Sing My Way Back

Go ahead and listen to this as you read. Then watch it at the end for good measure.

 

Sometimes seasons of life come with confusion. You take a risk, jump in, only to find that what you thought would be an exciting and soul-filling swim turned out to either be a puddle, or worse, torrents of huge waves that you can’t keep your head above.

I’ve always been an idealist. I’ve always wanted to change the world. I’ve always been emotional and passionate. Yet, as we all grow up and I see more of the world, I’m reminded that only Jesus can save us. I can’t change people, I can’t keep people alive, I can’t fix all the broken hearts and families and relationships.

I could take that news and spiral into sadness. I could throw in the towel and forget all of my ideals. Believe me, some days I do.

When I lose direction, and when I can’t see the stars; If we get disconnected, I’ll sing my way back to Your heart. I’ll sing my way back to Your arms.

I’m here to say that even in the midst of my abundant weakness, my struggles, my flaws, I have found (again and again) a God who is faithful and true.

A God who breathed galaxies into existence and still cares about my broken heart over a little boy who spilled his soda at a basketball game. A God who gave humankind every opportunity to choose Him and experience incredible life and love even when they defied Him, and still picks me up every time I choose to ignore Him and fall on my face.

People are broken and messy (I’m up there in the rankings) and I’m still trying to be okay with that. Life doesn’t always look the way I want it to, but I’m still constantly surprised by Grace. Because in the midst of what looks like a loss, there’s always a greater story being written. He is not finished yet.

Praise the LORD.
How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.
The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.
Psalm 147:1-7 NIV

I’ll keep reaching for the Star-Naming-Heart-Healing God of all.

 

P.S. A huge thank you to Steffany Gretzinger for writing this song and sharing such a beautiful live performance. I have cried and felt so much comfort from watching this some 100 times this week. ❤

What I do when I’m losing my mind.

You’ve been stuck inside your house for so long you can’t remember what the sun feels like. Everything starts feeling really heavy.
You want to sleep, but you also don’t, you feel like everything’s falling apart.

Do you know what I mean?

Suddenly it makes sense to throw a 3 year old style tantrum and curl up on the floor until you find motivation to get up.
You just want to scream or cry or run away, but also do none of those things at the same time.

Anybody out there hearing this?

If you live in the Northeast, or know anyone who does, you probably know that we got a typical March Northeastern Storm this weekend. Upstate NY is used to it, but we still got hit with a solid 20 inches of snow, and it was heavy and wet enough to cause large-scale power outages across the state.

I took these pictures today, so things are already starting to melt and clear up. But yesterday went from being an exciting, novelty snow-day where my husband and I got to hangout together and be cozy in our apartment, to me feeling like I was trapped inside of a cell and I couldn’t get out.

Dramatic, I know. The brain is weird.

I had such great plans of getting my homework done early, spending time in the Word, finishing up a few projects, and watching a movie with my husband.

But then the power went out and I couldn’t do anything:

  • no homework
  • no projects
  • no productivity

As the sun went down, so did my attitude.

Even the next morning I had such a weight over me that I wanted to just give up (that was after a sweet hangout with my family and their generator, and my husband’s tireless love, praise God).

So, what could I do? I wanted to scream and cry and hide in my bed until I hated myself so much I slept for days. Real talk here.

But I didn’t. Instead, I did these 3 things:

1. I opened my blinds and let the sunshine in.

Honestly, I know myself, and when I can’t go outside and get fresh air or sunlight, I start to lose it. Yesterday proved that in a real way. SAD is a real thing, people. Just opening my blinds and feeling those rays made me realize I wasn’t completely dead yet.

2. I cleaned my kitchen table.

It wasn’t like my house was a disaster, but to me it felt like a disaster. So I cleaned my kitchen table off and made it look nice. Just that simple action of clearing a space and throwing away some trash made me feel so much lighter. I was reminded that I had today, a fresh, clean start to be productive and to get things done. Yesterday may have been a wash, but today was clean and new.

3. I turned on some worship music.

Classic spiritual warfare. I knew that a lot of my struggle was that I wasn’t reaching out for help. Instead, I was letting my negative emotions spill over and pour out on my husband (and it got kinda messy, yikes). I needed to change the atmosphere, and after doing the first two things I mentioned above, it was easier to focus on what was really necessary.

Turning on these songs helped me to remember that my struggle is not my own. It was like a baby step of obedience; by changing the atmosphere in my apartment, I was saying: “Jesus, I know You’re the One who can help me the most.

 

None of these ideas are new or revolutionary, nor do I consider this an exhaustive list. But, sharing my real struggle this weekend might resonate with someone. I don’t always have it all together, and multiple times I have to say, “Josh, I’m struggling”.

I realize that I am surrounded by grace, and I have a God that is so loving and patient with me. I’m thankful that my bad days aren’t who I am, nor are they the whole story.

Sometimes taking a tiny thread of motivation and doing something simple will help you remember that you’re not finished yet.

Finally, here’s a beautiful song that I feel sums this up completely; give it a listen if you want to be inspired.

 

Thanks for reading, you are dearly loved.