Monday, August 22, 2022

"Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home"

 "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."
Isaiah 55:7

This post is a continuation of my last post, in which I talked about the day I recorded two of my original songs in Nashville. It was a day I will never forget. 

The song I spoke about in that post was "When You Walk Through the Gates," and I explained how the song was written about and for my precious parents. 

Today, I am introducing you to the second song I recorded that same day in Nashville called 

 When my band, Mountain Hope, and I were recently invited to perform on CanJoe John's Mountain Matinee live radio broadcast, he played these two songs on the radio and asked me to tell the stories behind them. I told him a bit about "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home," but time didn't allow me to tell a part of the story attached to this song that really means the most to me.

I originally wrote "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home" a short time after Kevin and I were married. I still remember the day the lyrics and melody came to me, simultaneously, as I sat in our living room playing my guitar. Though Dad learned the song, and we added it to the many other songs we played and sang together, I never dreamed how God would use it a few years down the road.

Mom and Dad were having serious marital problems, and Dad ended up not only leaving Mom, but he walked away from the Lord and moved back to my home state of Ohio. Having been raised in a Christian home and taught that marriage is for life, I was beyond devastated. It wasn't just the hurt of seeing my parents separated, but the deeper hurt was knowing the Daddy who raised me to pray and seek the Lord with all my heart was no longer choosing to do that himself. It broke my heart to see him living in a way that was completely contrary to all he had instilled in me through the years.

At some point, during the time he was separated from Mom, I sent him a cassette tape of me singing, "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home." I wasn't sure how he would receive it, or if he would even listen to it, but oh, how God used that song to melt my Daddy's heart! It touched him so deeply that he told me later it was the very thing God used to draw him back to Himself. He walked away from the life he was living in Ohio, came back to the Lord, and rededicated his life to Him, and all glory to God, he and Mom were reconciled. It was like God had me write the words to this song ahead of time about something He knew was going to happen in the future, and He knew how much Dad would need to hear it. Looking back later, the words fit Dad's situation to a tee. 

Just a few months after Dad came back "home" to the Lord and to Mom, he suffered a massive stroke and had to have surgery on his brain. God answered our many prayers and brought him through the operation and the long recovery period that followed. I will never forget the gift God gave us that Christmas Day as we visited and ate dinner with Dad in the nursing home, and he took the first steps he had been able to take in a long time. 

He was never 100% after that stroke, and he lost interest in so many things, including the music he and I loved to play together. It was heartrending to see him become a shell of the man he was before. His eyesight steadily diminished, due to the long-term diabetes that he had struggled with for so many years. A little over 4.5 years later, Dad was gone. I had just found out I was expecting Zachary, Dad's only biological grandchild. Dad was beyond excited over our news and was so happy for Kevin and me, and we all hoped with all our hearts he would live long enough to meet our baby, but God had other plans. When I was 11 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy, God called Dad home for the last time~to his eternal home where satan can never tempt him to stray again. It was the most bittersweet time of my whole life, and I struggled much, questioning why God chose to take Dad before he got to meet Zach.

There are questions that will never be answered in this life. Sometimes, we have to just give up our questions and lay them at the feet of Jesus, knowing He always does what is best for each of us. On the day Kevin and I heard Zach's heartbeat for the first time, we returned home from the midwife's office to receive the news that Dad's doctor had told him he would more than likely have to have both legs amputated, due to lack of blood flow circulation. I will never in a million years forget that moment as we went from the highest high to the lowest low in a matter of a few seconds. Dad would never have been able to stand to live without being able to walk, and I think that is one of the reasons God took him home. I remember my sister Debbie telling me about a conversation she had with Dad and how she tried to get him to cheer up by reminding him of the upcoming birth of Kevin's and my baby. I will never forget his response to her. "I know, Debbie, and I couldn't be happier for Cheryl and Kevin. But, I just want to go home." A short time later, bless his dear heart, he did. He was so tired of suffering.

He and Mom are now there together with Jesus awaiting my own homecoming. Though I hope it is no time soon and I plead with the Lord for as much time as He will give me here with my dear husband and son, I do look forward to the day that we will all be there with Mom and Dad worshiping our dear Savior and singing together once again.

Though Zach never got to meet Dad, he sure is a lot like him. So many times, he will do some little thing, and Kevin and I will say, "Zach, you remind us so much of Dad." Dad would have loved this boy with all his heart, and oh, the adventures they would have enjoyed together! I still feel a deep sadness that they never had that opportunity. Dad would also love Mountain Hope, and so often when we are together practicing or doing a gig, I think of how much he would enjoy playing music with us. These are things that will never be for reasons I will probably never understand. 

My sweet Mom and Daddy

Here is the song, "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home." I hope you enjoy it! And, if you do, please consider clicking over to watch it on YouTube and give it a like!


God bless you all.

14 comments:

  1. This song and the story you tell here, Cheryl, went right to my heart! Yes, I will go over to YouTube to give it a thumbs up. Once again, I'm humbled by your musical talent and beautiful voice.
    May God continue to bless you and yours!

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    1. Martha Jane, thank you so much, sweet friend. I appreciate your kind words and support more than I could ever say. God bless you richly!

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  2. What a beautiful and poignant story, Cheryl. How touching that the song really did bring your dad back home. God used your song and music to do that. Your song is so lovely. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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    1. Thank you, dear Kitty. It comforts me to no end to know my dear Mom & Daddy are together forever with Jesus. I don't have to worry about them anymore. God is so good & so faithful to answer prayer. Thank you for your sweet comment, my friend.

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  3. What a beautiful story behind this song. Now the lyrics mean so much! The beautiful gift of reconciliation never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I love it!

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    1. Isn't God so good? I will never forget how happy I was when God brought reconciliation to my dear parents. I am so thankful for your sweet visit and kind words, sweet friend.

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  4. Oh so beautiful, this song and this testimony. Much love,Dawn E. Brown

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    1. Dawn, thank you so much for your precious words of encouragement! I am so grateful and blessed by your visit. May the dear Lord bless you always.

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  5. Cheryl, what a beautiful story of God’s amazing grace. Your voice is so lovely singing the song that you wrote. Praise God for reconciliation. Love and hugs, Pam

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    1. Yes, praise the dear Lord for the wonderful reconciliation the grace of God brings! Sending much love and hugs back to you, sweet friend.

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  6. Cheryl, such a beautiful song with so much love. Your voice is lovely. Many blessings sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Linda. God bless you, my friend.

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  7. Love the story behind your song, Cheryl, very touching. I saw the feature on Linda's Sunday link party. I was the recipient of your book Biblical Minimalism when you partnered with Kitty from Kitty's Corner a while back. Thank you!

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    1. Rita, thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words! It was so nice to hear from you. God bless you!

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