Saturday, August 04, 2007

Frustration & Faith

I've been meaning to write up this posting for quite awhile now. (My first attempt was back in January.) I think that there are two reasons why it's taken me so long to get around to it:

  1. I needed to dedicate a fairly sizeable block of uninterrupted time to doing it. (i.e. You may notice that this posting is rather long.)

  2. I think I needed to be ready to let go of it. What I'm trying to say is that I couldn't write about all of this while I was in the midst of it. But now I feel like I'm ready to mark a moment, kind of like a memorial, and move on from here.

In the past year and half, I have had to really struggle through some serious questions about who I am, how I define my self-worth, and what my purpose is. Throughout this period, I've had a playlist on my iPod called "Frustration & Faith." Now, as a general rule, I don't look to pop music for philosophy or counseling, but these songs either say how I was feeling, or they say things that I needed to believe in. And somehow I just feel like I should share this...

  1. Bad Day - by Daniel Powter

    When things at my job were at their absolute worst, this song seemed to be on the radio every single time I got into the car. And since I had literally a 5 minute commute each way, it also seemed like something more than coincidence. The song is actually way too upbeat to describe how I was really feeling-- I think the only lyrics that specifically applied to me were:

    You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
    You tell me your life's been way off line
    You're falling to pieces every time

    That part reminds me of going to get coffee in the cafeteria at work every morning with my friend Gus, which was invariably the high-point of my day. The rest of the day was always miserable.

  2. Meant to Live - Switchfoot

    Maybe we've been living with our eyes half open
    Maybe we're bent and broken

    We were meant to live for so much more
    Have we lost ourselves?
    Somewhere we live inside

    We want more than this world's got to offer
    We want more than the wars of our fathers
    And everything inside screams for second life

  3. Tell Me Who I Am - Steve Manuel

    Cause I know I'm not the sum of what everybody says
    And I'm not a magazine, or what my body image is
    I've got to be more than my job
    I've got to be more than my address
    More than living to get by
    Or trying to impress...

  4. Out Is Through - Alanis Morissette

    My tendency to want to run away feels natural and
    My urgency to dream of softer places feels understandable

    The only way out is through
    The only way we'll feel better
    The only way out is through

  5. The Beautiful Letdown - Switchfoot

    It was a beautiful letdown when I crashed and burned
    When I found myself alone, unknown and hurt
    It was a beautiful letdown the day I knew
    That all the riches this world had to offer me
    Would never do

    In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubts
    I was trying so hard to fit in, to fit in,
    Until I found out
    That I don't belong here
    I don't belong here
    I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
    But I don't belong

  6. Martyrs & Thieves - Jennifer Knapp

    And I know they are wrong
    When they say I am strong
    As the darkness covers me

    So turn on the light
    And reveal all the glory
    I am not afraid
    To bear all my weakness
    Knowing in meekness
    I have a kingdom to gain

  7. Maybe There's a Loving God - Sara Groves

    I wrote a previous post about this song, and it just continues to be a favorite of mine.

  8. In the Palm of Your Hand - Alison Krauss

    I'd rather be in the palm of Your hand
    Though rich or poor I may be
    Faith can see right through the circumstance
    Sees the forest in spite of the trees
    Your grace provides for me

  9. Faithful to Me - Jennifer Knapp
    This simple, acapella song was a late addition to this list...

    All the chistles I've dulled carving idols of stone
    That have crumbled like sand 'neath the waves.
    I have recklessly built all my dreams in the sand
    Just to watch them all wash away.

    Through another day, another trial,
    Another chance to reconcile
    To One who sees past all I see.

    And reaching out my weary hand
    I pray that You'd understand.
    You're the only one who's faithful to me.

  10. Word of God Speak - MercyMe

    I'm finding myself at a loss for words
    And the funny thing is: It's okay.
    The last thing I need is to be heard
    But to hear what You would say

    I'm finding myself in the midst of You
    Beyond the music, beyond the noise
    All that I need is to be with You
    And in the quiet hear Your voice

  11. To Be Free - Steve Manuel

    You can live by the book, but it's slavery
    You can try, try hard, to do right
    I would pray that I would be given bravery
    Just to live out my heart in the light

    I want to be free
    I want to know life
    I don't want to live afraid to die
    I just want to kill the fear in me
    I want to let it go
    I want to be free

  12. Open Your Eyes - Snow Patrol

    My bones ache, my skin feels cold
    And I'm getting so tired and so old
    The anger swells in my guts
    And I won't feel these slices and cuts

    Get up, get out, get away from these liars
    Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
    Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
    And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time

  13. This Is Your Life - Switchfoot

    This is your life
    And Today is all you've got now
    And Today is all you'll ever have

    Don't close your eyes

    This is your life
    Are you who you want to be?
    This is your life
    Is it everything you dreamed that it would be
    When the world was younger
    And you had everything to lose?

  14. Perimeter of Me - Dividing the Plunder

    Well, I'm frightened by how easy it can be to live so long
    Going from one thing, to the next thing, to the next,
    'Til months have gone
    And you realize you have really not done anything at all
    At night you fall asleep believing you've just climbed
    So you could fall

    And I don't believe that "Who I Am" is something I can find
    It's whatever I create with what I do with all my time
    It's who I choose to love with all my heart, and strength, and mind
    And whether I believe that what I have is really mine

  15. Giving In - Steve Manuel

    No more fighting, please
    No more pointing at me
    No more mourning who I'd hoped I'd be
    No more defending
    None of this wishing I was right
    No more concessions to my appetite

    I'm giving in, I'm giving up
    I won't let my pride into it
    And like cool wine poured from a crystal cup
    I'm giving in
    I'm giving up

  16. Better Days - Robbie Seay Band

    Wherever your are, breathe out, and breath again
    And know that life is hard, but it's worth breathing
    Listen to me now, for Love, oh Love
    Is waiting for you, just to say:
    Here come better days

  17. The Long Day Is Over - Norah Jones
    To me, this song is just a promise of something to look forward to-- That no matter how bad things get, there will eventually be an end to it, and a well-deserved rest. A feeling of coming home.

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