Music is a marker for me. As I sit at my desk, listening to Melissa Helser’s “Beautiful Jesus”, I remember driving to Austin under the night sky. As Sam and I sat silent in the car, just listening, out of the corner of my eye I saw him wipe his face. Maybe he just had a facial itch, but to me it was a sign that he was crying. Then the heavy tears started to roll down my own face. This is what I remember.

The next day, we listened to Jonathan Helser’s “Find Me” and “First Love”. I remember the fun of exploring the Austin city streets. The light-hearted healing I felt happening inside me. The small wrinkles of hope spreading across my face like a smirk turning into a smile. This is what I remember.

So, this album is ruined in the best way for me. I didn’t like it at first, but now that I have a dying need to connect to Jesus, to know He is near, to have hope for tomorrow- I relish the honest lyrics, the simple melodies, and I don’t care as much about the production. I am able to connect and to receive. It reminds me that I can love God. It may look and feel different now. But I can still love Him. We will walk through this season of night, of sadness, of lowest lows. And we will make it out on the other side, still loving each other. The music reminds me of this.

I want the relationship these lyrics speak of. I want the love in my heart to grow from the faint dim to a vibrant white light. I want that. I yearn to be at peace with God through this trial that wants to tear me from Him. These songs help me feel like I’m not too far away. They help the tears fall that I’ve allowed to dry up behind my eyes. They press on the numbness of my heart that fear, worry, anxiety, and doubt have troubled and caused me to close off in self protection.

God, help me. God I want to feel joy, to feel clean, to feel innocent from doubt and cynicism. Come speak. Through song, through the whisper of the wind. Whatever you have in mind, please come. I lay down my requirements. My expectations of how and when. Just come. Come save your friend.

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