*performing last weekend at Trinity House Theatre in Livonia, MI.
Dear Indie Girl,
Have you ever hidden away some piece of your past only to find it years later when you least expect it? And the memories locked away that were tied to that piece are unleashed in your consciousness? This weekend I performed at Trinity House Theatre in a green shirt I had buried at the bottom of my dresser drawer. I wore this shirt often, years ago, at a time in my life when I was clothed in insecurity and fear. I was plagued with unhealthy relationships and the good friendships I had, I pushed away.
Something strange happened as I began to play. The same fear that overtook me in that long-ago season started to well up again. Does that make sense? I remember wearing this shirt for my first sound check at the Contemporary Music Center. It was a nerve-wracking debut in a room filled with strangers with whom I’d share a tiny corner of Martha’s Vineyard for four months studying the intricacies of the music business, songwriting, and artistry. No pressure… or anything. As I timidly began my set at Trinity House, I pictured myself with the same shoulder-length hair cut and extra 15-20 pounds, playing my old, unpolished songs. Since then I know I’ve grown, I’ve matured, I’ve let go. But the rest of the night I had to remind myself that my hair was not that long, that things have changed, and I’m not that same person. All because of a green shirt.
*pictures from my first sound check on Martha’s Vineyard in 2007 in the aforementioned green shirt.
Sometimes I’m overcome by the fear that the person I was in that time hasn’t really changed. That I’m still the same confused scared little girl I was, and I’ll never not be her.
But this is a lie.
As an Indie Girl, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone. Like even your closest friends and family don’t understand you. But listen, I didn’t get out of that mess alone. I had a community of people surrounding me and wrapping me in the truth. Some of those people I found on that Island at the Contemporary Music Center. And some of them had been there all along, praying for me to see the truth: that I was LOVED. Loved enough that they would not let me destroy myself in messed-up relationships. Loved enough that they would frustrate the hell out of me if it meant I’d turn around and open my eyes. More loved than I knew then. More loved than I know now. More loved than I will ever know.
YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE PRECIOUS. AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Even if you have crap friends, and your family abuses their role in your life: YOU ARE LOVED. Even if you push the ones you love away, and cling to the ones that hurt you and you don’t know why: YOU ARE LOVED. Even if you hate yourself: YOU ARE LOVED. How can I say this? How can I be sure? Beloved, you have been loved from before you were born by the One who thought you up. As an artist, you’ll appreciate this. God… thought of you, and you came to be. The way you think of songs, or stories, or drawings, or whatever. Ephesians 2:10 says that you are His “workmanship”. The Hebrew word (the original language of the New Testament) is poiema, meaning art or masterpiece. You weren’t just another created thing that God forgot about. You ARE his masterpiece! God… thinks of you… still. Even after everything! He not only thought you up, but when He was done thinking you up, He said, “That’s GOOD!” Who else has tingles?
Yeah, old clothes need to be thrown away, or given to Salvation Army. After all, we are new creations! Okay, maybe not your whole wardrobe, start where you can, and if you think you need to. It’s okay to get rid of things that may tie you to, or remind you of, those dark places.
So I’ve decided one thing that will help is to go through my house and get rid of old relics, lost idols of the past that I’ve held onto for bad reasons. Don’t worry, only things from this particular season of fear. I kept them to remind myself, in my pride, that I had conquered. But it wasn’t me that conquered. Phillipians 4:13. Given the right circumstances, I might fall into those same traps. Why? What drove me then was fear. True Love drives out fear completely 1 John 4:18, but if I were to turn away from this love today, I would find the same stumbling blocks. I need to cling to this love with everything I’ve got.
What does this have to do with being an Indie Girl? What does this have to do with art or songwriting or music?
We create because we are made in the image of The Creator. And if we don’t embrace that, our art will suffer. This is why I was so afraid while playing at my show last weekend. I had a flash flood of memories that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough… etc. The old voices that used to run my life for a while. The ones that told me to stop writing cuz I sucked anyway. The ones that made me compare my body shape to every other girl I knew. The ones that made me so hopelessly desperate for love that I’d do stuff I wasn’t proud of. Those voices crippled my art because they crippled my life. That’s no way to be. If this is where you’re at, your creator longs for you to stand in the freedom and love that He created you for. That starts with telling God that you want the love He has for you, and with telling those voices to shut up. If you have questions about this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, my dears, until next time,