When Nothing Else Can Reach- A Guest Post

Today we are privileged to read more words that give Hope to Hurting Hearts.   I want to introduce you to another awesome friend of mine, Kara Chupp.  Common sorrows carry common bonds and Kara and I have much in common, especially through our God and Savior. Kara is married to her husband Jason, and they have five kiddos, four here and one in heaven.   They also have a muppet-like-mess of a dog, non-breeding Madagascar Hissers (who have had over 100 babies), and a whole mess of stick bugs.  Kara writes mostly about family, adoption, grief, education, traditions, literature, organization, Heaven, and most-importantly- her love for God.  You can find her family adventures at The Chuppies. Today she gives us a post- Music gives hope when nothing else can reach. Now from Kara:

I wrote this post mentally on an elliptical machine.

My husband and I started a weekly-date-night-routine that includes a neighborhood walk and then a few minutes at a local exercise facility.

I brought my iPod this time.

Because last week I counted the seconds on the clock.

And somehow I wandered my way into our “Selah” play list.

It’s full of all the songs that were meaningful to me during those days, weeks, and months after our daughter Selah died.

And in moments it took me back…

I remember the first gift from God that came through music.

I was planning to pick up our older children from school and then the call came.

The one that said…

“Head straight up to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital”

And I felt my hands shaking, a pit in my stomach…

The little-one-so-loved in the carseat behind me.

I had known it deep down,

That something was wrong.

But it was like a vacuum, the air sucked out of me…trembling in fear.

And then I heard an echo…

Of the song that was playing right before my cell phone rang.

A children’s album…but powerful.

“Do not fear, for I am with you…”

And I knew, in that moment when I was gasping just to take a breath,

That those words were from Him,

For me.

And it was like that all along the way…

And Selah died.

I could spend pages trying to tell you how much that hurt.

And how much it still does sometimes.

And even if I tried–

I wouldn’t have really explained it at all–

That kind of pain that leaves you with a silent scream,

A deep-down-moan, crumpled on the floor.

But…when we came home from the hospital

Without her.

My heart felt numb.

I wanted to trust God.

I wanted to cling to Him.

I threw myself on our bed and read straight through Job.

But all I felt was–


And tired.

And empty.

And sad.


And far from Him.

I tried to read His Word.

I wanted to cling to verses.

But in that deep place of heartache…

The only thing that could reach my heart was–


And you may have different pain…

Everyone enters the hard-hurt for different reasons.

And we walk through it on different paths.

For us it came with the death of our daughter.

But sometimes it’s those with the living-grief that I weep for most.

Those who live day-after-day with no end in sight to the suffering.

But all hurting hearts have one need in common–


And maybe you are like I was,

And nothing seems to pierce through the numbing shell of pain,

Just maybe His-music can pull your heart from the heavy dark?

And so,

As I said…

I was thinking about this post and was weeping on the elliptical as our daughter’s playlist took me back to those first few days of sorrow.

When my aching heart was a dam that needed to overflow.

It was the lyrics and the melodies of the songs that pulled me back to Him

It was what He used to help me feel again,

To help me sense His presence and love.

And so I just want to encourage those of you who are hurting, but who can’t seem to feel…

David didn’t just write his Psalms…

He sang them. He wept them.

He poured out his heart in them (Psalm 62:8).

He cried out day and night before God (Psalm 88).

And I have wept these Selah songs in the shower and on walks in the rain as the water drops mixed with tears.

I have shouted them in the closet and in the car and in the darkness…when only God and I could hear the music.

I have whispered them over dishes, hoping others won’t notice.

And I have cried through them on an elliptical machine, pretending to wipe away the sweat.

That drip. drip. drop. of melting hardness.

His patient love surrounding–

Through the melody.

There’s a way that God reaches hearts through music.

Maybe yours?

Because I know He pulled me close in the notes.

He wants us close and if you feel you just can’t feel…

Let His music draw you near.

Sing with me…

“I hope in God; for I shall again praise Him…

At night His song is with me” (Psalm 42: 5 & 8).

Sing in joy and sing in sorrow…let His music heal your heart.

praise songs that bring hope to hurting hearts

Several hope-songs from my Selah Playlist:

I Will Lift My Eyes— Bebo Norman

Grace— Phil Wickham

Hallelujah Jesus— Evan Wickham

Praise You in This Storm— Casting Crowns

Blessed Be Your Name— Chris Tomlin

Still Here— Superchick

Cannons— Phil Wickham

Awake and Alive— Skillet

I Will Praise Him Still— Fernando Ortega

Bring Me to Life— Bebo Norman

Give Me Jesus— Jeremy Camp

In Christ Alone— Newsboys

You Make Beautiful Things– Gungor


What songs has God used to bring hope to your hurting heart?

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  1. Hi Rachel and Kara,

    I realize I’m several days behind but really wanted to chime in on this post. My sister lost her 7 year old daughter in 2009. Karis unexplainably collapsed in her mama’s arms and stepped into eternity on a sunny February morning. Playing in the yard one minute, dancing with Jesus the next. There’s no pain like that of losing a child.

    We sang “Blessed Be Your Name” at Karis’ funeral, and that song took on a whole new meaning in that moment. And so many of the songs you listed helped breathe a fresh breath into a suffocating grief.

    Something else that brought great healing, and I saw Rachel mentioned it: Stephen Curtis Chapman’s album “Beauty Will Rise.” I still listen to the song “See” and get teary.

    Life is hard, but God is good. ALWAYS. We have to cling to that.
    Thanks for sharing your journey.
    Hugs from VA,

    1. Music assists times in healing all wounds, I believe. But oh, when we get to Heaven. Thank you for sharing and blessing us with this story!

  2. Wow what a powerful heartfelt blog. It really touched my heart! I am one of those pressing through daily pain where circumstances are not changing much but I am growing stronger in God. You are so right that music really helps when you don’t what to say or even pray. I have had times when everything becomes too much and I go to the end of my garden and listen to worship. Isaiah 43 by Hillsongs is one of my favourites. Praise you in this storm, My God cares Lou Fellingham and Help is on its way Michael W Smith are a few others. You’re beautiful by Mercy Me and God is in control by Twila Paris are some new ones I have come across since reading blogs and devotionals that I have found.
    Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly, shed some tears whilst reading. X

  3. This touched me so incredibly deeply. It expressed so succinctly the words that would not come when we suffered our loss in September.

    Our adopted son’s birth mother was pregnant and due on September 18, 2012. She was on the fence about whether or not she wanted to place this child with us or try to raise him on her own. She has two older children, one 18 and the other 6. However, my son is just now 16 months and this would be his full sibling. I was in love with this child the moment I knew he existed.

    On September 7th, we found out that the precious baby was stillborn on September 6th. She’d given him the name that we’d chosen for him – Jace.

    I can’t begin to describe the pain and anguish that overwhelmed me. It was so hard for many people around us to understand why our grief was so deep. They could not understand why we were grieving for a child that we did not carry. A who was not biologically ours.

    I did not need to prove my grief and pain to anyone. God knows how much we were hurting. The loss of any life is precious and THIS was my son’s full sibling. I loved that sweet angel as if he were my very own.

    The song that constantly echoed in my mind during the darkest of those days was “Blessed Be Your Name”. Specifically, I kept hearing “You give and take away” over and over and over again. I had to believe that there was a reason and that He would make all things new. In the meantime, I just needed to figure out how to process the grief that had enveloped me. That song as well as “It’s Not Over” by Israel Houghton was on repeat for quite some time and helped me through the rough patch, that’s for certain.

    1. Andi, Bless you so much for sharing. One of the hardest issues in dealing with pain is the fact the others don’t always understand the loss or the depth of the loss. Praising Jesus for the wonderful songs He provided in the midst of your trials and continuing. Thank you so very much for your bravery and comment!!

  4. Music made a huge difference for me when our son Caleb was still born. A couple of the songs that meant so much to me then (and even now, seven years later) are With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman and Glory Baby (I’m sorry I don’t know who that song belongs to). This was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s music. His CD Beauty Will Rise is one of my very favorites. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing!

  5. Just heartbreakingly beautiful… I didn’t know this story. And still only know this. I look forward to meeting you this week. So sorry for the pain you have to bear. You share such hope.

  6. One of my favorite hymns through trials of life is….. It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford. It is a very old hymn, born of a very moving trial in his own life.

    1. This was my mom’s favorite hymn. She’s in heaven and every time I hear it, I think of her. Bless you!

  7. What a beautiful, poignant testimony. It must have been hard to write, but I hope the Lord blessed you in the writing as He has us in the reading. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kara. While I don’t know that particular grief, I have known that same comfort from spiritual songs in my own grief. Some of “my” songs are on your list, too, but another is Twila Paris’s “He Has Not Forgotten You.” Steven Curtis Chapman’s entire album “Beauty Will Rise” is another blessing.

    Stories are another comfort for me in grief. When non-fiction is too much to process, a trip to Narnia can be excellent medicine.

    May the Lord richly bless and continue to comfort you.

  8. Kara, you speak my language….a language of hope.
    And music is such a gift….this language of the soul.

    H.C. Anderson said “Where words fail, music speaks” and to that I say Amen.
    Love and hugs to you, friend.

  9. Oh friend….you’ve left me in a puddle….

    Music…..all of Christy Nockel’s new album, Into The Glorious, is my current oxygen mask. Especially “Held” and “How I Love You”…but really the whole album. God shows up when she sings.

    1. 🙂 I love that…”my current oxygen mask”. That’s such a perfect description…
      Isn’t that just how it is…when you’re gasping?
      I’m going to look it up and download for the trip….THAT I WISH I COULD SEE YOU ON!
      Love you sweet friend…thanks for always being such an encouragement in my life.

    1. So many prayers for you…and Julia…and travels…and speaking and…
      You are loved by so many, Mary and by our strong, mighty, in-control, all-powerful God.
      I know you rest in that…but it’s so hard when a kiddo is hurting and you don’t have answers.
      Love, K

  10. Oh Kara, sweet friend, you have such a beautiful testimony of relying on Jesus. Thank you for sharing your hurt and your heart with us.

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth…I know you walk in this kind of clinging day-in-and-day-out and your desire to live for Him is such an encouragement to me! Love, K

  11. Kara, thank you for sharing from the depths of your heart. Music is what pulls me out of discouragement and despair, too. My go-tos are MercyMe’s Beautiful and Kutless’s What Faith Can Do. Xoxoxo

    1. I’m going to check both of those out Mandy…I always feel like our hearts connect.
      And I’m so thankful and excited to give you a hug soon in real life… Love, K

  12. And the God who spoke His hope into your heart in those dark days was the same God who sang to me one dark February night when my husband began to die in front of my eyes….:”Do not fear or be afraid…”
    “David didn’t just write his Psalms…
    He sang them. He wept them.”
    Yes, he did. And they are glorious in hope.

    1. Oh JoAnne…I’m so sorry…I don’t know if that was recent, but I’m sure your heart still aches. I’m so sorry…can’t imagine how it would be to walk through life without my guy.
      For us a huge hope was also really focusing on Heaven. Randy Alcorn’s book on Heaven was huge for me and Paul Tripp’s book…Forever. As well as everything written by Nancy Guthrie…will stop and pray for you this morning… I love that you heard His voice even in the midst of that February darkness. Love, K
      And yes. Glorious, strong, real, trustworthy hope!
      When we were in the hospital, Psalm 62:8 was what He gave us to cling to…

      Trust in him at all times, O people;
      pour out your heart before him;
      God is a refuge for us. Selah

  13. roseann elliott says:

    Hi…I linked up near you @ Jen’s…this is beautiful…and music is powerful in my life…when I have no more words…when I am so empty…music can fill those empty spaces and give words to my wordless prayers. I do feel like David…music does soothe my tormented soul. thanks for sharing and blessings~

    1. Roseann… thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I love what you wrote– that music “gives words to my wordless prayers.” So so true.

  14. Beautiful post, Kara. Cannot imagine your pain. I think music touches us at our innermost parts. It can bring out the tears when I need to cry but nothing else will allow it to come. It can bring out the smile, when I need to smile but nothing else seems to put it on my face.

  15. Thankyou for this. I can hear the pain in your voice.
    For me, the lyrics in Praise the Mighty Name of Jesus (my troubled soul) got me through some horrible times.
    I will praise the mighty name of Jesus,
    Praise the Lord the lifter of my head
    Yes I will praise Rock of my salvation
    All my days are in his faithful hand.’
    Thankyou for sharing these memories. May God bless you to help others and continue to give you peace.

    1. Oh how I LOVE that Helen…
      There’s just so much power and strength in those words…because they point to who He is…my Rock, my Salvation, faithful, mighty…and that phrase–
      “the lifter of my head”
      Thank you for sharing… Love, K

  16. Bless you for sharing such a heart touching post.

  17. Beautiful words of comfort. Music is powerful! Old hymns, the Selah Pandora station…and the song “I Get on my Knees” by Kathy Trocolli…

    1. I couldn’t remember that Kathy Trocolli song…but looked up the words.
      I love them–
      Thank you Lisa… Love, K

      “You are not alone, He is here
      You know you’re dear to His heart
      I wouldn’t lie to you, oh He’ll come
      He has known the pain you’re going through
      And faithful is the Lord
      In the darkest hours of night
      To keep the flame of hope alive”

  18. Kara, this is so beautiful. I can only imagine the pain–there are no words. I am thankful for your testimony. You have been brave through the pain and in the end you are seeking Him. That is what matters. Where you run to when you are in trouble really does matter.
    Love you,

  19. On the way to my doctor’s office with some concerns in my first pregnancy, Twila Paris’ song “God is in Control” came on the radio. And so those words were ringing in my ears- “He has never let you down, why start to worry now?” when my doctor handed me a tissue box and told us that we had lost the baby. I will never forget God’s goodness to us in that moment and His faithfulness through song. 11 years later and it still makes me teary! Thank you for sharing your heart and giving glory to God in the midst of this very real hurt.

    1. Oh Becky…how I can relate to what you wrote here and that even a 11 years later it still draws tears. I’m so the same way. In part because of the sadness, but now…it’s more what you described above…just realizing that He was giving me an extra measure of His love, that His was making it clear (even through music) that His fingerprints were all over my life. It’s a painful sweet…and I’m so sorry about your baby…makes you long for Heaven doesn’t it? Love, K

  20. Shelley Elaine says:

    Kathy Troccoli “Carry Your Candle” has been one of my go to songs-what a humbling, meaningful post-thank you so much for sharing and for your honesty

    1. Shelley…love the words on that one…thank you for taking the time to share… Love, K

      So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
      Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
      Hold out your candle for all to see it
      Take your candle, and go light your world

  21. Music truly has a healing and comforting power, Kara. I didn’t know that you’d lost a child. I can’t even imagine going through that kind of pain. But I’m so glad you are finding comfort in God and in your music. Thanks so much for sharing your story and “your Selah songs.” Such a sweet, precious gift you’ve given to all of us.

    1. Thank you Beth…I’m so thankful for music and the way it can soften my heart.
      Thank you for taking the time to listen to this piece of my heart… Love, K

  22. Read with sweet tears of what could have been and a gentle smile of the hope that is. Praising God for you and your words, Kara, and for the powerful impact of music in healing. Blessings.

    1. Oh Julie that’s exactly it…exactly.
      “sweet tears of what could have been and a gentle smile of the hope that is”
      Thank you… Love, K

  23. Thank you for sharing a piece of you. This is such a beautiful post. Be blessed:)

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