And yet, as I listened to the words, I realized that it wasn't just a song that fit me. It was challenging me. Pushing me.
Because my "take back my life song" isn't complete. There's still more taking back to do… And it starts with some brutal honesty. But first, let me give some background.
Many of you know that I majored in music in college, because I planned to pursue a singing career. And many of you also know that I gave up that career path after being deeply impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ during my time in college. I had come to the realization that I loved music more than I loved God. But the most beautiful part of it was that God still loved me. He still wanted me back. He still sent Jesus to die in my place. And that kind of love can't help but change you. It's the kind of love that reorients your life.
And that's what happened to me. After experiencing the grace-filled love of a forgiving Savior, I wanted to put Him first in my life. I didn't want music to compete for the top spot in my heart. And I didn't want to live a life that was all about myself anymore. I wanted to love others as Jesus had loved me so that they could know Him too. And I wanted to do something with my life that would serve an eternal purpose. So I gave up the music dream and went into full-time ministry.
And it has been an absolutely amazing journey! I'm still so thankful that I get to have the best job in the world!
So far, I haven't told you anything new.
But what many of you don't know - and what I didn't even know until recently - is that I also backed down on the music dream because I was afraid.
And I'm still afraid.
But the difference between then and now is that I realized I can actually admit it. I'm done pretending. Because even when you have to confess things about yourself that you don't like, there's something strangely freeing about honesty. There's no more wasted energy on putting up a facade. You can just live (1 John 1:5-10).
So this is me being honest, giving up the facade, and taking back my life:
Fear tells me that I'm not good enough. Not talented enough. My singing is weak. My lyrics are lame. My melodies aren't original. My instrumentation is poorly done. My piano skills are not what they should be. And no one really wants to hear my songs. And I listen. I agree.
But then I remember that I don't need to be good enough. I just need to be who God has created me to be and do what He has called me to do.
The truth is, I'm really not something great on my own. If all the resources I have are simply myself, that is certainly reason to panic, because of the obvious fact that I am limited. But God is not. He has all the resources that there are, and He is pleased to share them with me.
And He directed His power towards me to accomplish His good purposes in my life and in the lives of those around me (Ephesians 1:15-23). He has prepared good works for me to walk in them (Ephesians 2:1-10). And by definition, good works mean work. That means effort. And that means that there will be times when I am going to want to quit, because it simply feels too hard. But anything worth doing is bound be difficult at times. That doesn't mean give up. That means keep going.
So it's not about me and my talent. It's about the bigness of my God and the fact that He can take my feeble efforts and make them bigger than I ever dreamed. He can take my one match and start an explosion.
And that's what I want. That's what I long for. That's what I dream of. I want my life to mean something. To make a difference. To have an impact. To change the world. And I don't really know how that's going to happen or what it will look like. But I don't want to give up trying.
Because I don't think much of my loaves and fish, but Jesus can take them and feed a whole crowd (John 6:1-15). That's what I'm banking on.
So I can take risks. I can fail. And none of it will change the fact that I am declared perfectly righteous in His sight - spotless and without blemish.
And that's why I have to make music. That's why I can't quit. Though I may not have very much talent in my own eyes, I believe that God can take what He's given me and multiply it for the good of His Kingdom.
I have wasted too many years living in fear. And now it's time to overcome. It's time to live like more than a conqueror (Romans 8:31-39).
That's my fight song. And you can expect one in musical form coming soon :)
Loving Him is Red!
What fears are holding you back from really living life?
What would it look like to live as more than a conqueror?