When was the last time you simply belted out in song? Was it in the car? Shower? A concert? And when I say belted out, I mean really let it all out. Whether you were alone or with others, my guess is it was a moment that was totally worth it, giving you a chance to let off steam or express feelings in a way only a song can do. And while I’m not quite brave enough to sing a loud solo to a crowd like all you talented musicians are, I definitely love how music makes me feel. Whether it’s an uplifting melody, ramped up beat, or heart-wrenching ballad, music has the power to change or match my thoughts and fill my soul with what it needs at any given moment.
I think it’s that soul filling that can also make music extremely personal. Do you ever wonder if anyone will listen to your personal playlist and wonder who on earth you are? I have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, and even surprise myself when four songs into a reverent, peaceful playlist, a rap song suddenly pops up. But some days call for upbeat and some beg for calm. Some days I’m not even sure what mood I’m in or what I need, and a song will come on and say it perfectly.
The past month has been a full one for me, drenched in a variety of highs and lows and in-betweens, much like the very mixed playlist I have on my phone. Most likely, your life is or has been that way too. On days when I wonder who I am, what I’m doing, or what song I should sing, I am thankful I can count on the steady rhythm of God. He knows me and he knows what I need every minute of the day. I can listen to the words he sings, the songs he places on my heart, and know that everything will be okay.
Most recently I spent the day thinking about my dear friend Susanne who passed away two years ago. This week would have been a week to celebrate her on her birthday. Since celebrating her is different now, I’ve wondered how I can honor her, how I can basically be for others who she was to me and so many who knew her. One of the things she left with me is a journal. Inside this journal was a piece of paper from a Bible study on Psalm 139, one of my favorite verses to remind me of how well God knows and loves each of us individually.
Psalm 139:1-2 says, "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar."
Among her many talents, my friend had an amazing ability to really know people. She could figure out and describe someone long before I finally could. She knew me for who I was, the good and bad, and was my friend anyway.
As I sat and thought on this, I was outside in the warm sun listening to music, and a song came on that said this:
I had nothing to lose
And I had nothing to prove
And I was thinking about me and you
I had nothing to lose
And I had no one to trust
And you were calling my name
These words are from the song “I wanna go” by Summer Heart. It has an upbeat, fun vibe, and unlike many of the songs I share, this isn’t a Christian song, but it’s one that somehow makes me think about God and people I know who remind me of how he loves.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
That one small verse is so very full of everything I need, and it reminds me, like the words of that song, that I have nothing to lose and nothing to prove, and I can trust in Him to always be with me. These words from Isaiah remind me that he knows everything about me, and He calls me by name and I am His.
While I sat outside reflecting on this, the song still playing, a butterfly passed by. I watched it dip and flutter in front of me before it flitted away. As it left, I thought, No! Don’t leave! I wanted it to stay, to give me a few more moments of its beauty. I realized those are the words I thought when my friend passed too. “No, don’t leave. I want a few more moments” are the words I remembered thinking.
But as I thought this and watched the butterfly, I notice that the butterfly kept going, and it seemed quite happy about that fact. It was as if it came to remind me of the beauty of God’s creation, of a life well lived, and of the peace and hope that he is with us forever.
So this is how I’m honoring my friend Susanne. Through this song with an upbeat tune that later says this:
I just fly
It’s this song that ever so subtly hints at being known and called by name that I will sing today. It’s a song that brings me up, not down, something I know my friend would want for me. It’s a song that reminds me to fly in the freedom of God’s love and share that love with anyone I can.
In my upcoming novel, Finding True North (release date January 2023), the main character, North, is a singer. Her desire to sing is strongly linked to who she is and how she can express herself. Whether someone is a singer or not, we all have meaningful songs on our hearts to share. In the last post I asked, what song is on your heart today? With this post, I ask who KNOWS the song on your heart today? I pray that you remember the one who knows you so well, loves you so much, and whispers to you daily, “I’ve called you by name, you are mine.” Then I hope you fly through your day, free and at peace.
This post is part of a series about music. The main character of my upcoming novel Finding True North aspires to find her way as a singer, just like we all seek to find our way in this world. Subscribe to my email list if you haven’t already and want to receive more of these writings.