I recently wrote out a play-by-play of the day my brother Jesse died to prepare for an in-depth conversation. This, coupled with starting a new job and being in my “birthday week”(something that always makes me reflective and introspective), brought up a lot for me. “What does it all mean?!?” And so on.
Around the same time, I discovered this cover by Kari Jobe. Something about her voice and the way she sang this song struck my heart and changed the meaning for me, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I played it on repeat for days.
Then one evening, as I was driving to meet for that previous mentioned conversation, I was completely overcome by the beauty of this song when it came to my journey with Jesus and with the loss of Jesse.
Maybe it’s my affinity for conversational-type songs where the whole “God speaks, then I speak, etc” thing happens, and maybe it is just a silly pop song, but the lyrics felt so intentional in that moment, like God was looking me right in the eye, saying:
“If I told you this was only gonna hurt
If I warned you that the fire’s gonna burn
Would you walk in?
Would you let me do it first?
Do it all in the name of love
Would you let me lead you even when you’re blind?
In the darkness, in the middle of the night
In the silence, when there’s no one by your side
Would you call in the name of love?”
I cried grateful tears the whole drive. I know my God is still with me. I know now that He never left. I know He’s gone ahead and knows every good or painful thing I’ll ever go through, and He won’t leave me even when things are dark. While I don’t think I’ll ever know why these things happen, I know that His heart towards me aches with compassion and is not testing or teasing me or playing with my life in a cruel cosmic game. I know that I have faced and probably will face some real struggles, but I see Gods hand in my past and in my present and I trust His love more than I ever have.
“If I told you we could bathe in all the lights
Would you rise up, come and meet me in the sky?
Would you trust me when you’re jumping from the heights?
Would you fall in the name of love?
When there’s madness, when there’s poison in your head
When the sadness leaves you broken in your bed
I will hold you in the depths of your despair
And it’s all in the name of love”
It terrifies me, and sometimes I still feel so broken about it, but I trust God with this story, the story of losing Jesse and every bit of the aftermath. Even the messy, unfinished version of it. It feels so vulnerable and scary to share things that have rocked, torn down, and rebuilt my world. But I know He’s calling me to bigger things, and if I don’t rise up, if I don’t jump, if I don’t hold it out in my hands towards Him, I miss out on the chance to let God redeem my story and create life from death.
“I wanna testify
Scream in the holy light
You bring me back to life
And it’s all in the name of love”
And this is my response. This last year has shown this to be true more than any other. I feel alive again, and I see the purpose in so many seasons of my life that I hadn’t before. While I hope that my life and my story will touch and inspire others, I know that the main purpose for all this bringing-back-to-life-business, the redemption part of the story, is two-fold: that I know the great depths of my Gods love for me, and that I in turn shine the spotlight on that immeasurable love and His ability to resurrect and turn around the impossible.
And it’s all in the name of love.