Music Monday, er… Tuesday: Just Be Me

just be meLaura StoryJust Be Me

(listen on Spotify or Godtube)

I’ve been doing all that I can
To hold it all together, piece by piece
I’ve been feeling like a failure
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be
It’s just not me

So be my hero, be my comfort
Be my peace
Cause I can be broken
I can be needy, Lord I need you now
To be, be my God
So I can just believe

I’ve been living like an orphan
Trying to belong here
But it’s just not my home
I’ve been holding on so tightly
To all the things that I think
Will satisfy my soul
But I’m letting go

So be my father, my mighty warrior
Be my king
Cause I can be scattered, forever shattered
Lord I need you now to be
Be my God so I can just be me

Cause I was lost
In this dark world
Till I was finally found in you
So now I’m needing, desperately pleading
Oh Lord be all to me

So be my Savior, be my lifeline
Won’t you be my everything?
Cause I’m so tired
Of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be
Be my God, please
Be my God so I can just be me
So I can just be me
I can just be me

 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And so we try. We try to be strong. We try to be brave. We try to find a solution. We try to work the plan. We try to smile. We try not to be needy.

And we fail. We stumble. We fall. We crumble under it all.

“I just can’t do it anymore, God!”

“You were never meant to, my Love. I am your God. Let me be strong and brave. Let me work out my plan. Let me be God. And you just be you – who I created you to be. Trust. Rest.”

When life gives you lemons, hand them to God.

Give the lemons to God

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6,7).

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credits: savannah, lemons

Music Monday: Believer

laptopKutlessBeliever

(listen on Spotify or Youtube)

I can see thru the laughter
I know you’ve cried your share of tears
But you don’t have to do this by yourself
You tell me that you feel abandoned
Carrying the weight of all this pain inside
You trust in someone else
But you’re crying out for help
 
I’m a believer
That He’s strong enough to hold you now where you are
I’m a believer
In the One who’s always reaching out to your heart
He understands you
There’s not a greater love that you’ll find in this life
I’m a believer in Christ
 
You’re trying to escape the landslide
Running from the choices that you’ve made
When will you surrender to His grace
He promises He’ll never leave you
Offering to free you from your past
Cause that’s the sacrifice He’s made
He can be your shelter and your strength
 
No matter what you’ve done
Or how far you’ve run
There is hope for you
For every broken heart
He’ll meet you where you are
He will rescue you
Let Him rescue you

I see you sitting there with your laptop balanced precariously upon your knees. I see you standing at the kitchen counter clutching your phone in your hand. I see you sitting at your desk clicking through today’s interesting blog posts.

I see you… not with my eyes, but with my heart. And I see past the smiles, past the busy household, past the mess, past the perfect outfit… and into your heart. I know tears have streamed down your face and spilled onto your hands. I know you’ve felt the weight of loss, betrayal, and failure.

I’ve been there too… in the hopeless abyss of uncontrollable circumstances. Some caused by my own mistakes and some by the mistakes of others. I know what it’s like to wonder if my life will be completely different the next time the sun comes up. To wonder if I will find myself somewhere else surrounded by people I do not know, because the people I love most have been torn from me. To wonder if a few short moments would promote me to the next stage of life long before I’m ready.

I’ve felt the ripping of the heart. I’ve wondered if it could ever be whole again. I’ve felt pain deeper than I had ever dreamed.

And you know what I found each and every time?

That He was there… strong enough to hold me. Strong enough to carry me through it all. Strong enough.

And He was there holding out His hand of grace… not just a forgiveness that withheld what I deserved, but grace that gave way more than I deserved.

And let me tell you… I’m finding He is THE most skilled heart surgeon in the world. His steady, confident hand has rescued me more times than I can count.

Let Him rescue you.

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credit

An Ode to Fall and My Love of Summer

FinalKissSummer AgainThe Afters

(Listen on Youtube or Spotify)

 
I’m watching the green give into gold
As summer becomes October’s cold
Gravity begs
For one final kiss
She drops it to him, as she gives inTraces of light, linger around
As laces of white fall to the ground
The softest of sounds for the heaviest things
And the pain that it brings

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when

Don’t remember the day, she started to fade
The ground felt a chill as she gave it away
A whisper – a sigh, for the time that she passed
But this winter won’t last

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when
Oh to be with summer again

The days were warm and we wore them like skin
Now I feel the effects of October again

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when
Oh to be with summer again

I’m watching the green give in to gold
As summer becomes Octobers cold

 

Fall, how I dread thee. Summer, how I long for thee again. What’s left to say?

There’s something comforting and invigorating to feel sunshine wrap around your body in one warm hug. This is what summer is to me.

There’s something spooky about wind howling past your ears as icy fingers of chill wrap around your body in a freezing embrace. This is what fall and winter are to me.

It’s a struggle to keep the seasons of the year from setting the seasons of my emotions. Anyone else like this? Anyone else’s emotions have a bent to follow the sun?

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credit

Music Monday: The Redeemer

tatteredheartSanctus RealThe Redeemer

(listen on Spotify or Youtube)

Sometimes I just want to start over, ’cause everything looks like a wreck
And I need the courage to carry on, ’cause I can’t see what’s ahead
And there are places I’ve wished I could be, battles I’ve wanted to win
Dreams that have slipped through my hands
I may never get back again

But I’m still a dreamer, a believer
Oh, I’ve lost my faith in so many things, but I still believe in You
‘Cause You can make anything new

Sometimes I just wish we could say all the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see and explain every unanswered prayer
But I’d rather speak honestly and wear a tattered heart on my sleeve
‘Cause in the middle of my broken dreams, redemption is here

And I’m still a dreamer, a believer
Oh, I’ve lost my faith in so many things, but I still believe in You
‘Cause You are the answer, the redeemer
Oh, I’ve given up on too many things, but I’m not giving up on You
‘Cause You can make anything new

I don’t have every answer in life
But I’m trusting You one day at a time
‘Cause You can make a weak heart stay alive forever
this is where Heaven and Earth collide
I lift my hands and give my life
This is how my weary heart stays alive

Oh, I’m still a dreamer (This is where heaven and earth collide)
(I lift my hands and give my life)
Still a believer (This is how my weary heart stays alive)
Oh, You are the answer (Oh, this is where Heaven and Earth collide)
(I lift my voice and give my life)
The redeemer (This is how my weary heart stays alive, oh)

‘Cause You can make anything new
Yeah, You can make anything new

 

There’s so much I could say about this song… so many nuggets to pull from it. But the lines I want to focus on are these:

Sometimes I just wish we could say all the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see and explain every unanswered prayer
But I’d rather speak honestly and wear a tattered heart on my sleeve

This right here could be the description of my blog. It’s why I write. It’s why I don’t hide the bad and the ugly.

I could hide my tattered heart. I could hide the pain, the mistakes I’ve made, the tears I’ve cried. I could pull out my red lipstick smile and mask my dark circles and bloodshot eyes with my stylish sunnies. I can lock my skeletons in the closets and throw away the keys.

But that’s not me. That’s a magazine picture trying desperately to lure you into wanting to be something you’re not. And that’s shameful. It’s a moral crime against humanity everywhere.

This world is full of beautifully unique people. Out of the millions in this world, no two of us are exactly the same. No two. We’re different in the way we look, yes. But the most important difference is our personalities.

We’re all born with a specific personality or processing bent. But it’s the things that happen to us and the way we respond to them that makes our personailities so incredibly unique. If we hide these things, we loose so much of who we are. We loose depth. We become Barbie robots with hollow laughs.

And where’s the uniqueness in that?

Life is full of things that tatter our hearts, because this is life. “In this world, you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But as we work through these tough times, we refine our personalities and add a depth to ourselves.

And as we share the lessons we learn along the way, we inspire others to be true to themselves… to lay aside their red lipstick smiles and to smile through real tears.

So wear a tattered heart on your sleeve and speak honestly to a waiting world.

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

*photo credit

Music Monday: More Like Falling In Love

lineJason GrayMore Like Falling In Love

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

Give me rules
I will break them
Show me lines
I will cross them

I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives
Moves and breathes
To sweep me off my feet

It’s gotta be…

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh It’s like I’m falling in love

Give me words
I’ll misuse them
Obligations
I’ll misplace them

‘Cause all religion
Ever made of me
Was just a sinner
With a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free

It’s gotta be…

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in

Love, love, love
Deeper and deeper, it was
Love that made me a believer

In more than a name
A faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought
The change in me

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling

It’s gotta be…

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

It’s like I’m falling
(Falling in love)
It’s like I’m falling

 

“I don’t know, Buddy. I didn’t watch TV when I was a kid.”

He looked at me incredulously. “What? Why not?”

“Well.” I hesitated a minute. “Well, because I wasn’t allowed to.”

He giggled. “Why not?”

“Because I was told TV was evil.”

He giggled some more. “That’s crazy!”

The conversation commenced with details of other activities I was not allowed to partake in, clothing I was not allowed to wear, books I was not allowed to read, and many other things I was told was evil. A long list of rules and “convictions” enforced on me and my siblings by my mother.

Now it wasn’t all my mother’s fault. She only adopted these rules, ideas, and “convictions” because Mr. Gothard of the Institute of Basic Life Principles said they were part of a “new approach to life”… an insurance that we would be successful if we just follow God’s principles.

But here’s the thing… these rules… these convictions… this better way of life… They only brought pride and judgment toward those who did not uphold this “holiness” and at the same time a disgust and hate for my own self.

How is this holy? How is this following God’s “principles”? Did Jesus not teach “judge not”? Does Romans not tell us that there is “no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus”?

Then why did this holy life, following a higher path, lead to judgment of others and hatred for myself?

There’s a change in me… I’m not who I used to be. There’s freedom. There’s love. Love for others and love for myself.

All because I fell in love with Him. Oh, the undeserved mercy He gives. Oh, the love He pours out. Oh, the grace… the unconditional, complete goodwill of His grace.

What is there not to love? And with such love, how can the rules remain? One by one, His love has dissipated the rules and the obligations chained to the ankles of my heart.

I don’t know. Maybe there’s more left that needs to be dissolved. But this I do know. The deeper the love goes, the more of a believer I will become…

In more than a name
A faith, a creed

and it is a deeper love in Jesus that will continue to bring a change in me.

________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credit

Music Monday: Worn

worn

WornTenth Avenue North

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Yes, all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah, I’m worn

 

Today I just feel worn. Just plain tired. I feel like life is using me, and I have nothing left to give to it. I feel like I need a week to sleep and do nothing unless I want to.

But in all my pessimism, I’m convinced that even then, I’ll be stuck in this worn feeling forever. That no matter how long I take a break, I’ll still wake up too tired to breathe. I’ll still dislike my mom jobs. I’ll still not want to face the housework. I’ll still feel hopelessly behind. I’ll still just want to sit in a corner with my hands over my ears.

Sometimes it’s just the little dailies of life that wear us to the bone… the sleepless nights, the sick kids, the never ending laundry, the projects with unreachable deadlines, the infinitive handling of food, the bills, the goals that get put on the back burner…

Other times it’s the big things that beat us down to nothing… the death of little ones too young to die, the betrayal of a spouse, the hatred of a coworker, the silence of our children, the unmet desires of our hearts…

Whatever it is that has you feeling worn, that leaves you striving to just breathe… know this:

He cares.

He wants to show us that redemption wins, the struggle ends… that He can mend a heart that frail and torn.

He can make a song rise from the ashes of a broken life.

And everything that’s dead (relationships, energy, faith) can be reborn.

Even when we’re worn.

 ________________________________________________________________

In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

 

*photo credit