I sat in the car dealership, my leg shaking as it always does. This time, my anxiety was higher for some reason. I chalked it up to not feeling well the last few days, and continued talking to the salesman and my son about the car he was wanting to finance.
Then I heard the words:
“I’m not meant to just stay quiet
I’m meant to be a lion
I’ll roar beyond a song…”
And the pieces clicked. The dealership was playing, softly over the stereo, contemporary Christian music. It bothers me a lot lately. My son’s counselor’s office plays it, instrumental, but I still recognize it. My car radio, for the longest time, would default to the local Christian music station when I started the ignition.
I remembered when this song was first released, in 2014, and I would turn it all the way up, then play it over and over again on Apple Music. Sometimes the hook would make me choke up in tears:
“He calls me chosen
Wanted, Child of the King
Held in treasure
I didn’t need my name in lights, and I know for a fact that whoever it is that created us, loves us. If Jesus is real, he loves what he believed in so much that he was willing to die for it. (So do our war heroes, but we don’t sing many songs about them…that’s another story…)
The songs sung at church, and consequently at full volume in my car for years, were me trying to convince myself that even though I was quite obviously a sinner, a shitty parent and a disappointing wife, I was still worthy. I was desperate to be good enough for my new in laws, my husband, and the church community I was trying to unsuccessfully hammer myself into.
See? Even beautiful Francesca Battistelli feels unworthy, and yet here you all are, singing her songs. Somehow, I should be able to be accepted too!
I left the dealership, got into my car and asked Siri to play the song. Surprisingly, I knew all the lyrics by heart. Surprisingly, I didn’t choke up. I played it again.
In that moment I realized, the stars had aligned perfectly to create a situation. Guilt from leaving jeff, new parenthood, no support system, and a husband who preyed on my insecurities and created even more within me to alleviate his own. I had set myself up as prime fodder.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I willingly sacrificed my value and belief system to make others more comfortable in my presence. I flipped the mirror back on myself so that others didn’t have to see their own reflection.
“I’m getting real sick of taking advice from people that could never stare at reflections…” Jack Harlow
I don’t need my name in lights, but I also would damn sure choose me first if I was looking for a champion.