Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Silly Love Songs

The other day I overheard a few bars of a familiar song. I remember really liking this song back in the day, and now I wanted to hear it. I googled the lyrics “I’m not a perfect…” and before I could finish typing, google filled in the rest for me. I clicked the link to the “official video” and then I got distracted. It would be a couple more days before I actually listened to the song.

I’m extremely interested in song lyrics and the history behind the songs. Which is funny, because I can’t say I ever really cared for History classes and such. I’m learning to appreciate history more as I age. Math? Not so much. Ha! I digress.

The song’s real name is “The Reason” and it’s sung by a band called, Hoobastank. No, that’s not a typo. I’ll let you google the song if you want to know its’ history, I more want to chat about the lyrics. Are you ready?

“I’m not a perfect person

There’s many things I wish I didn’t do

But I continue learning

I never meant to do those things to you

And so I have to say before I go

That I just want you to know”

I don’t know about you, but those words really resonate with me. Probably not in the way you might think.

Let’s look at the next stanza:

“I’ve found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you”

Change. Change is hard. But according to these lyrics the reason for changing is “you”. Ok, one more stanza:

“I’m sorry that I hurt you

It’s something I must live with everyday

And all the pain I put you through

I wish that I could take it all away

And be the one who catches all your tears

That’s why I need you to hear”

Those are some pretty powerful lyrics wouldn’t you agree? If you’re an emotional person like me, you might listen to the song and get all teary eyed because someone came to your mind. I’m going to share with you who first came into my mind, no, more my heart. It was me. I came to my mind. I was like, no, that can’t be right. Except it was. God was speaking to my heart about the hurt I’ve caused myself.

It’s imperative to know that when you pray to God for healing, He’s specific in getting your attention. He’s absolutely not limited to what He can use. I’ve dealt a lot with the pain caused by others, but getting personal about the pain I’ve caused myself is, well, too uncomfortable. It means I have to own my behavior. It means I have to take accountability, and it means apologies will be part of the healing process. And it means, dun, dun, dun…change.

Like the first line in the song, “I’m not a perfect person”. I haven’t found one person on earth who can truly claim through and through, they’re perfect.

There are things, “I wish I didn’t do”. Unfortunately, no amount of wishing is going to change what’s done.

But, in order to keep learning, and moving forward, it was time to visit places where I knew I needed not only forgiveness for me, but from my Heavenly Father. You see in the process of hurting me, I also hurt the One who created me. Did He want me to suffer those things? To cause myself pain? No.

The hurtful choices I made are my own. The hurtful words I say to myself are a reflection of the wordily standards I’ve mistakenly placed over and in my life. Those hurtful, ugly words…not from Jesus. He speaks words of life.

The beauty here is that unlike the lyric, “it’s something I must live with everyday”, I can lay the yoke of any burden that threatens to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10) down at the feet of my Savior and He will forgive my transgression as far as the east is to the west (Psalm 103:12). I need only to receive the grace, mercy, love and forgiveness to live the abundant life my Father promises.

It’s a choice. Receive the abundant gifts or live in my own bitterness, resentment, and hurt. It’s a renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) that needs to happen. Kicking the old thoughts to the curb and replacing them with the affirming life giving words from the lover our souls, Jesus Christ.

I don’t have to get caught up in the words of the silly love songs that threaten to take me down a rabbit hole of depression and angst. I don’t need a song to make me feel worse about myself. I got that covered pretty good, thank you very much. I don’t need a song that reminds me of the things I don’t have because of my screw-ups. I don’t need a song that speaks death into my life because I no longer have a “love” that only loved me for their convenience and ease. And I most assuredly don’t need a song that attacks who I am. Which by the way, is not a piece of meat to pick apart or tear down.

I can flip the script on all the silly love songs and have them be a life affirming love song between me and my Heavenly Father. And let’s talk about one last line of this song:

“I wish that I could take it all away”

Hindsight is 20/20, and if wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry. The fact of the matter is, we have a choice over the words that come out of our mouth. And, we have a choice over our actions. See me and know I’m here with you. Because, “I’m not a perfect person,” is truth. I make mistakes. But it’s ok as long as I don’t allow it to become an excuse to change what God shows me needs changed. There’s a fancy word for that…it’s called repent. Which means to turn from your current “hurtful”/sinful ways.

Is it any wonder God gave us these words:

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

James 1:19 (ESV)

Every person. No exemptions. Every.

God gifted us with two ears, and one mouth. Quick to hear, slow to speak. He knew how easy it is to be reactionary over cautionary. He gave us the instructions, what we do with them is a choice.

And with that, I’ll leave you with this, there’s nothing wrong with silly love songs, just be aware of the way you allow them to affect your heart; because everything you do, flows from it.

Happy Valentine’s day my friends. Remember, it’s still the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice in that!

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Uncontrollable Laughter

It took me a long time to get my Associates degree. I wasn’t a fan of schooling. I got bored easily, and my mind more often than not, drifted to places I’d much rather be. Daydreamer. Yeah, I’m ok, with that label.

In grade school I was the girl in the corner because I talked too much. I don’t ever remember a teacher asking me why I was disruptive. I wonder if I would have told them you didn’t speak much in my house. That school was the only place I felt I got to be “me.” Funny, they thought placement in a corner could keep me quiet.

In High School one of my favorite classes was typing class. The teacher would call out, A,S,D,F,J,K,L,semma (for semi-colon), over and over, for our finger placement on the keys. As I sit down at the computer keyboard, I still think about this. When my fingers are placed incorrectly, words are jumbled and off their mark.

We had assignments in typing class. I would get them done and then type up stories about my best friend and her boyfriend. I titled all the stories “As The Stomach Turns.” I got the title from the Carol Burnett show. Those particular skits made fun of soap operas. If you’re a soap opera fan, you may recall the show, “As The World Turns.”

I would giggle and smile at the overly dramatic stories of my beloved friend and her love life as I typed them out. You may understand if you’ve ever been caught smiling at your smart phone as you received or typed out a text to someone. My bestie would read the stories and we’d both laugh at the ridiculousness of them. It was a highlight of our day.

Daily laughter was crucial to my existence. Laughter didn’t come so easily in the home where I grew up. But when we did laugh, we really laughed. The kind of laughing where your stomach and cheeks hurt.

Back to my degree. When you enter the military you have the opportunity to go to college. For many years, I couldn’t be bothered. I thought we had enough “schooling” with learning how to do our jobs and become great leaders. But, if you wanted to progress in rank, having that coveted piece of paper proving you were educated was required.

Thankfully this is where the Community College of the Air Force came into play. So many of the courses you took for your military job could be counted as credit to your degree. Sa-weet!

Two of the last classes I needed for my 20 year degree was algebra and public speaking. Yes, it took me 20 years to get my degree. But, that’s not the point. This is about the last 2 classes and more pointedly the public speaking class.

If you stay in the military long enough, you’re going to have to get up in front of folks and either recite something, teach something, or commend someone.

Public speaking can be scary. My legs shook and wobbled and it took all I could do to remain upright. My voice sounded crackly, my throat got dry, and let’s throw shaky hands in the mix. Is it any wonder that one of the last classes I took was public speaking?

When it came time to sign up for that dreaded public speaking class I was elated to find there was a condensed summer course. Score!

I have to admit I totally loved the class. It was so much fun. All the outwardly things I spoke about earlier still happened, but I wasn’t alone. My fellow students understood what I was feeling. Then this happened.

We were given a simple tongue twister to recite. Simple enough. When it was my turn, I got up from my seat, walked to the podium, and confidently started to recite what was in my hand. I think I was about 5 words into it, when I started laughing uncontrollably. Seriously, the more I tried to stop laughing, I laughed even more. I looked at the professor, and she was not amused.

To make matters worse, I looked at 2 of my friends in the class and the look on their faces made me laugh even harder. Eventually, the whole class was laughing. Not my teacher. She still was not amused.

I decided to turn my back to the class. After a minute or what seemed like a lifetime, I finally regained my composure. I took a deep breath, turned around, opened my mouth to speak only to have laughter come pouring forth…again. The class for whatever reason was still just as amused as I was, and joined me. I wonder if their stomach and cheeks hurt as much as mine did?

In an effort to get this madness under control I once again turned my back on my audience. I regained my composure, and I turned around. I looked at my professor’s face, and I finally got the assignment over with. I’ve never had anything like this happen before, and I’ve never had anything happen like that again. To this day, I have no clue why it happened.

If I had to venture a guess, God either knew I needed a good laugh, or someone in the class did, or maybe we all just needed a good belly laugh. I can’t say for sure if the class was laughing with me or at me. Maybe it was both. Either way, the memory of it brings a silly smile to my face.

Life can get super serious. Make sure you take time to be silly. Laugh! It’s good for you. We’ve all been through a lot lately. Too much of any emotion will leave us unbalanced.

Is laughing a cure-all? Probably not, but it has a lot of benefits. I’ll leave you with a question.

When was the last time you laughed…really laughed?

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