My new single, Waiting, is set to release soon and I am super pumped! Of course, if you made it all the way to my blog, you probably already know that. I'm sorry, by the way, if your news feeds have been bombarded with posts about my release, but unfortunately self-releasing music means self-promotion. Did I mention, my new single, Waiting, is coming out soon and I'm super pumped?
Alright, that's enough of that. I really just thought this would be a good space to tell the story behind the song. I recently made a YouTube video on my channel (ahem, don't forget to subscribe) about this, but I thought a blog post would let me go a little deeper into the story, plus it's way easier to edit out all of my “uhhs” and “umms.”
People that have only known me for the last ten years or so (ie. Most of the folks I interact with on a daily basis) were probably a little shocked that I, up and of nowhere decided to start churning out songs and peddling them to all of my Facebook friends, but people who have known me for a real long time, were probably only mildly surprised. Writing and playing music has always been a big part of my life, even though it's not a topic that really pops up in casual conversations. When was the last time you heard someone say, ‘Hey, that reminds me of this song I wrote’?
I actually started writing songs when I was a sophomore in high school. One of the first ones was about eating candy off of the locker room floor and getting athletes foot in your tongue. I'd like to think I've come a long way since then. I might not be the best songwriter in the world, but I'm at least in the running for Most Improved.
In college I started an Alternative Christian Rock band with my roommate and a couple of friends. We were together for around three years and were fairly successful on regional level. In fact, if you had asked me what I thought my career path would be at that point in my life, I would have told you I was going to be a professional musician, but God was leading me somewhere else.
I guess it would be more accurate to say God was leading me to someone else, as I have come to believe that God values people more than he does locations or vocations. It was also during college that I met the love of my life, Nikki. After I graduated, we moved back to her hometown in Iowa and started our life together. It was then I discovered I also had a passion for graphic design. I threw all of my creative energy into it and made a pretty nice career out of the deal.
Although I haven’t appeared on any stages over the past ten years, music has still very much remained a passion in my life. I continued to write songs, mostly inspired by life events, and would occasionally play some of them for friends and family. I actually don’t think I could ever really stop writing music. It has always just been my of way expressing myself and dealing with things going on in my life.
So what prompted this sudden return to public displays of musicality? It was a special Christmas gift from my incredibly supportive and generally wonderful wife. She handed me this envelope with some folded up pieces of paper inside. As I opened them up and read them, it said that she had booked me time in a recording studio and I just thought, ‘WOW! This is the best present EVER!’
I asked her which song she thought I should lay down, and she said, ‘I think you should do the one about the boys.’ Which brings us to the adoption.
One night in the Fall of 2014 Nikki asked me how I felt about adopting from Africa. I said, “That's funny. I've actually been thinking about that a lot lately.” And since I am apparently so thick-headed that the coincidence of Nikki and I both thinking about and an international adoption at the same time without talking about it wasn't enough of a sign, I sagely said, “Let's pray about it.”
Looking back on it, I think I actually did know at that point that God was calling us to adopt. The real issue was that I had just one little hang up that kept me from committing. Like a lot of humans, especially of the male persuasion, I have this tiny insecurity when it comes to money. I REALLY like to know how I'm going to pay for expensive things before I commit to them. Luckily for me, God was accommodating of my remedial skill for interpreting the signals of the Holy Spirit and he spelled it out for me the next morning.
At this time, it just so happened that one of my New Year's resolutions that year was listening through the Bible on my commute to work and, as fate would have it, the very morning after my conversation with Nikki, God spoke to me in the voice of my YouVersion Bible app the words of James 1:27.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
So naturally, I started crying right there in the middle of the interstate and said, “Okay God, I got it.” When I got to work, I immediately sent Nikki a text that said, “Let’s do it!” And so we said ‘YES’ to God’s calling to adoption, and in our second fundraiser God decided to flex his mighty muscles of provision, just for good measure. Our friends, family, acquaintances, and total strangers donated all the stuff they were willing to part with, and we had a multi-family, two weekend garage sale. After it was all over we had raised $9,000. Yep, you read that right. At a garage sale, you know those things where people sell the stuff they no longer want. After that, I decided God actually really did know what he was doing, and I quit worrying about the money.
However, our journey has proved to be a very long and arduous process with many setbacks and delays. I could tell you about the endless amounts of paperwork and background checks that had to be completed and redone and redone again, or I could tell you about how we attempted adoptions in two different countries with two separate agencies only to see both of them fall through due to circumstances within the country, I could talk about how we were both starting to wonder if this was really ever going to happen, but I will just skip ahead to the good part.
In the summer of 2016 we were finally matched with a young boy in the Central African Republic and we set off to Africa to meet our future son and the future brother to our, then three year old,daughter. While we were visiting the orphanage, we found ourselves also drawn to the older boys and, after some nights of prayerful consideration, discovered that once again God’s plan for us was just a little bit bigger than our own. We decided to adopt a second boy, and so future ‘son’ became future ‘sons’ and future ‘brother’ became future ‘brothers.’
After we returned from our trip, we found out that some of our paperwork had expired and would have to once again be redone. Months after the time we had anticipated, we finally began the legal process and had our first court date. Today, as we are approaching the two year anniversary of our trip, we still have no time table for when we will be able to bring our sons home. Some days are worse than others, but overall it’s just really hard. We get updates and pictures and they just keep growing, and growing, and it feels like we are missing out on all of it. We receive letters from them and get to video chat on occasion, and we know they desire to be here and be part of a family. It all begs the question why, if this was God’s plan, is it taking so long?
In the age of Google and Amazon Prime, we have become accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it, so waiting for anything is, at best, a massive inconvenience, but waiting on something that you are sure is God’s plan is down right mind boggling. It just doesn’t make any sense. But at the end of the day, we still have to decide where we are going to put our faith.
Everyone puts their faith in something, whether they admit it or not. It’s simply a matter of WHERE your faith is placed. Some people choose to put it in themselves or in other people. Some people choose to put it in the fact that we are all alone in the universe and that our existence is meaningless. The question is where are you going to put yours?
For us, despite all of the hurt, confusion, and frustration we have faced in our pursuit of God’s calling, we are still compelled to say, “We will wait on the Lord, and we will trust in his timing,” because we know that we serve a God who is eternal. He is The Alpha and The Omega - The Beginning and The End and he sees the whole picture when all we can see is three inches in front of our own face.
This is what the song is really all about. Are you willing to put your trust in God when things are at their worst and nothing makes sense to you? There are times as Christians when I believe we need to boldly step out in our faith, and there are times when all that we can do is to just keep hanging in there. I know that most people reading this are not going through an adoption, but if you are stepping out in faith and passionately pursuing God’s calling in your life, you will go through moments when you will be tested. You will have times when you will not understand why God is allowing something to happen or not happen, and it will be hard. My hope is that during those times perhaps this song will be an encouragement to you to just keep hanging in there.
Thank you for reading this blog post! If you made it all the way to the end, just imagine me fervently shaking your hand right now, because I sure would like to. I know it was a long one. Thanks for your support and I hope you enjoy the song.
I'm a devotee of the One True God and I'm very passionate about serving him creatively.
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