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Cynthia Portland, OR October 16, 2015

I’ve been a Christian for about 30 years now, but had been leading a pretty dry walk for much of the time. Five years ago, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. While I did rely on God to get us thru the stress of that, still, my walk was dry. Praise God, my husband is clean and cancer free.

Four years ago, at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Needless to say, I turned to God. What a legacy to leave my teenaged children, both parents having cancer. Just after my surgery, but before I began chemotherapy, I purchased your “Kutless” CD for my son, strictly on a lark. I saw that you were a local band so I gave it a shot.

Erik played the CD one night and while I was sitting at the kitchen table working a puzzle, “Run” came on. Like a knife it stabbed my heart! The visual effect it had on my imagination was heartbreaking. Jesus was calling out to me to come back to him in a way I had never thought of. I knew that God wanted ALL of me.

Sobbing, I got up from the table and went to my bedroom where I got face down on the floor [for the first time] and asked God to forgive my apathy. I poured out all my cares, fears and sin to Him. It was at that point that I discovered a peace that surpasses all understanding [Phillipians 4:7]. I can honestly say I am happy cancer came into our lifes because it, along with your beautiful lyrics, led me back to my Savior. Thru your song, our family rededicated our life to Jesus and are active in youth ministry. My son is leaving for Multnomah Bible College in a few days with a goal of becoming a missionary. God used your music mightily in our home!

Fast forward 3.5 years and my Dad became gravely ill. I drove from Portland to California to be with him. After two weeks, he came home in stable but guarded condition. My sister and I did not know whether my Dad knew Jesus, but in the flurry of caring for him at home, juggling the nurses and his medical needs, we never asked.

Eventually, I drove back home to Portland and popped in your “Sea Of Faces” CD. I heard “It’s Like Me” for the first time. Again, I began sobbing. How on earth could I have let time pass with my Dad and NOT talk to him about Jesus? Once again, God used your lyrics to motivate me to do His work.

Upon arriving home, I called my sister and told her I was coming down very soon and to keep me up to date by the hour of my Dad’s condition. Within a few days I was back in California and at my Dad’s side. One morning I asked if I could read the bible to him. Eventually, I asked him if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He hadn’t but was willing. My sister and I prayed with him at that point and he accepted Jesus as his Savior! God used “It’s Like Me” to NOT allow any more time to pass before talking with my Dad. It continues to be an inspiration to me to witness for Jesus.

Guys, so many of your songs convict and inspire me and my family. We’ve been to four of your concerts and never cease to be inspired by you. I pray that God continues to use you mightily in the years to come. Many blessings to you and your family. Please tell them we appreciate the sacrifices they are making so we can hear you beautiful music.

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Rhonda Irskens November 3, 2015

Hi! I wrote to you(back in Jan.2010) and even received a personal note back regarding my testimony. I told you about what the song “What Faith Can Do” meant to me at that time. That song has been my “Survivor” Song and has reminded me what Faith in Jesus CAN do. I’ve shared it with my Relay for Life (American Cancer Society) committee and we’ve made that the theme for the “Survivors Lap”. Today, I just heard for the first time your song, “Even If”…this is MY new victory song. I was diagnosed with cancer in Sept. 2005 (7 years ago next week). I was in and out of remission for a few years, then in 2010 I was diagnosed with metastatic stage four cancer. (It started in my rectum and slowly went to my lungs, still known as colorectal cancer). My husband went to be with Jesus in 2000 and I had to raise my 3 autistic kids on my own (he only knew about one being autistic at the time of his death). Since the metastatic diagnosis, I’ve encountered many challenges and my life seemed to be falling apart, and my dreams unraveled. My bucket list was just that, a list. I have not been in remission since 2010. Reality is, God can do what He wants with my life, He can heal me or not. “Even IF” my healing doesn’t come, I KNOW that I know that God is and has always been faithful. My trust is in Him and I continually Praise and thank Him for each new day and each birthday I “get to” have. God has been with me and my kids throughout my entire journey and has always provided even when it seems like there are obsticles/mountains in the way. Even if I don’t get better, my kids will be cared for and loved. Even if the healing doesn’t come (the way I want it to come), I will still Praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for listening to Jesus and writing this song. It will help so many along their lifes journey. In Christ’s love, Rhonda Irskens

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Teresa November 3, 2015

Several years ago, when I was 43, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and signs of insulin resistance (pre-diabetic). I was prescribed medications to protect me from more serious conditions, but these drained my stamina. Already struggling with fatigue related to being over-weight, I was forced to take afternoon naps and lacked the energy I needed to be a good parent to my children. I felt extremely old and feared I was also becoming depressed. I began trying to eat more sensibly (smaller portions, lower fat and fewer carbs) and was very excited about my next doctor’s visit because I had lost 16 lbs. But the doctor told me it was not enough and she planned to increase my medications to protect me from heart attack and stroke. I cried and pleaded with her to give me another chance to make changes before increasing my medications. She agreed, but I felt so defeated, and by the time I arrived home, I was sobbing and at a breaking point before God. I needed to begin exercising and as I sobbed God met me in my brokenness and encouraged me. He gave me the shot of inspiration I needed by challenging me to become who He had created me to be. Still, exercise was not pleasant…in fact it was painful, because I was still heavy. It was difficult too because of the drug induced fatigue I was fighting. But God again gave me what I needed to spur me on to beat the odds and this is where Kutless comes into the formula for my victory. After hearing the single, “Sea of Faces” playing on our local Christian radio station I was compelled to purchase the CD. The words were deep and powerful and reminded me just how important I am to God. As I listened I found the lyrics to many of the songs to be like a prayer…not unlike my own cries for God to help me through these health related struggles. While song lyrics connected me with God, the driving music gave me the sense of “fight” I needed to get out and run/walk every day. I became empowered in the challenge God had given to me and became filled with the hope and assurance that nothing is impossible with God. I purchased the self-titled CD and found fresh motivation to finish out my summer of exercising and eating right. Exercise time became an extension of my quiet time with God. It was pure joy and the part of my day when I put my faith and trust into action and pushed myself hard. I was stretched and challenged by this time with God, without the other distractions of life, and while listening to Kutless. Your God inspired words of faith and hope ministered to my soul. I grew tremendously in my faith as God transformed me spiritually and physically. As evidence of His work…my size dropped from Women’s 16 to a Junior size 5! Truly a miracle of God! My blood pressure is now in safe ranges, using only the smallest dose of medication to keep it in check. My doctor pulled all of the cholesterol and the diabetic medications I was taking. She even went as far as to describe me as “poster girl” for “cleaning up my lifestyle”. None of this could have been accomplished without God’s grace and the motivation I found through your music. In the autumn of that victorious year, I had opportunity to attend my first Kutless concert. I was so blessed to see each of you perform in person, and that evening, Kutless went from being a band I listened to in my CD player while exercising, to being real and very special people who I pray for daily and keep tabs on as if you were family. God has and will continue to use each of you in mighty ways…of that I can and do testify. God was able to meet me in the midst of your music and effect great changes that still amaze those who knew me before this transformation and who see me now. Kutless continues to be my motivation as I seek to increase my fitness level and remain healthy and free from medications! God bless you as you continue to represent Him well!

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Alexandra George November 3, 2015

My husband and I have been HUGE fans of Kutless probably since the beginning. So when the new album, “Believer”came out, we of course ran out and purchased it. That was in October of 2011. Before we had a chance to listen to the whole cd, my father contacted me and told me he was leaving my mother after 30 years of marriage. Naturally, I was devastated. My family and I are all Christians (to be specific, Fundamental Baptists), so divorce is never an option. And now I had my father telling me there was no love in their marriage and he was sick of living a lie. He felt God was okay with his decision. I have 3 younger sisters that all took this news horribly. It has nearly split up our family. A few days after this happened with my parents, I was cleaning my house, listening to the “Believer” album, and “Even if” came on. I remember it clearly – I was sweeping my kitchen at that point and I just broke down sobbing. That song reminded me that even if this hurt never goes away, God is always there for me, for my whole family, walking us through this. My prayer is that my parents will get back together, but if the healing never comes, I know God won’t ever leave my side. This song really comforted me in my time of need. Thanks for your music, Kutless.

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Brian Smith November 3, 2015

Gentleman… my name is Brian Smith. I am a 51 year old father of 4 ranging in age from 20-27. I know my kids are probably more in your demographic than I am, but your music speaks to me very much. Thank you for using the gifts that the Lord has given you in such an awesome way. I wanted to take a moment to share a story with you briefly. I love music. I love singing. I am an active vocalist in my church. I had felt this real calling to perform your song “What Faith Can Do” for special music one Sunday. I presented my vision to our music director. It was a vision where while I sang, we have a slide show/video playing on the big screen behind me showing some of the life changing miracles that our church body has experienced lately. I felt this was going to be a moving, Spirit-lead, emotional moment that I was going to be a part of. That got put on hold. On Monday June 3rd, my daughter Angela, who was 8 months pregnant with my first grandchild, was taken to the hospital quickly because her blood pressure was dangerously high and the doctors wanted to do an emergency C-section. We all rushed to the hospital but were lead to a room to wait for more information. Moments later a nurse came and asked for just me. JUST ME?!?!? In a room crowded with family they wanted me to join them in the delivery room. My grandson, Brayden Keith Reinecker, was born four weeks early, and was not breathing on his own no matter what they tried. So as they continued to resuscitate him, the nurse told me that my daughter wanted me to baptize Brayden before they allowed the doctors to stop assisting in his breathing. I couldn’t talk. Here I am, a child of God, yet a common man, asked to baptize his own grandson. This was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. So, since I am not ordained or educated in the ways of baptisms, I simply asked everyone in the delivery room to lay their hands on Brayden while I presented him to Christ. Since “What Faith Can Do” is one of my favorite songs, I prayed loud and hard to God that He would breathe life into Brayden… because I knew He could. I trusted that He could and that He would. I pleaded with God to perform a miracle that day and to allow Brayden to touch the lives of those in that room. But God had other ideas. Brayden passed an hour after being born. Angela and Keith (my son in law) were allowed to keep Brayden’s body with them for 24 hours. So he was cleaned and dressed and Angela held him. We all held him. And for those next 24 hours I continued to pray for that miracle. It never came. But there were some things happening with some of the family. Some very spirit-filled, emotional things. There are some in our family that don’t know Christ like we’d like them to. I believe God was speaking to them during this time. Anyway… I couldn’t listen to “What Faith Can Do” without crying for the next month. BUT… another favorite of mine is “Even If the Healing Doesn’t Come”. Trust me… the heartache DID hit me like a hurricane and the weeks to follow were very painful… but at the end of the day, I knew God has a plan for my family. I trust Him. I believe. So, thank you for your music. Thank you for reminding all of us that being a child of Christ doesn’t mean that life is going to be easy… or going to be perfect. Sometimes when we beg God for a miracle (and trust me… I’ve never begged for one so hard in my life) …in His loving way… for reasons we don’t understand… He says, “No my child”. You guys are truly lead by the Spirit and you are appreciated more than you know. God Bless You. Brian Smith Romans 8:28

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Dave Tampa, FL November 3, 2015

Through the grace of God, I was raised in a Christian home. Growing up in the church taught me the “right” way to live my life, unfortunately I didn’t want to listen. I decided that I did better at running my life than God did. Rejecting all that I have been brought up, I lived my life to the “world’s” standards. Directly after I graduated high school I joined the United States Marine Corps. Continuing to reject the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart, my life was filled with temptation that I didn’t fight. Unfortunately in 2003, I was injured while serving in Iraq. In the blink of an eye I had lost everything. I lost my career, my marriage, and my way of life. The only thing that I did not loose, but didn’t realize it, was the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. I battled with health issues and depression for a long while. One day, I was driving in the car and I was listening to secular music, which I realized wasn’t helping my situation. I decided to turn the station to our local radio station and I heard for the first time “Strong Tower” by Kutless. As I listed to the lyrics of the music, literally through the Holy Spirit my life changed. I realized what I was missing in my life. A few songs after that I heard “Offering” by Third Day. It was like a slap in the face by God telling me to wake up. It was GREAT! After that, I started faithfully doing my quiet time for the first time in my life. Shortly after that, I handed over “the reigns” of my life to Jesus Christ. Since then, every day has been an amazing blessing. I might not have a day where my injuries don’t cause me pain, but for once in my life I have True Joy! I am able to live every day for God’s glory. Once I opened my eyes and saw that God had an awesome plan for my life, he started to open doors. I recently founded my own Christian non-profit organization in which God has led me to attempt to share His Word throughout the world. I want to thank Kutless and reassure Christians out there that God does loves and has an awesome plan for each and everyone of us. We just have to let go and believe that He IS our “Strong Tower”. Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you; God bless you. Dave Tampa, FL

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Tina Fischer November 3, 2015

I wanted to share with you our very emotional and what I believe is very inspirational story. I think it is a true testament to not only the power of faith, but the power of music as well.

My husband and I found out in April of last year that we were going to be having a baby. Our first together, but we both have children from previous marriages so in total, it was our 8th! From the beginning, the pregnancy was not smooth sailing. We decided early on that if this baby was a girl her name would be Faith Elizabeth and if it was a boy he would be Riley James. Being a mom, I was about 99% sure from the start it was a girl. We kind of adopted the song What Faith Can Do as the babies song. When we went for our first doctor’s appointment they did an ultrasound and could not see a heartbeat. I was an emotional mess. My husband, being the amazing and strong man that he is reminded me that God would take care of us and we had to have faith. A week later we went for another ultrasound and we saw that precious heartbeat as strong as could be. At 20 weeks we had an ultrasound and found out that we were having a girl, our little Faith Elizabeth. A week later, we found out that I had an abnormal result for quad-screen, which indicated that the baby could have Down’s Syndrome. Again, I was an emotional mess at first and again my husband reminded me that everything happens for a reason and that it was all in God’s hands. We went for another, more detailed ultra-sound to look for any signs or markers for Down’s. Everything looked perfect. Our Faith was as perfect as could be. A few weeks later, at 24 weeks, I started to show signs of pre-term labor. A test showed that I had a 20% chance of delivering in the next 2 weeks. The doctor put me on bed rest and started steroid shots to strengthen Faith’s lungs. Again, me an emotional mess, but getting a lot better about giving it to God (thanks once again to my husband) and knowing that he would take care of us, like he has through this whole time. Two weeks later, another ultrasound showed that my cervix was normal and preterm labor was not happening. I am thinking, ok we got all that out of the way, we should be smooth sailing from here on out, right? Boy was I wrong! At 35 weeks, I went in for a normal check up and the doctor noticed that Faith had not yet turned to be head down. She told us that we still had time for her to turn, but that she might not. She was preparing me for the possibility of having to have a c-section. After much thought and prayer, my husband and I decided to go ahead with the c-section and it was scheduled for December 21st. On the morning of the 21st, we made our way to the hospital. At the hospital they put an IV in me, drew blood and then tried to start the spinal to numb me for the surgery. The anesthesiologist was having a lot of trouble placing the spinal and decided she would call for back-up. While she was doing that, my doctor decided to do one more ultrasound just to make sure Faith hadn’t turned to the head down position. I am very glad she did. Our little gymnast had flipped and there was no need for a c-section anymore. Because I was only 38 weeks along, they didn’t want to induce me yet, so they sent us home. At my next check-up, my doctor scheduled an induction for the following Monday, December 27th. On the morning of the 27th, once again we wake up early and checked in to the hospital. When we get settled into our birthing room, the nurses come and hook me up to all the monitors and check on the baby. Our little gymnast had flipped again and was once again breech! My doctor had not yet arrived for the day, so the nurses decided to just keep monitoring me and wait till the doctor came in. We would decide when the doctor came in if we wanted to do the c-section or try to manually turn the baby. Three hours later, my doctor arrives and checks me over only to find that our little gymnast had flipped again! The doctor broke my water and labor was underway. Our perfect little blessing was born at 5:03 pm on December 27th weighing in at 7 lbs 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

The next morning, after a wonderful night of with this perfect little angel, the doctor came in with some unexpected news. The nurse had taken Faith to the nursery to give her some shots and noticed that her lips were a little bit blue and she looked what they called ‘dusky.’ The doctor hooked her up to a pulse-ox monitor and her oxygen saturation, which should be in the high 90’s, was in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. Faith’s pediatrician ordered an echo-cardiogram and they moved her to the NICU. The initial Echo didn’t show any abnormality but the cardiologists wanted to see a couple more images. For a few hours we were thinking, ‘oh, maybe this is just a false alarm, like everything else up to this point really has been.’ It took all day to get the 2nd Echo results and when they did come, our worst fear was confirmed. Faith had a heart defect. At that time, the Echo showed that her tricuspid valve was not working at all. The hospital we were at was not equipped to handle an infant cardiac patient so Faith was transferred via ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee Wisconsin. A transport team was sent from Milwaukee to the hospital we were at. Around 10 pm that night Faith was on her way to Milwaukee and my husband and I finished the discharge process for me to leave the hospital and left the hospital about 10 minutes after Faith. The first song that came on the radio after we got in the car was What Faith Can Do. My husband and I both started crying and he looked at me and said, ‘she’s going to be ok!’ Then he went on to tell me that before we left the hospital he said a prayer and in that prayer he said that if we heard Faith’s song at all on the way to Milwaukee, it would be a sign that she was going to be fine. When he told me that, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest and I knew without a doubt that she was going make it through this. When we arrived at Children’s Hospital, a pediatric cardiologist was performing another Echo on Faith and determined that her tricuspid valve wasn’t really the problem. She had an extra flap of tissue above the valve that was blocking flow to the lower right side of her heart. They gave her medication and tried to see if she could push through that tissue on her own. After a few days, they decided that she was going to need surgery. While she was in the hospital, we had the lyrics ” I’ve seen miracles just happen Silent prayers get answered Broken hearts become brand new, That’s what Faith can do!’ on a board in her room. When ever I got discouraged or started worrying I would look at those words and sing Faith’s song to her. When Faith was 8 days old, she underwent open heart surgery to remove that tissue. The doctors were all very encouraging and told us that if we had to choose a heart defect that this would be the one you would choose. It was a pretty straight forward surgery, but it was still open heart surgery on a newborn! The surgery went better than anyone could have expected, and right after surgery, her oxygen saturation was up to 98%!

Everyday while she was in the hospital my husband and I would leave for a few hours to get lunch or whatever to preserve our sanity. Everyday at some point while we were away from the hospital, Faith’s song would come on the radio. Everyday when her song came on, we would both cry, not because we were afraid or sad, but because we knew that she was going to be fine. We knew that God would take care of her. On Thursday, January 13th, (9 days after surgery) Faith was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. She is now 6 weeks old and other than the small scar on her chest, you would never know that she was born with a heart defect. The doctors have told us there will be no lasting effects from the surgery and the only restriction they have placed on her is that she can never play tackle football.

Everyday I look at this little miracle that God has given us and I thank him. As painful as this whole thing has been, I know that it could have been so much worse and I know it has taught me some very valuable lessons about what is really important in life. I know that God works in mysterious ways and we might not understand his plan, but he does and that’s all that matters. Looking back now we understand why Faith was not born on the 21st. If I had had the c-section as originally planned, we don’t know if the defect would have even been found and if it had I would not have been able to be discharged to go with her to Milwaukee. Also, we would have been in Milwaukee at the hospital for Christmas, instead of at home with all of our kids. God is good and even with everything that has happened the last 6 weeks, I know that I am truly blessed. And now, Faith has one heck of a testimony that she can share with the world.

Thank you~

Tina Fischer

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Miranda November 3, 2015

Hey Guys,just want to really thank you for doing “Even If”. it’s been a huge encouragement for me. It’s been a really broken past few years for me. Lost my brother a couple years ago in an accident, had some really bad personal stuff happen to me, and now both of my parents are terminally ill and i’m the primary care taker…, just to name a few of the main things that have gone on. And sometimes it’s hard to keep going and keep praising God. But this song has really encouraged me lately, reminding me that regardless of the circumstances, God is still Good, and absolutely worthy of all our praise. Forever. And there’s such a difference between if someone tells you this, and hearing it in a song… there’s like a grace on the song, That it isn’t spoken with a bite, but it hits my heart just right, and the truth gets in. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s the only way I know how to say it. And so in these days when I don’t think I can keep going, and I break down and feel like running away… I find a quite spot and crank this song and just cry… and get re-centered. Thank You. God Bless. – Miranda

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Shari Dougherty November 3, 2015

I had to share this story with you, I’ve also posted this on my FB page. Yesterday my fiance Chris was getting the oil changed in his car. The manager told him he needed new tires, his were really worn. He said he had to pass, he’s been out of work for the last 6 1/2 months…so it can wait. There was a woman in the waiting room and when he sat down she said to him, “Unemployed, huh? That stinks.” He thought, “Well, that’s nosey, but okay…” and he said, “Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.” He didn’t tell her he’d been injured on the job and was waiting to get released to go back to work full time. He told her he still considered himself very blessed. He has a roof over his head, a son who is healthy who gets good grades and is great in sports and music. He wasn’t worried, he has FAITH. She asked what he did and he said he was a Firefighter/Paramedic. She said, “Oh, can you do phlebotomy?” He said, “No, I can administer drugs and IV’s, but I can’t take things OUT of people.” She said, “I have a job for you if you want to take the training to get your phlebotomist certification.” He was floored. He said, “Where do I interview?” She said, “You just did. I’m the owner of the company. I can tell you’re a man of Faith, and you have Faith. I have a good feeling about you. Now let’s get you some new tires.” She went to the manager and told him to get four new tires on Chris’ car for him and she was buying! Chris was floored, and humbled, and said he couldn’t take it. She said he needed a reliable car to work for her because he has to drive a lot. The manager heard their conversation, and was choked up, and he said he would throw in the cabin filter he needed for free. But there’s more! They walked over to a pizza place to have lunch while waiting for their cars, and she called her office and worked things out for him to start tomorrow, and she wrote down the information on a piece of paper and slid it across the table to him. Inside the piece of paper was a check for $1000! He wouldn’t take it. She said to use it for Christmas. She said to pay it forward… When he got in his car to leave after thanking her profusely, YOUR SONG WHAT FAITH CAN DO was the first song he heard!! Now, someone tell me that God doesn’t help those who have FAITH…

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Vicki Kentucky November 3, 2015

My brother and his wife were adopting a child from a young woman that I know. They came to Kentucky, from Chicago, as the birth mother went into labor. She had a beautiful baby girl! The day that my brother and sister-in-law were ready to take the baby home from the hospital, the birth father’s mother (the grandmother) showed up and let them know that she “would be taking the baby home” and that there was no way that they were going to adopt her grand-daughter. As you can imagine they were very worried about how this would all end. When the attorney called the birth father he refused to sign the papers because his mother threatened to throw him out of the house if he did. After having the baby for 5 days, they had to return her to her birth mother-which devastated our family! We were all so broken hearted…that baby was our family…we loved her with all of our hearts. My brother, sister-in-law, the birth mother, and I all prayed for God’s will in this and if it meant that the baby was to be with her birth mother then we would continue to love them both and help them in anyway that we could. The birth mother was NOT a Christian and it was amazing to be able to pray with her. As you can imagine there were moments of questioning God and even anger at the situation as well as at Him. My brother and I put in the song “Strong Tower” and played it over and over for the week following the return of the baby to her birth mother. Focusing on the lyrics of “Strong Tower” helped us to get past the hurt and anger and lean on the one true Strong Tower for our strength. In the middle of my darkness In the midst of all my fear You’re my refuge and my hope When the storm of life is raging And the thunder’s all I hear You speak softly to my soul You are my strong tower Shelter over me Beautiful and mighty Everlasting King You are my strong tower Fortress when I’m weak Your name is true and holy And Your face is all I seek WOW! How those words brought us comfort and strength!!! One week later, the birth father signed the adoptions papers and my brother and sister-in-law came back to Kentucky to pick up their daughter. Isn’t God awesome?!?!?!?!?! How blessed we are that He worked it for the good of all and that during it all He drew the birth mother into a relationship with Him and that not only do we have a new member of our earthly family but we now have a sister in Christ!