kids and I needed was to pump truth into our hearts continuously. I remember it being hard to breathe and people reminded me to breathe all the time. I thought that was natural, but it was such hard work just to breathe. I heard the song Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey. I told myself daily to keep going. Two weeks after my husband died one of my students passed away, and this song kept ringing in my ears. Not long after I was able to hear this song live with the family of my student — we cried a lot together.
I found myself lost and not knowing who I was anymore. I lost my title as Wife that I had for almost 15 years, and I didn’t know how to handle learning who I was again. Once again, I was reminded that I am a child of God. My identity was in Jesus and not all my hats I wore. I needed to get this in my head. My identity is in God and not in the hats. I had many platforms: wife, mom, teacher, friend, and daughter. Some platforms change, but our identity in Jesus never changes. Realizing this the year after his death was hard, and I went through difficult times. We sang a song called My Lighthouse by Rend Collective. This song was used to help me through a difficult night and to guide me back to God when I couldn’t see clearly. He was my lighthouse in so many ways, and He brought me back safely to shore when the waves seemed harder than they ever had in our lives. My God loves me so much that He sent His son to die on the cross for my sins. He cares for our every need. I can place my hope and trust in God. One day I will live in heaven for eternity, and this is what drives me — the confidence I have in Jesus. A song I learned just a few weeks ago called One Day (When We All Get To Heaven) by Matt Redman that gives me hope and what I get to look forward to for eternity. If you don’t have this hope, I would love to help you to know how you can be sure that you can spend eternity in heaven with your personal savior and be His child.