When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a free subscription to Teen People. Each month, the magazine would print the lyrics to a song that was cool and popular. My musical tastes have changed slightly as an adult, but they are more or less the same as when I was 15 years old: I loved country and Celine Dion, which meant I didn’t know a lot of those songs whose lyrics they published. I didn’t know the tunes or the artists, but what I did know was the feelings.
The words on those pages echoed within me.
In the February 1999 issue, the lyrics to the song “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind were published. Since magazines actually come out a month before their issue date (logic I still don’t understand!), I received this issue in January 1999. Which is, coincidentally, the same month I walked into a Planned Parenthood almost 12 weeks pregnant and walked out with cramps and a prescription for antibiotics and instructions to call if the bleeding was too heavy.
It wasn’t until I was in my very early 20s and the advent of music sharing that I discovered this song — and I loved it just as much upon hearing it as I did reading the lyrics on the written page. It’s a song that’s always stayed in my iTunes library, and although it isn’t something I listen to often, I put it on my phone a few weeks ago. While I was driving to Ventura on Friday, the song came on my shuffle and for the first time in a long time they lyrics really hit me, hard.
You’re the first to fight, you’re way too loud
You’re the flash of light on the burial shroud
I have always been the loud one. Every reaction and emotion I’ve ever had and felt has been loud. My walls are up, my guns are raised, I’m ready to fight. Constantly. But you know, it’s exhausting. Because what I have spent a lifetime fighting against is a world chock full of lies. A world constantly telling me that I am a failure and a terrible person. A world that pits me against other women and my friends in order to be better than them.
I AM SO TIRED OF IT ALL.
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend
You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in
I am nearly 30 years old. I have lived a live believing in and buying those lies. It doesn’t matter than I know the truth of the Rock on Whom I stand. My Jesus says I am beloved and adopted and bought with a price, that He loved me and knew me before the foundation of the world. He promises me eternity in Paradise with Him and yet I chose to accept the little this world can offer me, knowing full well the worth the world places on me is based on a lie.
Scratch that. It’s not based on a lie. It is a lie.
And he’s on the table
And he’s gone to code
I have reached a crescendo in my life. What the world tells me and what Jesus tells me — I can’t have them both. The world screams at me, loud and glaring.
You must be thin.
You can love whoever you want.
You can do whatever you want.
Straighten your hair to be pretty.
Fix your teeth while you’re at it.
Wear makeup. Lots of it. Every day. Otherwise you’re ugly.
Dress like a model.
Have sex, even if you’re not married. With anyone. Embrace your inner goddess!
Ignore the consequences.
It’s your body. You can do with it whatever you want.
A baby isn’t a life, it’s just a mass of cells.
Christians are mean and narrow-minded.
Hoard your riches. Build your castles here.
You are the only one who matters.
And I do not think anyone knows
What they are doing here
And there’s also Jesus, not being loud and tacky and flashy with the lights and the sirens and ALL THE THINGS.
His message is easy. It’s not twisted. It’s not difficult. “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
There’s no glitter and glitz to that, but you know what? After these exhausting years, with the effort of trying too hard for too long, I’ve realized that the glitter and glitz is necessary to cover the lie. The world screams so loudly at us because it is trying to hide the fact that all of it is based on a lie that we are the most important people in the world. I bought that lie, hook, line, and sinker. I believed my only choice was to have an abortion. I believed that I would be okay with it. I believed that it was the best thing I could do. I believed it wouldn’t hurt me later on. And all of those things I believed? They were straight up lies.
And your friends have left you
You’ve been dismissed
I’m not saying my past and my pain doesn’t matter. It does. But it doesn’t matter in the way the world wants me to understand. The world pushes its way on me and says, “You’re a victim. You deserve to be angry. You have spent a lifetime fighting to matter, so make yourself the center of your world.” But is that the truth?
No, friends. It’s not.
My story doesn’t end because I’ve bought into the lie. The pain would just continue if I let myself wallow in it. But my story also doesn’t end if I live in the Truth.
It doesn’t end, but even better… it starts again. This time with a different purpose.
I never thought it would come to this
And I, I want you to know
Every day, I am making a conscious decision to live out my past. I remember it every day. Even if I don’t feel the pain, or I feel it differently, I still choose to remember the emotions of what I felt. But I’m not the center of my universe, or any universe, anymore. I live out my past because it’s become my ministry. I stand firm on the promise that God will use it for good (Romans 8:28), to bring others to Him. He did not create the lie that I chose to believe, but He let me live in the world, as much as it hurt Him to see me walk away, because He loves me enough give me the freedom to choose.
I haven’t always chosen right, but today I choose to overcome the lie.
Everyone’s got to face down the demons
Maybe today’s the day
To put the past away
If you are believing in the lies of the past, you have the promise of tomorrow to stand upon. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I once read in a commentary that this passage doesn’t mean that we build our new lives upon the foundation of our old lives. No, it means that once we are in Christ, it is as though the old never happened. Everything from the past is gone. We are new in Him.
I don’t know about you guys, but there are times where I’ll say or do something to a friend that I regret immediately, and I think, “I wish I could just erase what I just said.” Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done to erase any hurt caused by words or deeds, and so you have to fix what you broke. But the amazing thing with God is that as soon as you give your life to Him, He chooses to forget. It’s over, it’s done.
You are a new creation.
You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in
Today is the day to put the past away.