Music Monday: Just Might Change Your Life

Change Your LifeJust Might Change Your LifeSidewalk Prophets

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

You’ve got your reasons
Reasons just to walk away
No one would blame you if you didn’t want to face the pain
You find yourself  up against the wall
You’re scared to push cause it might fall
And it…
 
Just might change your life
You’re on the edge now take one step
And you just might find you’ll fly
You never know what will happen next
Don’t be afraid to let go this time
It just might change your life
 
You keep on reaching
Reaching for a hand to hold
You’re scared you’ll wake up on the edge of the unknown
You find your heart in fragile place
Afraid to move cause it might break
And it…
 
Just might change your life
You’re on the edge now take one step
And you just might find you’ll fly
You never know what will happen next
Don’t be afraid to let go this time
It just might change your life
Don’t be afraid to let go
 
Just let go, just let go, just let go, just let go!
And it…
 
Just might change your life
You’re on the edge now take one step
And you just might find you’ll fly
You never know what will happen next
And it just might change your life
 
You’re on the edge now take one step
And you just might find you’ll fly
You never know what will happen next
Don’t be afraid to let go this time
 
Don’t be afraid to let go this time
It just might change your life
 

Last Christmas, I hiked up my suspenders, rolled up my sleeves, and pushed on the wall. I was scared to death it would fall and crush me, breaking my very fragile heart. I wanted my husband and my best friend to hold my hand… to push with me… but they could not. It was something I had to do on my own. I had every reason to simply turn and run… avoid the confrontation… but the risk was too high.

You see this was a relationship in my life that was manipulative, draining, and destructive to my heart. It gripped me with white knuckles, preventing me from being who God created me to be. I spent so much of my life trying to keep this person happy, so desperately striving for their acceptance and approval. At the same time, wanting so badly to make them happy for their own sake. I wanted to fix them, pull them up from their darkness. But 34 years of trying with very little upward progress makes for a tiresome journey.

My husband encouraged me in October to bite off a little at a time. To start laying out the “I’m my own person” cards right away, letting them know that I could not do what they wanted me to do for Christmas. I didn’t want to tell them that. I first wanted to find a way to compromise or some sort of something to offer them as compensation for not giving in to their demands. So I waited.

October zoomed by, and I found myself in the middle of November. Both my husband and my best friend continued to tell me it was time. But still I waited.

The phone rang. It was them. Wondering if I had an answer yet… whether I would fulfill or defy their demands. My hand trembled as I picked up the phone to answer. I felt like I could vomit in the kitchen sink behind me. I took a deep breath and said “hello”.

“So… Do you have an answer yet?”

“Um. Yeah. We won’t be able to.”

A pause. And then a fake “ok. that’s fine.” Another pause. And then the various levels of manipulation ensued. I stood firm on the decision through each stage. Then came the last… the tears. I was so tempted to give in, to find a mode of compromise. But I knew I could not. My husband was holding me to it.

I took a deep breath and addressed some of the surface issues of our relationship. They turned defensive and angry. I could feel the heat of frustration and anger begin to fire up in my chest. My kids were fighting in the other room, only adding to the tension. I simply stated that I couldn’t talk about it right now. Told them goodbye and hung up.

I cried a lot that day. I just wanted to do everything I could to make them happy. It was habit buried deep down inside my heart. This person, after all, had been the most important in my life for such a very long time.

That night, I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote them a letter. A long letter. A very detailed letter. I had no plans to share it with them, but after I shared it with my husband, he encouraged me to. So I did.

The wall was beginning to crumble. I felt worn and weak. How would I face them on Christmas Day? It would be far easier to pretend nothing happened and just avoid them all together, hoping time would make them forget. That they would get happy again and I wouldn’t be the current cause of their anger.

I had the support and prayers of my husband and a couple very good friends, but they could do nothing more than that. It was I who had to keep pushing on that wall… knocking it down into pieces around my feet.

The tension on Christmas Day was thick enough to suffocate. I tried so hard to gently, calmly make it through. But gentle pushes do not tear down a wall. Sometimes it takes a bit of dynamite.

Confrontation exploded in my face. I stood up for what was important to me, and found myself surprised that the important thing was no longer this person. I gathered up my family, and we left early.

The next days and weeks… I don’t even know how to wrap my word thinking brain around it. My heart was crushed and broken into pieces. This relationship… this person… they’d been a part of my life for so long, and it felt as if it were ripped from the very depths of my soul. But one by one, God picked up the pieces of my heart and made it whole again. Actually more whole than it had been. Because where this person once occupied my heart, my thinking, my decisions, my actions… there’s now only the me God meant for me to be.

Is there a wall you’re backed up against? Are you afraid to push? Do you just want someone to do it for you, but realize that no one else can? Are you afraid your fragile heart will be crushed in the process?

Let go of the hesitation… the procrastination… the attempts at just living around it. Push. Let it crumble.

It just might change your life.

 ________________________________________________________________

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: Forgiveness

forgivenessForgivenessMatthew West

(listen on Spotify or Youtube)

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don’t deserve It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…
 
Forgiveness
Forgiveness
 
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness 

 

Forgiveness is often misunderstood. It’s viewed as a sign of weakness… a sign that you don’t value yourself… that somehow forgiving the one who hurt you let’s them get away with it… that forgiveness is saying, “It’s ok. I shouldn’t have let it bother me.”

Sometimes we fear forgiveness. We think by forgiving, we will become more than just a victim. We think we will become enslaved to the offender and the wrongs he/she did to us. We think forgiveness gives them permission to continue hurting us.

But here’s the truth…. Forgiveness slices through the chains that hold us back from being all that we are meant to be. It frees us from the control of the offender and the control of the offense. It says, “I’m not going to let you or this situation dictate my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am more than what you did to me, and I choose to move on.”

 ________________________________________________________________

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: 7×70

7x70Chris August 7×70

(listen on Spotify or Youtube)

I’ve been living in this house here
Since the day that I was born
These walls have seen me happy
But most of all they’ve seen me torn
 
They’ve heard the screaming matches
That made a family fall apart
They’ve had a front row seat
To the breaking of my heart
 
7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
 
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around
 
I remember running down the hallway
Playing hide and seek
I didn’t know that I was searching
For someone to notice me
 
I felt alone and undiscovered
And old enough to understand
Just when I’m supposed to be learning to love
You let me doubt again
 
7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
 
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around
 
I lost count of the ways you let me down
But no matter how many times
You weren’t around
I’m all right now
 
God picked up my heart and helped me through
And shined a light on the one thing
Left to do
And that’s forgive you
 
I forgive you
 
7 times 70 times
If that’s the cost I’ll pay the price
 
7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
 
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in this house tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around 
 

This song brings so much emotion to the edge of my heart. And yet so much guilt for feeling these emotions. Who am I to say I had a painful childhood? Who am I to say that my childhood homes bring back memories that I’d rather forget?

There are so many people in the world who experienced far worse over and over again. So many children at this very moment being beaten by a drunk or furious parent. So many children at this very moment being touched in ways they never should. What makes my pain special? How could I hurt when there is far worse?

Yet, just because there is far worse, doesn’t make the wrongs right. Making light of it all is only denial. It’s choosing to remain in the bondage of the past.

Before I can even forgive and move on, I have to confront the memories. I have to see them one by one, acknowledge the hurt, the pain… the abuse. Only then can I forgive. Only then can I say, “I am more than this!”

What memories does your childhood home hold? Do they need acknowledging?

Find a quiet place alone. Take an old photo album or other item that holds memories. Drive out to the old place, if you can. And then let the memories come.

Grab them one by one. Let yourself cry. Let yourself feel the pain. Take your time.

Then reach up, grab the healing that our Redeemer offers, wrap it around, and forgive.

________________________________________________________________

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: I Am New

IamNewJason GrayI Am New

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

Now I won’t deny
The worst you could say about me
But I’m not defined
By mistakes that I’ve made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn’t see me the way that I do
He doesn’t see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was
I am being remade I am new
Dead to the old man, I’m coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now… 

 

I know I’ve posted a lot here about who we are as God’s created and who we are because of Christ’s blood poured out in our place. In general, it may seem as if this amounts to little in discovering who we are as individuals, because after all, isn’t every human being created in the image of God and isn’t every believer a child of the King?

Yes, but I think this is the very foundation of who we are as individuals. It’s what tells us that we are not ugly and worthless. It’s what tells us that we are more than our mistakes, more than what’s been done to us, and more than just what we do. It’s what tells us that we have worth and a purpose. That we are not the same person we were.

We are…

Forgiven – There is nothing evil enough that we have done to keep us from His grace. Nothing we can do in the future that is unforgivable.

Beloved – Loved with an everlasting love. Cherished. Treasured. Treated like royalty.

Hidden in Christ – God doesn’t see a miserable failing human. He sees the righteousness of Christ.

Made in the image of the Giver of Life – We are tiny glimpses of His glorious majesty. Actual replicas of His beauty.

Righteous and Holy – Covered in the redeeming blood of Christ with no condemnation.

Reborn and Remade – We’re not bound to labels and habits. We’re new, and we can rip the labels off.

Accepted and Worthy – We’re not on the outside looking in with longing. We belong, and we’re worthy of belonging.

This is our new name.

And in this name is where we find the value of our individuality.

 

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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.

Music Mondays: Gold

goldBritt Nicole – Gold

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

You were walking on the moon, now you’re feeling low
What they said wasn’t true, you’re beautiful
Sticks and stones break your bones, I know what you’re feelin
Words like those won’t steal your glow, you’re one in a million
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
Well everybody keeps score, afraid you’re gonna lose
Just ignore. They don’t know the real you
All the rain in the sky can’t put out your fire
Of all the stars out tonight, you shine brighter
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
So don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not loved
And don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not enough
Yeah there are days that we all feel like we’re messed up
But the truth is that we’re all diamonds in the rough
So don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
You’re a king you’re a queen inside and out
You glow like the moon, you shine like the stars
This is for you, wherever you are
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, It’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
So don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
You’re a king you’re a queen inside and out 

 I recently heard Britt Nicole on the radio telling the story behind the birth of this song. She tells how she woke up one morning feeling defeated, beating herself up, and just plain down. She pulled her Bible into her lap and prayed, “God, what do you think of me?”

She read in Psalm 8 how God created us a little lower than the angels and crowns us with glory, and in I Peter 2, we are called a royal priesthood. How exciting that we are royalty, that we are right up there with the angels!

As I listened to her story, I thought about all the negative voices that tell us just how worthless, ugly, and insignificant we are… past abusers, current abusers, bullies, culture, magazines, TV… sometimes, even our own voice lashes out against us.

But we are His. We are loved. He has made us royalty and crowns us with glory. What a tragedy to throw this gift on the ground in disdain. No matter what any of the voices tell us, we need to hold our heads high and wear our crowns with confidence.

 

*Britt Nicole’s website can be found here. However, it is download heavy and may crash your browser session.

________________________________________________________________

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 Mondays: Remind Me Who I Am

think1

Jason Gray – Remind Me Who I Am

(listen on Spotify or Youtube)

When I lose my way,
 And I forget my name,
 Remind me who I am.
 In the mirror all I see,
 Is who I don’t wanna be,
 Remind me who I am.
 In the loneliest places,
 When I can’t remember what grace is.
 
Tell me once again who I am to You,
 Who I am to You.
 Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
 That I belong to You.
 To You.
 
When my heart is like a stone,
 And I’m running far from home,
 Remind me who I am.
 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.
 
Tell me once again who I am to You,
 Who I am to You, whoa.
 Tell me lest I forget who I am to You.
 That I belong to You.
 To You.
 
 I’m the one you love,
 I’m the one you love,
 That will be enough,
 I’m the one you love.
  
Tell me once again who I am to You.
 Who I am to You.
 Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
 That I belong to You.
 To You.
 

I remember clearly the day it hit me. I had no clue who I was. I knew what I thought I was expected to do and expected to say and expected to think. But I had no clue who I was.

I thought I was supposed to be the perfect wife who crafted, decorated, baked, packed lunches, wore make-up daily, and kissed at the door.

I thought I was supposed to be the perfect mom who crafted, creatively preschooled, smiled all day, spent long hours playing with my kids, remembered to have them brush three times a day, made the girls’ hair cute everyday, made fun lunches and healthy dinners, and tucked them in each night with kisses.

I thought I was supposed to be the perfect friend who met for coffee or lunch, babysat at the drop of a hat, volunteered to meet every need, chatted online anytime it was needed, and answered every text right away.

I thought I was supposed to be the perfect, rounded woman who blogged at least three times a week, ran her own business, managed her weight meticulously, used coupons on a regular basis, and kept up with important correspondence.

But the thing is, I wasn’t any of those things. But if I wasn’t any of those, then who was I?

It was during this time that I heard this song on the radio, and it spoke peace to my soul as I prayed…

“God, I have no clue who I am. Please just remind me who I am to You. It will be enough to simply know You love me and You’ve called me to be Your own by Your incredible, unearned grace.”

That had to be enough for me. Without the knowledge that I was owned and loved by the incredible sovereign God, I think I would have shriveled up in confusion.

Are you lost? Wonder who you are? No clue how to think and act and speak outside of others’ expectations.

Fall before your God. He cares. He loves you with a love that’s deeper than your wildest imaginations. He pours His immeasurable grace on you everyday of your life.

He will guide you. He will remind you who are.

After all, if He takes such care to create us, mold us, and shape us in His image, would He not want us to see His work and find pleasure in it? He will show you who you are.

________________________________________________________________

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