“Son of Man, look to the sky/Lift your spirit, set it free/Some day you’ll walk tall with pride/Son of Man, a man in time you’ll be.” -Phil Collins, “Son of Man”
Tonight in the shower I had a sort of breakdown. When I’m in the shower, I listen to music and frequently sing along because it’s literally only me, the water, and the music. I’m naked, can’t use technology, can’t talk to other people, I’m alone, which means its thinking time. And tonight I thought long and hard and it led to something very unique and convicting. I feel like I felt God moving in me and speaking to me through the music and my heart and situations leading to this moment. I feel like God grabbed me by the arm and looked into my eyes and spoke to me. I was completely bare before God, and not just because I was naked.
What I want to share with you are my “revelations” and what has been going through my head because I’ve been building up to a moment like this for a while. This is one of the most critically important posts I’ve made and probably will probably ever make. For that reason, I ask you to share this post with others who may not have read it. I want these roots to spread far and dig deep. Please. To start it off, I want to share the three songs that really brought me down and humbled me.
I don’t really know how long its been going on, but I know I’ve been consciously and intentionally walking away from God, especially this past week, but really for much, much longer than that. This song is super powerful in my life. Not only is it beautiful, but it is convicting and it’s kind of the “my song” with Jesus. I first heard it in youth group, but its significance comes from my first mission trip to Mexico. On one night, I had a life changing experience with God, and this is the song that was being played, or one of them, during those moments. If I’m not mistaken, my close and incredibly dear friend was also on stage singing this song, which makes this song huge in my life. I feel something every time I hear it. It’s incredibly powerful to me, and because of my recent trend in walking away from Him, this song hit me like a truck tonight. I sat down in the shower and just listened to the song. The line that really got me was this: “Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of All.” I’ve been wading into the storm and it’s been howling around me and dragging me away from Him, but it finally clicked for me tonight. HE is LORD. He is in control. He’s the Lord of all there is, including me. Even in the middle of that storm, He’s there beside me. This snapped me to attention and readied me to listen to Him. I’ve been so lost in the storm that I thought I just wanted to stay in the storm, and He rescued me from that.
“Son of Man”
Not a Christian song exactly, but because of the previous song, I was on full alert. The quote from the beginning of the post is the first verse and chorus of the song, and I began to ponder the name of the song. “Son of Man” is what Jesus was called. I’m not sure if this is intentional, but suddenly I was looking at this amazing song through the eyes of Jesus. If you consider the lyrics a certain way, they’re all about growth; spiritual growth to be exact. In the movie, Tarzan is just a boy and this song transitions him to manhood. For me, this showed me spiritual maturing. The first verse is about what I’ll become as a man of God, but I have to get there first. It will be mine someday. The chorus is kind of a “how to get there” message. “Son of man look to the sky/ lift your [holy] spirit, set it free/Some day you’ll walk tall with pride/Son of man a man in time you’ll be.” Keep your eyes on God, and let the Holy Spirit radiate, don’t keep it hidden. Listen to the rest of the lyrics for yourselves and it makes a lot of sense. It became my comfort song and my motivation song. I don’t need to be a man of God right now. He’ll take me as a boy and guide me to be a man for him. Spiritually, I’m a boy right now without strength or wisdom, but with my eyes turned to God and His Holy Spirit guiding me, I will climb the mountain, reach the peak, and walk tall with pride. Not arrogant pride, but pride in God, a strong relationship with Him. Some day, I’ll be a man for all to see, and they’ll see God in me.
“I’m Gonna Getcha Good”
I really don’t think this song is much about God, but because of the prior two songs, I was looking for this song to be more from God, and it came through. Listen to this song as a kind of letter from God to you, and you’ll see what I mean. “Don’t want you for a weekend/Don’t want you for a night/I’m only interested if I can have you for life.” God doesn’t want servants who will only serve Him when it’s convenient for them, or that two day mission trip, or only on Sundays in church. He wants committed followers who will stick with Him for life. This song is like God’s love song to humanity if you listen to it in that context. “So don’t try to run, Honey/Love can be fun/There’s no need to be alone when you find that someone.” Don’t try to run from God, because He will find you. You don’t need to be alone because God is there for you. He will love you no matter what. I didn’t think this song was gonna have anything to say to me, but God used it. God is relentless. While I’ve been running, He caught me.
Alright, so now that my three songs are explained in the order they were played and you’ve hopefully listened to them, I’m going to just talk about what happened to me. I’m not ready to come clean about what my “storm” consists of entirely, but I want to describe what lead to this moment for a little context.
Like I said, it’s been in the making for a long time now, but I’m going to start with Friday night again. Go read my last post (“Joker”) quickly if you haven’t. I basically had a kind of innocent, more or less quarrel with somebody at my Friday night group. I’ve always questioned my contribution to a group of people and whether they truly like me. The one person brought it to the forefront of my mind that night, but it’s always kind of been there to think about before I go to bed when I have nothing else to think about.
In 16 days, I’m packing up and moving to Utah, which means I have two more meetings with those people, and that brought everything into clarity for me. Realizing, in the shower, I only have two weeks left with them made me think about losing them, and it made me sad. In fact, it almost reduced me to tears. Suddenly I wasn’t worried about my place in that group because if I really didn’t feel at home there, I wouldn’t be tearing up about leaving them. I came to realize that those people are my family, and I love all of them deeply, and I think deep down they truly care about me. Satan is crafty. He loves to make people feel isolated from those who love them, and he’s been working magic on me. I’ve bought his lies for the longest time, but I finally broke through them. Every person there is part of my family, and I love all of them like the brothers and sisters they are in Christ. They’re so precious to me.
Add on top of that one of my closest friends, who happens to be in that Friday night group. We’ve been spending a TON of time together recently (so much another friend of ours questioned whether we were dating). I love spending time with her, but I get a lot of contradictory and complex emotions being near her. We’ve been near inseparable this summer and I’ve been questioning it all summer. Sometimes we pretend we hate each other, which makes me think similarly to how I felt in my “Joker” post. I start to consider that maybe I’m harmful or toxic or my behavior is wrong, and maybe she really doesn’t like me. Other times I just don’t care and we have dance parties in the car, we go out to dinner, or a movie, or any number of things. We’ve done a lot of fun things this summer in every possible venue. We went to the carnival, we donate plasma, we go out and eat, we take care of children, we we watch Buffy, go to youth group and basically do a million different things together. It’s no wonder people think we’re dating. But then sometimes the thought pops into my head, “SHOULD we be dating?” She’s a dear friend of mine, but I don’t feel any romantic pulls toward her, and to my knowledge she feels the same. But then I also think about what would happen if we did start dating, and I feel, I don’t want to say reviled, but I just can’t really fathom the idea of starting a more intimate relationship. I’m happy as friends, but sometimes I feel a lack of sincerity from myself and from her, and I just get all confused.
But after tonight’s breakdown, that sincerity became clear to me. Just like with the Friday night thing, I didn’t doubt our friendship, and I felt like I was being told “no” to the deeper relationship. We do a bunch of “romantic” things non-romantically, and that creates a dissonance in my head, but that seems settled now. I really feel valued as a friend now, and what I thought were just activities are suddenly more meaningful to me, because they now feel like they were done in mutual friendship, and that’s awesome. It’s not even just her, because it applies to all the times I’ve hung out with my friends this summer. Where I was questioning my place in the friend circle, I finally feel like a occupy a position of value.
I really wanted to write this post before my “high” came down, and it’s coming down now. But I want to leave this experience and be changed. I’ve had a bunch of ideas spring into my head as a result of this, and I don’t want them to die because I’m not staying committed to this change of heart. I want this new me to stay. I want to keep my eyes on God instead of my own desires. I want to view my friends as treasures and retain that feeling of value. I want to do things to honor them, and honor God. I want this storm to dissipate. I know this isn’t a commitment to perfection, or always feeling secure, or never messing up again, but what I want this to be is a new road. After every “high” I’ve had, I keep going with it for a few days and then return to the storm because I’ve lost the fire entirely. I want this fire to stay glowing, and it’s going to require a lot of discipline. I have to commit, and I’m really bad at that, but I really want to. I’m just scared it’ll be the same thing as always, so I’m going to talk to people and build stronger roots this time. I want to come clean and start anew, and maybe finally start walking toward the man God wants me to be.