It’s been about two months since my 2nd full-length record, Red Sea Road, was released into the world. I can hardly believe it. Releasing a record is “kind of” like having a baby. There are differences for SURE, as in I am sleeping better these days because I don’t have a tiny human to feed. #thankful. But the way that I write and record my music is very personal. I’m working through my faith and my doubts in song. I’m writing God’s promises into melodies that I need to sing to my own weary heart, and I labor over each line and each chord, and I try to grow something good , and at the end of the day, you end up sending the finished product to friends and strangers and the world, and it is TERRIFYING. You pray and you hope that God will use these songs, these pieces of your soul that are now floating out there on the internet and in stores across the country, that He will use them for good.
You know the songs won’t resonate with everyone, but you hope they will ring true with many. You wonder if you’ll sell more or less albums than last time, and the competitive part of my heart wondered if we would beat the #7 overall ranking on iTunes that we were BLOWN away by when my first record released and soared up the charts much to our shock and surprise. There were plenty of fears and joys racing around my heart the days leading up Red Sea Road’s birthday, and the Lord was kind and good and faithful, as He always is to calm my anxious heart and to remind me of what matters.
My worth is not measured by the number of albums we sell.
My identity is not wrapped up in how successful this record is.
My value to God is not tied to the value these songs may or may not have for others.
My value, identity, and worth are solely wrapped up in His love for me, and THAT is all that matters.
Did my heart cringe at an onslaught of the enemy’s lies on Red Sea Road’s release day? Yes. Did I fight back with God’s promises? YES. And I began to realize that this is the whole point of the very songs I write: to sing the truth from God’s promises into the darkness and to remind my soul of who He is and how He has been ever faithful. So on the very day that Red Sea Road released, there I was…again, kicking back at the lies with the truth.
I think the enemy HATES it when God’s word goes out. Satan hates it when we catch on to his schemes to steal our joy and peace. He loves crippling us with fear, and if Satan can get us to measure our worth by our performance, he will always win. Instead of being a slave to fear the day of my record release, I began to lift my eyes to perfect Love, who casts out every fear. I began to celebrate the work God had done in me over the past two years, and the work He would do through these songs that He gave me. I took my eyes off the two very random 1-star reviews that stung my eyes with tears, and lifted my eyes to the God who doesn’t measure our worth by stars, but who covers us with His love and mercy and grace.
As I fought, the fears receded, and they were replaced with faith that God is who He says He is and that He has called me to do this singing and songwriting thing, and that it is up to HIM to use the songs He’s given me for good. And my fearful heart was transformed by gratitude that we get to be any part of the good stories He is writing.
He has been reminding me that even though He has given me two precious children to raise and all of these songs to sing, at the end of the day, my kids and these songs belong to Him. They rest in His hands, and so do I. And so do you. I hope you’ll rest in His hands today and I hope you won’t let fear keep you from the things He’s asking you to do and to give. Saying a surrendered “Yes” to where He leads, even when I’m terrified to follow Him, has cultivated some of the deepest joy I’ve known.
Speaking of JOY, it has been a true joy to hear from so many of you. Thank you for sending in kind words and precious stories of how God is using these songs in your lives…of how you are hearing timely truth, and encouragement that seems it was written just for you. I’m honored and humbled, and I’m reminded that He does very good work with our surrendered “yes’s”. I cry a lot these days, marveling that somehow Jesus is using a broken vessel like me to speak life into a broken vessel like you. What a joy that through our cracks and our weaknesses, He pours out His love and His power the most. I’m thankful for the lessons that this record is teaching me, and I’m thankful to get to sing the truth alongside those who listen to these songs. Let’s keep giving God a surrendered “yes” and let’s keep singing the truth into the darkness together!