Old album blog notes..
Well, since the last week of 2013 wrapped up the brand-new album (Southern Way of Life) and all the blogs around those songs, I figured I would go back to the beginning and start blogging on my very first record (if I can remember that far back!) 😉
It’s taken me a while to get back to blogging because these songs bring up a LOT! And based on the current events in my life, both amazing and challenging, I wanted to take some real time to reflect. So, as I sit here… making my notes, I am stunned at ‘the familiar.’ ‘I’ve Loved Enough To Know ‘ was written over 17 years ago, and it’s amazing that I’m sitting here today, in the same place in some ways….but different in many others. It’s the same place because it’s nearing the end of another relationship that I had deemed sacred and hoped would last forever. Sadly, it is not looking that way. But, it’s different than before because I’M different, the circumstances are extremely different, and…..as tough as it is, I’m finally realizing…that life really is a journey. I used to roll my eyes at that silly phrase for the most part, but….take a few wrong turns, throw a few significant roadmaps out the window, realize that you’re running low on supplies & gas AND in desperate need of a little ‘rest room’… and you finally start to get the picture….AND ask for directions!
Have I really loved it have to know? That’s what I’ve been asking myself. And the truth is, we can only analyze where we’re at and go from there. So yes, I had loved enough to know what I knew at that point. But boy, I have loved & learned a lot more since then! I have maneuvered A LOT in my 30s, and part of my 40s now. So frankly, I can see where I have loved enough and I can also see where I have not loved enough. And I’m learning to forgive myself and others, to not look back & dwell on all of it…..but to embrace the future and move forward. And none of us are immune to this being a challenging process, but it can also be very healing and rewarding if we can stay the course and keep the faith!
Since we get so self-focused in our journey & point the finger at others for a wrong turn, bumpy road, or conflicting road signs (at least I used to), one of the best directions that I’ve received thus far is the following, Romans 12:3 (2 translations):
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (NLT)
“Because of the kindness that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers.” (God’s Word Translation)
This perspective is imperative! If we are going to have any kind of clear vision as to where were headed (in relationships or otherwise), we definitely need a clear vision of ourselves, especially concerning the route that we’ve taken versus the route that we are wanting to take.
For example, in my home growing up there weren’t a whole lot of ‘offenses’ happening, therefore, we never really learned how to say we’re sorry because there was not a lot of bad behavior to apologize for. We weren’t perfect but we walked a pretty straight line & my parents ran a fairly peaceful, tight ship, for the most part. But, there were definitely some times back then that the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” would really have made a difference in healing some minor (that can grow to be major) foundational wounds and help plant some seeds for me in knowing how to apologize & make me better at handling the communication in my future relationships. We learned it later on, but just not in the very early, formative years. On the other hand….. I’m not exactly buying this ‘touchy-feely era’ that we’ve grown into… Where we ‘talk’ about our feelings constantly and over emphasize self-preservation and self-care & walk on egg shells, being politically correct in EVERY area constantly, for fear of being sued or abandoned, making us Leary of making a stand & feeling we must apologize for everything! Respect is definitely necessary, as are apologies where necessary…& I think they are top priority, but man!!….it’s hard to just be in the world without ‘offending’ someone! It was way more simple for us growing up. We stood by the simple motto of “be kind & respectful, &….Just do the right thing!” There wasn’t a bunch of heady-gray-matter nor was there much room for offense or very hard to understand. It was matter-of-fact. If you didn’t follow those simple rules…you’re the one that’d owe someone else an apology! Not the other way around. Anyway, I digress.
So, it’s really been laboring exercise for me to dissect myself and keep looking for skeletons that may or may not be there. I’ve actually OVER-analyzed myself, if you wanna know the truth. Nonetheless, it has been very helpful to learn that I HAVE to look to God first before anything else & ask Him to convict my heart in areas to change course or to stay the course. Also, to apologize when necessary or to show grace when a much-needed apology is never received.
Another scripture that I find relevant to this song is Matthew 7:6:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (NIV)
New Living Translation
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
So, after all that soul-searching and making sure that you’re not being haughty & holier-than-thou about things… It’s okay to reserve the right to point out right & wrong & MOVE ON if the latter is the heavier….especially, if you are being abused, disrespected & disregarded. The Bible actually condemns enabling (Proverbs 10:10 & Luke 10:11), which has been my core issue for years. But now that I know the difference, I can live in more truth & be free. God considers us to be precious. And anyone who treats us less than that definitely needs love & prayer, as do we, but it’s also ok to claim what’s rightly ours, which is peace & freedom from darkness & evil. We are all guilty of sin and darkness and evil from time to time because it’s in our nature. However, there are some who LIVE there. Jesus came to save both kinds of people from sin, ALL of us, that is…..so, we have to leave it to Him to do it because we can’t do it in our own power & I’ve been trying for years! And we also can’t do it for others. It is solely up to them.
So, have I loved enough to know? Have you? I think we’ve all loved enough to know right where we’re at. I’m learning to take a look at where that is & walk a straighter path with the help of Jesus. That’s the only way it’s possible. He is the one who is helping me understand real love and to practice that more. He is the source of all the goodness in our lives. And the people in our lives, whether they stay or go, are still blessings, even if in disguise….:-)
I’ve loved enough to know…..well, yes & no. But, I plan to keep loving and learning… And I hope you will do the same.