Welcome to “Songs that Shout”, drawing inspiration from song. Each post features a song that in some unique or unusually way connects with our hearts and lives. For each song featured I’ll try to include the audio or video, lyrics and short commentary. Please share below what you hear shouting in this song.
(Please watch the video before reading further – it will make more sense!)
My love of all things TobyMac is a tie over from my time in the ATL. I’m the crazy white girl jumpin’ around like she knows something about hip-hop. Don’t laugh! Just watch it and hear the message if the beat isn’t to your liking. (But really, who wouldn’t like this?! Turn it up!)
Many songs speak of forgiveness,
but rarely does one speak about the guilt.
Guilt mashed with Hope.
Guilt, my life’s nemesis.
Here is what this Song Shouts at me
Still Without Excuse
So when the stones fly and they aimed at you
Just say forgive them Father they know not what they do
Really? Really? You really want me to believe they didn’t know what they were doing? C’mon man! (Monday Night Football reference.)
How about this instead, they didn’t know the extent of what they were doing. Or they couldn’t see the depths of my pain as they were blinded and reacted out of their pain. Maybe. But still without excuse.
I hurt a dear friend during my time in Atlanta. She was one of the few true friendships born out of that season of my life. And what did I do? I threw a grenade in the middle of it, spewed words like arrows, let my exhaustion speak, and ruined the precious gift, hurt a sister. Why? Who the heck knows?! (“Because I’m an idiot” seems to be as good of an answer as any.)
Looking back now I truly can say, I did not know what I was doing. I was exhausted. I was hurt. (Dare I say I was depressed?) I turned into a prickly porcupine, lashing out at anyone who looked like they were actually enjoying themselves. (Porcupine, by the way, is My Man’s image of choice to describe me when I get hurt. Flattering, I know.)
The point is, I was thinking more about me than her. In my ignorance I truly didn’t know what I was doing. But still without excuse.
The battle with Guilt Manifests in Disguised Ways
But guilt does a job on each and every man’s soul
And when your head hits the pillow at the nightfall
You can bet your life that its gonna be a fight ya’ll
And the guilt kills me to this day. It has been nearly 5 years of processing and healing from that season. (Yes, I can be that stupid slow.) And now I’m seeing, understanding, she is still one I need to ask for forgiveness.
For me, it’s in my dreams. Waking with a sense of dread and angst, I wonder why. Then I remember my dreams. Weird, elaborate dark dreams with cameo appearances from my past life. My mind has betrayed me in the night. It let what I refuse to acknowledge in the light squeeze out and jump before my face while my guard was down. So in the morning light, in the quiet on my pillow, I am forced to search my heart.
Emotional and Physical Health, One and the Same
‘Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we all step across that line
But nothing’s sweeter than the day we find…
At the height of that stressed out, guilt filled, anxious season, I was seeing a doctor nearly every week. That includes 2 different hospital stays, 4 invasive procedures and one surgery. This was then followed by years of therapy and treatment for back pain, digestive problems, systemic pain, inflammation, depression and multiple infections. And the funny part, the doctors never did find a real medical diagnosis for me. Not once. I felt like the un-diagnosable problem child.
Shift forward to a dedicated period of focus on slowing my life, healing my relationships, facing myself, resting, releasing guilt, and yes, forgiving. And suddenly, my “symptoms” began to disappear.
Golly, gee, it’s a miracle, folks! Or maybe it’s just wisdom.
The following books went far in my understanding of this mind/body connection:
My Forgiveness Therapy Continues
So it remains for me to find my former friend, offer an apology and see what will come of it.
Deep breath. Here goes nothing.
<sarcasm>Thanks a LOT Toby.</sarcasm> 😉