I remember when Whitney Houston died in February of 2012. My mom, Chance and I were in Sears in Memphis. We were visiting for the weekend and wanted to get out of the house. While we were there our phones started to go off with the breaking news that Whitney Houston died. We were in utter and total disbelief. I could not believe that she was gone.
We went back to Conway and my mom came the following weekend. But, because she is so special, Whitney’s funeral services were aired on all major networks. I watched the entire thing. There was a song that was playing most of the service. The song was “Let the Church Say Amen” by Andre Crouch and was sang by Marvin Winans. I thought that was the prettiest song and I felt that it was fitting for her. It stuck with me though. For days afterwards, that song stayed in my head and I downloaded it to my phone.
I didn’t think much of it but I liked the song and I played it often. Although I liked the song, I didn’t think I’d be going to a funeral soon to hear it. It was now the “funeral” song to me.
Unfortunately, a month and some change later, I had to bury Chance.
People don’t believe me when I say this but I truly felt that God was preparing me for it. Not saying that I was waiting on it to happen because I never imagined that I would have to do something so wrong but He put certain things in place and when I think back on it, He was preparing me for something I certainly couldn’t handle. There were so many things that God was showing me. I knew something was going to happen but I didn’t know what it was. My mom will tell you. I felt weird for a while.
I don’t remember planning Chance’s memorial because my family so thoughtfully stepped in and took care of ALL of that for me. I’m so grateful for them because I truly wasn’t able to do anything. I was existing at this point. I did give my cousins pictures and songs that I wanted played for their services. I remember sitting around the kitchen table while we all looked at pictures and videos of her and we just cried while looking through them. It was awful. My cousin Ronnie made this beautiful slide show with pictures of her and the songs she liked. The songs were by Spongebob, the Little Mermaid, Thomas the Train, etc. It was really cute and displayed her personality. I told them that I wanted her to be escorted out of the church to “Almost There” from the Princess and the Frog movie. She loved this movie so much. I felt that it was absolutely the perfect song to end it. I mean, there’s no perfect song to bury your child to but it was one of her favorites.
However, somebody didn’t get the memo (and that wasn’t what God wanted again, His plan outweighs ours every time) and they played “Let the Church Say Amen”. I wasn’t upset but I knew that I would NEVER play that song again. Because, to me, it was so final. Keep in mind, I just heard this song a month prior at Whitney’s funeral.
Amen means that’s it. I wasn’t ready to say it to my baby. I knew that whenever I heard that song from that day forward, I would think about the memorial and the loss of my baby. That’s how I felt at that time. We buried Chance on April 7, 2012 and I did not play that song again until 2019. I hated that song.
Now, that song brings me so much comfort. And it has nothing to do with loss.
If you trust and believe God, there is nothing bad about the word Amen. Actually, it’s the simplest and most straightforward word to say. It tells Him that you trust HIM and Him only for the plans He has for you. So many things have happened to me since I lost my beautiful baby. Things that have completely broken me. I’ve been without work. I’ve been in bad relationships. I’ve lost friends. I’ve been sick. I’ve been depressed. I mean, if you can think it, it has probably happened to me.
Tonight while in prayer, I was told to play this song because like most people, I’m dealing with things that seem too hard for me to handle. I’ve been sick for two weeks. Dealing with not working because of being sick. Attempting to stay positive. I’m an extremely emotional person so I was like “God now you know this is going to make me cry and I don’t want to do all of that today”. I will say that you have to talk to Him on YOUR level. He will truly meet you where you are. I’m a true witness to that. And when He responds, it’s in a way that YOU will hear and understand Him. He doesn’t speak to me in a voice that says “Keisha, I want thine to do this, this and that….” no, that’s not how He speaks to me. Because I’m always receptive to hearing him, I hear from Him in music, while reading, watching TV, driving, cooking, talking to people, etc. But, tonight I listened to this song like I was led to do and I heard what He wanted me to know. I encourage you to get to know Him for yourself. You will never regret it.
We have to learn to accept His will for what it is. And His will and wants for us are not always what we want. When you truly trust Him, the word Amen is enough. Amen means it is so or so be it. That means, that’s it. When a door closes that you didn’t expect to close, amen. If a relationship ends that you didn’t want to end, amen. If you lose a job, amen. Amen means that’s it. You can’t change it so rearrange your plan. You(and I) have to trust that Amen is a blessing. God doesn’t do anything to punish us. Everything is done for a reason. We don’t know the reasons in that moment but it will be revealed. Chance has helped to save so many children since she has been gone. So, trust in Him and really have faith that He will supply all of your needs and wants.
Things have been rough for me for months. But when I sit back and think of it all, I have never missed a beat. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, I’ve gotten a house(my mom blessed me). My bills have been paid. I’ve gotten everything I’ve wanted. Brandon has not missed a beat. Even in sickness, everything that I needed was supplied for me. I mean, Amen has not been bad to me. And, when I started to get back to the foundation that was built for me when I was a child, I see that even when I thought I was alone, God was there the entire time. We are so blessed.
I encourage all of those who are facing hard times, to make Amen your response to everything. No matter how you feel or how bad things are, say Amen. When you’re wondering and questioning things, say Amen. When you don’t know what’s happening next, say Amen. When you have faith, mean what you say and boldly say Amen. Faith the size of a mustard seed is enough. Help is on the way. A lot of us are in the valley right now but Amen anyway.
I pray that everything works out for you. And let’s stop trying to put God in this box. He is literally everywhere in everything. He is there for you and He loves you. He’s waiting on you.
If you haven’t accepted Him into your life, if you believe, read and recite “Romans 10:9-10 NLT 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
Repeat this, “Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.“
If you have prayed this prayer in sincere faith, you may want to put your initials by the prayer along with today’s date as a reminder that you have come to Christ in faith, trusting him as your Lord and Savior.
He will give you a new life.