I was not able to get this put up last Friday, so I am posting it today. The story behind this song is in last week’s installment of Keeping It Real Monday, if you so wish to get the whole entire background. It’s not a pretty story, but it’s real and honest.
In a nutshell, just over a month ago, after a year-long struggle with the Lord over accepting my newly defined identity and drastically altered life resulting from a health crisis 3 years ago, I came to a breaking point and accepted His will for me with a surrendered heart. I’m sure God was like, “Finally!!!” I’ve got to say I am even more so appreciative of one of God’s attributes at this time in my life: longsuffering.
God. Is. Very. Very. Very. Extremely. Incredibly. Longsuffering.
This song was a response to my heart’s cry during my struggle in the most recent months, and that was that I didn’t just want to survive what I was walking through, but I wanted to thrive. I didn’t want my faith to shrivel up, I wanted it to flourish. I didn’t want to love God less, I wanted to love Him even more. But it seemed like the opposite of what I wanted was happening, and that was because I wasn’t viewing my circumstances as I should, and that in turn was causing me to question the character of God, which led me to a place of feeling completely faithless. I just can’t help but love this verse in response:
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
2 Tim. 2:13
God gave me some very specific directions as I sought Him in my broken place relating to the word “thrive” that kept echoing inside my heart. Below is what the Lord told me I needed to do if I wanted to, indeed, THRIVE:
T. Thankfulness. Practice thankfulness throughout the day. Thank God every day for 10 ways He has blessed me.
H. Hope. Hope in the Lord – not in myself, not in my circumstances, not in my health. Hope in God alone.
R. Resolve. Resolve to live each part of my day with purpose, not pity. Don’t let life pass me by, but live life fully and be present.
I. Imitate. Imitate other who have walked or who are walking through difficulties who do so in a way that glorifies God. Above all others, especially imitate Christ.
V. View. View myself the way God sees me. When confronted with hurtful views of myself, reject the critical thoughts of myself.
E. Eternal Focus. Eternal focus instead of a temporal focus. Keep God’s big picture in mind and even when nothing makes sense, don’t let go that God is everything He says He is and more. Every promise is true.
As soon as I surrendered to the Lord, opening my hands to let go of the expectations, feelings, and wants that were harming me and instead using those open hands to embrace God’s will and plan for me, the peace and joy flooded my heart and life in an unreal way. I started physically feeling better and of course, I was/am amazingly better spiritually. I know that I don’t deserve to be thriving right now, but because of God’s great mercy, grace, and faithfulness, that’s exactly what I’m doing! Praise the Lord! =)
And as a side note, a couple days ago when I sang part of the chorus in the car riding with my husband, he asked, “Casting Crowns?” I said, “No, it’s the new song I wrote.” He then alerted me to the fact that Casting Crowns does indeed have a song with the same title and had me listen to it. I’d not heard it before, but the same phrase about not just surviving, but thriving is in there. I just want y’all to know it was not intentionally copied or anything like that. Just keeping myself honest. ;-)
Below you will find the lyrics and video for the song. Keep in mind my voice isn’t the strongest sort that this song needs, but the message is at least conveyed. Many blessings to each of you as you find ways to thrive in the life God has blessed you with! =)
Thriving, not just surviving,
Words and music by Adriel Hong
1. You said You came to give me
Eternal life abundantly
But somehow I’ve lost the simplicity
2. I’ve been longing for my yesterday
Focused on the sorrow and the pain
Instead of the joy and Your blessings
I wanna thrive, not just survive
With eyes of faith and a heart of thanks
I wanna live, not just get through this
I want Your best, not anything less
Oh, I wanna thrive, I want Your life
3. Forgive me for my wandering
For my anger and my doubting
Lord, help me to look
At everything less temporally
Eternally, I wanna see
My life from Your point of view, God
Eternally, I wanna see
My life according to Your truth
© 2015 Adriel Hong Music