I met ten-year-old Erin Browning on ValentineΓÇÖs Day, 2004 at Westover Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her mother, Laurie, had visited our website to share ErinΓÇÖs story. Erin loved Jesus and Casting Crowns, and, after six years of dance lessons, she had choreographed a dance to our song Here I Go Again.
Less than nine months after I met her, Erin died of cancer.
I wrote this song after watching LaurieΓÇÖs incredible faith as she loved her daughter, and loved God, through it all. One of the songΓÇÖs lyrics that most gripped me was, ΓÇ£For You are who You are, no matter where I am.ΓÇ¥ My circumstances do not dictate who God is. But God does indeed dictate my circumstances. If I believe he is sovereign, then I must believe that everything that touches my life first received his permission. Whether he brought it or simply allowed it, either way it first sifted through his fingers before it touched me.
This is why we can worship God with an unshakable confidence that whatever we are facing is something that he has deemed best for us.
We may not like it. In fact, we may loathe it. But God is in the middle of it, and it is for our good. IΓÇÖm trying to get to the point to where thatΓÇÖs fine with me. Or it may just be that somehow this storm is for nothing more than his praise. If so, then I should trust him and not my feelings and try to take pleasure in the truth that he wanted to use me for his glory.
I have a son and three daughters, and I was amazed at how Laurie faced a parentΓÇÖs greatest fear. It doesnΓÇÖt mean that she wasnΓÇÖt angry. It doesnΓÇÖt mean that she wasnΓÇÖt sad or doubtful. But she still leaned on Jesus even when she was angry, sad, or doubtful. I was reminded once again that just because we cannot see GodΓÇÖs purpose does not mean he doesnΓÇÖt have one, reminded that God is faithful, regardless of the circumstances. I was reminded that God is sovereign, and weΓÇÖre not.
Finally, I was reminded that we cannot control how long our lifesongs last.
We only can control how loud we sing them. In her short time on Earth, little Erin lived out loud for Jesus. Through it all, I was captured not just by LaurieΓÇÖs faith but also by her worship. She had the worship of Job:
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.Job 1:21