I think music is one of the best ways that people express themselves.  Sometimes a song can just say it better and make it even more beautiful.  Songs also can help you to connect with scripture, as I have learned through Michelle Nezat’s podcast, More Than A Song, which I highly recommend.

These are some of the songs that have really stood out along my path.

Kutless – What Faith Can Do Video with Lyrics:  God sent me this song through a friend, right when I needed it most.  I didn’t used to listen to Christian music at all.  I thought it was goofy.  But this was one of the songs that changed my opinion.  Now it’s the first one I go to when I need reminded to have faith.  The line that still grabs me every time is “Impossible is not a word.  It’s just a reason for someone not to try.”  Nothing is impossible with God.  This song has become my theme song for making changes in my life.

Nichole Nordeman – The Unmaking Lyric Video:  A new friend sent me this song after she read my story.  I am so grateful.  It so beautifully explains the journey.  I had to unmake my life to let Him make it over.  “Beauty in the breaking.”  It’s a song that is so true it brings me to tears.

Lauren Daigle – How Can It Be Lyric Video:  I love all of Lauren’s music, but this one just perfectly describes how in awe I am of God’s love for us.  Sometimes it just hits me out of nowhere – how can He possibly love me so much?  Yet He does.  It’s amazing.

Matthew West – The Motions  Music Video and Background Story:  This song reached me at a deep level.  I was lost and couldn’t explain why to myself or to others.  When I heard it, I just broke down sobbing.  This was exactly what was wrong.  I was going through the motions and not really living.  I was being safe and not risking anything, which meant I wasn’t experiencing anything great either.  I couldn’t live that way anymore.  Not for one more day.  Living on purpose for and with Jesus has been the best change I have ever made.  What if you stopped going through the motions?  What if you gave everything?  The rewards are worth it, I promise.

Third Day – Cry Out To Jesus  Music Video:  Even though I’m a Christian, and I experience His love and miracles often, there are still struggles living in this world.  There are times when life kicks you in the gut and it doesn’t make any sense.  Then what?  You cry out to Jesus.  For me, the most powerful part of this song is that “He’ll meet you wherever you are.”  I don’t have to fix myself first to be worthy of Jesus.  I can go to Him to be fixed.  He’ll meet me in church, sure.  But He’ll also meet me in the depths of my sorrow, in the worst of my sins, and He’ll carry me out.  All I have to do is ask for Him.  Cry out to Him.  Amen!!

Casting Crowns – Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) Music and Lyrics: Music often marks milestones in my life, and this particular song marks the time in my life when I began my serious quest for spirituality.  It’s a remake of an old hymn, one my mom always loved, and I remember us singing it in church when I was a child.  So when I heard it again as an adult, it brought me full circle.  Reminded me that I’ve known this truth since I was small.  Jesus loves me, He died to save me, He carried my sins away, and He is coming back again.  This song completely sums it all up in such a beautiful way.

Garth Brooks – Send Em On Down The Road Lyrics:  Garth doesn’t like to share his music for free, so I’ll respect that by not attempting to share music videos.  But these lyrics are the most honest I’ve ever read on the subject of parenting.  This song explains exactly how I feel about raising my children.  You can love them with all your heart, and yet you still can’t control them or their circumstances.  No matter how much you want to protect them, the best you can do is let them learn how to survive and thrive without you.  Our job is not to put them in a bubble.  Our job is to let them fall so they can learn and experience freedom, pick them up when they need it, and send them on their way (while providing guidance and lots and lots of prayers!).

Carrie Underwood – Jesus Take The Wheel  Music Video:  Country music is awesome because there is almost always a story to go with the lesson.  I always learn better through stories.  This song is about the biggest lesson I have learned so far.  Give up control.  Not only do you not have to do this on your own, you shouldn’t.  You are human.  He is divine.  Quit trying to control it and let Him steer your life.  He does a way better job than any of us can; you’ll see.

Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill – How Great Thou Art Live Performance:  I shouldn’t need to be reminded to praise God, but I do.  I’m easily distracted, going about my business.  So I listen to this amazing rendition of this powerful hymn to get back in the right frame of mind.  Let the Holy Spirit well up inside you as you listen.  I like to really belt it out, then take a walk and really notice everything.  Nature is really awesome.  Look at the stars.  Amazing!  He is so great and worthy of our praise!

Newsboys – We Believe Music and Lyrics:  I love the Newsboys because they remind me to proclaim my faith to others.  It’s okay to shout it from the rooftops.  It’s okay to praise Him and let everyone know what you believe.  In fact, it’s expected.  And songs like this make it fun and meaningful.  I don’t get tired of this song. I play it over and over and over.

Newsboys – God’s Not Dead Music Video:  This song came into my life right as I was “waking up”, as I like to say.  I get frustrated sometimes, watching everyone numbly go through the motions of their comfortable lives.  I can see why people would think God is dead by watching society today.  It’s time we got excited about God again.  The world needs a revival.  This song makes me want to get up and dance for God, and then go out and DO SOMETHING.  It gets me fired up.  Maybe if all Christians got fired up at the same time, we could prove to the rest of the world that God’s not dead, he’s surely alive.  Maybe we could wake everyone else up so they don’t have to figure it out on their own.

Britt Nicole – Found By You Music:  I view this song as a prayer.  If I have trouble letting go of the distractions before I pray, I turn on this song to guide me.  It’s vulnerable, and sweet, and honest.  And I can totally relate to the feelings she is expressing.  This world is big and scary and busy, and I am so small and helpless.  Sometimes I just want it all to go away while Jesus holds me in His arms.  I just want Him to find me and comfort me.

MercyMe – I Can Only Imagine Music Video: I often wonder what Heaven will be like, when I finally meet Jesus.  Will it be terrifying?  Will it be glorious?  Will it be overwhelming?  Probably all of the above and more.  Probably unimaginable, because again, I am only human.  But still, I try.  Because it’s so exciting to imagine that day, when all of this fades away and there are no more tears, no more pain.  I can only imagine.

The Gift written by Stephanie Davis Lyrics:  This beautiful song has had several different artists sing it (I especially like Aselin Debison’s version).  But the message of this story is what is so important.  It’s about giving.  This little girl had literally nothing except for a bird she found injured on the road.  She nursed it back to health, so you imagine it is her only friend in the world and incredibly special to her.  Yet she offers her most prized (and only) possession to God.  This is what I try to keep in mind when I give.  I have so much in this world, and others have so little.  Am I willing to give everything for God?  Maria’s answer was yes, and He rewarded her with the creation of the nightingale.  Beautiful.

Third Day – The Sun is Shining Music:  There are days when life hits you out of nowhere.  You’re getting along great, everything is good, and then BAM!  You find out it’s not what you thought.  Or you lose everything that was important to you, for no apparent reason.  It’s then that you have a choice.  You can let it destroy you, or you can let Jesus fix you.  Let the Son shine on you.  Love is so much better than despair.

Carrie Underwood – Temporary Home Music Video: Another beautiful song with a message through stories.  And this message is important.  Everything is temporary.  Don’t hold on too tightly, don’t stress over it too much, don’t worry about leaving it.  It’s just a stop on the way to where we’re going.  Enjoy the ride, make the most of it, but keep perspective.  This is our temporary home, and there is something better on the other side.

Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me Music Video:  I don’t know how you can find where you are going if you don’t understand and appreciate where you have been.  This song brings that full circle for me.  Even if you didn’t have a great childhood like I did, hopefully you can look back and understand what there is to learn from whatever is back there.  Or just go back far enough to whatever place makes you feel safe and loved.  Visit it whenever you feel lost.  Feel it.  Only then can you let go of it and move forward again.

Christina Perri – A Thousand Years Music and Lyrics:  I’ll admit, this song came into my life while I was obsessed and addicted to vampire romance stories.  Hey, we have all tried to fill the void with something!  But now…when I listened to this song during my battle back to Christ…wow.  It almost perfectly describes my journey.  The revelation that He has loved me forever and will love me forever.  The fear of being brave enough to participate in that love.  The decision to be brave and all the doubt melting away.  He was waiting for me, and time brought my heart to Him.  It’s powerful.  Way more powerful than vampire romance.  🙂

Sidewalk Prophets – Keep Making Me Video and lyrics: This is my daily prayer, in beautiful song. I want to want Him. I pray He keeps making me for all of eternity.  Until He is my one desire, my one true love, my everything.

Taylor Swift (featuring Ed Sheeran) – Everything Has Changed Video lyrics: I get that this song was written about human love. But I sing it to Jesus all the time, because it’s exactly how I feel. “I just want to know You better…all I feel in my stomach is butterflies, the beautiful kind, making up for lost time, making me feel right…and all I know is everything has changed.” Indeed.

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