The very first time I used the phrase "kiss of heaven" was just after the birth of our first daughter, Amy Jaye. I was scrambling to find a way to describe knowing that the supernatural has intervened to bring you to the place you are in today. I think my heart had asked to be a mother as long as I can remember. Years before we became pregnant, I collected baby things-even with the name Amy printed on them! I am so very thankful to my ever-patient husband for not dashing my hopes as I built my collection of baby items.

By the time Amy was on her way to us, I was so ready for my dream to come true. My fairy-tale picture of motherhood portrayed me lying in the hospital bed surrounded by ivory roses (my favorite flower), my hair and makeup perfect (just like the movies), holding my newborn beautifully swathed in a magnificent pink muslin wrap, and of course I was immediately back to my pre-pregnancy shape.

When I actually went into labor, I did my hair and makeup (as planned), put a pink ribbon in my hair (as planned), dressed as nicely as I could (considering my size), and off we went. Reality had not kicked in. I was a first-time mum with no clue as to what was in front of me. I hadn't yet really grasped the concept of why birthing babies is called labor. I took too long doing my makeup and made it to hospital too late for any pain relief. Somewhere in the haze of contractions I remember begging the doctor, "Kill me! PLEEEASE!!"

And then ...

I gave birth to a divine answer to prayer, pink and beautiful ...

8 lb., 14 oz., Amy Jaye Zschech!

The photo of me holding Amy soon after birth does not look anything like my carefully planned portrait of motherhood! There I sat with my hospital gown half done up, my eye makeup smeared down to my cheekbones, baby hidden by the hugest hospital blanket ever. And the pink ribbon? It was around my neck!

However, by that afternoon I was severely bitten by the "baby-love bug." I was totally and utterly besotted by this "dream come true" lying in her little crib beside me. Out of my mouth, to my very tired husband, came the words, "The only way I can describe this is as though God himself has come and kissed me on the head. She is our very own 'kiss of heaven.'" (I tell A.J. all the time, "God kissed me on the head the day you were born." She rolls her eyes and just says, "Yeah, yeah, Mum. You've told me that a million times!")

God's Favor

James 2:20 says, "Faith without works is dead" (NKJV). So it is with God's favor: You can't just cross your fingers, take no action, and hope for the best. But when diligence, obedience, and trust in God are combined with the supernatural hand of our Almighty God; well, there you have it-the Kiss.

In 2000 I wrote a song entitled "Kiss of Heaven" for an album called the Mercy Project. The words of this title are what come to me continually whenever I try to intelligibly describe that sense of heaven touching earth-when someone's life is totally and miraculously turned around through relationship with his or her Creator. It is the most appropriate way I can explain how He has transformed my life, giving me beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, the oil of joy for mourning. How beautiful is our God!

We all have dreams, aspirations, and goals we want to achieve-some grand, some noble, some small. In aspiring to achieve so many things, first and foremost, I know that to enjoy and to be aware of God's continual presence is one of life's greatest pleasures, and to give God our whole heart is His greatest delight. "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).

It is totally awe-inspiring to realize that God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is eagerly looking for people who believe in Him and have committed to loving Him completely. His grace is available to all who receive salvation; His favor is lavished upon those whose hearts are completely His. He is looking for wholly dedicated believers through whom He can shine. I always wanted to believe in my heart that He could shine through me, but it took a while for me to understand that it was even possible.

God is watching for someone to kiss with His favor even at this very moment. He watches-hoping to see our hands lifted up to love Him, serve Him, and receive His help so He can demonstrate His loving power through us to a love-starved planet. As I travel the continents of the world to lead praise and worship among God's people, I can almost feel the longing in God's own heart as He searches for individuals who will yield their entire confidence to Him. "For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them" (2 Chronicles 16:9 TLB).