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My name is Susan, and Designs by Prater is what you could call my creative outlet that pulls together my photography, art and graphic design endeavors! The most important thing you should know about me is that my life revolves around my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, my family (especially my husband Todd, son JD, and puppy Lexie), family and friends. Other than that, I am pretty much obsessed with photography, Coca-Cola, and the color green (and all shades of green for that matter, especially teal). I love sports but cannot play them worth a lick. I would not trade my time as a college student at Mississippi State for anything in the world. The friendships and memories made there will stick with me forever...Hail State and Go Dogs! And I am very picky about my chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheeses, and shaved ice (gotta be SnoBiz watermelon flavor).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Healing Hand of God

This morning on my drive to work, a familiar voice came on the car stereo. One of comfort and of experience...one that's felt unbearable pain before and been able to make it to the light at the end of the tunnel. This voice is that of Jeremy Camp. If you are not familiar with him, allow me a second to briefly introduce who he is and what his words have meant to my life.

Jeremy Camp is a very well-known Christian musician and worship artist who has experienced more pain than one would want to go through in an entire life, let alone just the first 20 or so years. Jeremy was married to his first wife, Melissa, in October of 2000 - only a few short months before he lost her to ovarian cancer in February 2001, when he was only 21. Some of his early songs on his album "Stay" reflect the struggles and emotions he dealt with during her battle with cancer and her death.

My favorite song from that album,"I Still Believe," was the first song he wrote after her death. While I have been blessed to not know that exact pain, there have been many times where I have felt pain, confusion, and loss - and the words to that song have refreshed my soul and given me new cause for praise. It's meant so much to me that no matter when or where I hear it, tears always well up in my eyes...

I Still Believe
Scattered words and empty thoughts seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before, seems I don't know where to start
But it's now, that I feel, your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind with promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind, it's my heart I see you prepare
But its now, that I feel, your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Well the only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers well in brokenness
I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know that you are near

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe


Since that time, Jeremy has been blessed with a new family in his wife, Adrienne, and two daughters, Isabella and Arianne. Even in those times of sorrow and confusion, he held fast to God's sovereignty and promises that His grace was sufficient and that He had wonderful plans still for Jeremy's life.

Even with those promises, though, there is no guarantee that suffering will not come again. Just a promise He is there in the middle of the storm to guide and protect us, providing peace and comfort when we reach out to Him. In the past few weeks, Jeremy and his wife Adrienne have felt that suffering again as they have had to grieve the loss of their unborn child. Yet even through their pain, Jeremy's tweet (on Twitter) was quoting the following Scripture - "I will love You, oh Lord, My strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God my strength in whom I trust." Psalm 18:1-2

I say all of this to ask for your prayers for my friends Jennie and Landon Lee, as well as their extended family. I shared in a previous post that she had been confined to bed rest in the hospital because of complications during her pregnancy. It is with much sorrow and pain that I have to share that their son Wyatt is no longer with us but being held by the Almighty Comforter and Healer. I can't begin to imagine the suffering the Lee and Overstreet families are experiencing right now, but I imagine the next few days, weeks, and months are going to be very difficult for them as they continue to cope when the routines of daily life start to settle back in upon them. I ask you again to cover them in prayer as they look to Him and ask for His healing hand to surround them with peace and contentment.

May the words in this song sung by such a familiar voice to me give them the strength and comfort they long for...

Healing Hand of God
I have seen the many faces I fear in the pain.
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heart ache and strength.
So if life's journey has you weary and afraid, there's rest in the shadow of his wings.
I have walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains.
I have held the hand of freedom; it washes all my stains.
If you feel the weight of many trials and burdens from this world, there's freedom in the shelter of the Lord.

I have seen the healing hand of God reaching out and mending broken hearts.
Taste and see the fullness of His peace, and hold on to what's being held out.
The healing hand of God.

I have touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real.
He has walked the road before me; He knows just how I feel.
When you feel there is not anyone who understands your pain,
Just remember all of Jesus' suffering.

I have seen the healing hand of God reaching out and mending broken hearts.
Taste and see the fullness of His peace, and hold on to what's being held out.
The healing hand of God.

Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.
He's near to the broken and confused.
By His stripes, our spirit is renewed.
So enter in the joy prepared for you.

I have seen the healing hand of God reaching out and mending broken hearts.
Taste and see the fullness of His peace, and hold on to what's being held out.
The healing hand of God.


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