Friday, November 7, 2014

"I Will Not Forget" - Story Behind the Song

I had my facts a little wrong when I made the video for this song, but they weren't so terribly off to justify a redo (and honestly, I didn't want to redo the whole thing). The truth is, we hadn't yet opened our restaurant. We were just a couple of months away from opening actually. But those months before the opening were very busy and stressful. I guess it felt like we were open already! Anyway, sorry about that! =/

I looked back in the journal from when I wrote this and there was a combination of health issues and life itself (opening a restaurant, along with all the other stuff) that was weighing on me. The journal entry below contains my prayer to the Lord for that day and what He spoke to my heart:

1-8-07 "...You have made me glad in spite of how the natural things are. I'm going to rejoice in You today for all You are in my life and all You've done. Nothing compares to You, Lord. Your goodness is better than anything in my life being good. I will continue to praise You and thank You for the difficulties. You have upheld me with Your strength and taught me how to rely on You. As You continue teaching me more, help me to be grateful for Your hand in my life. Give me a grateful heart.

'...You can enjoy this time and not just bear it with clenched teeth. Continue rejoicing in Me and giving Me glory. Find the blessings that I have given you and be thankful for them. Don't concentrate on what is not right as you think. Exercise to see the blessings. There are more than you can imagine. A heart of thanks will be filled with joy. A heart filled with joy will find strength beyond the natural. Continue praising Me and resting in Me. There are green pastures here, but you have to look carefully for them. There is refreshment and enjoyment for you here...Be diligent to have a grateful heart full of praise and thanksgiving.'"

No matter how old the message is, it still applies to me today. Focusing on what is good, how good God is, all that He has done - this is as much of an exercise today as it was then. Regardless of what I'm facing and how hard it may be, I must not forget the Lord's abundant mercies toward me. With that in view, I have joy and strength to keep going.

One of my favorite lines in this song is in the bridge: "When You allow the battles to show me I am safe."

Here's the vid!

Have a blessed day, remembering all the tender mercies and faithfulness of the Lord today! =)

All glory to Jesus,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Songwriting is Painful

Real, raw honesty coming your way in 3-2-1. If you're not ready for it, now is the time to stop reading and leave...right's coming.

Is it safe now? Okay, here we go.

I want to talk about the painful side of songwriting today. The songwriting that makes me cringe and I draw away from the idea of it a little. The reaction inside of me is something like, "No...not a song about that...please!?" And yet, I'm somehow compelled to write about it regardless of my feelings.

Songwriting can be really, really painful. It can be one of the most gut-wrenching experiences. Sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. There are some songwriting seasons that are more painful than others when the painful songs seem to come one right after the other. Other times, there are seasons of songwriting bliss. We're not talking about the songwriting bliss today...sorry. ;)

Songwriting is a collision of truth, thoughts, emotions, and music. It makes me face myself, face situations, face God, face people, face fears, and face memories in a way that completely disarms me. I don't know if that is because of the music or the fact that I can freely write everything on my heart in a way that feels safe.

God uses songwriting in my life as a way to mold my heart and purify me. He uses it to help me sort things out and get my mind thinking straight again, to believe what's true when I'm in the middle of doubt, to make me stronger in my faith in the face of adversity. I honestly don't know what I'd do without songwriting. I would feel really lost without it.

Last week, I was in the process of writing a song that was very difficult to write. It was one of those terribly painful songs. It made me put into words a memory that I had practically blocked from my mind. God used something last week which caused me to remember it and when I did, it was like a dam breaking. I broke down in sobs and there was a flood of tears.

And I knew there was a song there. No matter how much it hurt to write it, as a songwriter, I knew I had to write this song. Once I know a song must be written, there's no turning back. It's gotta come out!!

And when I started writing the song, I found something sweet that I hadn't expected to find in the middle of the nightmare. God wanted me to discover that sweet part. And I found some healing too that meant so much. As much as the song itself puts a lump in my throat and brings me to the verge of tears, it was worth writing and it was a blessing to my heart.

And isn't that just like God to do that? God always knows what He's doing. =)

Grateful for God's ways which are so different than my own,