Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Essentials in Songwriting and The ongoing struggle of identity


For the Essentials In Songwriting Online Worship Values Course with Dan Wilt

Identity and significance are an ongoing struggle for me in this journey to find my place in the arts.

"What?" I can already hear some of you responding. "You? Struggle?"

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. And one of the main reasons the struggle is ongoing is this insidious tendency I have to compare myself to others.

I know I've counseled many to not do that very thing, but I am as guilty as you. It's part of the internal voice that goes something like this:

"Look at that person. They can _______ better than you. You might not get an opportunity to _______. Who are you anyway? Where do you fit in? Are you even good enough? Why do you even bother to try?"

Stinks. And what stinks even more is that, sometimes, I start to believe that maybe this voice is asking valid questions and making valid points. The insecurities rise full-force to the surface and before I know it, I've just about thrown away the word of the Lord to me:

"Heather, you are an artist. You are My artist. Use your stick figures and paintings for My glory. Sing your songs. Play them on guitar. Play them on piano. Wave your flags and dance your dance for Me. Do it even when you feel insignificant. Do it even when you are afraid. Do it for My Kingdom in full display. Do it when there's no one watching to assess their merit. It is enough that you do it here for Me."

Staring over the precipe of the lie, I realize once again the importance of reviewing the things the Lord has said to me over the years, strengthening myself in Him, and grounding myself in His Word...so that I don't succumb to the tempation to believe a lie and enter into an agreement with the enemy of my soul who would like nothing more than to see me lose confidence in the One who sustains me and teaches me all things.

Michael Hanses says this in his article "The Measure of a Songwriter": "Buying into a lie of what success means is a costly mistake. You start to look at other songwriters as the competition...You forget that we are one Body with many parts, that our Father has just the right place for each one of us according to His design."

The Lord has a specific place in His Body for my feeble artistic offerings. No one else's fit just there. His design for me is unlike the design He has for any other, so to enter into the comparison/competition trap, is to desire something that I am not created for. I'm not designed to be anyone other than Heather. I can look and learn from others, of course. I can view their work and listen/watch for tools to incorporate into my offerings.

But I can't be them. To be them would be to be less me. And to be less me would not bring God glory.

And I want to give Him all I can.

So I commit again to struggle through, to not give up, to embrace my destiny...to continue to offer up whatever artisic offering these hands or this voice or these feet of mine create.

I choose to believe, by faith, that God fulfills His plans and purposes for me. I choose to listen to His voice, to receive the sustenance of affirmation from His hand, and to stop listening to that deceiver.

I choose to create and, in the creating, to find my true significance, my unique identity in the One who created me and knows me better than I know myself.

I choose to continue on this journey to be
fully human,
fully Heather,
fully alive in Christ.

1 comment: