On My Mind

Sheena’s Song

Lyrics and Music by Michele Payton.

This song was named after a young girl that I knew named Sheena.  I could never have imagined how God would use this song to impact my life and the lives of thousands of others.  Here is the story:

I first met Sheena when she was about 15 years old.  She was a vibrant, joyful, Godly, and beautiful young lady.  I immediately felt empathy when I found out that she would someday need to receive a heart and lung transplant.  Unfortunately, that need came up sooner rather than later.

Critical transplant needed

When Sheena turned 17 she was enjoying her senior year of high school when the doctors informed her parents that she must have the operation as soon as a donor could be located.  Everyone at church and her family prayed for Sheena and God answered our prayers.  An exact match of another young lady the same age, who had died in a car accident, was going to give Sheena new life.  All of us thanked and praised God for this unbelievable answer to prayer.  Within a month after the surgery, Sheena’s body started rejecting the new heart and lung.  The pastor asked for an urgent prayer request from everyone at church.

As I drove home from church that day, my thoughts were directed toward Sheena.  As I was driving home from church, God gave me this song.  Frantically, while trying not to run my car off the road, I pulled out napkins from my glove compartment and pages from the bulletin to write down the words of the song.  I was excited because the next Sunday I had been asked to do a “special” and I planned on sharing this new song with everyone.  However, the next day, I became deathly ill.  I lay in bed for almost a week wondering why God allowed me to be sick for so long.  Then God spoke to me and made me realize: 1) I did not write this song HE did and I was just the vessel that HE was going to use to share it; 2) I realized while I was lying in bed, how awful it must have been for a young, energetic, joyful teenager to lay in a hospital bed while her friends were enjoying their healthy bodies.

After my health returned, I shared this song at church and dedicated it to Sheena.  Her family recorded the song and took it to her in the hospital.  She requested that if her health declined and God took her home, that I would play the song at her funeral.

God did take Sheena home.  I was asked to sing and play this song at her funeral.  Because Sheena was so well known and loved, the high school she attended had a memorial service for her at the school.  Over 3,000 parents and friends of Sheena attended.  I was very concerned that the emotions of everyone there and my own would prevent me from being able to sing the song.  However, God’s strength allowed me to present the song.  Many students and adults came forward that day and started a new relationship with God.  Many of their families also began relationships with Christ.  I am humbled that out of that group of people, came pastors, youth leaders, and innumerable occupations where they are now witnessing and serving Christ.  I will never forget this experience.  I will never forget Sheena.

She could be a fashion model, but instead she became a role model.

The whole church was praying….

There were over 3,000.