Three days ago I was tangled up in the kind of divine God moment that cannot be scripted, planned or fully understood. I was tangled up in the holy unexpected.Read More
To Be Well is a collection of seven songs that wrestle with what it looks like for us to take one another to The Healer. This is by far my most vulnerable collection of songs I have written. Also, did I mention I finally covered my dream Amy Grant song? What more could a girl want?!
The best part? My Kickstarter backers made it possible for me to print 1,000 copies of the album to give away to women in shelters, rehab, minimum security prisons and other vulnerable situations. So the next few months will be like my own teeny-teeny-tiny version of Oprah's Christmas as I give away the new EP!
I'd love for you to have this music too. I pray that it draws you nearer to the God of hope and redemption who is ever at work teaching us what it looks like to be well.
Last fall I began reading a book called Between the Dreaming and Coming True by Robert Benson. Some months later, on my third or fourth re-read of the book, I was lying in bed one night when it struck me that my next collection of music was to be anchored in the type of healing that Benson's book encouraged. The kind of healing that happens when we are too weak to get to the Healer ourselves, so our friends, family, pastors, therapists and strangers pick us up and carry us to Jesus instead.
On that night, when the Holy Spirit spoke this idea inside of me, I protested. "But Lord, I don't have a record deal anymore. I can't afford to make new music." And God's answer was no answer at all- just an affirmation deep in my soul, "Jenny, these songs are important."
Then came a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that funded my book AND funded new music. It was more than I ever asked for and beyond what I was brave enough to dream up on my own. And I sat down to write these songs knowing that many months before I was given a vision for exactly what the songs were supposed to be about.
What I did not know then- when these songs were first being written for "other" people- was that I was writing these songs for me.
I had no idea that my Mamaw would die on April 3rd. That my Grandpa would die three months later. That my sister would be told her unborn twin babies were going to die. That my husband would have major surgery, that I would nearly burn my fingers off, that our rental house would be found contaminated with black mold, that we would have to sink our life savings into a move made more quickly than we had planned. The list goes on and is almost comical in its length and brevity.
I had no idea that one year ago as I laid in bed and had a vision for writing songs of healing for people too weak to make it to The Healer themselves... that I would end up being the one who needed my friends to put me on a stretcher, carry me across town, climb a roof, dig a hole in the top and lower me to the feet of Jesus.
But here I am.
On the back end of five months that have left me exhausted in every way possible and I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I am still standing and still breathing...
our family is still standing and still breathing...
because of the many people who have taken us to the Great Physician when we did not have the strength to do so for ourselves.
And I wrote this music for you, but turns out, God wrote it for me. This is perhaps my favorite song on the EP and I am so grateful to finally share it with you. This collection of songs is dedicated to the many people who spend their lives taking the sick, broken cripple to the Healer. Yours is holy work.
I DON’T LIKE kindergarten. I have to wake up early every single day and brush my teeth. I have to put on real clothes and my hair can’t look like a rat’s nest. I have to remember to get rid of face crustys and eye buggers. I have to have uniform shirts that are clean and not wrinkled. And no they can’t be worn inside out *in a pinch.* I have to make a lunch every single morning. And it has to come across as "healthy" or I get the stink eye from the teacher. I have to be on time. Like, it’s not an option. On. Time. Every. Day. There’s even a bell! It’s judging me! It freaks me out! I only have 5 excused absences for the entire year. What about my birthday? Cinco De Mayo? Or snuggle days at home? Five days?!? Now, I have to make up a fake doctor and a fake illness. It's the only way to squeeze a few more days out of this system. I have to meet new people. Most of them are too happy, too weird, or don’t follow the rules. How hard is it to follow rules people? I have to memorize names, faces, positions and titles. I just finished learning names at church and around the neighborhood. Now these people too?!? I have to prioritize my time. Everything has to get done before the bell rings at 3:00. I have to check the backpack’s abyss for new papers Every. Single. Day. Which means... I can’t leave the backpack- and the contents of the lunchbox- in the hot car. I have to go home with a good attitude. Play. Eat. Bathe. And then start all over again the next morning.
I DON’T LIKE kindergarten. I’m sure it’s hard for my daughter, too.