For me, every season of life has had a song. It swirls through day and night, its lyric and rhythm singing to the cry of my heart.
When I was a little girl my grandparents took me to church most every Sunday. My grandpa was full with personality and liked to visit all sorts of places. As a result, I was able to see the unique ways that folks expressed their faith though worship. The sights and sounds of those gospel-filled meetings will forever be etched into my memory. They have become a part of who I am. Hands clapping together, hips swaying, tears streaming down faces. The harmonies rich and sung with joyful heart. “ Step into the water, get on out a little deeper… What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bare… One day at a time, sweet Jesus…”, I remember never wanting the services to end. They were real and full of expression, a mixture of joy and pain. From a very young age, my heart stirred with desire to know this Savior they sang of.
Songs are a gift, an expression of the people who write and sing them. Certainly we could all name many songs that evoke some sort of emotion in us, be it happiness, sadness, love, even fear. This past year was very difficult for us all. No doubt there were songs that we all clung to, as we coped with uncertainty. I know there were a handful that carried me through some very difficult days. When I look back at it now, I can see how they were the source of encouragement that my heart needed to carry on. Perhaps you feel the same.
I started the year out singing The Blessing by Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe, the lyrics rang through me like a life song, an anthem for my family, telling the story of my heart to the generations coming up behind me. I sang Goodness of God by Bethel Worship for days as I planned and executed our daughters wedding, proclaiming His faithfulness and provision. Way Maker kept reminding me to put one foot in front of the other, singing “ Even when I don’t see it you’re working, even when I don’t feel it you’re working, You never stop…”. My cousins and I sang Amazing Grace over family and friends as they came to honor the life of my sweet grandma. How sweet the sound. Our congregation sang Graves into Gardens reminding us that the same God who turns bones into armies and seas into highways will see us through the tumultuous times we’re living in. I ended 2020 with a playlist I’d created of a mix of melodies old and new, raw and meaningful. Seemed appropriate for the year we’d just experienced.
Songs often tell the stories of our lives, reflecting how we feel on a deep level. I’m always amazed at how someone else’s words can be so true for my own life experiences. It is a spiritual exchange, it is worship. We are created for worship, in all of life.
You can sing all you want to and still get it wrong; worship is more than a song.Jimmy Needham, Clear The Stage
I’m curious, what are the songs that got you through 2020? And why? Did they bring you joy, offer comfort, give you the strength you needed to carry on?
I’d love to hear from you. My hope this year is to create a community that can unearth beautiful things together through everyday experiences. Consider yourself invited. We need each other!