Proud to release this tender video about terminal illness, love and courage, life and death…and an eternal hope in what is on the other side. Cherish every moment you have in life, it is shorter than we think.

This music video reflects and is dedicated to the life of Christina (Ahmann) Nevill who bravely fought a Level 3 malignancy tumor in her brain. Throughout the process of 6 years from the time of diagnosis, she had 2 surgeries and treatments, was married and then she and her husband chose to have a baby even though knowing the tumor could return. The tumor did return. Baby Isaiah was delivered early, so that she could still have a chance to treat it a 3rd time. The tumors metastasized and under Hospice care in her home, at 31 years old, Christina left this earth to be with Jesus, leaving behind an amazing husband of 1-1/2 years and a beautiful, joyful baby boy that was only 8 months old.

Life is about cherishing every moment we have. Christina lived this fully through her strong faith, valiantly facing her fears head on to find her peace with Christ Jesus. You can read more about Christina’s story through her blog (ChristinaAhmann.com) and the rest of the story through her mom’s blog (JoDeeAhmann.blogspot.com). Both blog sites are listed at the end of the video as well.

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

For All The Ways

For All The Ways

…(This is a continuation of Chasing Answers Part I).

In the intensity of the “not knowing” waiting for test results on your health to come back can be so stressful. Even when you try to turn the anxious thoughts over every day, every moment. Like I mentioned in the previous post, Part I, worrying about it doesn’t add a single hour to your life, in fact it does just the opposite, robs you of enjoying the moment, being in the present, is physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting, and weighs you down.

I didn’t realize how much my worry over what was going on in my body was weighing me down, until I received the phone call from the Hematologist/Oncologist to reassure me right after my CT scans on a Tuesday afternoon, that no other blood clots or major concerns showed up in them. The things that did show up were “unremarkable”. I was so relieved. I like being unremarkable in this instance. So grateful to the doctor for calling me. He wanted to reassure me so I wouldn’t worry until my follow-up appointment that Friday. Is that not the grace of God in a moment of need?

I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. As much as I thought I had been turning things over and letting go and trusting God, the worries were still heavy enough that I felt the release of them after the phone call. The tension in my body left and I breathed a big sigh of thankfulness.

On Friday the answers were vague. All the blood tests were with in normal ranges and negative for the things I was concerned about. Another huge relief, but yet no answers to why I clot except that I have a genetic predisposition for it. This in a sense is an answer. Ok, that’s it. I need to live with it. I was born with it. Accept it. Be diligent with my medication and my testing. Take my testing equipment with me whenever I travel. Doctor’s orders while on long road trips, especially as I was leaving for my tour, to get out of the car every two hours and move around for a few minutes. Inconvenient, since I like to get in the car and just drive, drive, drive…but I have to do it.

I am grateful to know that there are no more major concerns. I am content to know that I just clot and that is the worst of it (although I wish I didn’t). I am blessed with good doctors and medical care so that I can manage this medical condition and still do most the things I like to do, except play with sharp objects and do dangerous, adventurous activities (sometimes I still do, I’m just a little more cautious). 🙂

I honestly don’t think we will ever be immune to worry or anxieties in this world. But God has given us a remedy for it, to manage it well:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:4-7, NIV)

1. He is near. That is reassuring.

2. Bring your worry to Him – pray and petition Him with it.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for what you need. He longs to hear from you.

4. Rejoice that no matter what, He holds all your answers, hears your prayers, wants you to trust Him with whatever He thinks you can go through, because He is near and He will be with you.

5. Be thankful. You have a place to go to for everything you need, because of your salvation in Christ Jesus.

6. He will give you His perfect peace when nothing makes sense. His peace will keep you and help you to stay focused when the storms swirl around you.

7. Not knowing keeps you trusting in Him and challenges you to let go of your control issues of wanting to know and to accept His control and will for your life.

8. When you are anxious, you can be irritable with life and with others. If you practice continual turning over of your worry to Him, His peace that He gives to you will allow you to have more grace and to be gentle with others.

And don’t forget…you are here for a purpose, even to be a testimony through your trials. Don’t let them take you off course when you are anxious and afraid. He has conquered death. He holds you in the palm of His hand. He will never leave or forsake you!

I am not chasing my answers right now. I am accepting the unknown. I’ll journey with you in your unknowns as we keep plugging along! Don’t give up!

 

Okay, getting seriously excited here…3 more days!!! Counting down to the release, this Tuesday, May 6th!!!

Track 8. Peace

When I first brought my song ideas to Eric, this was the very first song that I showed him that he liked immediately. I already had the first verse written. This is the one song on the album that was specifically written to reflect a specific scripture (not that the others haven’t been themed off of scriptures).

“You will keep in perfect peace, Him whose mind is stayed on you.” Isaiah 26:3

I love this scripture, because it is so reassuring to me in my mind that when things are crazy and chaotic around me, as long as my mind is focused on Christ and not the extraneous things happening around me, everything will be just fine. And it really is a peaceful “letting go” feeling. I thought of the things that make me peaceful inside: being in nature, playing my piano, and reading my Bible. There are others, but these are probably the most significant.

I live in such a beautiful place of the Pacific Northwest and out in the country, so that when it’s dark out at night, I can look up at the sky and see the stars and how beautifully they light up the sky. They make the expanse look so big and it is not difficult to imagine God’s greatness and His glory. It reminds me that He is in control of the universe, and everything that happens on this planet is in the palm of His hands.

I also LOVE the sound of a river as it flows steadily by, watching the beautiful patterns as it swirls around the rocks. Then I close my eyes and just listen to the path it travels, while the bed of rocks lightly tap each other creating it’s own rhythmic time signature. It is so calming and tranquil for me. Top it off with a quiet, gentle breeze on a summer day and I am a happy girl!

Eric took the melody that I had for the song and made it more ambient and peaceful with the arrangement. It really is a peaceful song to listen to. A way to help you let go and just focus on Him. The song was passed around from player to player to add their parts. Again, I just let them have the freedom to do what they do best. I pray this song brings you a peace that passes all understanding through challenging and stressful times. BREATHE and KEEP YOUR FOCUS! (That is just as much for me as it is for you!) 😉

Session players
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Gary Lunn (bass)
Eric Copeland (keys)
Brian Fullen (drums)


8. Peace
©2013 Jen Haugland and Eric Copeland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)/From The Moment Music (BMI)

V1
Peace, a starry night
A river flowing
It calms my mind
Like waters deep
Your word is settled in my heart

V2
Peace, it’s unconfined
Beyond our knowledge
Seems hard to find
Amidst our chaos
You came to save us for all times

Ch
You hold this fragile world in the palm of Your hand
You make the waters still and bring a quiet breeze
We can never know all that You have planned
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect peace

V1 & V2

Ch

You hold this fragile world in the palm of Your hand
You make the waters still and bring a quiet breeze
We can never know all that You have planned
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect, holy, awesome
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect peace

IMG_0124
My Producer, Eric Copeland and me at Dark Horse Recording, Franklin, TN, where I tracked my vocals October 2013.