Nashville #4 – Thank You

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All week long, Dustin has been taking the songs I’ve written, breaking them down into individual instruments – drums, bass, piano, guitar, etc. – and building them back up into full songs.  They really sound amazing.  And today, I recorded the vocals over top of all of the things he has added this week.  It was so interesting to watch the process happen and watch these songs get built and then to step in and just let my voice settle on top of these otherwise fully-formed songs.

It all has got me thinking about the way this entire Nashville project has materialized, and I feel it is very much the same.  Through the last few months, I feel as though I have sat in a chair, giving my suggestions or corrections, but mostly just watching things happen.  Early on, when I felt nervous about the fundraising and about the songwriting and about the trip itself, God whispered to me in the middle of the night, “The Lord will fight for you.  You need only be still” {Exodus 14:14}.  I have done nothing but clung to that verse and watched this thing grow and become real.  The songs were easy to write, the money just came flowing in, the trip was effortless, the Ransoms are so good-natured and easy to be around.  All of this week and the months leading up to it have proved the Lord to be faithful in fighting for me.

As I thought through all of this, I was met with a deep sense of thankfulness, gratitude, and disbelief at the generosity of so many people.  So I consider this to be an appropriate time to say thank you…

Grandpa, thank you for your gift, your prayers, and your text messages.  I am so proud to have you as my grandpa.

Kristy Link, thank you for being even more excited than me about this whole thing.

Darrin and Ela DeVries, thank you for your gift.  Ela, thank you for prophesying that the depth of my songs would mirror the depth of my intimacy with Jesus.  It is both a challenge and a truth.  And thank you for telling me about the dogs of doom and the doors of destiny.

Jud and Krystal Collins, thank you for your gift and for believing I am good.

Scotty Humpherys, thank you for Skyping with me this week and for being my brother.

Greg and Laura Shackleford, thank you so much for your gift and for bringing happy words of encouragement to me.

Sheila Coppinger, thank you for your gift, the beautiful card, and your sweet prayers.

Chris and Dori Beltz, I seem to find your generosity in more places than even my own shadow.  Our lives are tied together, and I am so very thankful for that.

Brian and Adrienne Fraaza, thank you for stopping on your way to Disney to buy me dinner and to bring me joy.  Your faces were so wonderful to see.  Fraaz, this road was paved and I was sent down it largely because of your belief in me.  Thank you for not relenting and thank you for connecting me with Dustin.

Caitlin Miller, thank you for your gift, your hugs, and your laughter.

Dona Harvey, you amaze me.  I am so grateful for your gift and so humbled that I could receive such support and love.

Uncle Mark and Aunt Laurel, thank you so much for your gift and for providing a much-needed Texas-sized break from my wonderfully hectic life in Kalamazoo.  Your home feels so right to me.

Dennis Jokela, thank you for sharing with me about the Psalms.  I plan to keep digging into your words.

Craig and Diane, I have never not felt a part of your family.  You prayed for me before I was even born, and I believe He answered.  Thank you for your gift.

Drew Raklovits, thank you for your gift and for being so easy to be friends with.

Ginny Duisterhof, thank you for being excited with me and for being so prayerful.

Christie Tucker, thank you for being my stop along the way, for the delicious food, and for bringing me laughter and comfort on a day when I could have easily been a sad little tangle of anxious feelings.  I love you.

Brian and Heidi Wolfe, thank you for your gift and for your sincere kindness and friendship.  I hope we know each other for a long, long time.

Seth Fargher, you surprised me and blessed me so much with your gift.  Thank you for giving a little water and sunshine to make my dreams grow.

Jess Concannon, thank you for your gift, for seeing things in me that are not yet real, and for helping me hope.  God has given you such precious eyes.

Jay and Kelly Haak, thank you for your gift.  Everyone else is jealous of me that I get to have you in my family and be with you for the rest of my life.  I love you both.

Kati Hultman….sweet, beautiful Kati.  I have always prayed and hoped for a friend like you.  Thank you for your gift and for sharing your life with me.  You are my chosen sister.

Christyn Trelow, thank you for reaching out to me and for being a familiar face while I am here in Nashville.  It was so good to laugh with you.

Lisa Heeter, thank you for being so gleeful with me.  You are funny and smart and cool.

Eric Strand, thank you so much for your gift and for being such a fun person to hang around.  I hope we can play music again.

Wil and Pam Crooks, thank you for your gift, for your peace, and for making everything seem less scary.  Pam, thank you for calling me “Momma”.

Nate and Sarah Noffsinger, you two are abnormally kind.  Warmth and friendship radiate from you, and it makes me always glad to see your smiles.  Thank you for your gift.

Mark and Jamie Klimp, thank you for your gift and for always looking for new ways to push me along my journey.

Dustin Ransom, thank you for taking good care of my little song-babies, for making them sound like I never imagined they could, and for having fun along the way.  Ingrid Ransom, thank you for opening your home, for the delicious meals, and for the sweet company.  Your couch really is comfy, and I seriously cannot say enough “thank yous” to express how glad I am to have been able to stay with you.

Mom and Dad, I know you feel continually surprised that your kids turned out okay, but nobody else feels that way.  I am only me because you are you.  “Thank you” could never be enough.

Rod, when I look at you, I hear a thousand songs.  Thank you for having me.

I know I am forgetting some of you.  There have been so many excited sounds of “eeeeee!” and reassurances that I was made for this and that I am going to do well…I could not possibly chronicle all of the love that has been given to me.

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