Thursday, June 5, 2014

Songs that tell a story...

Last night I found myself exhausted and a bit frustrated, so I pushed pause and cried out to God asking Him to fill me up and speak to my heart. He led me to a post I wrote last August but never published...I read the words and was reminded of how He's worked in my life - constantly speaking to me, leading me, working in me and even through was a reminder I needed. And now He's leading me to share it with you and I'm pausing as I ask Him to speak to who ever He brings here. Friend, may you be encouraged as you live out your story!! 

Growing up my dad and I use to say, "We can sing like a bird...a dead one!" It was our fun way to state the truth - we can't sing. Now my children laugh at me when I try to clap to the beat and I only need the hymnal for the words because I can't read the notes. 

I can't sing, but I do. Well, when I'm sure nobody can hear just me. I can't read music, but it touches my heart. I don't understand musical language, but words strung together speak to me in a powerful way. 

A couple of weeks ago, a new song touched me deeply and has quickly became one of my favorites. There are many, many songs I like and countless ones I remember, but it seems every so often God gives me one that I connect with in a deeper way. Thoughts of this new favorite song made me think about the ones that have already left a mark. I realize these songs each have a message, but when strung together they tell my story.

The first one to come to mind is a country song from my high school days. I realize Kevin Sharp was singing about the girl who walked away, but the words he sang described exactly how I felt. As a lonely, depressed teenager I could relate as he sang, "I'm dying inside and nobody knows it but me, Like a clown I put on a show, The pain is real even if nobody knows and I'm crying inside and nobody knows it but me." Nobody knew I was hurting, but I couldn't hide the pain from God and eventually I gave my life to Christ and He put a new song on my heart.

I don't recall the first time I heard Avalon sing "You're Everything", but I know I identified with every word. It began, "I grew up in Sunday school, I memorized the golden rule, And knew how Jesus came to set the sinner free." I had done all these things, but as I stated above I was empty, alone and lost. Thankfully God removed the scales from my eyes and drew me to Himself so I could sing along, "But I'll never be the same because, He changed my life when he became.....Everything to me, He's more than a story..."

As He became my everything, God gave me a desire to live out the title of the song my little boy and I enjoyed jamming to. Back when my oldest was just a toddler, Tree63 released "Blessed Be Your Name" and I loved it the first time I heard it. In June of 2006, God brought some of the words to Saturday morning I attended the funeral for a good friend's dad and later that day a pregnancy test confirmed I was going to be a mom again. I clearly experienced God giving and taking away. Then a few years later as I experienced a miscarriage, I surprised myself by asking our pastor to sing this song. Though I cried through the whole thing, I sang the words from my heart..."When the darkness closes in, Lord Still I will say...Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Because of God's work in me, He took me to a place where I could praise Him regardless of my circumstances and during Christmas of 2006, I heard a song that has become my favorite song of the holidays. We attended a Go Fish concert and "It's About the Cross" touched me deeply. At Christmas it can be easy to get lost in the busyness and buying, doing and going, but the words to this song remind me what it's really all about! "It's about the cross, It's about my sin, It's about how Jesus came to be born once, So that we could be born again." Though it's a Christmas CD, it's one I pull out from time to time to remember all Jesus did for me!!

Over the years God has led me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I never expected to do, but He's given me the desire to obey and when I heard Chris Tomlin sing, "I Will Follow" it became the cry of my heart. I always sang along with the words, "Where you go, I'll go, Where you stay, I'll stay, When you move, I'll move, I will follow..." Then God led me to step away from some of the things I loved and enjoyed; I'll admit those steps were hard, but looking back I know He's shown me the rest of the song is true, "All your ways are good, All your ways are sure, I will trust in you alone."

My faith has grown, but there are times I still struggle with who I am. I often see myself as who I was once...the girl who thought she was never good enough, the one who failed and didn't measure up. It's no surprise that Jason Gray's "Remind Me Who I Am" struck a chord and always speaks to my heart. His words are mine, "When I can't receive Your love. Afraid I'll never be enough. Remind me who I am. If I'm Your beloved, Can You help me believe it." As I've dug into God's Word and tried to seek Him with my whole heart, He's done just what this song says!

And because of the work He's done in me, I now embrace my new favorite song - "One Pure and Holy Passion". I don't recall singing it before or even hearing it, though I'm sure I have, but two weeks ago it was like I'd never heard it and instantly I found it on my list of all time favorites. I pray it won't just be words that touch my heart, but like all the songs that have come before it I trust it will become the cry of my heart. "Give me one pure and holy passion, Give me one magnificent obsession, Give me one glorious ambition for my life, To know and follow hard after You." Isn't that a great thing to ask God for?!? 

Friend, thank you for reading through this...I pray by sharing a bit of the story I'm living God will encourage you as you live out the story He's writing for you. And if there are special songs in your life I'd love to hear about the story they tell!! May we all remember that regardless if we can sing or not, music can speak to our hearts and God wants us to make a joyful noise!!

(To hear t
he songs I've mentioned, click on the blue lyrics.)


  1. So thankful God led me to your blog... and this post. :O) It really spoke to me and you were an answer to my prayer. Last night I was crying out to God about some things that are hard... I feel He wants me to be more vulnerable and honest with others about my struggles, and not just try to appear that I have it all together. And the stories of songs in particular inspired me. My husband is a songwriter and writes awesome God songs and this gave me even more hope of how his music is going to bless many people. Thanks for connecting with me! You're a blessing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Amber! I appreciate your words as they are answered prayer...I hesitated in sharing this post, but God gave me the green light - now I know why! Grateful He spoke to you and let your husband know I said a prayer for him - there is so much power in music! May he continue to use it for God's glory! Blessings!

    2. God is SO awesome! Love it how we were both an answer to each other's prayer. Thanks so much for your prayers for David's music. We are so grateful for your prayer support, Jill!!

  2. It's so amazing to be able to look back and see how God uses different things in our lives to draw us closer to Him and teach us through them - including songs!!! I can totally relate. God often uses songs to speak to me, and it's while singing them that I can worship Him the most in Spirit and in Truth. There is no other experience quite like it.

    So many songs come to my mind at first, but one that has been a favorite for a long time is "In Christ Alone." The newest song that God has put on my heart since entering this new season of life is Keith and Krystin Getty's song, "A Mother's Prayer". God can and does use so many things to minister to us. Praising Him today for the gift of music! Thank you, friend!!!

    1. Good to hear from you Jackie!! I know music is big for you and am so grateful for the new song God's put on your heart and for the new season He is leading you into!!! Blessings to you!