This will be kind of a part 2 to my last post, so check it out if you haven’t. I’ve realized that I use music to process my thoughts/emotions, so I will once again be using lyrics by The Oh Hellos to tell my story since I’m all about that band right now and they inspired me to write this. Enjoy.
If I were to describe the person I wanted to be by the time I left college, he would be buff. His eyes calm, yet they pierced your soul with his caring gaze whenever he looked at you. Mature beyond his years. He was a good friend, always lending a shoulder to cry on and dropping wisdom to sooth weary hearts. His words carried much weight. Above all, he was spiritual, every day striving after things not of this world. He never worried, for he knew all of his afflictions were temporary. He could slay his struggles so well that he may not even have had any, almost sinless, yet humble. He stood atop a mountain, doing all in his power to help those still stuck in the valley get to the top also.
I was young and naive
as I was told, so I believed
and I was told there’s only one road that leads you home
and the truth was a cave on the mountainside
and I’d seek it out until the day I died
The four years of college came and went, and I grew to know the person who emerged from it very well. Success, right? I found what I was looking for and became a man, yeah?
Nah. Unfortunately, the me I knew was nowhere close to that image I had of myself. That image was still only real in my head, but I wanted to believe he was the true me. Despite having absolute knowledge of my struggles, I wanted to believe and live like I was more capable than I actually was. My solution was simple: don’t tell anybody. Not my friends. Not God, like He didn’t know. Just pretend and try to figure it out by yourself.
When you live a life like that, knowing yourself doesn’t matter. It’s useless, actually.
I was bound and determined
to be the child that you wanted
but I was blind to every sign you left for me to find
I so desperately wanted to be that person other people looked up to and God was lucky to have on His side. The eyes of super Daniel were always on me, glaring with disappointment. The weight of his gaze was crippling, and I became so frustrated with myself and with God. I wanted this process of sanctification to be easy, but it usually involves swallowing your pride. I didn’t want it to cost me anything. I hoped that I would just become better without having to lift a finger, just like everything else in life (sarcasm).
and the truth became a tool that I held in my hand
I wielded it, but I didn’t understand
I got tired of giving more than you gave to me
and I desired a truth I wouldn’t have to seek
I finally realized that I had wasted four years of college and then some pretending to be somebody I wasn’t, and it truly cost me. I missed out on deeper relationships and lost friendships and intimacy with the only One who can perfectly love me. I finally let go and decided to be honest with myself, my friends, and my God. I allowed myself to be known. Every struggle, every insecurity, every sin, every joy. My relationships have not been the same since. I’ve never been so close to my friends. Sometimes I feel like I barely knew any of them until recently, yet I have lived with them for years. With God, I had to realize that He is not “lucky” to have me and won’t be. I don’t say that out of self-depreciation. I say it out of truth, which I spent my whole life proving, yet He delights in me. I allowed Him to take His rightful spot on top of the mountain, and He watches. His eyes calm, piercing my unworthy soul with nothing but love and compassion. The weight of His gaze is light and so gracious.
but in the silence I heard you calling out to me
Since then, I’ve had the privilege of getting glimpses of who I used to be. I thought that it would cause me to crawl up in shame, but instead all I could do was rejoice. The person I was is unrecognizable to me now. I can actually see that I am a new creation, and for the first time in my life, I am pleased with who I have become. I don’t mean to sound prideful. It’s just the truth. The valley is now far behind me, but still, I shall not grow content with my current view. Slowly, but joyfully, I ascend.
we were born in the valley of the dead and the wicked
where our father’s father fell to the crimes he’d committed
we were young when we heard you call our names in the silence
still you lead me, never leave me
never leave me
Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.