Friday, March 12, 2010

held heart

Last night was, as I expected, a pretty emotional night. What I didn't expect was for God to show up so big, to do so much, just for me... just for me and my hurting, healing heart.
I was fine driving there, fine being there, even got through watching someone push their teenage friend in a wheelchair down on the lower level.
I cracked when the 'Letters to God' trailer played on the jumbo-tron. In case you're not familiar with the upcoming movie, it's about a 9 year old boy who dies from brain cancer. The actor playing the boy reminds me tremendously of a 9 year-old JD. It was almost more than I could take.
Immediately following the preview, Tenth Avenue North took the stage. I did fine, did well, was enjoying it. They played 'Hold My Heart' and I was taken back to last concert, remembering how I sat wondering what JD was thinking during the song, wondering if he took the lyrics literally, right now I can barely stand, wondering if his heart was breaking like mine, wondering if he saw me trying to hide my tears. I cried at the memory and my heart echoed the lyrics as it has so many times the last six months,
"But if there's no other way, I'm done asking 'why'
I'm on my knees, begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees, Father- will You run to me?
One tear in the driving rain
One voice in the sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say are- would You come close, hold my heart?
So many questions without answers;
Your promises remain.."
The tears came easy at the memory, but I know the sweet promises I have to hold onto. I know where JD is and that he no longer has a breaking heart or a hurting body- He's standing, dancing even, in the presence of our God. I know there was no other way for things to happen- that God has a plan, and this was part of it. I know that God was faithful to me then, and He is faithful to me now. It was enough for me just to be there. I would've been satisfied with that- it was all I went to do, just be there, worship the Lord along with friends I love and thousands I don't know.
I had no idea that God wanted to meet me there, wanted to hold my heart, just as I had been asking Him to do- but come close, He did. I was blessed, blown away at the goodness, tenderness, the things that happened just for me... for me... for my heart, for my heart that needed touched so desperately.
The lead singer, Mike Donehey, asked the audience if they were up for hearing a new song tonight. He received an enormous applause and continued talking. "We're going to play our new release from our upcoming album. Tonight, this song goes out to Kristen, who recently lost her brother. It's called 'Healing Begins'".
I turned and looked at Hope and Maddie. "That's me..." I said, half questioning if I had even heard correctly. I stood shaking and sobbing, trying to figure out how this happened, how my name, my brother were just mentioned amongst a crowd of thousands of people- and by the lead singer of my favorite band. I figured it had something to do with the blog I had written yesterday, and had a good guess as to how they could've found out about it- but for them to read it, to dedicate the song to me... I was blown away.
You could imagine my shock, then, when a person I had never even met- she goes to school with Hope- came up and asked if I was Kristen, and if I'd want to go meet the band. So we went. The wife of the drummer took us out to the tour bus, where no one was, and then back inside to the dressing room where the band was located. I stood and talked to the lead singer and met a few other band members. I got to share some of JD's story, about the last concert we'd been to, his testimony, him wanting to be baptized, all the lives he touched. My mouth felt like it was full of cotton and I probably talked too much, but I was so excited to be able to talk about JD, to hear Mike Donehey's heart, to be encouraged. Talking with him, just like hearing him speak at the last concert we went to, makes me like their music even more- just in love with Jesus and wanting to be used by Him for His glory.
Something else that was really bazaar- Mike was telling me that on the weeknight shows, they usually just have 15 minutes for their slot, so they play the songs from the old album. On Friday and Saturday, they have 20 minutes and so they play their new song. It just so happened that the lead singer from Newsboys was sick and they weren't there last night. The only band out of all of them that performed yesterday to get extra time because of the absence was Tenth Avenue North... Ordinarily, they wouldn't have even been playing 'Healing Begins'.
So many awesome things.
It was sweet to leave backstage and re-enter the concert while Third Day was playing 'God of Wonders', and then 'Agnus Dei', which sings 'Holy are You, Lord God, Almighty. Worthy is the Lamb..." - The same words that Revelation chapter 4 says are being sung in heaven around the throne of God ...
just maybe the same words JD was singing last night.

God has been so good to me. I needed that- and I'm so thankful, encouraged, and blessed.


  1. Kristen,

    Thank you for sharing your heart like this. I think about you and your family often. I had tears in my eyes reading this. I want you to know that you are always in my prayers. You are such a strong woman, I strive to have half the strength you have.

    God Bless you,
    Kristin V.

  2. What a wonderful experience with Jesus. I am so glad that He met you there, that He orchestrated all the little things to happen just for you.

    Their song "Hold my Heart" has really blessed me too, with what has happened with Aliyah.

  3. Kristen,

    Just imagining the moment where they dedicated that song to you brought tears to my eyes. I read that sentence over and over and pictured your face.

    The things you write touch my heart, the things you've gone through and the person you are in spite of them...well, you're so special. I feel blessed that you are my friend and that you are in my life.

    When wonderful God-things like that happen to you, well, I just am filled with such joy for YOU.

    I love you, my dear friend.

  4. i love you, sweet friend. that's all i've got right now. must wipe tears!

  5. this is amazing and beautiful! as always, I'm wiping the tears from my eyes after reading. Praise God for the healing He is doing in you, and the way He is still using JD's life! Wonderful!

  6. Oh goodness. I'm pretty sure I write this to you all the time...but I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face as I read this.

    What a beautiful night. Beautiful moment. Beautiful memory. I'm so glad you were so blessed.

    So how was it that they found your blog/found out about you and JD? Now you've made me curious. :) That is just too cool!

    Now wait a minute, this was Winter Jam, correct? And you wrote this on Friday, talking about the night before. Sooo, were you in Ft. Wayne for the concert???

  7. You know I cried reading this, as usual. I'm so glad it was such a good experience. I was praying for you.

  8. Thanks for opening up your heart and letting others in on what God is doing in your life. It's so encouraging to hear of Gods faithfulness to you.

    P.S. Sorry I didn't even talk to you when we saw you the other day! I didn't mean to be rude! So hi!

  9. i love that you let us "in" on your life, kristen. you have such a gift and the fact that you use this gift to glorify God makes it even better. so many of us do not have our hearts, truly, open to what God is trying to show us. you do, and i'm in awe of this. yes, jd is singing and rejoicing with God and you know he loves that you and he are still connected thru this gift. thank you for sharing it with us.


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