Do you have a fight song? A go-to song for when life gets overwhelming and chaotic?
Learning to find my fight song has been life long and challenging.
But I found it.
Some of my biggest moments and breakthroughs these days happen on our treadmill.
Although a sad replacement for beautiful hills and trails of America, the treadmill becomes a place for worship, thinking and praying. My headphones lead worship, direct prayer and often preach to my soul. In English… which is pretty important.
I have not been running like I would like to be but my running journey is not yet done. I still love to pound out a mile or two when I can whether it is 100 degrees and humid or not.
Generally, as a place of worship for me, my playlist is full of inspirational Christian music with a good beat to keep me going… Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Blanca, TobyMac, For King and Country… I love them all.
I’d recently heard a song on a facebook video by Rachel Platten called Fight Song.
Now I know… I’m a little behind the times on this. If you know me, you know that my knowledge of most secular music is limited to about 10 pop songs from the 90s, a few country hits and the songs from Newsies or Little Mermaid.
Truly, my personal music preferences don’t stray far from Christian radio and the newest worship album.
But when I heard Fight Song play during a random facebook video, I thought, “This is a good running song.” and without much thought or even having heard the whole song, added it to my running playlist on youtube.
After dinner the other night, I threw on some running clothes, plugged in the transformer, opened our bedroom door so the cord of the treadmill could reach the transformer, moved the laundry basket that was resting on the treadmill, turned it all on, added a fan for good measure, put on my shoes and began a 3 mile run/walk.
The run was going as normal.
Until this song played.
Our journey overseas has been one challenge after another, one amazingly huge life lesson. You can browse back through the pages of this blog and read our journey from starting the paperwork, to telling our church, to moving out of our house and selling everything, to traveling from church to church, to getting ready to fly out, to moving to France for language school, to learning French, to running a marathon, to getting ready mentally to move to Africa, to landing in Africa, to figuring out how to live in a developing country… to getting ready to go back home for a year furlough. Now, we are in our second term with our girls in boarding school.
That paragraph makes my heart pound.
I really thought I’d already felt ALL the feels, all the emotions, all the tears, and all the joys that one person could possibly experience.
Yet, I’m learning the longer we live this overseas life that the cycle will just be on repeat now.
So many moments that have felt like I was falling down a ski hill, tumbling and careening on an unending, blinding slide down a huge hill where I can’t see the bottom.
Feeling the excitement, terror, worry, extreme happiness, overwhelm and exhaustion all wrapped up into one.
How does someone live with this kind of crazy and constant transition? The deep challenges? The scary moments?
I left America not knowing how many things I didn’t know.
I left home never having seen the world in the way I’ve seen it now.
I left our lives as pastors never having experienced full time missions or experienced the daily paradox of missionary life.
I left not knowing what I was capable of doing with God literally standing in for me through every single weakness.
I left for this overseas adventure not knowing so many things.
I left in faith, believing one step at a time and I continue on each day as another of those obedience steps.
Yet, in some wild paradox, I feel like I know even less than I did before.
All of these things feelings and emotions have been building and the tumbling down the hill has continued.
What have we done? Have we made an impact? Are we doing what we came to do? How can I keep this pace or continue this intensity of life?
It sure has felt like we are a small boat on a really massive ocean.
But we are learning just one word, one loving action can make a heart open.
We are learning that with the one match of our lives, God can explode His light through dark places. Even if that explosion is actually more like a small conversation in a corner store or spending the day sitting in a small hut. A birthday party for our guard or showing God’s love to the painter.
We are writing our fight song.
As I ran in the hot, dusty weather of our home in Africa, I cried.
When the song says, “And all those things I didn’t say, wrecking balls inside my brain, I will scream them loud tonight. Can you hear my voice this time?” I could see our family stepping off the plane onto African soil for the first time.
I saw the emotions we feel and the weight of sorting out all those wrecking balls in our brains.
I saw my girls.
And I really cried.
They don’t yet know what all this means. They don’t understand how fearless, how strong, how amazing they are. They don’t yet comprehend the magnitude of what they are doing. They don’t see the incredible, amazing things they’ve learned. The incredible, amazing women they are becoming.
I saw our families and friends.
The song says, “Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep, everybody’s worried about me, in too deep, say I’m in too deep…”
I know they’ve wondered if we are in too deep. I know they’ve felt helpless and too far away to be there for us the way they want to be.
Then the song says, “And it’s been two years, I miss my home but there’s a fire burning in my bones… Still believe”
I still believe.
Even if we’ve been in too deep, we are moving forward. We are writing our fight song. We are working through the lessons, the experiences and the struggles required to fight back the unreached statistics of our world, to push back against the spiritual strongholds in this part of Africa, and to be long term workers when the turnover rates are exceedingly high.
This is our fight song. I am learning to find my fight song.
With God’s help, we are alright.
His power is in us. We are strong because He is with us every single step of the way.
Thank you for believing with us. For holding us up as we figure out what living in this fight full time looks like. For inspiring us, encouraging us and journeying with us.
Our fight song is being written.
Another verse, another note, another lesson of faith.
A fight song in the making, pulling our hearts and giving us courage.
I finished the run and spent the last few days figuring out how to put these #behindtheprayercard thoughts all into words.
I’ll end this post as the song ends…
Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion