IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! I spend a whole year listening to worship music and then when it's all said and done, I figure out which ones are the *best* so that I can post them on here for y'all!
Music is often one of the things that shapes my heart the most throughout the year. I can pretty much hear any song and tell you what I was doing/going through at that point in my life when it came out/when I first heard it, so I always love using that memory to trace back through the growth in my year.
Hope y'all enjoy, and for real, LISTEN TO THESE SONGS. Cannot recommend them enough.
I came back to Samford late in January after a refreshing six weeks at home just aching for some familiarity in my life. I had gotten so comfortable in my ways back at home during Jan term, and needed a song like this to remind me that wherever I go, I am FULLY KNOWN & LOVED by my Father. I cannot emphasize how many times the lyrics and melody of this song crossed my mind as I went through my daily life... and it helped so much. I remember crying in the car on my way back to school listening to this song... lol #dramatic
Okay so according to Spotify, this song was actually my second most-listened-to song for 2018, which makes sense, considering that from the moment I heard it I thought: "This shall be my life's anthem." Because what is life if not an endless alleluia to the Lord?! Also, this song is straight up BEAUTIFUL and deserves a Grammy just as much, if not more, than Reckless Love. Yeah, I said it. #underrated
While interning at my church in Birmingham, I discovered this song and I basically haven't stopped listening to it since. It's a banger of a worship song, lemme tell ya (wait till like 3:45 when the beat drops, I promise it's worth it). It's like 7 minutes long but honestly sometimes it feels too short for me because it's SO DANG GOOD.
I listened to this song a fair deal in 2018, according to Spotify-- and really, it's just a simple, sweet, acoustic hymn that lifts praises to the Lord. Sometimes ya just need it.
May was the month I went through finals, finished my freshman year at Samford, totaled my car, and moved to North Carolina for camp with complete strangers. The whole time, in the midst of that chaos, I just felt this sense of peace that God had brought me through those difficulties to know Him better. And while my flesh was telling me to be upset, I could do nothing but feel like a limp doll, comforted and cared for in the hands of a God who loved me so well. I have a super specific memory of listening to this song during one of my breaks on the first few days of camp, with practically no friends, no car, and nothing to look forward to but getting to glorify my God, and it filled me up. This song is what I think of when I think of the first time I realized I was going to make it after all.
This is definitely a song for children, but that's okay. In June, during Main Camp, Ellie Holcomb HERSELF came to camp with her two ADORABLE children and played this song for us before it came out. There were some adorable hand motions that went with it as well, and I remember hearing this song, surrounded by my dear, sweet girls, having this overwhelming confirmation that God's love is so wide, high, long, and deep that He knew me well enough to bring me to a place like Greystone where I was going to THRIVE.
This was the theme song of camp for the summer, and July was the month where I truly feel Christ in me embodied it the best. Except the camp version was just piano and the voices of sweet girls, but regardless, this version here is one of my favorites because I've been listening to it since before I was a Christian, before I knew what the words meant and what they would one day mean to me. Plus, Laura Hackett Park, a dear family friend, sings it with Cory Asbury--before Cory Asbury was famous ;)
August was another crazy month: Camp ended, I went home for 2 weeks, then moved back to Samford and started classes, my internship, and the hectic process of rush (round 2)! In the middle of all that, I went back to my favorite on-campus ministry that Samford does: Campus Outreach. That night, the worship leader played this song and I kid you not, the lyrics of it have been resounding in my head ever since. The words "Should nothing of our efforts stand/No legacy survive/Unless the Lord does build the house/In vain its builders strive" has been the motto for my 2019 thus far.
Jordy Searcy's album was a staple at camp this summer, so when I got back home I just kept listening to him. This song hit me in a new way outside the gates of camp, it holds a message that I truly believe is the core reason why Christianity is so ostracized in today's society. I wish everyone could hear this song.
For those of you who have never heard of Liz Vice, go do yourself a favor and listen to her music. To be candid with y'all, I grew up with my mom listening to her and I thought it was SO LAME when I was like 13 and all I wanted to listen to was Greyson Chance and Carly Rae Jepsen. Yikes. Anyway, now that I'm a grown adult with ~refined~ music taste, I'm beginning to see my mom was right about Liz Vice after all-- and October was the month I graciously rediscovered her music.
One random morning in November, I woke up with an anxious heart, as I do sometimes. Completely out of the blue, dear friend from camp, Paige, texted me all of Psalm 118 and told me that that those were the words the Lord had for me this morning. SO weird, I know, but so ordained. As a musically inclined person, I immediately went to find a song for Psalm 118 and found this one, and it's been a favorite ever since.
I've been listening to this album for over a year, but it's so funny how the Lord can renew the lyrics of a song that you've heard so many times to be fitted specifically for a season you're going through. As I spent the month of December preparing for a trip to Israel, this was the song that the Lord gave me for that time--which, since returning, I can say is a fitting song to describe the country. I may or may not have an Israel related surprise coming in a few days having to do with this song... cannot wait to share it with y'all!
That's it, friends. Thanks for sticking around. I hope these songs bless you deeply in 2019. Some of them are new, most of them are old, but that's okay because Jesus has done something so individually perfect through each one of these songs, in His time.
Can't wait for the words and stories to come in 2019!!! Love y'all, God bless!