~ In the eye of the storm you remain in control
In the middle of the war, you guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
~ Eye of the Storm, Ryan Stevenson
I first started being awakened in the middle of the night with a song in my heart many years ago. I thought it was odd, as I hadn’t heard of this happening to anyone else. I was afraid to even mention it to anyone for fear that people would think I’d lost my mind. Imagine how amazed I was when I came across a scripture in Job 35:10 “Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night”. Wow! Had that always been there?! As the years have gone by, I’ve become accustomed to this and began keeping a pen and paper by my bed. Most times the words to the song come when I’m not quite awake, yet I’m not sound asleep either. It’s always just a few lines that play over and over in my head until I either get up and write them down or tap a few words into my phone. There are certainly some nights I want to throw the pillow over my head and roll over. Just let me sleep, Lord!!!
Since Melanie went on to heaven, I have had more “songs in the night” awaken me now more than ever before. I imagine God knows I need more encouragement now than I ever have and for whatever reason, this is one of the ways the Holy Spirit encourages and comforts me. In case you’re wondering, these are not songs I’ve recently heard on the radio or just listened to before going to bed. That’s one of the amazing things! God loves me enough to give me songs in the night to lift me up as I walk this dark, lonely journey of grief.
I think of my girl the moment my eyes open, and she’s the last thing I think of before I go to sleep at night. I picture in my mind what it must have been like when she took her last breath on earth and then imagine what it must have been like when her next breath was in heaven, looking at Jesus. Yes, I can only imagine!
The day after Melanie died, I was talking with a close friend on the phone. What I remember most about the conversation was that seemingly from out of nowhere a holy anger rose up within me as I told him, “The enemy thought he won last night when Melanie took her last breath but, I’m here to tell you that he didn’t win at all!! I know that Melanie is in heaven with Jesus!!” Melanie and I had many conversations about the Lord over the years. She would tell me she wasn’t religious – she was spiritual. One day during one of the very darkest times of her addiction she was living homeless on the street. As we spoke on the phone, I asked her directly, “Melanie Anne, if you died today do you know where you’d go?” With a little bit of a laugh, she answered both quickly and confidently, “Yes, momma, I know exactly where I’m going! Just because I’m an addict doesn’t mean that I still don’t love Jesus and believe in him!!”. Ha! Well, that sure gave me something to think about!! Just because someone is struggling doesn’t mean they don’t have a relationship with God, nor have they abandoned their faith.
No one ever dreams of becoming of an addict. Melanie hated that about herself. She just couldn’t understand why she could not overcome it. Why couldn’t she walk away? Why couldn’t she quell the cravings that would eventually consume her? I can’t count how many times she cried and just wanted to be “normal” and live a normal life. Her heart wanted this but the disease that controls the brain would overtake her heart’s desire. Sad, but true.
I spoke about Melanie’s heart while giving her eulogy. I especially wanted to encourage those friends of hers who had attended, many who were still actively walking in their addiction and others who were sober and working their program. I wanted them to know Melanie’s heart. Her true heart. Not the heart of the addict, but the heart of the girl who still loved Jesus even though she struggled with the disease of addiction. My girl is walking streets of gold, no longer struggling with the daily pull of getting high. She’s at peace, and happy. Walking and talking with her Heavenly Father. I do take comfort in the fact that her struggle is over. Me? As her momma I will always miss her voice, her smile, our daily talks – about nothing and everything. It’s in the eye of this storm, where I will continue to rely on the only one who can calm the storm within me.
When addiction steals my baby girl
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust you in
I trust you Lord
~ Eye of the Storm, Ryan Stevenson