Joy no matter what. A blog by Deanne Nelson.

Blogging, Speaking, and Writing | Jesus and Autism | The Nelson Family Journey

The True Meaning of the Words March 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 8:28 am
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Back in the dog days of autism diagnosis, I thought the world basically revolved around…ME. I did not want my life interrupted with such a disability. I was not equipped to raise a child with autism. I felt that I did not do anything to deserve such a turn of events. I fell into a bout of depression and self pity over what my and my family’s future might be like. I stopped seeing my then beautiful 22 month old son Nathan. only saw autism.

It was September of 2004, and I had recently bought a CD by a Christian artist named Nicole C. Mullen. As it would turn out, I played this particular CD over and over as I was reveling in my fear and anguish over our son’s newly discovered diagnosis. Certain songs especially grabbed at my heart during that time and I would find myself sobbing uncontrollably as even the first notes were played. Have you ever given meaning to a certain song in your life?..or a certain day??..and if that song or day come up, you go right back to that place of thick memories that you cannot seem to get away from?? Our feelings seem to just take over.

Track #11 was a song called Redeemer. Oh, I would play that song over and over, and before long, it became my ‘autism anthem’. As soon as the melody began, I would envision Nathan forever wrapped up in some sort of autism bubble. I would play back the moment the doctor told us that he might have some mental retardation as well. I would envision him running his fingers up and down the same textured wall endlessly….for hours if we had let him. I would hear his shrieking cries of frustration when anyone would so much as look at him. All of this chaos was battling inside of my head each time this song was played, and it was me tuning in repeatedly to track #11 for more. It is an ugly thing when we get stuck in our circumstances and feelings.

A great irony was that the song Redeemer of course did not have a single thing to do with autism, me, or any of the fears I was piling up inside. No…Redeemer was in fact all about the only true source of joy and hope in this world.  It was about the One who has the ability and qualifications to redeem all of mankind from sin and death. The redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that song was written to honor and glorify Him alone. Here is what Nicole C Mullen herself shared about this gorgeous piece of music…. “‘Redeemer’ was inspired by the scripture passage in the (Old Testament Book of) Job of when, while under his afflictions, Job stooped and said, ‘I know that my redeemer lives and at the last day, He will stand upon the Earth.’ And how he was going to see God with his eyes and in his flesh- not another but He himself. How powerful- that regardless of what we go through, regardless of what the world tells us- that we can stand up with our shoulders back and our head straight and forward and say, ‘I know that I know that my Redeemer lives in spite of what I’m going through, in spite of what I’ve seen or what’s going on around me.”‘

How in the world could I have missed such a poignant and timely message?? I needed that truth so desperately, but I chose to only focus on the little I knew about autism, as opposed to the colossal truths and promises of the Lord. He was teaching me so many things back then, and still does today.  The fact is, as soon as we take our eyes off of the Lord, the true meaning of life gets completely distorted.

And so one day back then when I went to repeat track #11 for the thousandth time, it would not play at all. It was only a repeating cascade of skips. The whole song was skipping. I can recall frantically pulling the CD out and cleaning it, drying it, buffing it…I could see a scratch across it. No matter how I tried, I could not repair it. I could play all of the other tracks, but #11 Redeemer was ruined. Oh how I belly ached about it. After all, that was the song I would wallow to the most, and I was getting pretty comfortable in my state of wallow… I have to smile now as I consider that the Lord God would not allow me to wallow any longer. I had destroyed HIS song enough, and it was time for a NEW thing!.. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?….Isaiah 43:19

It would be about a year later when the Lord would speak a beautiful promise into my life. All the while, He was pouring His grace, love, patience, and mercy into me, and I was waking each day with new hope and strength. None of those things came from me, and I know that full well. As I started to focus on Jesus, the world of autism presented itself in a gorgeous and colorful new way. We were blessed with fabulous therapists and new friendships that changed our lives. My son was indeed learning and full of endless potential. And through the daily struggles and hardships, the light of hope always remained. The days of wallow had come to an end….

Now I would continue to play my Nicole C Mullen CD frequently. I had learned to love the songs all the more, but I would have to skip past #11 as it still would not play. But one day as I was driving the Superstition 60 freeway in AZ on my way to work, I put that CD in the player again. As song #11 neared, I was readying myself to pass over it when I felt a tug in my spirit to hold off. The beautiful instrumental introduction began…without pause. …”Who taught the sun, where to stand in the morning….” The words came, and came, and came..without one skip, pause, or delay. I can still recall my hands shaking on the steering wheel, the tears of elation and joy streaming down my face. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard, and I was truly hearing it for the VERY FIRST time. The words came alive, the meaning grabbed hold of my heart, and I began to sing it loudly to my Lord and God. Yes, my redeemer lives, and because He lives I can face tomorrow!!!

I had finally gotten it, and the Lord was so loving and merciful to show me about His nature. He is a God who restores. He makes all things new. He can take every scratch and blemish, and bring it all into amazing perfection. He takes our tears and pain, and replaces them with unending joy and hope…despite the trials of this life. He is more than you can ever fathom, and He is right there to love and accept you today, right where you are and how you are. He is mighty to save and no one or nothing is a lost hope in His sight. No diagnosis, disease, disability, addiction, hurt, or pain can ever overcome Him and His power. HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW!!

Yep, song #11 Redeemer is still my all time favorite song in the world. I still weep whenever I hear it, but not a single thought of autism comes to mind. The tears are like a cleansing stream. Thank you Lord.

Here are the amazing words to this worship masterpiece:

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you an only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive
And there’s an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

If you have never heard it, please take a moment to listen….May the Lord Jesus be glorified in all things.

Here is the beautiful face to match the voice..



4 Responses to “The True Meaning of the Words”

  1. Candace C. Lawrence Says:

    Deanne, I love reading your blog. It is like sitting over coffee with a friend and talking about the important things in life. I have lost my mother and Dad in the past four months, and yesterday I found out that my brother in law has been diagnosed with a reoccurrence of melanoma with surgery Monday morning. And though I have great sadness for my sister Gwen, I find tremendous comfort in this song that I have loved forever. I know my Redeemer lives and I will continue to testify of the love and saving grace of my savior, Jesus Christ ! Much Love to you and to your precious family, Candy

    • gdnelson5 Says:

      Dear Candy,
      You have the spiritual gift of being an encourager. This gift if often overlooked, but it is such a precious and critical one in the body of Christ. Thank you so much for your obedience to your gift. You have blessed me greatly and I am grateful. And I am praying with you as you and your family endure the hardships of this life. May the Lord continue to strengthen and light your paths in the days to come. Praise the Lord that we can hope and have faith in all things. Praying with you.

  2. Joyce McIntyre Says:

    Thank you, Deanne, for once again bringing us into focus and reminding us what it is really all about!

    • gdnelson5 Says:

      I have thought of you many times Joyce, and trust that the Lord is keeping you in peace. We need some girl and mom fellowship time! Miss you. And thank you for reading these posts. I love that you are blessed by them.

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