Tag Archives: Britt Nicole

Incase anyone needs a pick-me-up today…

1 Aug

“Faith is all it takes.”

Jen

A victor, not a victim

10 May

Today I was talking with a dear friend about how, no matter what we’re going through, we are not to view ourselves as victims. She said to me something along the lines of, “We are not victims. We are victors because of Christ. It is about him, not about our suffering.”

Yes!

And, after our conversation, I began to wonder and almost worry: Have I conveyed that completely in each blog I post about difficult times and the things I’m going through?

Just incase…let me be clear:

I am not a victim. I am a VICTOR. And only through Christ and what he did for me on the Cross.

Life’s gonna knock me down.
It’s not gonna keep me down.
I’m gonna trust You now, in every season.
I know You’re here.
I know You’re for me.
I know that joy comes in the morning.
God, I believe it now.
God, I believe You now.

{Britt Nicole – Who You Say You Are}

Jen

Rolling in the deep or lifting HIM on high?

26 Apr

Music (n): A mixture of voices and instruments that worships something and has the ability to make or break you.

Don’t be mistaken. That’s not Webster’s dictionary definition of the word “music.” It’s actually my own personal definition. It’s nothing fancy, but it summarizes the point I want to make today. It’s been a learning experience for me, actually.

Right vs. Wrong?

In my 21 years of life on this planet, I will be honest and tell you that I’ve met Christians who stand on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to secular music. Some believe that all of it should be avoided, some say that secular music is okay as long as it’s clean, and some truly think any secular music is okay, regardless of content.

So, what is okay and what isn’t? Where can the line be drawn? Is it wrong for me to listen to Michael Buble? (If it IS wrong, I’m not so sure I want to be right…LOL.)

But seriously, these are questions I’ve often asked myself. It can be hard to determine where to draw the line in our present culture.

Truthfully, I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t listen to, but…

Here is what I’ve found, and it has helped me in my decision making: “Garbage in, garbage out” couldn’t be any truer. If music makes you angry or depressed, if it causes you to sin, if it encourages you to disrespect your family, if it pushes you to hang with the wrong crowd….well, I’d suggest you throw it out.

But what if the music you listen to isn’t actually “bad”? What if it’s just sad?

My Adele Experience

Let’s face it: We’ve all heard of Adele. Virtually all of us can recognize her songs by her incredible voice and the sad, bitter lyrics. I’ve never actually intentionally listened to Adele, but I can recognize her music because of its popularity and presence on American Idol. In fact, over the past six months, I have felt as though I hear her music everywhere. It pretty much follows me. And it really hadn’t bothered me too much, until I listened to it closely.

The other day I was washing dishes and listening to a station on Pandora Radio, and one of Adele’s songs came on. Although my natural inclination would have been to skip the song (sorry, Adele fans), my hands were all messy and soapy, so I had to let “Rolling in the Deep” play.

For the first time, I actually listened to every word of the song (I was kind of forced to). Can I be totally honest? This song tried to steal my joy.

I’ve found that whether we can relate to the lyrics of a sad song or not, I truly believe music can affect us. And even if we can relate to it–in this case, even if we’ve had our hearts broken–do we honestly think listening to Adele will help us? Sure, whoever broke Adele’s heart made her a millionaire, but listening to her music isn’t going to make you and me rich or famous, let alone happy.

Can I just say: No thank you!

As some of you know, 2012 has been a challenging year for me. But at the very same time, it has been an incredible season of growth and opportunities. I am thankful for it!

Why is that?

I’ve learned from the book of James (1:2-4, in particular) that trials are allowed in our lives by God so that he can perfect and strengthen our faith. He uses them to make us more like Christ, if we are willing to surrender. Without the struggles and suffering this winter/spring have brought me, I would be nowhere near where I am in my walk with Christ. My journey is just beginning, and God has already been faithful to me through it.

Truth be told, I don’t know where I would be without Jesus right now. If I had turned to Adele-esque music earlier this year, I could very well be caught up in self-pity and consumed with my less-than-desirable circumstances. I could have chosen to become unforgiving of my enemies and allowed them to become lord over me. Instead, I ran with all my might toward the Cross and the grace, forgiveness and peace that result from Christ’s crucifixion. I proactively chose to fill my heart and ears with the music of Kari Jobe and Britt Nicole–that is, positive and encouraging music that thanks God for trials and for his faithfulness and goodness through them.

If you’re struggling today (actually, even if you’re not!), I encourage you to take a close look at the music you are listening to. Honestly, all music worships something or someone. Ask yourself what your music is worshipping (drugs, sex, alcohol, materialism, money, relationships…or God?) and how it’s affecting you. Ask God to show you ways you can honor and glorify him, even with your iTunes Library.

Whether you realize it or not, the music you listen to will affect you. I disagree that you can just “enjoy the beat” and ignore the words. What are you feeding your heart, mind and spirit? Does it sincerely please God? And does it help you grow as a follower of Christ, or does it hold you back?

Just some things to think about…

Jen

The sun is rising: Inspiration from Britt

18 Apr

From time to time, if you read my blog, you’ll notice that I’ll occasionally share song lyrics or links to songs on YouTube. This is because music has been a major part of my journey these past few months, and God has used some incredible artists with inspiring stories to speak into my life, even though I don’t know these singers.

In a recent tweet, Britt Nicole (my current fave!) mentioned that her most recent album, Gold, was a project she just poured her heart into. And you can tell by every lyric.

Simply stated, I am just loving Gold. It’s fun, but it also has a great message. Today, I simply wanted to share some song lyrics from one of my favorite songs on the album. I hope this reaches somebody today. Remember, God might have a different plan for you than what you thought. You’re gonna make it.

When life has cut too deep and left you hurting
The future you had hoped for is now burning
And the dreams you held so tight lost their meaning
And you don’t if you’ll ever find the healing

You’re gonna make it
You’re gonna make it
And the night can only last for so long

Whatever you’re facing
If your heart is breaking
There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

The sun is rising

Every high and every low you’re gonna go through
You don’t have to be afraid I am with you
In the moments you’re so weak you feel like stopping
Let the hope you have light the road you’re walking

You’re gonna make it
You’re gonna make it
The night can only last for so long

Whatever you’re facing
If your heart is breaking
There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

Even when you can’t imagine how
How you’re ever gonna find your way out
Even when you’re drowning in your doubt
Just look beyond the clouds

Just look beyond the clouds

Whatever you’re facing
If your heart is breaking
There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

The sun is rising

Even when you can’t imagine how
How you’re ever gonna find your way out
Even when you’re drowning in your doubt
Just look beyond the clouds

Jen

Britt Nicole and David knew what they were talking about

31 Mar

Nearly a year ago, I found myself home alone and listening to some really fun Britt Nicole songs while I cleaned out the disaster that had been glaring at me from underneath my bed for years. After the high-energy songs had all played and I was almost done cleaning, a beautiful song of Britt’s called “Have Your Way” came on.

I wasn’t expecting it, and it would be an understatement to say that it caught me off guard. Here are some of the lyrics:

Feels like I’ve been here forever,
Why can’t you just intervene?
Do you see the tears keep falling?
And I’m falling apart at the seams.
But you never said the road would be easy,
But you said that you would never leave.
And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,
But you promised you’d take care of me.

So I’ll stop searching for the answers,
I’ll stop praying for an escape,
And I’ll trust you, God, with where I am,
And believe that you will have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

You see, at that point in my life, I had been struggling. Struggling because things were, once again, not going the way I had planned. I envisioned myself taking a glorious road toward all my dreams and desires coming true, but instead I found myself fighting to stay happy with my less-than-desirable circumstances. I wanted to force my dreams into reality, and I wasn’t letting God be God. I was trying to be my own God.

So when I heard this song, it utterly broke me. I burst into tears because I was hurting and could related to David in Psalm 13:1-4 when he cries out to the Lord in his brokenness, just like Britt does at the beginning of her song:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But on that day it was like I was relating to only the part of the song that involved self-centered pity (“why can’t you just intervene?”). I was asking God, “WHY haven’t you made my dream come true? Where is my happily ever after? Why isn’t this working the way I want it to? How long will I continue to be this miserable?”

At that point in my life, I wasn’t ready to surrender the pen of my life’s story to God. I knew exactly what I wanted for my future, and I was going to do whatever it took to get there. Until then, my prayers would remain Jen-centered: “God, help this to work out. I need this.”

Needless to say, every time that song came on shuffle, I quickly skipped to next song. I couldn’t handle it.

What I’ve realized since then

At that time in my life, I didn’t know how to surrender my life to God, and it was purely out of fear. I was scared of losing the thing I held nearest to my heart–something so precious to me that I simply couldn’t give it up. It was an area of my life I knew I felt the Lord beckoning me to trust him with, but I refused.

Nine months later, I watched as that precious thing was taken from me. The thing I had been clinging to. And let me tell you with all of my heart, I have since learned so much, but mostly that HIS WAYS ARE BETTER THAN MY WAYS (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Words cannot even describe how it felt to have this happen to me. At first, I felt entirely hopeless and heartbroken. But, praise be to God, there is restoration in Jesus Christ and there is healing power in his Word. I have never felt so close to God in my entire life. I had to allow him to break me to get my attention, and the end result is a beautiful picture of complete joy in Christ. No more brokenness. No more fear.

It turns out that the thing I was most scared of happening is the very thing God is using to make me dependent on him and more like his Son. And I’ve never been more thankful for the fact that God is faithful, and he proved that to me by rescuing me from my brokenness.

And now for my favorite part, and the reason that I felt compelled to share this story with you…

It just so happens that a week ago I was driving home from church, once again rocking out to Britt when “Have Your Way” came on for the first time in awhile. At first I was tempted to skip to the next song, but then it hit me: I don’t need to. There’s nothing to avoid.

It’s safe to say that this song has become my anthem! Not one sorrowful tear fell for the entire duration of the song. It is now a song that brings me utter joy, and it reminds me that I can rest because I have trusted God with my whole life, and from every day forward I will continue to surrender and hand him the pen of my life’s story, in all seasons and circumstances and chapters.

Remember David’s Psalm? The one where he cries out and asks God why he has forsaken him? Do you remember how it ends? Check it out:

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Just like Britt’s song, it ends with believing in God, trusting him and letting him have his way! I want to leave you with my new favorite lyric from that song. It’s a line that used to hurt because I couldn’t let go of my own dreams:

Even if my dreams have died,
And even if I don’t survive,
I`ll still worship you with all my life.

Allow me to urge you to surrender control to God today. He loves you, and if you will let him, he will write a beautiful story called your life.

Jen