Kaity Kasper

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God's Mix Tape

Maybe its being a child of the 80s, or maybe its just a thing about me, but I will forever love a good mix tape.  To this day, I make them for the people dearest to me, I make them for groups I lead, I make them for myself for trips or runs or races.  I make liner notes.  The whole nine.  Its my thing. 

But when I found out I was facing major surgery and my first-ever hospital stay, my mix tape abilities failed me.  I tried, but I couldn't get more than five songs lined up.  It just wouldn't come to me.  I couldn't find the songs that I would need in that space.  Maybe because I had no idea what I would need in that space.

For the first time in my life, not even music could find the words.

*   *   *

I don't have a favorite artist or even a favorite genre.  I just love music.  I suppose I could eliminate some of the harder stuff, but for the most part, I think all music has a time and a place.

This could be the result of a childhood surrounded by music.  Although none of them play an instrument and only one could sing (my mother will be the first to tell you that she can't carry a tune in a bucket), each of my parents love their own very specific kind of music, and I was surrounded by it all the time.  Throw in my mom's best friend - who loved music just as much and who we spent almost every single day with (along with my best friend/her daughter) - and I can probably sing you just about any song from the 80s without batting an eye.

My mom was also into picking theme songs for life events.  I can still sing you her divorce theme song.  And its a habit I picked up.

But again, when I went to find a theme song to carry me through this experience, nothing came.

Nothing.

*   *   *

I'm not shy in admitting that sometimes God speaks to me in unconventional ways.  He uses Instagram a lot.  Like, all the time.

A few weeks post-surgery - when I was at a loss for answers, prayer, or much of anything really - I wasn't hearing God at all.  Not even through our fail-safe communication method - Instagram.  He was silent and I was uncomfortable.

And then, finally, He spoke. 

Through music.

God started handing me the songs I needed to hear when I needed to hear them.  Some were delivered through friends, others at church, some by TV or radio.  And I started compiling them into the mix that will eventually tell the tale of this journey in its own way.  When I can't calm my head or my heart down, I turn to this mix and remember what it is that He needs me to know in this space.  On days I can't pray, these songs are my prayers. 

I thought I'd share them with all of you today, in case any of these songs contain the words you need to hear.

God's Mix Tape

(Songs Are Listed In The Order That He Gifted Them)

I Am Not Alone - Kari Jobe

Steady Heart - Steffany Gretzinger

Broken Vessels - Hillsong Worship

Thy Will - Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again - Danny Gokey

Trust In You - Lauren Daigle

Compass - Lady Antebellum

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

Resurrecting - Elevation Worship

Here As In Heaven - Elevation Worship

Who You Are - Passion

Beauty For Ashes - Chris McClarney

Better When I'm Dancin' - Meghan Trainor

Touch The Sky - Hillsong UNITED

Oceans - Hillsong UNITED

I Lived - OneRepublic

*   *   *

As I drove away from the office a few days ago, I felt a strange mix of dark and light.  I had just started round five and knew what was ahead of me in the next few days, but I also knew that we were nearing the end of the time when I would feel this way.  Dark and light.  I am preparing to head back into the world, carrying a new set of lessons and way of being and strength of faith, but I have no idea what to do with this third chance at life.  Dark and light.  And while I am ending this really grueling period, the truth is that I have an entire year of maintenance chemo ahead of me, so this is really an artificial finish line.  Dark and light.

Just as I was mulling these things over, my phone flipped to a song from God's Mix Tape - and I knew in the space in my heart that He speaks to that He was giving me my theme song for this next phase.

Compass - Lady Antebellum

Yeah it's been a bumpy road
Roller coasters
High and low
Fill the tank and drive the car
Pedal fast, pedal hard
You won't have to go that far

You wanna give up 'cause it's dark
We're really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you're lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone (never be alone)

Forgot directions on your way
Don't close your eyes don't be afraid
We might be crazy late at night I can't wait til you arrive
Follow stars you'll be alright

You wanna give up 'cause it's dark
We're really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you're lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone (never be alone)

In the last several months my heart has been broken and shattered and had slowly started to be rebuilt in a way that I know will only leave it bigger.  Now to follow where it leads me from here.