I stood in the middle of Tower Records with tears streaming down my face and I just did not care what anyone thought. I was loved! I mattered! I heard God say, “If I care about this, don’t you think I care about everything else in your life?”
When I was a child, I absolutely adored Jesus! I was saved at age 3 and couldn’t wait to go to church to “Praise ze Lort.”
I strayed far, though. Really far.
God had gotten me out of the nightclub where I used to dance, but there was still a lot of cleaning up to do. He began to draw me back to Him slowly and He started with music.
My roommate had been playing Christian music in the apartment and I was drawn to it. I began listening to KLOVE as I would get ready for a respectable corporate job.. I continued to feel like God was drawing me back home to Him. I felt a strong pull, but I was still resisting.
I began hearing a song come on KLOVE that so accurately described what I felt God was saying to me. “Welcome home, my mercy’s waiting. Welcome home to open arms. There’s no shame in your returning, though you may have wandered far.” It was such a beautiful song. It spoke to me.. I really wanted to be able to listen to it whenever I wanted and needed to buy that CD.
The strange thing was I never heard the name of the artist.
One night in 1999, before iTunes or Spotify existed, I was getting dressed to go out and was planning to go to Tower Records. I was listening to KLOVE and prayed that beautiful song would come on the radio so the DJ would say who the artist was. It never did.
I then prayed that the song would come on the radio in my car on the way to Tower Records. It never did.
I wandered into Tower Records anyway and ventured toward the Christian music section. I began browsing through all the old Amy Grant CDs, since that was the first concert I went to and I was comfortable with her music.
I was so disappointed God had let me down. I really wanted to buy the CD that song I loved was on. Didn’t He want me to come back? Maybe He didn’t want to welcome me home. Maybe I had strayed too far and was no longer acceptable to Him.
While wallowing in my disappointment, I heard, “Look up.” I looked up and to the right and a light blue CD cover immediately caught my eye. “That’s it.” He said.
“Right.” I thought. There’s no way God just pointed out the CD I want to me.
I walked over to the light blue CD with the beautiful blond on the cover. It was nestled snugly among a bunch of obscure Christian artists. At least they were obscure to me. I picked up the CD and turned it over.
What was the first song on the back? “Welcome Home.”
I lost it! Right there. In the store.
Through my slobbery tears of joy, I heard God say, “Now, do you realize you matter to Me?”
God had pointed me directly to what I had been asking for. He didn’t answer my prayers the way I thought He should. He did it even more majestically. Had "Welcome Home" come on the radio, like I had prayed, would have been cool and exciting, However, God literally pointing out one CD in a sea of them was just spectacular!
It was then that I finally began to understand that He really does care about the little things and the big things and answers our prayers in ways we could never dream. He does it in His timing and in His spectacular way and, to all of us, He says,
“Welcome Home! My mercy’s waiting.”
(Tammy Trent is the amazing artist and the album is “You Have My Heart.”)
I was taken back when You took me in Just to wipe my tears away You made no demands chose not to blame Though I knew You had the right to And I saw the years I wasted Searching everywhere in vain Finding nothing to believe in Until I finally heard you say Welcome Home My mercy's waiting Welcome Home to open arms There's no shame in your returning Though you may have wandered far Welcome Home That was years ago so far away At an altar on my knees But I can still recall like yesterday How Your love forever changed me Oh I see how You've been faithful Though I've often caused you pain And I've learned you won't forsake me When I need to hear you say
Welcome Home My mercy's waiting
Welcome Home to open arms
There's no shame in your returning
Though you may have wandered far