This Is My Story, This Is My Song

This is my story, this is my song | @ashleydanyew

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A few weeks ago, the youth led worship. They planned skits and a children's message, wrote prayers, made T-shirts, wrote testimonials, and chose music. They poured their hearts into this service. And it showed.

The overall theme was packing for a long journey - carrying extra baggage through life and trying to do it all on their own until Jesus revealed himself to them and offered to carry their burdens. But instead of playing fictional characters, the youth assumed their own identities - they were themselves and the baggage they carried were real things they struggle with in their own lives.

One high schooler shared her struggle with depression and anxiety.

Another about grief and loss.

One talked about turning her back on God, the way He sought her, and the joy she's found in returning to Him.

A 6th grader spoke about taking a stand and choosing to believe in God even when her friends and teachers try to tell her He doesn't exist. 

They chose four songs that were personally meaningful and spoke to the challenges they face on a daily basis: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace), It's Not Over Yet, and Hope in Front of Me - songs that speak to failure, loss, doubt, fear, and brokenness. Songs with powerful messages of redemption, hope, and grace.

During the service, I caught glimpses of their stories - their lives, their hearts, their faith, their struggles. I was inspired by their authenticity, their boldness to speak about the work God is doing in their lives.

"This is my story, this is my song" - free 5x7" print by Doxology Press!

In her book, Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist wrote:

“When we, any of us who have been transformed by Christ, tell our own stories, we’re telling the story of who God is . . . . When we tell the truth about our lives - the broken parts, the secret parts, the beautiful parts - then the gospel comes to life, an actual story about redemption, instead of abstraction and theory and things you learn in Sunday school.”

I love this.

How often do we shy away from really sharing our hearts? From being vulnerable and speaking openly and honestly about the work God is doing in our lives - the things He is teaching us, the story of redemption and grace He is writing on our hearts?

This is my story, this is my song.

The perfectly imperfect, grace-filled moments that make up my days. The small, ordinary tasks and routines and rhythms that, though they might feel insignificant, make up this season of life I'm in. The moments of stillness and simplicity and spontaneity.

This is my story, this is my song - a reflection on spring and a new season of life | @ashleydanyew

Planting ranunculus and rosemary. Tending the flower beds, preparing the soil. Breathing it in. Tending friendships, making time. Learning to listen more. Stepping away from my desk, taking more walks, quieting my mind. Noticing more.

This is my story, this is my song.

Teaching the art of the musical phrase, celebrating small successes and signs of growth. Dreaming about the future. Creating space for creativity. Taking risks, following my heart, pursuing authenticity.

This is my story, this is my song.

Remembering the hard seasons - loss, grief, loneliness, anxiety. Embracing the sweetness of this season - joy, love, simplicity, puppy snuggles. Embracing the dog hair and chewed-on slippers.

This is my story, this is my song.

Finding grace in the imperfect, joy in simplicity, life in the ordinary days - a sanctuary for the soul. Finding new ways to worship.

This is my story, this is my song: Praising my Savior, all the day long!