Just a few short weeks ago our VWorship community celebrated the release of our new album “Unveiled”. If you haven’t streamed or downloaded it yet, do it as soon as you’re done reading my blog ;). It’s not only an album, it’s a worship experience and I trust you will enjoy it!
A few of our team members put together a really special album release party, and like any good party, there were a few questions by the host. One of them took me by surprise in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
The question was simple – “when did you begin songwriting?”. The answer was quick, but I didn’t expect to feel the broad range of emotions that flooded over me in an instant. Nothing like a quick trip down memory lane to dig up some pain.
Let me give you the highlight reel…
2011/2012 was my answer to the question and it was truly an unforgettable time in our VWorship history. We had individually and corporately experienced many prophetic words that God would release songs through us and it took way too long for us to actually cooperate with them and get started. Anybody know that feeling???
As a group, we determined to be intentional and accountable in cultivating the gift of songwriting and God generously began to unleash lyrics and melodies over us. It was so much fun! Writing and creating music became more of a normal way of life, and we were trying out new songs on a regular basis.
Personally, I wrote all the time. I would wake up singing new lyrics, I spent hours on my deck with my guitar or singing in the car. I was writing out of the joy of relationship with the Father and it was an ongoing conversation. A conversation that went oddly silent following the release of our 1st album “Bring Your Kingdom” in 2014.
Let me put it in a raw little nutshell.
Due to our lack of experience, completing the album was challenging.
There were layers of tensions both throughout the process and afterwards that were painful and difficult to process.
Our core team was in a good place relationally, but we were spent.
What seemed like a gift had suddenly cost too much. Without realizing the magnitude of what I was doing, I put the gift of songwriting on the shelf.
It’s hard to be real and share this because of my own personal insecurities – but I know this is illustrative of more than myself and songwriting. It’s about the cost of faithfulness, leadership, influence and success in anything. It has a price.
The hardest challenge for me was pushing through the pain to create again. It was easier to set it aside than to do something that felt so difficult. Kind of like dieting. It’s good on Monday, maybe Tuesday but by Wednesday avoiding sugar feels like such a stupid idea.
I didn’t take enough time to process through my emotions with God and found myself almost 4 years later embarrassed by my lack of creativity. I blew it. I blew the momentum, the rhythms of writing and the joy of creating with others.
I’ve been buried in Hebrews 12 of the Passion Translation lately; check out these verses…
“We must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.
We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
Jesus modeled what it looked like for us to endure the challenges that WILL BE a part of anything we do by faith throughout our lives. It’s an intentional choice to; look away from the natural and how things are feeling, fasten my gaze on Jesus and seek His truth, allow Him to grace me with fresh faith. That’s power!
I love this quote by Stephen Furtick “what if the thing that produces your pain, is the very thing that God will use to release His power?”. How often are the things in life that are the hardest also the things that can reveal God’s power at work in our lives as we partner with Him to work through the pain and overcome.
I’m super grateful that today, my audio file is full of fresh lyrics and my journals are covered with earmarked pages of song ideas. I’m passionately pursuing what God has entrusted to me because creating with Him is part of who I am. I’m songwriting again!
As you consider the gifts God has given to you, are there any that maybe you, like me, have put on the shelf because of what it’s cost you?. Maybe you’ve tried and failed or you’ve trusted and been discouraged? Ask the Father to identify your fears and give you a 1st step towards re-engaging again.
2020 is a new decade and a continual declaration of clear vision – cheers to each of us and fresh faith to pursue our destiny with passion and determination. ❤️