Micah's Story

On November 12, 2016, I went to a concert—a night of worship hosted by Cory Asbury, Amanda Cook and Steffany

Gretzinger of Bethel Music at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I joined in from the audience as they sang the beautiful words to “King of My Heart.”

I can’t really describe it, but something happened inside of me during that song. The atmosphere shifted. I felt the overwhelming presence of God. The Lord deposited something in my heart that night—something directly from Him. A direct, mysterious impartation.

Four months later, in April 2017, I attended another concert—Jonathan David and Melissa Helser of Bethel Music at Rock Church International, founded by John and Anne Gimenez. At the end of the concert, my husband’s longtime friend and  

worship leader, Joy, approached me and said, out of the blue: “You need to get out of your head, Micah. You need to start writing music.” Another seemingly serendipitous encounter from above.

Two days after that, lyrics came into my mind. All of a sudden, I had this song from God:

I look to you for help

For the pressure of this life bears down on me

I look to you for help

So, let your presence come and blow through me

Let your presence come until I am free

For the joy of the Lord renews my strength

I named it “Joy of the Lord,” and started preparing it for our church’s annual anniversary service—the church where I’ve led worship for the past four years. And during the anniversary service that June, I led our congregation in worship with that song.

 

Two days later, on June 12, 2017—seven months to the day after that concert at Regent University—I woke up on that Monday morning to find Ben, my husband of 13 years, unconscious in the shower. At 43 years old, in good health, Ben Dillon died of a heart attack—the “widowmaker,” as doctors called it. At 36, mother to two young children, Stone (7) and Stella (5), I now had to continue life without my husband.

In almost an instant, I lost three key aspects of my identity. After 13 years of marriage, I was no longer a wife. After 15 years of growing my real estate business, I stepped away from my career to take care of Stone and Stella. On top of that, I temporarily lost my ability to sing because of overuse. For six months, everything I relied upon for identity, purpose and worth was stripped away. In those months, I realized the only identity that truly matters is my identity as a child of God. 

Yet, in the middle of that time, God provided Himself to fill in the gaps of my life. 

 

Songs like “King of My Heart,” “You Came (Lazarus)” and “The Future Marches In” began to speak overwhelming truth into my life. The Word of God came alive within my soul; I began to see Him in the trees, in the wind, in the sunsets. As I prayed specific prayers, creation became evidence of the Father’s nearness through feathers, fireflies, dolphins, and eagles. Like that mysterious encounter at the Bethel night of worship, God began to reveal Himself to me in new, fresh and powerful ways. 

His loving kindness is all around us. Through every battle, He’s in control.

During the past three years, God has given words and inspiration like this to encourage me and others. In the midst of that, He encouraged me to surrender and become obedient to those good thoughts. I wrote them down in my journal, and through this book, I’m sharing them in the hope that others might be encouraged and filled with the joy of the Lord. Ultimately, I just want to give God credit for the good thoughts He has imparted to me. Every good thought is a God thought. It’s God, the Divine Encourager, the Holy Spirit, prompting us toward good things.

 

By the grace of God, as I surrendered to Him and His goodness, He allowed me to lead Ben’s funeral service—overflowing with 800-plus people from across the country—in worship to “The Joy of the Lord.” Because of the Lord’s great mercy and grace, He shared those beautiful words He’d given to me with a crowd of worshipers mourning the loss of my husband:

So, let your presence come and blow through me

Let your presence come until I am free

For the joy of the Lord renews my strength

Since that Monday morning in June, I’ve been on a journey to know the Father’s heart and understand His nature. For too long, I assumed I knew my Creator; I built the story of God and His character in my head without actually seeking and surrendering to Him. Now, through this book and the powerful words of Scripture, I’m inviting you to join me on this journey to discover the One who created us, knows us and lives inside of us. 

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© 2019 by Micah N. Dillon

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