Our small group began this I am Second study last night. I'm not even sure if study is the right word, as there is no book, study guide or specific homework. The website calls it a movement, so perhaps our meetings could better be described as discussions.
Last night's topic was sharing Jesus. As our group discussed the fears and insecurities involved in being bold with our friends, neighbors, families, colleagues and acquaintances, I could really relate.
I am sure that when my Mass Communications professor came up with the bright idea to pose the following discussion question to the class, he had no idea just how intensely personal it would be for me.
"What four or five songs would make up the soundtrack of your life? Why?"
I am a deep thinker. I love words, I love meaning, I love vulnerability. I love knowing and being known. However, sharing the songs that make up my soundtrack is very personal and made me a little nervous. I could have been completely casual and made up answers that wouldn't have left me feeling as if I were standing naked in Times Square, but I saw this as an opportunity for me to openly share the real truth of my life; and more importantly the truth about what God offers.
I worried a little that I would come off as some weird Jesus nerd, but then I remembered a blog post I'd read many years ago... A young woman had written about how she wanted to love Jesus so much that she would be perceived as a freak. Not in a bad sense of the word, but just freaky crazy in love with her Savior. I want that too. As outcast as it might make me feel by humanity, I want people to know that I am crazy in love with Jesus and why. I don't want anyone who comes into contact with me to miss the message that Jesus loves each and every one of us and is faithful and eager to work in our lives.
I chose naked in Times Square. And I choose it again here. Now. Here is the soundtrack of my life.
It begins with JJ Heller’s “What Love Really Means”. As a girl raised in an abusive home, I spent the first 27 years asking who would love me for me. This song so beautifully articulates the desperate loneliness I felt, and later the unrelenting love found in my husband, kids and the Lord.
“What Did I do (to Deserve You)” by Aaron Neville (so sad - no Aaron Neville video available) would be the second song on my life’s soundtrack. My husband loves Aaron Neville and has an incredible voice. He sang a lot of Aaron Neville to me when we were dating, and I sang a lot of it to each of our boys when they were babies (who were immobile and couldn’t run from my singing voice!). The song asks the question “What did I do to deserve you?” and goes on to say that “only God’s hand could have made you and brought this dream to life.” Frankly, I never dared dream that I would be loved by such an honorable man, that I would be capable of receiving and giving love in return, and that I would have the incredibly full life that I now have. Without question, I believe that only God could have made all of this work.
“How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin describes the next phase of my life. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and purposeful. This song really hit home with me when I was 31. I’d been happily married for 3 ½ years, was experiencing a miraculous healing of my heart, had an incredible two year old son, and had just discovered that I was pregnant with our second child (after an emotional year of medical issues delaying pregnancy). God, the Creator of the Universe, had done all of that in my life and continues to pour blessings out on me and work miracles in my favor. I will always been in awe of his greatness.
“God of this City” by Chris Tomlin describes the current phase in my life. As I was kicking off my first sexual abuse recovery group three years ago, this song became a staple in our church. The lyrics have encouraged me every step of the way as I seek to end child sexual abuse and assist men and women as they recover from sexual abuse. The song refers to God as “the light in this darkness, the hope to the hopeless and the peace to the restless”. That is exactly what God has been to me. As the song goes on to say that “greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city”, I apply that not only to the city I live in, but my life as a whole, and ultimately to my eternal destiny. Greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done, and I intend to live every day of my life with that in mind – doing what I can to be a part of the greater things.