My Anthem

“Strip Me”-Natasha Bedingfield

La-la-la-la-la la
lala la la-la la lala
[repeat]

Everyday I fight for all my future somethings
A thousand little wars I have to choose between
I could spend a lifetime earning things I don’t need
That’s like chasing rainbows and coming home empty

And if you strip me, strip it all away
If you strip me, what would you find
If you strip me, strip it all away
I’ll be alright

Take what you want steal my pride
Build me up or cut me down to size
Shut me out but I’ll just scream
I’m only one voice in a million
But you ain’t taking that from me (oh ooh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that!

I don’t need a microphone yeah
To say what I’ve been thinking
My heart is like a loudspeaker
That’s always on eleven

And if you strip me, strip it all away
If you strip me, what would you find
If you strip me, strip it all away
I’m still the same

Take what you want steal my pride
Build me up or cut me down to size
Shut me out but I’ll just scream
I’m only one voice in a million
But you ain’t taking that from me (oh ooh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that!

Cause when it all boils down at the end of the day
It’s what you do and say that makes you who you are
Makes you think about, think about it doesn’t it
Sometimes all it takes is one voice

Take what you want steal my pride
Build me up or cut me down to size
Shut me out but I’ll just scream
I’m only one voice in a million
But you ain’t taking that from me (oh ooh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that from me (oh oh)
You ain’t taking that!
[repeat]

One of the things I have learned about myself over the years is how important it is for me to have a voice.  I am sure this does not shock anyone who know me well.  In particular, my mom or my brother who had to live in the same house as me while I was growing up.  I was always singing, talking, or even just making sounds because I wanted to be heard.  However, what might shock many is that it has truly only been in the last few years that I have begun to realize how critical and deep this is for me.  I think the shocking part is how long it took me to figure this out because I am sure most of my near and dear friends could have told you this many years ago.

The truth is, I probably was not mature enough to handle this reality.  And let’s be honest, I am not sure I am much more so now.  However, one of the things that has become so weighty to me in discovering the importance of me to have a voice is the knowledge that voices are powerful.  This reality scares me because with it comes a choice.  It is a choice that anyone who is given power has to face.  How will the power be used and what will the power be used for?

I think part of the reason this scares me is because my whole life I have struggled with pride.  It is such a primal sin.  I like applause and attention and affirmation.  Yet in the deepest core of who I am, my ultimate heart’s yearning is to point people to Christ.  And so, I am at war sometimes with my two selves.  I have a picture of this fear in my head.  It looks like this:

image

You see, the thing about a voice is that it turns the head of the listener to where the sound is coming from.  So my fear and my battle is “where am I going to posture myself”?  Because that makes all the difference as to what the listener sees after they hear.  Once the head is turned, what will they see around the voice? Is the power of my voice going to lead people to turn their heads toward Christ where His light is so bright that I become backlit and fall into a shadow? Or am I going to lead people to turn their heads away so that His light appears to spot light me and I receive his glory?  This struggle highlights one of my greatest hopes and greatest fears all in the same battle.

And so, back to the choice of power,  the choice of my voice.    Mother Theresa said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”  This is the posture I desire.  May I have a voice so I can be backlit.  May I have a voice so that His light is so bright I become a shadow.  May I have a voice so that in the middle of power, prestige, and pride, I fight it by depending on and worshipping the creator and LORD of it all.

IMG_6774

And so, I sing my anthem, knowing I am only one voice in a million and yet also knowing my heart is a loud speaker and that is powerful.  So I choose.  I choose  for my heart to be set firm on The Lord with his help, to be filled with him and to be striped from all other things. Then He will be the one people see.  He will be the one people hear.

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