It's safe to say that 2018 had both the worst moments of my life and also the greatest moments of my life. How in the world does that happen?! I was taken beyond what I could handle (If anyone tells you that you won't be given any more than you can handle, it's a lie). There was tears, rage, frustration, anger, hopelessness, fear, and broken bones (I broke my hand). If I knew what 2018 had in store in terms of the bad stuff, I don't think I could have gone ahead with it. At the same time, for the first time in my life I felt like I was set on my own path...finally! I was writing music at a prolific rate. I was meeting amazing people who are doing the same thing. I got to make some friends in Nashville and record music in a space where I felt like I belonged. I had been dreaming about doing that for as long as I can remember. For me, this past year has summed up what life is all about: the good and the bad all wrapped up together.
So how in the world do we navigate a life like that? One of my favorite moments in the life of Jesus is when he's talking to a bunch of people and he uses this phrase..."you may have heard it said, but I say to you..." Phil Collins once wrote (yes, I'm referencing Jesus AND Phil Collins - that's how I roll!), "We always need to hear both sides of the story." There's a story we've all bought into that narrates our life for us. It dictates how we view and live our lives. We can't control the events of our lives. Things happen. But what or who we listen to to make sense of it can have a world of difference. I heard both sides of the story this year in my journey, but the further I went along the story became a little more clear and this is what I started to hear: "You may heave heard it said that you have to stay strong, but I say to you it's OK to be weak." "You may have heard it said that you have to be the one to clean up all the messes, but I say to you be still and ask for help." "You may have heard it said that this is hopeless, but I say to you, it'll get better - hold on."
As I look back on this past year and try to make sense out of this story, I feel like there has been a guide, a narrator, an author even who is more good than the other (I know that's bad grammar but I think it captures the idea best). Stuff is going to happen. The good and bad are all mixed together in our experiences of life, but there is something deep in me that wants to hear the good story. It must have sucked to have been Frodo bearing the weight of the ring, but that is ultimately told as a good story. Darth Vader was the most terrifying villian in the galaxy, but that is also ultimately told as a good story. Harry Potter literally had a mark on him his whole life, but, again, that ultimately is told as a good story. The good and bad are all there. It's who is telling the story. Who is making sense of all these things?
You may have heard it said that the story is all for nothing. But I say to you, there is more. May The New Year tell us a better story of who we are and what we can be. Hold on, it could be terrifyingly awesome!
Happy New Year!