I’m a music person. My life has a soundtrack. Each chapter of my life sounds a little different. Music is an expression of the soul. There were times when I longed for an English horn, to let out that mournful melody of my grief. But the oboe worked well enough with Nielsen’s Romance of his Two Fantasy Pieces. Most of the time though, I let others create the music. This is Faith’s soundtrack.
Motion of Mercy – Francesca Battistelli: This was first on my iPod labor playlist for Little Monster. I took my Kindle with me for Faith’s delivery and would rely on my Pandora stations for labor music this time. When it was time for the actual delivery, Hubby asked if I wanted to change the station (he truly is amazing, always knowing exactly what I need at just the right moment). I switched to my Francesca Battistelli inspired station, and as fate would have it, this was the first song that played as I was ready to push. The same one that started the pushing phase with Faith’s biggest sister. It helped ready my mind and body for the task ahead. “God give me strength to give something for nothing. I want to be a glimpse of the kingdom that’s coming soon. That’s the motion of mercy, changing the way and the what we are. That’s the motion of mercy, moving my heart.”
Legacy – Nichole Nordeman:This song will forever remind me of Faith, and I pray that we honor her legacy through our lives. This might have been the very next song once we changed the station, time is a blur, but it is the song that played as she was actually delivered. She was breech, as is common at 25 weeks, and her body was easily delivered. Her head was stuck though. I was only 3cm dilated a few minutes earlier after all. The doctor asked me to push, and I said I would with the next contraction. As I felt another rush coming on, I spoke the words, “well done, good and faithful one” along with the song. My body opened up and her head was released. And then I broke down in tears. A couple weeks later a friend helped me find the song and I realized just how perfect this song is for Faith’s short life.
Let Her Go – Jasmine Thompson (Passenger cover): As I relaxed in my herbal after birth bath at home, I heard this song. I suddenly felt as if I had been holding onto Faith as if she would come back. When I heard this I knew that she was never coming back to us in the way we hoped. I had to let her go. “You only know you love her when you let her go. And you let her go.”
Praise You in this Storm – Casting Crowns: “As the thunder rolls, I barely hear you whisper through the rain, ‘I am here.’” Everyone has storms in their lives. It can be so easy to be mad at God or to feel abandoned by Him when things get tough. But when we choose to actively praise Him, we find all the good things that He is doing in our lives. We have to peek through the darkness to find the Light. “Every tear I’ve cried, You hold in Your hand. You never left my side. And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.”
Blessings – Laura Story: This song holds special meaning on so many levels. I remember when Laura Story was on The JoyFM, telling the story behind the song. As newlyweds, her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. At the time I thought, what a powerful testimony! This song also played on my car radio as Fafa (my paternal grandma) took her last breath in 2012. She was in Hospice at the time, and while I knew the song well, it spoke to me that morning and I prayed for her and my family before heading in to work. I received a call from my dad 10 minutes later with the news of her passing. Now that I have received blessing upon blessing through all of my own tears, it speaks to me in yet another way. This song reminds me that my own baby Faith is in Heaven with Fafa. I know that she is in good hands. I know that they are happy and whole together. “What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears?”
My Story – Big Daddy Weave: “If I told you my story, you would hear life overcome the grave.” You would hear hope, love, life, Grace, mercy, kindness…. I hope this is what you hear as I tell my story. This is what my story is all about. I have been healed by the telling of my story. I will never ‘recover’ and go back to the way things were. My story has transformed me. We all have a story. Will you dare to share yours?
I am not alone – Kari Jobe: We are not meant to go through this journey of life (and death) alone. Not once have I felt abandoned during this trial. Even when I expected someone to show up and they didn’t, God showed us another way. He showed us that we were never alone. “You’ve always been faithful. You bring healing to my soul.”
As the Deer – Martin J. Nystrom: I’ve been singing this song since childhood, but it was also sung one of the first Sundays I was back at church. The lyrics, “You alone are my strength my shield, to You alone may my spirit yield,” set me to tears. Good tears. I couldn’t sing anymore, but just sat in our back pew and worshiped the God who gives me strength when I have none.
Be Held – Casting Crowns: The chorus paints an image in my mind of God Our Father holding me when I want to fall down. “Just be held.” A warm embrace. A hug with no words. The reassurance that it’s ok to just be, exactly where I am. No judgement about what I’m doing in and with my grief. No expectation to talk or be someone I’m not. Just the permission to be exactly who He called me to be at this moment in time.
That’s What Faith Can Do – Kutless: Everything about this song. “You think it’s more than you can take, but you’re stronger than you know.” “Hope that doesn’t end even when the sky is falling.” “Broken hearts become brand new, that’s what Faith can do.” A wise woman told me she didn’t think it was an accident that we named our baby Faith, because our faith would get us through. How right she was! I didn’t realize how significant her name would become. After all, we had planned on having Faith as her middle name since the beginning of pregnancy, because we had faith that she was God’s plan for us. When we found out she didn’t have a heartbeat and we still hadn’t decided on a first name, Faith became her first name. Our Faith has certainly carried us through.
Power of your love – Hillsong: Another song that was sung at church two months postpartum. I started singing until we got to the lines, “And I know that the weaknesses I see in me will be stripped away by the power of your love.” It was a call to forgiveness. I kept blaming myself for Faith’s death and I needed to let go of what I saw as my weaknesses. “And as I wait, I’ll rise up like the eagle, And I will soar with You, Your spirit leads me on, by the power of your love.” At the time I was waiting on a test too. The song became a prayer that week. I know His love for me is strong, and I have to trust it. And now I am buoyed with hope.