Today, 8 years ago, I saw Switchfoot play at FAU in Boca Raton, Florida. They are one of my favorite bands. I was there celebrating a birthday of a dear friend, Cindy. Jon had started to talk about an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms and to check it out. I went home that night and looked it up. From that night until today I have been a supporter of spreading hope and letting people know they are loved.
I believe in hope and love and wish more people cared about it. It would be a much brighter place to live in. I’m thankful for the past 8 years and all that I have been able to do for the people that I love. I’m thankful for the friendships that I have been blessed with and new ones that I have recently found.
I’ve lost a lot of people I have cared about since that time and I know one day I will see them again. It makes the memories that more special.
While you’re reading this, know one thing, You are important and loved.
Ever since I heard this song last Sunday on the grammy awards, it’s been stuck in my heart. I wanted to write something about it and share my thoughts. I love how songs can tell stories and make connections with people. That is my favorite thing about music. I have lost count of how many connections I have made because of it and how many people I have connected with that I don’t even know about.
"Trust the one
Who’s been where you are wishing all it was
Was sticks and stones
Those words cut deep but they don’t mean you’re all alone
And you’re not invisible”
The main message in this song is to let you know that you aren’t alone in what you are going through and that you have someone out there that cares for you.
This song struck a chord deep down inside and made me remember when I was a teenager and getting picked on and made fun of. I was a shy and didn’t talk much. Also I moved around a lot so that made it harder to make friends.
"So your confidence is quiet
To them quiet looks like weakness
But you don’t have to fight it
‘Cause you’re strong enough to win without a war
Every heart has a rhythm
Let yours beat out so loudly
That everyone can hear it
Yeah, I promise you don’t need to hide it anymore
Oh, and never be afraid of doing something different
Dare to be something more
These words are telling my story and they have resonated so much with who I was and who I am today.
"These labels that they give you
just ‘cause they don’t understand
If you look past this moment
You’ll see you’ve got a friend
Waving a flag for who you are
And all you’re gonna do
Yeah, so here’s to you
And here’s to anyone who’s ever felt invisible”
I’m here to tell you that you aren’t alone with what you are going through. This is for anyone that has been called names, felt alone in a crowded room, felt not good enough. You are loved.
Listen to the song and here the messages that are for you or someone else that needs to hear them.
I usually post my top ten albums but there was so much good music that came out last year that I’m making a top 20.
Here is my list. I love music. It’s such a huge part of my life. I have so many amazing and heartbreaking moments from last year and some of these songs helped me celebrate and helped me heal.
Let me know some of the music that spoke to you last year.
One Republic - Native
The Band Perry - Pioneer
Seabird - Troubled Days
Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest
The Afters - Life Is Beautiful
Ben Rector - The Walking In Between
The Lone Bellow
Andrew Belle - Black Bear
Hillsong United - Zion
Hawk Nelson - Made
Jars of Clay - Inland
Jimmy Eat World - Damage
Courrier - Cathedrals of Color
The Gallery - Restless
Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors - Good Light
The Begging Sea - The Distance
Audrey Assad - Fortunate Fall
Matt Wertz - Heatwave
Green River Ordinance - Chasing Down The Wind
Also forgot to add Leagues - You Belong Here
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I’ve been a supporter of To Write Love On Her Arms for 7 years. They are trying to get the word out about today and let everyone know that they are important and loved. Just know that if you are reading this you cannot be replaced.
There is only one you and that is unique and special. Listen to the words of this song and know that you are loved and worthy.
By playing on a normal set of street signals, this cheerful video teaches us to find joy in the most normal of circumstances and to have fun in everyday life. We don’t have to always settle for monotony in our routine. Like the video asks: why walk, when we can dance?
I love this!
I don’t listen to the radio much anymore but I heard this song a few months ago and it struck a chord within me and I know that someone out there needs to here it also.
Your story is incredibly significant. No matter where you’ve come from or where you go, you will always matter.
“Don’t Give Up”
“Don’t give up. It’s just the weight of the world. When your heart’s heavy, I will lift it for you.”
I first heard this song on a church retreat a few years ago, and to this day, it still gives me chills. The amount of truth in this song, then and now, is staggering to me.
There have been so many times in my life when I haven’t believed that I was loved or that people hear me and want to walk with me through life. I thought those were lies. If I had been given the chance to talk to Josh Groban as he wrote this song, I would have said, “You’re wrong! No one’s going to lift this weight for me. No one’s going to help me. I might as well give up.”
Well, as it turns out, I was the one who was wrong.
“Everybody wants to be understood. Well, I can hear you.”
When I first heard this song, I interpreted it as God speaking to me, telling me that He hears me and will guide me. It was a powerful moment for me. My faith was struggling, and I couldn’t bring myself to believe that I was lovable, much less that God loved me. But in the moments, months, and years that followed, I found the truth in that song. I didn’t give up on my faith; I started to rebuild it.
“When darkness blinds you, I will shine to guide you.”
I also had some rebuilding to do in my everyday life—and it would mean allowing others to help me. There were so many people who loved me, but I honestly couldn’t always see it. I assumed if I showed my true self—if others knew about my struggles with depression, self-injury, and suicide—they wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I thought I’d scare them off, or they’d think I was a freak.
But again, I was wrong.
When I started to tell people about my struggles, they were wonderfully supportive. Not everyone knew how to respond, and not everyone knew exactly how to support me. But I could tell they loved me and wanted me to get better. Sometimes it was as simple as telling someone, “Hey, I’m having a rough time right now. Can we hang out, maybe get some coffee?” They were always happy to walk with me through those times. My friends and my family brought that light into my darkness. I have no reason to give up, because I am surrounded by hope radiating from those who care about me.
“Don’t give up, because you are loved.”
Just like TWLOHA’s Fears vs. Dreams campaign illustrates, we all have a greatest fear, as well as a greatest dream. That dream is what drives us. No matter what we struggle with, no matter what we fear, we all “want to burn bright.” And we all have the ability to do so.
Please don’t give up on yourself or your dreams, no matter how heavy the world may feel sometimes. Remember that there are others who want to help carry that weight—and that you are loved.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” —John Hughes
Friends of Type paid homage to John Hughes by illustrating the last line of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as “a reminder to those who are too busy to stop and enjoy life.”
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