Back in November, I released my second full-length album, "Overflow." This project consists of 9 songs written over the course of 2016 and 2017, and it was the very first time I wrote lyrics to my songs and released it into the world. While it was a significant milestone in my musical career to release my own lyrics, at the time I didn't think it was any more than just a bunch of words thrown together. But somehow, God had plans to use it and turn it into much more than that.
It wasn't until this summer that I started noticing a trend as I listened to the songs in Overflow. As I began preparing to move for the very first time to an unfamiliar city, I immediately saw a shockingly strong connection between the lyrics I wrote and what I was feeling in anticipation of RSW. I wrote these songs way before I had any idea what 2018 would look like, let alone what I might be doing or feeling.
Because I am a list person, let me outline for you exactly what I mean:
- The song September was written in September 2016, when I simultaneously started at a new job and joined a new band. The only lyrics are: "I thought I knew my plans, but I was wrong. I thought this was my home, but now I'm gone."
Fast forward to now... I was sure of my plans to go into marketing, but I was wrong - God is definitely leading me straight to a School of Worship. And I thought Metro Detroit would be my home for a while, but I'll be gone in less than a month.
"I thought I knew my plans, but I was wrong. I thought this was my home, but now I'm gone."
Plus, I'm moving and starting school in September. Perfect, right?
- Past The Wall is a song that I wrote right after deciding to let go of some toxic friendships, stop caring what they thought of me, and really embrace who I'm meant to be. The whole theme of the song is basically that life is safer inside your expectations and comfort zone, but when you leave those boundaries, you find life and color and joy all around you.
As I prepare for RSW, I find so much encouragement in those lyrics. Sure, leaving the safety of my home and friends is scary as heck, but things are going to be so much more exciting when I'm free from the walls of my comfort zone.
"To be real, back inside the walls it's safer, but it's clear you never meant for me to hide behind my fear. So I left it all behind, and I can see you're here with me."
- Restarting Point is an instrumental song I composed in the beginning of 2016 right after releasing my first album. RSW marks a completely new chapter in my life and I can't help but mark it as a fresh restarting point in my life.
- Moment By Moment... Alright, listen guys. Moving has been stressing me the frick out, and it has been just a long to-do list of things that give me anxiety when I think about them (like figuring out financial stuff and getting new tires on my car, for example). But God has been teaching me to take each day & each moment as it comes, without worrying about the next. Before I know it, my long list of stress gets much shorter as I take things one at a time, moment-by-moment. There's a lot more room to trust God with the future when your main focus is on the present moment.
- Shift actually made me cry the night I found out about RSW in the first place. After finding out about RSW in April and feeling a strong push to apply, I felt a lot of fear and doubt - I kept asking, "is this really God speaking to me? I can't do something like this. This can't possibly be right."
I spent some time with God that evening, and as I was shuffling a worship playlist on my phone, Shift came on. The entire song's lyrics suddenly felt like God speaking directly to me. Here's a few of them:
"Ready for change, for something more. You lead the way, I step through the door."
"I'm casting off my doubt and fear; as I step out, I feel you near."
"I'm facing fears. I'm crossing seas. You dry my tears. I'm breaking free."
It was mind-blowing. Still is mind-blowing.
- New Light became the cry of my heart right after I found out I got accepted into RSW. I mean, seriously, who am I that God would call me to all of this and take such good care of me every step of the way? I don't deserve any of it.
"Oh, who am I that you'd give me this life? All my days I will sing for your glory."
- Oh man, Overflow always has meant a ton to me. It's the album's title track for a reason. The melody, feel, and even the key it's in all resonate so strongly with my soul. I always meant for it to represent an outpouring of God's love, similar to a person standing under a waterfall - and as I navigate the preparation for RSW, it's reaching a whole new level of that love. Every step of this moving process keeps falling into place as I take steps forward in obedience, and I can't explain any of it except that it's Jesus providing and caring for me. I'm experiencing an actual overflow of His love over my life to a degree that doesn't even make sense. Listening to Overflow only makes me become overwhelmed with gratitude and awe.
I know this blog post was a lot to take in, but I really wanted to share it with you. One of my favorite parts of being a creative person is that the things I create ultimately come from God, not me - so sometimes, he just completely takes over my music and turns it into something that I'll need to hear later. It's bizarre and wonderful, and it's just another reminder that I'm literally nothing without God.
If you haven't heard any of these songs yet, they're on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, and basically everywhere else. Or you can click the button below to listen :)