Thursday, September 1, 2016


I have a new favorite song on my playlist. It's called "Unsteady" by X Ambassadors. Here are the words to the simple chorus and first verse:

Hold , hold on, hold on to me

Cause I'm a little unsteady, a little unsteady

Hold, hold on, hold onto me

Cause I'm a little unsteady, a little unsteady

Mama, come here,

Approach, appear

Daddy, I'm alone

Cause this house don' feel like home

If you love me, don't let go.

At first, I liked it just because of the way it sounded.  I am often drawn to music and sound before words.  It's why I find myself singing songs like Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass" and then later think, " this really a message I can get behind (no pun intended)...probably not."

But, this week, as I listened to the words of "Unsteady"  a bit more,  I understood why it touched a deep place in me. Because, I am a little unsteady.  I am.

As a person who feels ALL the of the deep feels, most ALL of the time, my heart can get so weary. In a  lot of ways, I know that this kind of soft heart can be a gift, but it can often also feel like a liability to me. It is exhausting.  In several conversations over the last few weeks I have found myself saying to people, "What does it mean to have joy in this life?  Is it a light-hearted kind of happiness?  Cause I don't have that." I have found myself increasingly burdened by hard things, both personal and in the world all around us.  There is a lot to grieve.

Let me be clear.  I have confidence in what the Lord is doing.  I am convinced of his goodness. I trust that he is at work and that he has not abandoned us. These are not questions I am asking.  But I also know this. Our God has promised us suffering. He has guaranteed us trials and sorrow in this life. So, what is my response to be? What is my heart's posture in the midst of hardship? I can't imagine that it is a kind of pasted on smile or some effort to count our blessings and forget about the hard things.

And then, on Monday, I read 2 Corinthians 6. Paul says, "Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters,; known and yet unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you."

Paul might have been a little unsteady, too. Not because he doubted God, but because He could see the big, wide picture of goodness and hardship side by side. It's both encouraging and disconcerting at the same time. And instead of trying to only see one or the other, he acknowledged that this life is both. It's hard, and it's good.

As I continue to mull over these verses, I can sense a shift beginning to happen in my heart.  I see a picture that I want to live myself. It's the image of a heart open and walking forward...into wounding, into pain, into sorrow; into gladness and hope and truth, patience and understanding; into sleepless nights and hard work. Not protected from the hard things, but willing to embrace them because, ultimately, I am walking towards Jesus. Eyes on the prize, I will not always feel a lighthearted kind of happiness in this life, but there will be moments. Hopefully plenty of them, where, armed with a new perspective, I can just enjoy the moment. I can laugh easily and know that my burden is light because Jesus carries the bulk of it. I know this is a shift that needs to happen for me, lest I be swallowed up by all there is in this life to grieve. And I know it is a shift that gives me a greater understanding of and dependence on God.  A greater need for community so that I don't feel alone. And the understanding that lyrics like "this house don't feel like home", are exactly right. It's not my home.

I am unsteady.  But God is not. That is a beginning.

P.S.  I'm trying to sing this song more often these days. A reminder of Jesus, my Firm Foundation. Check it out.

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