I’m forever amazed at the power of music in our lives. One chorus from an old song, and I’m right back in my childhood home on Fitzpatrick Way, singing along in the shower thanks to our super-cool water-proof shower radio (remember those?).
I hear another song, and I’m immediately transported to my college dorm room, dancing around with my roommate and being silly. Another, and I’m back in my law school’s law review office, laughing with my best friend (and putting off all the reading, writing, and editing yet to be done). Songs can become a part of your life, woven in to all of the emotions, circumstances, and events from a period of time.
Recently, I was reminded of this concept, when a particular soundtrack brought me back to a really icky, awful time in my life and marriage–the infamous summer of 2009. After a great day of being out and about as a family, Aaron flipped his iPod to a movie soundtrack–a great one, indeed–yet immediately, I was flooded with all kinds of awful emotions. Like a big wet blanket, covering me from head to toe. It took me a minute to realize why I suddenly felt so terrible. It was stunning to me, really, how just a few songs took me back to that time in our marriage, even though several years have passed since walking that valley.
Poor guy, he had no idea, and of course felt awful! He immediately changed the playlist to Keane’s “Strangeland,” an album we listened to all the way across the country when we moved to California in 2012. The whole experience led to a great conversation about just how far we’ve come, how incredibly good God has been to us, and how thankful we are to have weathered that storm and come out on the other side.
All of this leads me to an explanation of this site’s title. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an overarching “theme song” for my life. Enter Hillsong United’s incredible tune, “Oceans.”
Never has a song so perfectly captured the cry of my heart, and my stage in life. We are in a season of wonderful blessings, but those blessings are also tinged with bittersweet undertones. We waited and longed to have children, and now God has given us a son and a daughter . . . yet we’re 2,500 miles from our beloved family and friends. He has blessed us with our dream home and a fantastic community . . . I just never imagined my home and community would be in California of all places!
It’s a challenge for me not to dwell on how different things would be if we still lived in Atlanta. When I’m feeling lonely, it’s very easy to let my mind think of the endless brunches with girlfriends, Sunday lunches with families, shopping trips with mom, etc. etc. etc. Life would look much different than it does from our quiet life here in California. Sometimes, God’s timing makes me sit back and scratch my head a little.
But I’m far enough along in my walk with Him to know that He is about so much more than our earthly comfort and immediate happiness. He has purposes far greater than anything we could dream . . . and I want to see those purposes fulfilled, even if it means life doesn’t look exactly like I thought or planned. As the lyrics state,
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.
For now, we have been called to live here, not Atlanta. To be parents to two precious children. To pull together as husband and wife, father and mother to our blessings, without regular help from our families. We have already seen our faith grow in ways it never would have, were we still living in the comfort of the South. It’s been amazing to see what God has done thus far–and I look forward to watching all He will do in the future, as we trust in Him and embrace everything about where we are right now.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I hope you will be as encouraged as I have by the beautiful truth of this song!