Here I am Lord

I have a story I’d like to share. It’s a really good one, but the problem is…it’s unfinished. So I’ll give you all the good stuff but you’ll have to wait for the ending because even I don’t know how this one is going to end yet. Back when this all started, about two months ago, we were home. Michael, Sarah, my mom, and I. I was getting ready in our bathroom and I could hear Michael in the other room singing. He was singing one of my favorite hymns, “Here I am Lord.” When I asked him what brought him to sing that hymn specifically, he told me it just popped in his head. I have this theory that whenever a hymn comes to mind or if I start singing a hymn randomly, it’s God’s way of trying to speak to me so I really listen to what the words are and try and decipher what he is trying to tell me. I didn’t think much of the fact that Michael was singing that and I kept getting ready with a smile. We headed out that morning for daily mass but because there was a funeral that morning, we ended up in the adoration chapel instead. We sat and prayed together and it was a really beautiful moment. Praying together in the presence of God. While we were praying, we could hear (very clearly) the choir in the church singing Here I am Lord. In that moment we had such a sense of peace and knew this was in God’s hands.

A day or so later, I was laying on the couch napping with Michael next to me, when I woke up to someone saying my name. I asked Michael, “did you say my name?” To which he replied “no.” I know to some of you I sound like I’m losing my marbles. I may have brain cancer, but I swear I’m not crazy. I kind of brushed it off. Weeks go by. Fast forward to Saturday night, two nights ago. The night I wrote my last blog. I fell asleep a little after 10 and woke up because someone said my name. I promise you with every ounce of my being I heard (not just in my head heard), my name being said, clear as day. STEPHANIE (in case you didn’t know my name already). I looked over to ask Michael if he said my name, but he was snoring so I knew it wasn’t him. Ok, first time, sure I’ll brush it off. But twice? Nope. I know better, especially with how present the Lord has been through all of this. I shared this with Michael the next morning and he reminded me of a passage (Samuel Chapter 3).

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.

The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.

Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”  “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.

12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end.

13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them.

14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

Pretty cool, right? So we go to church on Sunday (and sang with the choir!) and I kid you not, one of the songs we sing is “Here I am Lord.” This song keeps appearing in our lives in a hauntingly cool way. But as we were singing it I was reading the words more carefully and they became more vivid to me. “Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard You calling in the night.” Literally.

So that’s my story for today. It’s kind of a jumbled mess but I hope it made sense. I feel like I’m sitting on alert right now, waiting on a mission from God, which is why the story is unfinished. I am patiently (but really very impatiently) waiting to see what is next. What am I being called to do to serve our amazing and merciful Lord?

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23 thoughts on “Here I am Lord

  1. Wow! Stephanie, I don’t believe we have met, but your witness has touched me in many ways. I’m sharing your story with others, and so many are praying for you. I know God is holding you in the palm of His hand, loving you, healing you. He has chosen you as a special disciple to share the Gospel with so many people throughout the world, people you have never met. What a beautiful gift you are! Hugs and prayers, Rowena

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  2. Thank you Stephanie for continuing to witness to God working in and through you.

    How true how the music speaks to our hearts… keep singing for this is your prayer.
    (p.s. I just shared this blog with Dan Schutte, the composer of Here I Am, Lord)

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  3. We have not met, but I continue to be touched by your story. This account is especially cool. How good of the Lord to prepare us for the hard journeys that we cannot always understand, but for which He says, “I am with you … I will not leave or forsake you.” Thanks for sharing.

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  4. We are all waiting and praying to see how God’s plan unfolds for you. …

    Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”..Isaiah 6:8

    When you have time , check out this story about Dan Schutte’s ‘Here I Am Lord’ ..

    The Story of Here I Am, Lord….

    When I was a young Jesuit, studying theology in Berkeley, California, a
    friend came to me one day asked me for a favor. “Dan, I know this is late
    notice, but I’m planning the diaconate ordination ceremony and need a
    piece of music set to the text of Isaiah chapter 6.” He saw the look of
    shock on my face knowing I was well aware that the ceremony was only
    three days away. I told him that I was sick with an awful case of the flu
    and didn’t know if I could compose anything suitable in that short time.
    He encouraged me and I told him that at the very least I would try to
    complete something in time for the ordination.
    I had always loved the particular Scripture passage (Isaiah 6) where God
    calls Isaiah to be his servant and messenger to the people and Isaiah
    responds with both hesitation and doubt, but also with a humble willingness to surrender to God. If it
    was going to work, it would have to be God’s power and grace making it happen. Much like Isaiah I was
    not very sure that I could meet the request my friend had made, but I was willing to try.
    I remember sitting at my desk with a blank music score in front of me and asking God to be my strength. As I sat there praying for help, I remembered also the call of Samuel, where God came calling in the
    middle of the night and asked Samuel to do something beyond what he thought he was capable of. I worked for two days on the piece and I remember being exhausted. I was making last minute changes
    to the score as I walked it over to my friend who lived several blocks away. I remember being very
    unsure of myself, but hoping that it would be what he had wanted for the ordination.
    And it was ok. It was more than ok. From the very beginning, people loved the piece and clearly
    identified with the dialogue between God and us that is the core of the song. In the years following, so
    many have spoken to me or written how they had their own experience of God “calling in the night” and
    being given the courage to respond.
    For me, the story of “Here I Am, Lord” tells of the God who overshadows us, giving power to our
    stumbling words and the simple works of our hands, and making them into something that can be a
    grace for people. The power God gives is far beyond what we could have planned or created.

    Pretty cool. ☺
    Keep praying and listening .

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  5. Wow! You definitely have a mission, girl! I fully believe you are being called! Love this song, always a favorite of mine. Maybe one day, we can hear you & Michael singing it! Stay strong! Hugs!

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  6. Hi Stephanie! My husband and I live in your parents neighborhood. We are friends and have fun together! I look forward to meeting you and your family one day. I follow your blog, and you touch me deeply with your strong faith, love, and the strong light you cast upon the world around you. God bless you in your journey toward complete healing and spiritual enlightenment.

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  7. My mom used to sing that hymn to my siblings and I growing up! It’s her favorite, and so beautiful! Keep on keeping on Steph! Can’t wait to see you and that beautiful baby soon!

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  8. “I will hold your people in my heart” He s definitely calling you to a purpose. So, the next time you hear your name in the nighth..say what Samuel said….Yes, Lord..

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  9. Hi Stephanie, I enjoy reading your blogs 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to always share your innermost thoughts. I was just playing this song yesterday!! Went to Mass yesterday morning and it was the recessional song. I came home and googled another song and “Here I Am Lord” popped up on YouTube’s side bar. I think I was supposed to hear it again, so I played 🙂 Continued healing prayers to you. Stay strong!

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  10. I am Protestant, but we sing, “Here I Am, Lord” fairly often. I simply love that hymn … and to you. The Lord is speaking to you. Heed

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  11. … oops, sorry! As I was saying, heed what He has to say, as I know you have done, reading your blogs. You just keep on keepin’ on, Stephanie.

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  12. Oh my goodness, Stephanie. I have this overwhelming ly strong feeling that the Lord is calling you to be the medical miracle the Oklahoman priest needs in his path to Sainthood!!! 😇😇😇😇

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  13. Greetings Stephanie,
    We haven’t met, but we have a friend in common, Elisa Ugarte, who comes to our monastery. In the Rule of Benedict which we follow, a verse in the prologue tells us to “Llisten carefully to the master’s instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it and faithfully put it into practice.” This was written from St. Benedict to his monks, but the same thing could be said from God to you! Keep listening, and God will keep calling until you understand what you are being called to. Sometimes the call is not to something new in the future, but a call to continue with a current practice. Perhaps you blog is more than just an ordinary blog, and a ministry you are being called to, to give witness to an unshakeable faith in God. You never know when God may use you to touch someone who hasn’t heard their own calling clearly. And, today is the feast of St. Benedict, so happy feast day!
    Blessings to you and your lovely family.

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  14. Stephanie, as the previous writer suggested, I too think that this, right now, as you answer, “Here I am Lord” –this is all part of your calling. Your beautiful gift of your voice which you share, your journey of Faith, your turning over of your suffering and healing to God for His purpose, your strong love for your husband, daughter and family… We who know you, and so many who don’t, have all been touched by your life, for the better!!!! Thank you for all you are sharing with us!!! Hugs!!

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  15. Goosebumps. One of my absolute favorite songs. I think you should record a copy of you singing it and post it on the blog for all to hear (if you’re up for it). Singing is praying twice! Keep listening, I agree the lord is speaking to you.

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  16. Wow, Stephanie, after reading your beautiful Blog today. Then I played my Spotify P&W playlist on ‘Shuffle’ and the first song to comes up is “Hear I am Lord”!!! Powerful. God Bless you in your witness and faith!

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