“One heart. Two hands. Your life is all you hold.” –If the House Burns Down Tonight, Switchfoot
Where to begin? It all started with this package :
It was the middle of a summer that took everything out of me, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I had just hit that low point, the one where you find any possible way to come home to your own space, because you miss the familiar and you’re fighting to get through the minutes. That’s precisely when this package arrived, a care-package-from-home type of deal. Except I got to open it at home and treasure it.
This album, written with a perspective of hope behind every unknown, every shadow, everything that life holds, quickly became the soundtrack of my summer, along with one of the deepest encouragements to my soul. These words and rhythms carried me through the highs and lows of this season.
One song’s lyrics in particular tattoed themselves onto my soul.
One heart. Two hands. Your life is all you hold.
During the full to overflowing weeks of camp counseling, I was being challenged by the community around me and the grace of the One writing my story to pursue what matters. In the midst of sun drenched days spent struggling up hills, getting covered in caramel, and rushing from one activity to the next, only to hit chapel tired but so in need of the Truth shared, it became so clear. As I wandered through a lifelong dream at a place that felt like home, the same clarity and perspective God always brought to my story followed me there.
None of this is about me, and none of this is for me. At the end of the day, all that mattered was how much you were loving and pouring into others, investing in their stories, how much you loved God, and how you used all your gifts to make Him known. It was about living intentionally, yet with simplicity.
Less of me, of performance, of Instagram filtered news updates, of the things used for comfort, of my own perfect schedule, of focusing on getting the coffees I want, of living only the way I want. More of creating to reflect the Creator, pursuing the dreams and adventures He has for me instead of waiting, more of loving others, more of Jesus.
In the end, as much as I try to shift around the scenes and set it up to be my own cinematic vision, the whole process is out of my hands. With my life being all I hold, what will I do with it?
As all these thoughts swirled around in my brain, a series of events was happening. I counseled worship camp, and it felt like being home. Not just the being at this favorite camp part, or the familiar rhythm of the days, but the diving into the music part, like soundchecks and chord charts and learning harmonies. I came away from that week with not only a ton of treasured memories, but a whole new perspective.
Music, worshipping, songwriting – these are all things I have loved for years. But what had I been doing with them since my days of being a camper? With every chapel it became clearer that I had missed this with more of my heart than I ever thought, and I knew I was supposed to stop waiting on better timing or more perfect skills, and to just start creating and using the abilities and love that God has given me for it.
This was further echoed when a surprise weekend trip led to the a music festival and Switchfoot. Talk about timing. I got to actually hear them play that album live. Concerts also happen to house some of my favorite memories and the greatest gems of moments, as it’s a chance to sing along and declare the words in a powerful new way.
As the confetti rained down and they began Where I Belong – a song that started my into-college transition two years ago as a freshmen (Where I Belong: A Forever Night) and was now signaling this next chapter, this next adventure, the next unknown. It was and is so evident that camp was a turning point, that Jesus was just getting started with stretching my heart and calling me to live life in a way that shows His love throughout my story.
Whether that’s working with concerts and tours someday, or simply doing the creative work of actually writing and finishing songs, or going across the world to explore and show grace in those ways, I don’t know exactly what it looks like. Of course I have my set list of dreams and plans, but those hopes are just reminders, reminders that the One who designed my soul with them is faithful, and I can trust Him as He opens my heart that He will guide me to those next steps. In the end, all I have to hold is not all these new dreams, all the things, but simply my life, so how will I use it, and will I tell my story well?
Here’s some moments I captured from that concert, one I will forever remember for more reasons than one :
Life is short, live it well.