Where Have You Been?

On October 16, 2011 by Eddie

It seems like forever since I released my last worship record, Orthodoxy. Really, it was just 3 years ago, but I guess in the world of modern music that makes me a dinosaur. So why the wait? Why has it been 3 years since the last time I wrote a collection of worship songs, and why come out of hiding how?

The answer to those questions isn’t simple, and it definitely hasn’t been easy for me. In the months leading up to my release of Orthodoxy, although I was having a blast writing and recording music that meant a lot to me personally, I was also falling apart as a man. The short-lived life of a “traveling worship leader” was taking its toll; my marriage was on the rocks and my identity was getting completely uprooted. In the midst of that really rocky season of life, God spoke clearly to me that I needed to plant myself here in Atlanta and deal with my isolation by surrounding myself with people who truly knew me. Although I never previously saw myself as the church-staff-worship-guy, that’s where God led me, and I was blessed to have that opportunity here at North Point.

Little did I know that although I thought my life was getting turned upside-down, God was beginning to anchor me and prepare me for the coming challenges. In the months and years that followed, nearly everything in my life was challenged and turned upside-down. Marriage became difficult and led me to explore the depths of my own selfishness and emotional immaturity, “a baby came and everything changed,” relationships with my extended family became incredibly strained, close friendships were torn apart in dark times, and work became a place of learning important lessons the hard way.

Throughout this time, I think God presented himself to me through the anchoring presence of my wife, counselors, pastors, and friends. These people never would’ve been there had God not re-directed my path three years ago, and who knows where my life would be today without them. That’s an easy thing to say flippantly, but in reality when I think about it it scares me.

In the end, God has totally uprooted my life and planted a new seed of faith. My relationship with Him is more real than it has ever been, and more elusive than it has ever been. My marriage is harder than ever, and better than ever. Being a father is the most difficult and rewarding thing I could imagine. Life is more complicated, but it is far more beautiful.

So that’s why it’s been 3 years since my last record. Because I needed those 3 years to grow up and begin learning what it means to truly be a man. I needed 3 years to figure out that my life isn’t about writing hit worship music, in fact my life isn’t about me at all.  It’s taken time, and I guess I’ll never “arrive,” but isn’t that how God always does his most permanent work? In the rough-plodding, two steps forward and three steps back ascent of life.

Somewhere in that process, slowly but surely, songs began to work their way out of the mess. Little by little, I began to find inspiration and meaning in writing songs of worship, I began to find my voice in the conversation. This record is the result, a collection of new ideas, new prayers that are coming up from an overturned heart.

What has God been teaching you over the last 3 years? How is your life different today than it was in 2008, and would you do it all over again?

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